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KempGuitars

Kemp Guitars 2019 Build Thread

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So it's 2019 and Kemp Guitars has been building for 10 years now. During my time away from the forums throughout the second half of 2018, there were a couple of changes made as a result of my increasingly painful back/shoulders, and I had decided to start using CNC machined bodies and necks.

After speaking to a couple of potential companies who could do the work for me (as I didn't have the funds or CNC knowledge to do it myself) it became apparent that my options would be limited if I wanted to keep costs to an acceptable level. This would see me making nothing but Strat or Tele style builds - such as this Metallic Purple guitar...

kemp-alnico8-superstrat-02.jpg

Yeah, it was fun taking these traditional shapes/styling and turning them into something... well, less traditional, but it really wasn't what I wanted to be doing long-term, and, unfortunately, the costs of incorporating my own body shapes, etc into the CNC work was going to be too high - and definitely not a cost I could justify passing on to my clients.

Over the past week, as I lay indoors recovering from flu, I decided that I just couldn't do it and Kemp Guitars had to remain the way it should be for the boutique custom guitar manufacturer... handcrafted bodies and necks... NO CNC!

😃

Edited by KempGuitars
Guitar spec change
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Welcome back!

And you're bringing two pieces of good news......The Cites news and the fact that you will be joining us again.

SR

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5 hours ago, KempGuitars said:

So it's 2019 and Kemp Guitars has been building for 10 years now. During my time away from the forums throughout the second half of 2018, there were a couple of changes made as a result of my increasingly painful back/shoulders, and I had decided to start using CNC machined bodies and necks.

After speaking to a couple of potential companies who could do the work for me (as I didn't have the funds or CNC knowledge to do it myself) it became apparent that my options would be limited if I wanted to keep costs to an acceptable level. This would see me making nothing but Strat or Tele style builds - such as this Metallic Purple guitar...

kemp-alnico8-superstrat-02.jpg

Yeah, it was fun taking these traditional shapes/styling and turning them into something... well, less traditional, but it really wasn't what I wanted to be doing long-term, and, unfortunately, the costs of incorporating my own body shapes, etc into the CNC work was going to be too high - and definitely not a cost I could justify passing on to my clients.

Over the past week, as I lay indoors recovering from flu, I decided that I just couldn't do it and Kemp Guitars had to remain the way it should be for the boutique custom guitar manufacturer... handcrafted bodies and necks... NO CNC!

 So, having decided against using the CNC Stratocaster's, I did have one last guitar planned. This will be a handcrafted build and it will be the Kiwi Green finish - as unofficially voted for on my social media posts. I will continue with this one next week, as soon as I've recovered from this damn flu-virus :#

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love the blue/purple - great color!  Your work is really inspiring on a lot of dif levels.  I may have to do a single pickup guitar in the future (here we go again)!  nice designs.

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On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 5:52 PM, mistermikev said:

love the blue/purple - great color!  Your work is really inspiring on a lot of dif levels.  I may have to do a single pickup guitar in the future (here we go again)!  nice designs.

Thanks mistermikev.

Sorry, only just seen your post - not been online much the past month due to flu and house move. Back online now... note also the spec change to that latest Strat build :) 

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Finally back in the shop full-time after a month off to flu and a house move. Quick update on where I am right now. Currently finishing up sanding this handcrafted Strat ready for spraying... Then once this one is done, I'll be moving on to some proper Kemp-like builds, including some new custom work :)

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the flu... had that myself... almost killed me.  glad you are back at it. 

spec change?

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On ‎3‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 11:11 PM, mistermikev said:

the flu... had that myself... almost killed me.  glad you are back at it. 

spec change?

Thanks, yes, glad to be back. I'm one of these people that hates sitting around doing nothing... That was more the worst bit, not being able to get into the shop for three weeks!

Yeah, had to go hardtail on the Kiwi Green build after running into difficulties mounting the Lockmeister correctly with the bridge HB routed. Selling the tremolo now.

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A new week in the shop and today was spent finishing up sanding out the handcrafted carve on my latest (and last) Skunk-stripe neck - they look good but those few minutes of anxiety whilst routing into the back of the neck is too much. This one also has a one-off headstock shape as seen on recent mock ups...

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Decided to post a bit more regular with this build as it's the last one I intend to do as stock in the traditional Strat style. That said, unlike my other recent builds in this style, this one has not been machined or shaped at all using CNC, it's completely handcrafted and therefore has some significant, yet subtle, differences.

Something about a standard Strat nut I don't like, so giving this neck a 1/4" thick GraphTech TUSQ XL nut 😃

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Sizing up the scratchplate for the final time before spraying clear coat. Will be putting the Seymour Duncan TB-15 (Alternative 8) into this one...

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It's been a gorgeous day today so I decided to take a drive to Binner Downs here in Cornwall for an outdoor photoshoot with the latest build...

Handcrafted KST0419 full spec: Alder body, Maple neck (Modern C profile), Maple fretboard (12" radius, 25.5" scale length), 3-ply scratchplate loaded with Seymour Duncan Alternative 8 pickup and CTS volume pot, Hipshot Fixed Bridge, Gotoh 381 tuners and Kiwi Light matte Poly (body)/matte Poly (neck) finish

kemp-strat-alternative8-hipshot-1.jpg

kemp-strat-alternative8-hipshot-2.jpg

kemp-strat-alternative8-hipshot-3.jpg

Edited by KempGuitars
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Getting to work on the neck for the latest (handcrafted) DC build - Alder archtop body, Black Walnut neck w/ Kemp Guitars' pointy inline headstock 😃 Ebony fretboard, Gotoh bridge and tuners, pickups TBC and Vintage White finish

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Edited by KempGuitars

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Five months ago I was planning to start working with CNC machined bodies and necks, but I decided it wasn't what I wanted to be doing. So, here we are today with the resurrection of the DC (my most requested body shape). Still some work to do, such as the archtop, contouring around the neck join and tweaking the Kemp Guitars' pointy headstock - new template being made as we speak with better (straight-pull) string angle over the nut. Also going for a single coil pickup at the neck on this one, possibly SC size humbucker, and recessed Tune-O-Matic bridge...
 
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On 4/15/2019 at 4:47 PM, KempGuitars said:
 
56980763_1571109833032357_38998617825833

That looks rather nice with the contour lines. I bet that would look good as a finish - either painted on, or better still the top made out of laminated maple and purple heart

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More progress updates on the latest (and reintroduced, again) DC stock build. I won't post this much on future builds, as a full time builder they all go through near identical processes on a standard specification build, but this one is being made with new templates and tweaks to the original design =)

Checking existing logo size fits new headstock with improved "straight-pull" string angle...

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FYI, I don't go for generic all-in-one templates when handcrafting my guitars. Instead, once the neck has been bolted on, bridge and pickup positions are measured out on every guitar individually for accuracy. This latest one has a recessed TOM bridge too...

57085281_1572602962883044_57758241565452

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It's fretwork Friday! Just made that one up, but I am genuinely hammering frets in today. This 25% N/S Sintoms Elite Series fretwire is nice enough to work with and nowhere near a pain in the arse as stainless steel fretwire to cut and file 😃

56938153_1573916649418342_54759051729263

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Thin strips of veneer in various species (colours) of wood... Perfect for filling those fret slot ends without messing around with glue and dust 😃

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Edited by KempGuitars
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52 minutes ago, KempGuitars said:

Thin strips of veneer in various species (colours) of wood... Perfect for filling those fret slot ends without messing around with glue and dust 😃

Nice! Very clever idea and procedure. Do you clip back the tangs a bit before hammering them in then? Or perhaps angle them back?

SR

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1 hour ago, KempGuitars said:

Thin strips of veneer in various species (colours) of wood... Perfect for filling those fret slot ends without messing around with glue and dust 😃

58382987_1574024062740934_14506210166308

57595639_1574024222740918_79507933790365

57599681_1574024329407574_71000645536055

you know filling this never even occurred to me (I'm an idiot).  In the past I just let the fret end show.  great idea and now I'm going to have to go find some ebony veneer!  thank you for sharing!

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16 hours ago, ScottR said:

Nice! Very clever idea and procedure. Do you clip back the tangs a bit before hammering them in then? Or perhaps angle them back?

SR

Hey ScottR,

Thanks, certainly saves time messing around with the glue and dust fix. I always clip back the tang when hammering frets in, regardless of which method I use to fill the slot ends. I prefer the no-tang look 😃 

16 hours ago, mistermikev said:

you know filling this never even occurred to me (I'm an idiot).  In the past I just let the fret end show.  great idea and now I'm going to have to go find some ebony veneer!  thank you for sharing!

Hey mistermikev,

You're no idiot! All the YouTube videos and forum posts mention glue and dust fills so one just goes along with that as the norm. It was only more recently that I thought about this - watching someone fill slots for a fretless conversion. I had loads of spare veneer lying around so had a go... Takes half the time and looks clean!

BTW, I would suggest black dyed veneer, rather than Ebony, as it'll be much cheaper 😃

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Glue and dust in my experience has always resulted in a slightly different colour to the fretboard, although ebony is the lost forgiving, it tends to be slightly visible and looks worse than just seeing fret tangs so I normally make binding strips from the fretboard offcut before slotting. I’m going to try this method though because it looks a damn sight faster than a bound board, thanks 🙏 

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36 minutes ago, KempGuitars said:

Hey ScottR,

Thanks, certainly saves time messing around with the glue and dust fix. I always clip back the tang when hammering frets in, regardless of which method I use to fill the slot ends. I prefer the no-tang look 😃 

Hey mistermikev,

You're no idiot! All the YouTube videos and forum posts mention glue and dust fills so one just goes along with that as the norm. It was only more recently that I thought about this - watching someone fill slots for a fretless conversion. I had loads of spare veneer lying around so had a go... Takes half the time and looks clean!

BTW, I would suggest black dyed veneer, rather than Ebony, as it'll be much cheaper 😃

If you’ve ever made an ebony fretboard, you’ll have plenty of offcuts to make some wedges 

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4 hours ago, KempGuitars said:

Hey ScottR,

Thanks, certainly saves time messing around with the glue and dust fix. I always clip back the tang when hammering frets in, regardless of which method I use to fill the slot ends. I prefer the no-tang look 😃 

Hey mistermikev,

You're no idiot! All the YouTube videos and forum posts mention glue and dust fills so one just goes along with that as the norm. It was only more recently that I thought about this - watching someone fill slots for a fretless conversion. I had loads of spare veneer lying around so had a go... Takes half the time and looks clean!

BTW, I would suggest black dyed veneer, rather than Ebony, as it'll be much cheaper 😃

fortunately I've got lots of spare ebony... think next time I do a fb w/o binding I'll fire up the chop saw and make some slices!  good call!

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