Introduction and Components
In 2014, I wanted to increase my knowledge of guitar maintenance but I didn’t want to mess around too much with my current guitars. I decided that it would be a good idea to have a cheap guitar that I could take apart or modify, and that the ideal way to do that would be to build my own kit guitar.
I browsed around for some ideas and found a recommendation for kits that are sold by Thomann. I had a look at them and decided to buy a shape that I don’t have, so I ordered one with an SG body. I paid €77 for the complete kit, but I also needed to buy a number of extra items, such as fine sandpaper and some lacquer for the finish. I wanted to make it a blue / purple burst (blue on the inside and a darker purple on the outside), and I also ordered some blue chicken head control knobs to replace the standard ones.
I ordered a few other bits and pieces – string winder/cutter, a bunch of strings and a strap for the guitar. I couldn’t get the other things I need from Thomann (the lacquer and sandpaper) so I had to get those separately. This is what arrived from Thomann:
Opening up the guitar kit box revealed the body:
You may be able to see that there was a V-shaped mark on the back which I hoped I could sand out. Otherwise, I was quite happy with the body – it looked decent, and didn’t really need to be hidden by the finish. These were the rest of the components:
It’s an impressive set of contents for such a low price.
My first job would be to sand it down and prepare it for the finish. Although the body was supposed to be sanded and sealed, it wasn’t as smooth as I wanted so I needed to sand it some more myself. I also noticed that there were some rougher bits inside some of the cavities, like this:
I ordered some spray lacquers from a helpful chap at Manchester Guitar Tech, together with some very fine sandpaper and special masking tape.
Finally, I thought about the issues inside the cavities and went to my local DIY store to see if they did such a thing as sanding drill bits. Fortunately, they did, so I bought a set and some more sandpaper.
I also ordered a little fret dressing file, a set of feeler gauges and a nice mahogany neck rest to help with the build and for general maintenance. In the next part, I will cover the preparation of the body and neck.