Jump to content

Entry for May 2018's Guitar Of The Month contest is open!
ENTER HERE!

Recommended Posts

Well hello there,

my parents got me a kit guitar. I once told them I was watching and reading a lot about building a guitar. And now I want to take the oppertunity to learn about "building" a guitar, even thou all I have to do with the Thomann kit is finishing and putting all the parts together (which probably is way more than I currently expect it to be) :D

As you probably read in the title it's a LP kit.

http://www.thomann.de/de/harley_benton_electric_guitar_kit_lpstyle.htm

this one to be more specific.

I don't know what kind of finish I want it to have, but I thought of eigher a swirl in darker and lighter tones of blue, or using ink to darken the grain and trying a "poor-mans-sunburst".

I'm not sure if the ink would do much, since its basswood and it usually doesnt have a lot of grain. I'll post a picture of the actual guitar as soon as I rip into the packaging and get it out of its cardbord prison.

I hope you guys can help me if I have questions, and tell me if (or rather that) I have done stuff horribly wrong (and also hide my mistakes.

Have a nice day, and most importand rock on

Hendrik

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It always amazes me how little these kits cost. 98euros including all parts! Can't imagine the pickups will be up to much lol. I hope you will let us know how good it actually is when it arrives. The finishing process is the only thing you can mess up here hendrik, but worst case you can always sand back and redo it. It's a very personal choice on the finish oil,laquer,paint etc but anything is possible really, get the grain filled niceley and it makes the next stages easier. Filling the grain with say a dark walnut filler first will pick out some grain for you then a blue sunburst (iceburst?) could be cool!

Welcome to the forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might give a suggestion, this is a good opportunity to experiment with digging deeper without ruining an already finished guitar. I bought one of these to get me started with building. It was a set neck but the concept is the same. I carved the neck thinner and replaced the frets with jumbo ones and even did the Gibson style binding/ fret ends. I will say I was very impressed with the hardware although every soldered connection was garbage and I had to replace every wire. The pickups actually sound really good. I was left with a decent guitar with that gained me some experience.

One note: Don't cheap out with the finish or it will be nothing but a headache and end up costing more in the end.

Thistle, you are dead on. It costs me about $600 just in wood, hardware, and lacquer to build a simple Tele. Unreal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetingz, Chappers here :D (not really, but Greetings anyhow)

I LOVE THOMANN!

I just got a mail that it's already in my town, being driven around in a truck right now and should be delivered within the day. :hyper

Since I have the next two days off I might start sanding rightaway (after some pictures of course).

The jumbo fret idea is great, so I watched some videos about it and read some guides. :read

Time to get a soldering iron, i guess.

I've been thinking about scallopping it, mostly because I've never played a scallopped guitar. But the inlays look quite good and I dont want to ruin them and I'm not sure about a scalloped (or halfway scalloped) LP. Jumbo frets seem like a perfect alternative.

Can't wait to get started

Rock on :guitarist:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's me... again.

Thomann really lives up to their next day delivery promise. Gotta cut'em some slack for that.

Paket_zpsp4agkr0p.jpg

They must love tetris. Boxes inside boxes inside boxes. And lots of GIANT BUBBLEWRAP

Verpackung_zpslx7iqxj9.jpg

The body looks good enough, but when i opened the box LOTS of sanding or saw dust was covering it. It has quite a few scratches. I used my phone to take those pictures so sadly (or luckily) those are not visible on the photographs.

IMG_20150507_133313_zpsyqeaz4dj.jpg

I love the look of the Neck!

neck_zps3omypfro.jpg

Here is all the "stuff" for the guitar

Kleinteile_zpskgyckhhp.jpg

Time to start sanding. But befor I do get into that I have a couple questions. I ran around the house and the shed all day, looking for tools I might need.

I found a heavy duty handheld band sander. But to quote my dad "DAS Teil reißt dir die ganze Decke ab!" which translates (roughly) into "THAT thing will rip off the whole top!"

I also found a deltasander. But I haven't found any sandpaper with more than 240 grid for it. Neigher at home, nor online. Is 240 fine enough for the first sanding or should I go and spend (the least ammount as possible, being a student kinda sucks) on an orbital sander?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest trying a scalloped fretboard before you go for that idea man. Personally I hate it and I would doubt the inlays are thick enough for a proper scallop anyway.

240 grit is fine enough for first sanding before grain fill/sealing and there's no need for a random orbital if your elbows work lol. If it were mine I would go with a coloured top. How about a silvertop rather than gold? Just a suggestion.. Don't see many

Oh yeah.. Put the belt sander away for now. I use one for removing material sometimes but your father is spot on, you'll just make a mess with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Zack. Bout the same here. Around £600gbp in parts/materials total for a nice tele or strat and add anywhere between £100-£200 for a flame top in a LP or PRS style build. Could buy cheaper woods and pickups etc but I don't see the point, same amount of work resulting in a lesser instrument. Only my opinion tho lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

240 grit is fine enough for first sanding before grain fill/sealing and there's no need for a random orbital if your elbows work lol.

I guess they'll do. Before i make my trip to the store I got question about the woodfiller. I've been looking them up online and I found two different kinds. The first is water based, the other alcohol based. Can I use both or is one to be prefered?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess that it is really an oil based filler rather than an alcohol filler. Water based filler dry faster than oil based. I think that an alcohol based filler would dry insanely fast. I guess that it might be alcohol soluble. Both versions work fine. As oil based gives you a bit more working time that is my suggestion for the first attempt.

BTW, after 80 grit I always hand sand. Less chance of catastrophic errors...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next day, next post :D

Because of the weather I took my kit outside to sand today. I've been sanding (by hand, as suggested) for about 2 hours now, using 240 grid sandpaper.

IMG_20150508_133748_zpszo5q8ibk.jpg

I cleaned the body off using a towel and some water, and dried it off afterwards. It kinda looks like there is still some sanding dust left on that guitar, but it isn't. Should I keep sanding until it's all about the same color? are the areas that are darker not sanded enough (even tho I'm pretty sure I've sanded these as much as any other)

Thank you already for your answers, I'm kinda lost

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The water you used may have lifted the grain unevenly, but yes, in general the wood should look fairly uniform in terms of sheen. Some woods will not do so because of the grain and figure pattern, but I would think basswood would stay pretty uniform. Is that a a maple top?

I probably would have started my sanding with 100 or 150 grit and then moved to 180, then 240, depending on the depth of the scratches in it when it arrived. The idea is to sand the scratches out by using grits of increasing fineness. Each grit will leave smaller shallower scratches untill you get to a point where you can no longer see them. Any finish you use will show you scratches you didn't know existed, if this part is done poorly.

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The water you used may have lifted the grain unevenly, but yes, in general the wood should look fairly uniform in terms of sheen. Some woods will not do so because of the grain and figure pattern, but I would think basswood would stay pretty uniform. Is that a a maple top?

 

I probably would have started my sanding with 100 or 150 grit and then moved to 180, then 240, depending on the depth of the scratches in it when it arrived. The idea is to sand the scratches out by using grits of increasing fineness. Each grit will leave smaller shallower scratches untill you get to a point where you can no longer see them. Any finish you use will show you scratches you didn't know existed, if this part is done poorly.

SR

It's a basswood body. I just kept sanding, now it's way more uniform. After filling the grain I'll just start with the 150 grid. I don't see anymore scatches. Learning by doing.

The water raising the grain isn't bad i think. Since I want to use a waterbased ink to stain it black, and this will raise the grain anyhow. Followed by sanding it back (more in the middle than on the sides, so I might have it easier  to get a poor mans sunburst (or rather iceburst, since I want to do it in blue)

Thank you for the tipps, they are really appreciated!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good deal. As for you waterbased ink raiing the grain, when you get through your final sanding step, use water to raise the grain and then sand the nibs back down. Repeat this step a couple of times and they will stop raising....or at least it will be a much smaller amount of rise. Then apply your dye.

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres a good tutorial for the water based dyes used in a burst. I know it's a different colour. There's a black burst video in there too but this guy explains each step of the process very well, beautiful top actually.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ56p-3_SXE

The dude in that does the sanding with an orbital and on a flat surface its the way to go for speed. On a LP im with Peter and SR on this. Do it by hand. Think the finest grit discs ive seen are p320 and you'll get them from a car/auto paint supplies place cheap.

Keep the pics coming man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres a good tutorial for the water based dyes used in a burst. I know it's a different colour. There's a black burst video in there too but this guy explains each step of the process very well, beautiful top actually.

Thanks a lot. That video is awesome. I wasn't sure if I liked the look of it at first, but after he sanded it agin it looked quite beautiful!

Since the day is not over i kept at it and finished sanding.

Good deal. As for you waterbased ink raiing the grain, when you get through your final sanding step, use water to raise the grain and then sand the nibs back down. Repeat this step a couple of times and they will stop raising.

I finaly finished sanding about an hour ago. After that I wiped it down with water, sanded, wiped it down, sanded...

You don't see much of a difference, but maaaaaan you FEEL it! It doesn't feel hairy (lack of a better engish word[sorry]) anymore.

I'm also glad I did it by hand. I first thought I'd hate it but it's actually fun to do and I feel way more responsible for what it's gonna look like in the end, because I cant blame a shitty sanding job on a machine ;)

After that i put in some dark woodfiller, to maybe give it some structure.

IMG_20150508_181040_zpszfapfnmd.jpg

Since the day is still beautifully sunny, warm (and my girlfriend being stuck in traffic :D ) I have more time at my disposal than I thought. I might just sand it back today. If I do pictures will probably follow tomorrow morning!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:)

Man, you are exhibiting early signs of guitar building adiction. :D

If you aren't careful you will soon end up like all the rest of us. You'll be like a proud papa when it's done, and will want to play with it all the time. But pretty soon, the itch to make another will kick in, and you'll have to scratch it......oh yeah, you will have to scratch it. :D

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:)

Man, you are exhibiting early signs of guitar building adiction. :D

If you aren't careful you will soon end up like all the rest of us. You'll be like a proud papa when it's done, and will want to play with it all the time. But pretty soon, the itch to make another will kick in, and you'll have to scratch it......oh yeah, you will have to scratch it. :D

I guess I will be ending up like it :D I'm allready plaing the first real build and frankensteining a pawn shop guitar!

Der, it is looking good. I want to get a les paul style kit one day. Keep her going.

Thankyou!

As to keeping her going:

IMG_20150508_185240_zpspcbp9c8g.jpg

Lesson learned: sometimes less is more. I put on the woodfiller WAY to thick. So sanding it back took me forever. It seemed grey, and wouldn't bother to get off. I had to sand it down with 100 grid. That left some nasty scratches. I followed that up with 120, 150 and 180. Not it looks better.

IMG_20150508_201153_zpsnbwqqk2h.jpg

It looks spotty, but I kind of like that. And since I'll dye it with semi transparent black before getting the blue collor on it I think that this might make it more interesting. But I stilI have tons of sanding to do.

I'm not quite sure about how or if to finish the back and sides :/

I guess that'll be it for today!

Edited by DerPorzelt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps you know this but be forewarned--the wood filler will not accept dye the same way the wood does. You will definitely get a blotchy dye job if you dye it as is. If that is what you are after, go for it. But to get a uniform color you will need to sand until the only filler left is in the pores of the wood.

SR

Edit: Re-reading your post, I see that you say you still have tons of sanding to do..... :blush. Carry on...

sr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit: Re-reading your post, I see that you say you still have tons of sanding to do..... :blush. Carry on...

That's about everything I managed to do within the last 12 days or so since I posted the last update. The Grain filler is only in the pores now. Sadly I can't post a picture right now because my sdcard broke in my phone :/

Tomorrow is my day off for this week, so I might finish sanding and even apply the first ink coat.

I hope I can take a couple pictures using my girlfriends phone or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope I can take a couple pictures using my girlfriends phone or something.

There you go. Get her involved, let her feel like she's a big help. Maybe it will help when she starts complaining that she is a guitar widow sometime down the road. :P

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stuff has been done.

Some more sanding and inking the top :)

Black_zpss6c8n7ew.jpg

After putting on the black ink I let it dry for 2 days. Then there was my favorite activity to do.. sanding <3 :D

I tried to leave the outer areas darker than the middle.

Blacksanded_zps07kgvsni.jpg

It has a blue-ish look to it, but somehow in the picture it seems to be much bluer than in reallife.

Since I want it to be blue I'm fine with that. I'm currently looking for some kind of semi-transparent paint to add onto the black foundation.

I kinda don't know what I want to do to the sides and the back. Eighter leave it as it is, finish the back in a simular collor to the top and using something to darken the sides or darken the sides and the back... So many options.

As for the neck: Today is my last day as a teenager, and with birthdaymoney I'm planning on getting the fretwire and a soldering iron and a fret puller. Fret files are hella expensive :( So they probably have to wait another month.

If I somehow screw up the neck I'll buy a neck with the profile of a 59. I fell in love with it the first time I tried one.

Next update will probably cover the kinda ugly scratchplate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So.. I haven't been on here for a while. Stuff is going much slower than expected. Mostly thanks to University/work :/

But I got a Weekend off, And the guitar is now colorful :) I ended up finishing the back in the same blue I used on the top, but since I didn't use black Ink on the backor  on the side it's a lot lighter.

After taking the picture I leaned off the binding, which was no fun. If my next project has binding I#ll make sure to cover it up, so I don't have to do it again. Learning by Doi...Failing.


IMG-20150813-WA0003_zps7siv5gyw.jpg

In the picture you can clearly see the line between the black edges and the lighter blue. But in real life those aren't even close to has hard as in the picture. Might be because it was still wet, when I took the picture.

If rain doesnt happen today, I'll clearcoat it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a fascinating look. It's not one I've seen before, but something about it is appealing. Some weathered look hardware would fit in nicely if it were left in this stage. I'm looking forward to seeing it with clear.

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×