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KempGuitars

Kemp Guitars UK Build Thread #2

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Didn't think I'd post again until 2018 but I've been catching up on a bit of work on my own builds during the "crimbo limbo". These necks will soon be bolted to the forthcoming stock DC3 (white w/ black hardware) and a SS (with the Richlite fretboard and reverse F-head for my own collection), aptly named the "Pinky Dinky"... You can see why from this shot smiley.png Happy new year to everyone on Project Guitar and thank you all for your kind words and support throughout 2017

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WIN A CUSTOM GUITAR FROM KEMP GUITARS - COMPETITION CLOSES MIDDAY (GMT) TOMORROW: For anyone who might be interested, Kemp Guitars is running a competition that will see one lucky person win a custom guitar - read more here... *** COMPETITION NOW CLOSED ***

 

Edited by KempGuitars

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The first proper post of 2018 and I've been back in the spray booth today shooting some clear on the latest Kemp Guitars own (stock/private) builds - white DC3 and the gloriously pink "Pinky Dinky" SS...

dc3white.jpg

pinkydinky.jpg

Both will be fitted with black Gotoh hardware and Irongear pickups... Yes, Irongear pickups - Steam Hammer in the DC3 and Metal Machine in my SS. I could go out and spend a bit more on some bigger brand pickups but I've used these particular pickups before, including a £1500 custom build, and loved them. These will be left to cure now, making room and time for those two exotic DCs that appear earlier in the thread :)

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I've decided to give them a run for their money also. Specifically the Tesla Sharks and Steam Hammers.

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28 minutes ago, Norris said:

That pink is almost fluorescent! Certainly makes a statement :D

It is a neon paint but appears almost like a pearl finish in the photo. Is bright though :D

3 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

I've decided to give them a run for their money also. Specifically the Tesla Sharks and Steam Hammers.

Can't comment on the Tesla Sharks but the Steam Hammers definitely come recommended. 

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Working with something a little more "natural" today - but certainly no less boring. Rest of the guitar gets a straight Tru-Oil finish, more soon... 

tra040118-1.jpg

tra040118-2.jpg

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54 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Just confirming what I'm looking at here....is that sprayed on stain or similar?

No, no, just wiped the stain on by hand. Being over cautious with the masking what with the Maple in the neck and Bocote fretboard :)

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Nothing wrong with that. I guess that it wasn't a stain/dye that has a tendency to wick. It looks nice and flat....water-based?

I'm still constantly surprised by the cleanliness and high standard of your work. It reminds me fair bit of @RestorationAD's builds from back when he was actively making guitars for clients. Good solid work that proves you don't need massive amounts of space to get good things done.

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1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

Nothing wrong with that. I guess that it wasn't a stain/dye that has a tendency to wick. It looks nice and flat....water-based?

I'm still constantly surprised by the cleanliness and high standard of your work. It reminds me fair bit of @RestorationAD's builds from back when he was actively making guitars for clients. Good solid work that proves you don't need massive amounts of space to get good things done.

Thanks Prostheta. I started out in a 12" x 8" shed and had no problems. It all depends what equipment you have. With bandsaws and floor-standing planer thicknessers, that space would be no good and spraying isn't easy either. I'm in a standard-sized single garage (10" x 14") at the moment due to a recent forced move after the landlord decided they wanted to sell up and it's just okay... But only because it has an extension that I can use as a spray booth. If nothing else, at least it's easy to keep heated through the winter :)

I use spirit based stain. Tried water based but didn't like it - always seemed to go on patchy. The result you mention I only get from using spirit based. Watched endless YouTube videos but never got a decent result from water based. 

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That was the exact reason I was interested in what I was looking at. Spirit-based products have lower surface tensions and are more likely to wick under masking tape than water-based. It'll be nearly invisible on Wengé even if it did wick a little. Any chance of some feedback on how this went in terms of that? The Tikkurila stains I can get custom-mixed here (https://www.tikkurila.fi/ammattilaiset/tuotteet/tuotteet_teolliseen_pinnoitukseen/dicco_color.15424.shtml) have that tendency, however I'm sure that not all products are the same.

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I'm taking you up on the Steam Hammer recommendation also. It was a toss-up between the Metal Machines and Steam Hammers in white/chrome. They're both ceramic magnets, so in that respect there's probably very little difference. I'd maybe have preferred something a little lighter in temperament, however I never tend to build guitars with super hot output pickups. Since I'm not building it for my own benefit, I guess I should be more open-minded in that respect. :thumb:

What sort of routing setup do you have and what bits do you opt for? The cavity is very clean....is that an aspect of the work post-routing or simply a tidy setup and patience?

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50 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

That was the exact reason I was interested in what I was looking at. Spirit-based products have lower surface tensions and are more likely to wick under masking tape than water-based. It'll be nearly invisible on Wengé even if it did wick a little. Any chance of some feedback on how this went in terms of that? The Tikkurila stains I can get custom-mixed here (https://www.tikkurila.fi/ammattilaiset/tuotteet/tuotteet_teolliseen_pinnoitukseen/dicco_color.15424.shtml) have that tendency, however I'm sure that not all products are the same.

There is a bit of wicking but being Wengé (and Ziricote top on the front of the body) it won't show. That said, I will be masking the stained areas and lightly scuffing at the Wenge (and Ziricote)  with some 400 grit to remove a little. I won't go beyond that and, not having to deal with water-based raised fibre issues. is otherwise ready for Tru-Oil.

46 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

I'm taking you up on the Steam Hammer recommendation also. It was a toss-up between the Metal Machines and Steam Hammers in white/chrome. They're both ceramic magnets, so in that respect there's probably very little difference. I'd maybe have preferred something a little lighter in temperament, however I never tend to build guitars with super hot output pickups. Since I'm not building it for my own benefit, I guess I should be more open-minded in that respect. :thumb:

What sort of routing setup do you have and what bits do you opt for? The cavity is very clean....is that an aspect of the work post-routing or simply a tidy setup and patience?

Just got my Steam Hammers in the post this morning :) Yeah, give them a go, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The Metal Machines are a pretty much the same - same EQ -  but just a little more powerful. 

Again, basic setup when it comes to routing. All hand-held as I prefer using smaller bits. Basic 1/4" 1200W router and 3/8" diameter template cutters for everything but the truss channel (6mm). I use Wealden Tools bits - UK tool company who manufacture some pretty decent bits of their own. I use a 19mm deep bit (my favourite bit) for everything but the TOM bridge and rear cover recesses - for which I've got a 1/2" deep cutter. That's it, I think. I don't like larger bits, even for routing body shapes. The smaller bits rarely seem to tear out. 

I should get a table and start using these larger bits with bearings top and bottom but I'm only shaping four bodies per month so can hold off until I get a new (bigger) workshop. 

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I know Wealden. They make the binding cutters for Rall Guitars in Germany, which is the one I have. I've been considering buying a second cutter plus rounding out the bearing set, however I can't remember if they do them direct or whether Rall have exclusivity on the product. Certainly, I'd rather be paying less for middlemen if at all possible. That set of buckers already hammers (no joke intended) this month's budget as it stands.

My favourite cutters are pretty similar, however I am faced with needing to find new sources since I can't renew them at a reasonable cost. You pay more for Luna Tools cutters (I would regard them as "top end Chinese-made") here than for Infinity, Wealden or others. Coupled with the fact that we're Metric here, means I have a job at best.

The two copy bits I rely on the most are both 8mm shank; 12mmx15mm and 19mm x 25mm (d x l). Bottom bearing bits....well, I need to buy a new one....you'll see how poor my current one is when I release the Tele build videos....

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The other option is Infinity Tools who are based down the road from @KnightroExpress. and seem to have a reseller in the UK distributing out of a cowshed up in Cumbria. I like Infinity's approach, because they seem a lot more hands-on than other companies and their cutters have very defined end uses such as the Mega Rabetting bit.

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3 hours ago, Prostheta said:

I know Wealden. They make the binding cutters for Rall Guitars in Germany, which is the one I have. I've been considering buying a second cutter plus rounding out the bearing set, however I can't remember if they do them direct or whether Rall have exclusivity on the product. Certainly, I'd rather be paying less for middlemen if at all possible. That set of buckers already hammers (no joke intended) this month's budget as it stands.

My favourite cutters are pretty similar, however I am faced with needing to find new sources since I can't renew them at a reasonable cost. You pay more for Luna Tools cutters (I would regard them as "top end Chinese-made") here than for Infinity, Wealden or others. Coupled with the fact that we're Metric here, means I have a job at best.

The two copy bits I rely on the most are both 8mm shank; 12mmx15mm and 19mm x 25mm (d x l). Bottom bearing bits....well, I need to buy a new one....you'll see how poor my current one is when I release the Tele build videos....

19mm diameter bit, blimey! I'll look out for the vids :)

3 hours ago, Prostheta said:

The other option is Infinity Tools who are based down the road from @KnightroExpress. and seem to have a reseller in the UK distributing out of a cowshed up in Cumbria. I like Infinity's approach, because they seem a lot more hands-on than other companies and their cutters have very defined end uses such as the Mega Rabetting bit.

Thanks for the tip, I'll check out Infinity Tools

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I can't vouch for the company reselling in the UK. The tools are some of the best you'll get these days though by all accounts. I made the suggestion a while back that a "guitar maker's basics" set would be a nice set to put together in a box. I neglected to follow up thanks to life getting in the way.

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1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

I can't vouch for the company reselling in the UK. The tools are some of the best you'll get these days though by all accounts. I made the suggestion a while back that a "guitar maker's basics" set would be a nice set to put together in a box. I neglected to follow up thanks to life getting in the way.

Just had a look at the Infinity site and prices aren't bad. I can order direct from them, Cumbria is in the UK :) Only bought my last bits one build ago so don't need any new ones for a while. 

Good suggestion about luthier sets - I suppose there's so many variants (look at what I use compared to what you use) that it might be difficult to put together an ecomonical set, or it means putting loads of different sets. 

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A simple set plus suggestions on additions works well. No set can apply to everyone and all builds, however it does give people a leg up.

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I like how you flipped attention/contrast from the wenge to the maple with the stain. Very classy indeed!

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