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#1
So, school's out for the summer and full time lifeguarding doesn't start until late June so I need a hobby! Been wanting to build a guitar from scratch for a while and skimming around here only strengthened that desire, but I have no monies or space for the proper woodworking tools needed, so I go this sweet kit to sort of dip my feet into the process.

http://www.grizzly.com/outlet/Heirloom-Guitar-Kit-5-Samba-Firefly/H6086

It's basically a PRS with a maple neck, which is sick since I LOVE PRSs. It showed up the other day and after a quick visit to A.C. Moore to get a few things, here's what I got:



120, 220, and 320 grade sanding papers for starters, some tack cloth, a couple different sized sponge brushes, scrap wood, pre-stain, painters tape, the kit and a box with the tree stains I'm using; concentrated brilliant crimson, concentrated purple, and concentrated ebony black, which I got off of http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=toolshop&Category_Code=CLWW



Here's the body! It has a pretty sick quilt to it, reminds me of like dragon scales or something, but I'm a nerd so that's just me XD. The lighting was bad so once I fix that I'l put up better pics.



It was pretty much flawless except for this one scratch next to the neck pickup hole, but I sanded it out easily enough. When I first saw it I was like "Le Gasp!" since the quilt maple is like a .5 millimeter thick veneer and I though it was to deep, but things worked themselves out nicely.



There's the neck. It has really cool bat shaped inlays which are insanely awesome. It has the "Samba" logo on the headstock which I was originally planning on sanding off and making my own logo or whatever but when it got here, I changed my mind cause it actually looks kindda nice. More pictures to come when I get the time.


Anyways, there's the materials so here's the plan as it stands: I'm gonna give it a sick burst with crimson in the center going to the purple around the edges and definitely going to go with the PRS style faux binding. I haven't decided if I'm gonna make the back, sides, and neck a either purple or crimson or a mix of the two to get a maroonish color, or if I should just do it black. Once the top is finished I'll mock up some of the scraps and hold them next to it and see which looks better.

Although the kit comes with two perfectly good humbuckers, I'm going to get two Seymour Duncan P-Rails and drill a hole for a 3-way mini-toggle so I can have all the crazy tapping combinations.

Other than the pickup swap it's already got everything else I could ask for in a guitar;gold hardware, simple controls (1v, 1t), a vibrato arm (and a Floyd Rose to boot. Talk about top of the line), and killer looks. I'm very, VERY excited to get this build underway. It may not be as extravagant as some of the other first builds around here, but I'm hopping the results will be just as successful.

A FEW QUICK QUESTIONS THOUGH:

1) The back and sides of the body are mahogany; Do I REALLY need to use grain filler on it? I've seen guitars that haven't had it used and they look fantastic, but for a first build, should I use is?

2) How do you know when you're done sanding with one grade and it's time to move onto the next? I know a lot of people go by feel but I've never worked with wood like this before so what is the general standard that I should be sanding to? What are the signs I should be looking for?

THANX A TON, YOU GUYS ROCK!
Last edited by androidred0100 at May 26, 2009,
#2
That quilt reminds me of one of Perry's guitars.
1. It never hurts. But you don't need to for mahogany, so you might as well not. But you might as well. :P
2. No idea.
will someone carry me across ten thousand miles under the silence
#3
for # 2, sand with the grain first, then against the grain VERY LIGHTLY, start the higher grade sandpaper (with the grain), when you can no longer see the scratches that run perpindicular to the grain, change to across the grain, again very lightly. change grades, repeat.
#5
Update time!

First off, thanks a for the sanding advice, it helped a lot. I ended up not going back to A.C. Moore to get grain filler for the mahogany because I'm lazy and poor. XD Anyways, initial wood prep is pretty much done; Sanded the both the neck and body, raised the grain and sanded again. Tomorrow I start the staining. Really looking forwards to that!

As promised, moar picturz:

First the Headstock



Grain on the back of the neck



Close ups of the Bat inlays


#6
A couple shots of the body front post-sand pre-grain raising




and the back




Here's a great shot of the quilt while it was wet
#7
This is me sanding the neck. I hate it when my bro touches my camera but I'm such a narcissist that I don't mind this one too much XD


and the kicker, now that everything's sanded i just placed everything on top for ****s and giggles. Seeing it all together like this REALLY makes me want to finish it asap!

#9
ha ha ha ha, that'd be sick. beleive me, batman was the first thing i thought of when i saw it. if i didn't already have dye, i'd get some yellow and black aerosols and paint the batlogo all over it XD

I'll just put a sticker on the back of the headstock or something. lulz
#13
ok, picture time!

I drilled a hole for he mini-toggle I ordered off all parts. a fairly large chip flung off while I was drilling, hopefully I can fill it with lacquer or the bushings will cover it up. I really don't have money to get putty to fill it in.


Taped up the sides and back



wet pre-stain


Wet ebony stain. This is A LOT darker than I thought it would be, but that just means fewer coats.


And the ebony again after about 15 minutes


Let that dry over night, then sand it down tomorrow. Might need a second coat of ebony and sand, but I hope not. I REAAAAAAALLY want to finish this so I can start playing it!
#15
Yeah, no way I'd paint over the figure. I could have masked off the logo in parts and stained them in order, but like I said, I already bought the red and purple stains for the burst. perhaps next time
#19
thanx man, yeah I was supremely surprised with it. i'm a little upset actually, not with the quilt itself but the veneer is only about half a millimeter thick and I accidentally sanded through it around some of the edges. when I get to the faux binding hopefully that'll cover it up
#21
i know you were joking but I have a semi-serious love affair with The Bat so making a tribute guitar is right up my alley. Just not as my first. Maybe my 3rd or 4th. XD But, yeah that'd totally be where I would put it too.
#22
How much did you pay for the kit?

When you put the floyd rose in, there's still viewable wood around the edges, if it was my kit I would have stained the cavities too. But then again, I have no experience with staining. Any reason for not staining the cavities?


Looks awesome. Seriously awesome.
#23
$275. The link to where I bought it is in the first post if you want one.

As for the cavities, I didn't do them since nearly all of the black is getting sanded off. I'm only using it bring out the flame more. Since there's no flame in the cavities to accentuate, why waste dye and time sanding, right? When I get to the crimson I'll stain the cavities.
#24
let me know how this sounds and plays! i was almost ready to order a telecaster kit from grizzly about a month ago but doubts about the price got to me.
the minimalist σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
#26
That's looking awesome ! Usually I don't like very much quilts (looks like the wood is high while sea-sick, not very appealing to me), but the stain job you've done so far make it look SWEET. Sorry if you said it, but what are you planning to do with the mahogany backside ?
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#27
i was going to buy one but they don't ship easily to the uk . so i was wondering if anyone could import one into the uk for me? (sorry for the thread hijack)

also i found another build here
#28
Quote by mothphil
i was going to buy one but they don't ship easily to the uk . so i was wondering if anyone could import one into the uk for me? (sorry for the thread hijack)

also i found another build here

Yes because EVERYONE will want to pay shipping and import fees for some random person we don't know.
My Gear:
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#29
well sorry for forgetting that part. i know no one would pay for the import and i would get a payment to them through paypal or whatever but there was no need to be sacastic about it
Last edited by mothphil at May 29, 2009,
#30
would you consider modifying the headstock so it looks more like a PRS style headstock? because IMO i think it looks too large and too much like a block of wood with tuners attached

though if you do make sure you keep the bat inlay

also what about using a stencil and putting the bat logo just below the bridge?
#31
@Cartilage Nah, I'm gonna leave the headstock alone. I kindda wanted to sand of the Samba name and make it look a little like an Ovation, but I don't have the tools to do it or the money to buy said tools.

@el toro I haven't decided yet. It's either going to be Crimson, Purple, a mix of the two or Black. Once the front is finished I'm going to paint up my scrap wood and hold them up for comparison and whichever looks better wins. Right now, I'm leaning towards black but that's probably because I haven't touched the other stains yet.

Anywho, pictureless update because imageshack hates me right now. I sanded off the first coat of black to mixed results. There are a bunch of deep scratches all over it from the sanding block that the stain brought out. I tried to sand them away as best I could before putting a second coat of black on but I feel it might not be enough. If the veneer wasn't so thin I'd keep sanding until I was sure they were gone, but I already sanded through it around some of the edges, which I'm hoping the burst and faux binding will cover up. we'll see how things turn out in a few hours when I et home from work and sand back the black again.
#32
maaan that's awesome!
I love your Fender Tshirt BTW.
Tim.

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#33
moar pics NAO
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#34
@TimBFMV Thanx and yeah its a great shirt. Makes me wish I actually had a fender though XD

@AC/DC4EVA You got it!

First up, yesterday's pics of the sanded black with mega scratches.








I tried everything I could to fix them, but nothing worked, so I stained over it with black again and hoped and prayed that they would go away...
#35
do they ship to the UK? looking sick though

EDIT:

Quote by mothphil
i was going to buy one but they don't ship easily to the uk . so i was wondering if anyone could import one into the uk for me? (sorry for the thread hijack)

also i found another build here



right with ya buddy
Quote by Vauxite
Lots of lulz were produced, thankyou good sir
Last edited by wigzwamz at May 30, 2009,
#36
I have no idea, sorry bro.

MOAR PIKTURZ! lol

Second coat of black wet


Second coat of black dry



Second coat of black sanded. Amazingly none of the scratches from before are there any more. I didn't change anything when I resanded. I wonder what happeneded? Awe who cares? The problem's fixed, thank God!!!


Me practice painting with the crimson and purple on scrap wood. Have I mentioned I hate it when my bro touches my camera? Because I do. Did I also mention that I'm a narcissist? Because I totally am.
#37
First coat of Crimson over the black while still wet. Holy balls I didn't expect that to be so intense! It's almost like a Schecter Hellraiser, but with less magenta! That's totally not the look that I was going for, but now that it is I fscking love it!


Here's the beggining of the burst I'm trying for with the purple. I'm trying to follow the advice I found here http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=12912 but so far I'm not sure how its working out.


Another wet shot of another layer of crimson and purple


The same layer half dried


The same layer fully dried


I'm definately going to have to sand off a bit just to get the wood level again before continuing to stain. I really wanted a vibrant burst with a not so intense black, but now that this came out pretty badass, even if it was an accident, I think I'm gonna keep it. still going to try and work in the burst better though. That's a skill I really want to get down.
Last edited by androidred0100 at May 30, 2009,
#38
Quote by androidred0100
First coat of Crimson over the black while still wet. Holy balls I didn't expect that to be so intense! It's almost like a Schecter Hellraiser, but with less magenta! That's totally not the look that I was going for, but now that it is I fscking love it!


Here's the beggining of the burst I'm trying for with the purple. I'm trying to follow the advice I found here http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=12912 but so far I'm not sure how its working out.


Another wet shot of another layer of crimson and purple


The same layer half dried


The same layer fully dried


I'm definately going to have to sand off a bit just to get the wood level again before continuing to stain. I really wanted a vibrant burst with a not so intense black, but now that this came out pretty badass, even if it was an accident, I think I'm gonna keep it. still going to try and work in the burst better though. That's a skill I really want to get down.



do you actually need a drill press and all the other stuff
• Sharp Pencil
• 18" Metal Straightedge with a 1⁄32" Resolution
• Drill Press
• Drill Bits: 1⁄16", 3⁄32", 1⁄8", 5⁄32", 3⁄16", 5⁄16"
• Depth Stop
• Bandsaw or Coping Saw with 1⁄4" Blade
• ANSI Approved Respirator
• ANSI Approved Safety Glasses
• Aluminum-Oxide Sanding Paper #150, #220,
and #320 Grit
• Wet and Dry Sanding Paper #400, #600, and
#1000 Grit
• Flexible Sanding Block
• Wood Glue
• Chisel or Razor Blade
• Phillips Screwdriver
• 1⁄4" Steel Rod, or a Coat Hanger
• Masking Tape
• Tack Cloth or Clean Soft Rag
• Sanding Sealer
• Assorted Wood Files
• Finishing Materials
• Buffing Compounds
• Oil Wood Finish
• Soldering Iron and Solder
• Peghead Reamer or a Round File
• Ratchet with 11MM and 14MM Sockets
• Hammer
• Small Wooden Block
• C-Clamps
• Wire Cutters

how much of it do you actually need?

EDIT: what are tou doing to the back and the sides???
Quote by Vauxite
Lots of lulz were produced, thankyou good sir
Last edited by wigzwamz at May 30, 2009,
#39
I would say the sandpaper, the wood glue, masking tape, sanding sealer, whatever you plan on using to finish and lacquer it, c clamps to hold the neck in while it drys, the tack cloth to wipe away sawdust and **** from sanding and a mask so you don't breath in any of the dust or chemical fumes, and a soldering iron when you get to the wiring and ****.

But that's all I've used so far. I might need other **** in the coming steps.
#40
Quote by androidred0100
I would say the sandpaper, the wood glue, masking tape, sanding sealer, whatever you plan on using to finish and lacquer it, c clamps to hold the neck in while it drys, the tack cloth to wipe away sawdust and **** from sanding and a mask so you don't breath in any of the dust or chemical fumes, and a soldering iron when you get to the wiring and ****.

But that's all I've used so far. I might need other **** in the coming steps.


the onlyplaces i see it (drill press) is shaping the headstock...
Quote by Vauxite
Lots of lulz were produced, thankyou good sir