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Need Lots Of Advice For My 1st Build

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Let me start by saying that I have never been involved with the building,repair or maintanance of a guitar other than changing strings and sanding down a pawn shop guitar only to scrap that and decide to try a kit. I play only for hobbie and fun, I'm not even very good but none-the-less, I love music more than my ability conveys.

You see I want to build a tribute guitar for my favorite band, something that looks great (or at least real good) and plays reasonably, mostly I want to make myself a collectors item, but still would like to be able to play it to.

I was wanting to make something like a fender strat (don't worry I plan on neither copying another nor selling this if it ever gets made I also doubt it will be coveted anyways...I read the leagle thingy) I just think if I could do it and do a reasonable job it would be very rewarding and just plain cool.

This seems to be a very well informed site full of knowledge and insight. So to you I ask.

-I assume a kit would be cheapest, any recomendations on where to look, who has good and cheap ones ( i've seen some places and hoping around 150-200 bucks for body and neck, though would pay more for all the parts...pickups ect. included.

-I'm not a good enough player to know what woods will do what I just want the best sound and look for the lowest buck, Is there any difference the wood makes on how easy it is to paint, what would be easiest.

-do you know where I can get custom made knobs

-what is a good (remember cheap) pickup

thanks for any and all help

I will gladly take any advice, pointers and help of any form. as I am not a total idiot I realize this won't keep me from f'n up something beautiful.

You newest Noobie



Edited by redfro24
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Hello Matt,

I, like you, have greater joy than ability with guitar. I've started guitar making this year and I can help you with a couple of your questions.

I don't know where you can get kits, but e-bay is a good place to start. You can get separate bodies and necks from different folk, often for real bargains. I bought a decent strat neck for under $40. Check out this site for similar.


I'm carving my own bodies, so I don't know where you can get them, but I can tell you that wood with more closed grain is easier to paint. That would include alder (which is a pretty standard strat wood) which is a fairly cheap wood compared to others.

For good cheap pickups, look at the GFS range on e-bay (look up guitarfetish as the seller). There is a wide variety of styles of pickup which are very reasonably priced. Look at the reviews on Harmony Central too (http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data2/GFS_Pickups/) to see which ones suit your needs.

Guitarfetish also has some hand made knobs, but I don't know where you can get custom made ones. Remember that anything that is made especially for you will be MUCH more expensive, so you may be better off getting something ready made that is close rather than breaking your budget on knobs.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on with the project.


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  • 3 weeks later...

For cheap kits (but not too cheap) try Grizzly.com. They've got a fairly cheap strat kit, I think. Comes with all the hardware. I haven't ordered it and have no experience with the kit itself, however, Grizzly is a great distributor. The very few times I've had problems with an order, they've always gone above and beyond.

And, do yourself a favor while you're at Grizzly.com. GET A FREE CATALOG! You'll hate yourself for it, because there's so much to buy, but it's great bathroom reading nonetheless.

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those grizzly heratige kits look nice (atleast the PRS style ones do). you could also try universaljems.com, that way youd be helpin support the site. Im gonna be getting the HT kit from there soon (I would be getting a heritage kit, but they only sell in the US, and im a long way from the US :D ).

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Grizzly Heritage kits:Here? :D

Hope linking is OKAY...

I'm with you, I'm a much greater lover of the guitar than my ability shows. I love how it feels, looks and sounds. I'm building one just to do it. I want one the way I want it, not from a factory, and when it's done I'll have a real heirloom. Well, actually the second one will be mine, my son's getting the first one.

Edited by sexybeast
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