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Project Builds (non Car) Here is an area where you can show / discuss other non car builds be they bikes, caravans, boats, BBQ's or whatever.

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Old 17-05-2020, 09:30 PM   #1
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Default Building a kit guitar

I'm partway through this project, I started it over a year ago, then put it away for a year while thinking of ideas.

This is what I bought. It's styled on a Fender Starcaster, which was Fender's foray into hollow bodied guitars to compete with Gibson way back then. I bought the kit from a WA company who has them made with enough differences that they don't infringe on copyrite.



and the raw bits and pieces sort of pieced together...






I've stained and started applying clear to the face



I've now joined the neck to the body, and trying to work out a logo, and playing with a 3d printer to make this work.



Stay tuned...
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Old 17-05-2020, 09:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Last weekend I flattened and dressed the fretboard.

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Old 18-05-2020, 12:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

nice work
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Old 18-05-2020, 12:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Gee I never thought I'd see a starcaster kit. I remember seeing them in the 70's. No one wanted them, or the other hollow body fender made, can't remember the name.
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Old 18-05-2020, 12:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

The Coronado, with its cheesy-tinny-awful DeArmond budget pickups? As used by Hunters and Collectors in Wildwood variant?
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Old 19-05-2020, 06:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

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Gee I never thought I'd see a starcaster kit. I remember seeing them in the 70's. No one wanted them, or the other hollow body fender made, can't remember the name.
It's certainly a bit different, with it's offset shape. I've had to modify the tailpiece to suit the slightly slanted bottom end.



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The Coronado, with its cheesy-tinny-awful DeArmond budget pickups? As used by Hunters and Collectors in Wildwood variant?
The beauty of building a kit means you can put your own pickups in... in this case I've ordered some Fender style pickups from a mob called Guitar Fetish, which are styled off the original Starcaster pickups.

GuitarFetish
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Old 19-05-2020, 06:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Cool project. Never knew about these, so checked out the pit bull site and was keen on the bc1 shredder until I realized it's not as simple as bolting together. I assume there's heaps of modifying & correcting flaws to make it playable?
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Old 19-05-2020, 07:08 AM   #8
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Cool project. Never knew about these, so checked out the pit bull site and was keen on the bc1 shredder until I realized it's not as simple as bolting together. I assume there's heaps of modifying & correcting flaws to make it playable?
Surprisingly, they go together really well. This is my fourth build, I built a Mockingbird style for my son, who loves his shredding, that one involved routing a cavity for a 9v battery for active pickups. The factory generally have their jugs set up well.
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Old 19-05-2020, 11:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Fender wide range humbuckers are no longer available. The originals used an alloy which is basically unobtainable now. The repros all use common alloys now and don't sound exactly the same. They are a different size to paf copies, bigger, and won't fit in gibson routes. They are basically 2 fender single coils in a bucker package.

The GFs are about the cheapest copies you will find anywhere. I've not heard any comparisons that are good enough to tell what they sound like. GF have a generally ok reputation though...

I notice the kit pic has a stop tail and yours has a jazz style tail ? Was that a special order or have they changed the kit ?
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Old 19-05-2020, 11:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Was it one of those alloys rumoured to have uranium in it, or something?
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Old 19-05-2020, 06:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

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Fender wide range humbuckers are no longer available. The originals used an alloy which is basically unobtainable now. The repros all use common alloys now and don't sound exactly the same. They are a different size to paf copies, bigger, and won't fit in gibson routes. They are basically 2 fender single coils in a bucker package.

The GFs are about the cheapest copies you will find anywhere. I've not heard any comparisons that are good enough to tell what they sound like. GF have a generally ok reputation though...

I notice the kit pic has a stop tail and yours has a jazz style tail ? Was that a special order or have they changed the kit ?
I didn't notice the change in kit, well spotted! I suspect it may have been changed from the tailpiece to the Gibson style, as the tailpiece doesn't fit out of the box. Because of the offset shape of the body, the tailpiece points the strings towards the lower horn. The supplied tailpiece is designed for a symmetrical body.

I see on the new picture, the output jack has moved as well.
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Old 20-05-2020, 12:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

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Was it one of those alloys rumoured to have uranium in it, or something?
I don't think it was uranium or anything controversial. This is from memory, I am sure the internet will tell you what's what, but as I recall it was a particular alnico alloy that stopped being mass produced as it had no industrial advantages over others. I seem to recall to get a production run done would require unfeasible order quantities.

Those sort of details are really for cork sniffers anyway, I'm sure the gfs pups will sound great, but if they don't, and you haven't cut the wires too short I might take them off your hands anyway.
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Old 20-05-2020, 01:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

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I don't think it was uranium or anything controversial. This is from memory, I am sure the internet will tell you what's what, but as I recall it was a particular alnico alloy that stopped being mass produced as it had no industrial advantages over others. I seem to recall to get a production run done would require unfeasible order quantities.

Those sort of details are really for cork sniffers anyway, I'm sure the gfs pups will sound great, but if they don't, and you haven't cut the wires too short I might take them off your hands anyway.
I've used GFS pickups before - Classic II Vintage wound on my first kit guitar. They sound just fine!


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Old 04-06-2020, 06:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

I decided to start fitting some hardware on the guitar this afternoon. First I had to fit the bridge mounts, which meant taking a hammer to pound them in. I fitted a couple of strings, and lined up the tail piece and screwed it in.



I'll head around to Jaycar tomorrow to see what types of shielded cable they have, and make up a wiring harness. I grabbed a piece of cardboard and mapped out where the volume and tone pots, pickup switch and output jack are located. Then I'll install it through an F-hole.

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Old 05-06-2020, 05:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Well, once the end is near, itís full steam ahead!All the knobs, pickups and switch all connected and installed. I threw on a cheap set of strings to set it up, I had to raise the nut by about 1mm to get rid of a bit of fret buzz, but first play and it went alright!


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Old 06-06-2020, 08:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

You don't need to hit the knurled inserts in - do you have a drill press?

Set the body on a soft cloth, on the press table, and wind the chuck fully open. Use a small "pad" of hardwood between the chuck and insert as you turn the handwheel and bring the (non-turning) chuck down directly above it.

Where did you run the earth wire - to the bridge studs or tailpiece bracket?

Good to see a less ordinary guitar build, especially coming to fruition.
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:42 PM   #17
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You don't need to hit the knurled inserts in - do you have a drill press?

Set the body on a soft cloth, on the press table, and wind the chuck fully open. Use a small "pad" of hardwood between the chuck and insert as you turn the handwheel and bring the (non-turning) chuck down directly above it.

Where did you run the earth wire - to the bridge studs or tailpiece bracket?

Good to see a less ordinary guitar build, especially coming to fruition.

Good tip about the drill press, the body wouldn't have fit in the frame of the hydraulic press though

I ran the earth to one of the bridge studs, and was very careful. On my last build, the earth didn't stay in place, so I ran it to the tailpiece instead. Both work well, though.

I had my sons visit this morning, and one of them has taken up axe-wielding, and tried it out. He started falling in love with it. I played with the bridge height settings today, and wore out my fingertips, thoroughly enjoyed it!

This was my last build, with the unseen tailpiece earth

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Old 06-06-2020, 10:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

That one looks fun, like a White Falcon dallied with a 6120.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:30 PM   #19
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That one looks fun, like a White Falcon dallied with a 6120.
Pretty much, it was adapted from the Gretsch design. I fitted that one with a magnetic brace in the body, to attach a Tonewood amp to the back https://www.tonewoodamp.com/. It makes acoustic playing SOOOO MUCH more fun! Being a full sized hollow body, I can introduce reverb, delay, chorus, and a few more effects without using an amplifier.
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Old 10-06-2020, 01:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Have you been tempted by any pickups like the T-Armonds? That sort of thing is right up on my wish list. Really like the dynamic range of the originals, got that early twang like Duane Eddy or Chet Atkins, even George Harrison’s Duo-Jet stood out tonally.
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Old 10-06-2020, 02:04 PM   #21
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Have you been tempted by any pickups like the T-Armonds? That sort of thing is right up on my wish list. Really like the dynamic range of the originals, got that early twang like Duane Eddy or Chet Atkins, even George Harrisonís Duo-Jet stood out tonally.
The pickups in the red beast are nothing fancy, I don't get the chance to plug it in very often, but I've heard of these from a mate who plays in a rockabilly band. I'd also like to try out the P90.
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Old 10-06-2020, 03:12 PM   #22
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Theyíre alright IMO but quite removed from the DeArmond sound. You wouldnít feel you simply doubled up if you had both.

Heaps of fat bobbin single coils to try; toaster-tops, DeArmonds, P90, Jazzmaster, even the loosely wound early HŲfner single coils. Many of these require narrow string spacing, though.
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Old 10-06-2020, 05:53 PM   #23
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Theyíre alright IMO but quite removed from the DeArmond sound. You wouldnít feel you simply doubled up if you had both.

Heaps of fat bobbin single coils to try; toaster-tops, DeArmonds, P90, Jazzmaster, even the loosely wound early HŲfner single coils. Many of these require narrow string spacing, though.
I was working with my hillybilly mate this arvo, he's more into trying to achieve different sounds, so I asked him about it. He has the T90's in one of his Gretcshes, which is a TV Jones version of the P90.

I'll have to see what he has spare lying around for me to try, in return for me designing and 3d printing him some dog-eared P90 to humbucker adapter mounts
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:40 PM   #24
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Can we hear you playing one of these Captain???
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:54 PM   #25
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Can we hear you playing one of these Captain???
I'm not much of a player, not being in a band, or having a goal to practice for, I've not really progressed. But it's thoroughly enjoying making these guitars, and selling off my Taiwanese made ones. I'll keep the classic guitar I got when I was 10, the Hoffner I got when I was 11, my Magnum I bought in the 80's and the Maton accoustic. Anything else will be home assembled.

Though I could try record something, to show what a kit guitar sounds like...
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:00 PM   #26
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I would love to hear its tones...
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:30 PM   #27
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I would love to hear its tones...
I'll see what I can do when I have my next days off... I better get practicing!
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:31 PM   #28
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Donít be shy, you must be better than me.
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Old 13-08-2020, 09:05 PM   #29
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Rather than practicing, I've embarked on another build... this time a bass guitar. Never having played bass guitar before, I can only imagine it's not that hard.
I haven't decided on a colour scheme yet, whether to exploit the grain of the timber, or go for a solid colour.
Here's the opened kit after I opened it...

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Old 16-08-2020, 09:36 PM   #30
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Default Re: Building a kit guitar

Is that a medium scale, or did the camera shorten it?

You might enjoy a bajo sexto build, theyíre a niche thing and not everyone likes the tonal range.
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