So I finally got around to buying this kit www.diyguitarshop.com

I tired to order it a few weeks back but it turns out that Steve has been away due to his wife needing major surgery! If anybody has had trouble getting in contact with him over the last couple months, that is why.

The bass body is 3pc ash but it was glued in a way that makes it look like it's only 2pc. The neck is flat sawn like you would expect from any good neck, and the neck pocket was perfectly routed so that the neck would be held in place even without the bolts. As far as I'm concerned, when you are only spending 140.00 quid, if you get a good neck and body then everything else is gravy but you do actually get a full kit. The pickguard looks good, tuners stay in tune, and the bridge in more than adequate. I didn't look at the electronics on this kit because I had planned on replacing them with my own pickups and pots anyway but the rest of the kit is great.

All the drilling and rough sanding are done for you, so if you are using the stock parts then all you have to do is add a finish, bolt it all together, and set it up.

My only problem was that the bridge rout and pickguard are metric. This meant that for my aftermarket pickups to fit, I had to do a bit of modification. I simply used a chisel to remove a little around where the pickups go. If you were really worried about cosmetics then you would probably want to use one of those old school pickup gaurds that cover the whole bridge pickup so that you can't see the rout. You would also want to look into an imperial pickgaurd. Both of these things are cheap and, as you will see when I post pics, not really necessary.

I'll have pics of the building up as soon as I can get them uploaded. I've got the whole build done but It'll probably take me a day or so to get everything uploaded and typed out.

I saw the link to diyguitarshop.com on your site and they seem really good, especially for the price

I was gonna ask what you're planning for a finish, but I re-read and see you're already done
^Anybody that knows me knows that I liked reliced guitars and I like rustic guitars. I went for rustic on this one. It's got a thin shellac finish but the shellac was pretty much just dumped over the top and rubbed in by hand. I didn't actually use a rag. The 1st coat went on in about 2min and then I let it sit for about an hr. I then put another thick coat on and let it sit over night. In the morning I sanded down the raised grain with some 400 grit paper and then I added 1 more thick coat. The result is something that looks more like shinny lumber rather than a finished guitar.

On the neck I used a couple thin coats of tru-oil which is what they use in the US to polish gun stocks. If done thin enough it looks and feels like there is no finish but still seals the wood to help prevent warping.
I await pics. Also that body does indeed only look like a 2piece
Here it is after the 1st 2 coats



here it is getting the 3rd coat dumped on

Here it is after the 3rd coat was applied but before it had time to dry

It was about 10 minutes of my time spent doing all of this but it was spread over 2 days.
I've got a couple minutes to write a little more so here goes.

My camera broke so I'm stuck using my video camera instead but, same as with all the pics in this thread but with any luck I'll get my hands on a real camera soon so I can take some beauty shots.

This is a pic of the control plate after it's wired up.

You might be able to see that I'm using shielded LP style wire on the pickups and pots. I did this because I don't currently have any of the copper tape to shield the guitar.

The pots I used were CTS 250K, the cap its a polyester .047uf and the jack is switchcraft.

Current production CTS pots have a horrible taper that act more like a switch, when used for volume, and I don't recommend them for most people. I used these pots because I wanted something that dramatically dropped the pickup volume between 10 and 8 so that it was kinda like flipping a switch. This makes selecting between pickups easier but blending them is more difficult. If you want to be able to control how much the pickups blend I recommend using the stock pots from the kit or upgrade to alpha. The pots in the DIY kits have a nice taper (something CTS doesn't have) and they don't suck tone like some cheap pots but at the same time, they do not as good as the alpha and bourns pots. The stock parts are a good thing to practice your soldering on before switching to better ones though.
Here is a close up of the pickups to illustrate the problem with the metric routings and imperial pickups.

Most aftermarket pickups, like the ones I made for this bass, use imperial measurements. As you can see there are no issues with how the strings line up over the poles of the pickups. The problem was that the pickup covers didn't fit into the holes in the body and pickguard. The "feet" where the pickup is screwed down are too wide so I had to carve the body and pickguard to make it all fit around the feet. It only took 5 or 6 minutes to do with a sharp chisel so it's not hard to fix and you don't need a router to do it and make it look good. The problem is that if you look hard you can see that feet on the pickup don't sit in the center of the space that is provided for them. It's harder to notice in my poor pic than when you look in real life but you can see that the outside edge of the feet touch the routing while the inside edge has a 2mm gap . It's not the end of the world but it's something that some people would want to cover with a pickup gaurd over the bridge and a new, imperial, scratch plate.

This is the only "problem" I found with this kit and it's not even really a problem, especially if you use metric pickups.
Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jul 23, 2010,