NGD: Solo DIY kit

In a serendipitous turn of events - while I was getting frustrated trying to figure out if my Strat has an intonation issue that needs a new setup or just needs new strings, I saw a post by @dennise about a guitar kit she got, and I also watched Justin’s video on guitar tone where he says that we’re all in the market for a new guitar, all the time! I’ve thought about getting a guitar kit on and off over the years, because I know absolutely nothing about how an electric guitar works, and the only thing I can do ‘maintenance wise’ is change strings, and I think it would be a good way to learn more. I’ve also thought about buying a cheap used electric and taking it apart and putting it back together, but I kind of like the idea of finishing the guitar too. Anyway, with this confluence of events I really had no choice (haha) and voila – NGD!! It barely looks like a guitar now, but in time I should have a non-quality (again - haha) but playable tele-style electric guitar. With a cool finishing.

Many of you know I am not a techie, at all. My firm intent though is to be a patient learner through this process, and not fall away into complete frustration when things inevitably don’t progress perfectly. Should be a fun project!



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That’s cool Mari, looking forward to this story. I’ll sat “happy ngd” in lower case and wait for the BIG reveal once you get cracking. Like the natural finish ! :sunglasses:

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I am thinking of doing the same thing, a kit seems a good way to start. Hope you can keep us updated with progress reports and maybe I can learn something from you. Good luck with the project.

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@toby thanks! I like the natural look as well but I am probably going to paint it, not stain it. A good friend of mine has a woodworking shop and I’ve already got him interested in the project, so I will get some pointers from him and also have a place to work on the finishing. I have a cool idea for the finishing but won’t share it yet as it may change :smiley:

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@skinnyt you can maybe learn from my mistakes! Lol

I don’t think putting it together will take too long, the finishing might though. I’m going to put it together to make sure everything’s a good fit and it plays, see if I need to change anything, decide if I want to upgrade any of the components, etc. Then I’m going to take it apart, finish it, and put it back together again. I will definitely post pictures. No idea how long the project will be.

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Looks like fun Mari as for paint I have always wanted to try this. There are lots of videos on youtube
with you building the guitar you can do the body first with out the neck.

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Here’s this guy does the head stock to match the body

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Thanks for the videos @stitch , that swirl finish looks really interesting!

Great stuff. I’ve got a friend who built and electric from a kit. Had a lot of fun doing it

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Mari, great idea to build a kit. You will learn a lot. Perhaps even some precision soldering and how capacitance influences the sound.
I will be following your build and like others learning along the way.

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@tony I think it will be fun, and also very informative for me

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@ChasetheDream Well Robert I had to look up ‘capacitance’! I wasn’t thinking in such fancy-ish words lol but I was thinking if I changed out the PUPs I would learn something about sound.

As for soldering, I decided to pay $20 more and order the solderless kit, before I thought to ask my friend if I can use his wood working studio. I don’t have high hopes for the extra $20 I spent though so I expect I will still learn about soldering anyway!

Whoa that’s trippy ! :sunglasses:

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This looks awesome. I’m looking forward to your progress reports.

(My father built my mandolin from a kit. One of my most treasured instruments.)

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Nice! Good luck and enjoy!

I did this 18 months ago to see what would happen and to learn from the process as well… I took a secondhand beaten up kids guitar for £20 and re-worked it. I knew nothing before and a minimal amount of woodwork outside of DIY type stuff beforehand so it was good to experiment. It was rewarding and I learnt lots! Its not that playable still so at least starting with a kit you will have better luck than me! :grinning:

Enjoy and am looking forward to see how it looks and sounds!

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@J.W.C Jason if the finishing works out how I’m thinking - and if it’s decently playable! - it will certainly be a treasure to me. In any event I will learn a few things though.

@grayal Thanks Al. I knew I wouldn’t be the only one interested in this idea as a learning tool. My kit is pretty cheap but definitely more than $20 (not counting finishing costs either), but it will be well worth it to me for the learning and hopefully to have another cool guitar, that is playable!

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Watching with eyes (& ears) wide open, Mari :smiley:

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Mari, great idea - I’ve still got mine to do as it’s been stalled for a while.
I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on with it, most of it isn’t too difficult, the setting up is the hardest part really, you may need to get a few tools!
Watching to see how you get on with it, there’s been a few nice ideas been thrown into the ‘melting pot’ - Wasn’t that a song by Blue mink?

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@brianlarsen I hope to get started on the weekend. Theoretically I could finish a mock-up on the weekend, but I am not counting on that!

@DarrellW I did see something about you working on a kit, I’m surprised you’re working on it, and not finished!

Never heard of the band Blue Mink, I’ll have to check them out and see if I actually do know anything by them :smiley: