Hey all,

Wasn't sure where to put it, so I just put it here.

This summer, I'm thinking of picking up a guitar kit and building one. The one I have in mind is the Saga LJ-10 Les Paul Junior kit.

I have a couple of questions though:

1. Is it worth buying for a beginning build?
I don't expect a real Gibson, just something that plays and feels like how much I paid for it.

2. Is it worth upgrading the hardware?
I heard that the bridges are crazy high, and apart from shimming the neck, I'm not sure what else to do.

3. Will I need anything other than a screwdriver, finishing supplies and sandpaper?
It says that the electronics are "clip-on" and I only need a screwdriver. Will I need a drill, saw etc for the neck/headstock?

4. How can I finish the guitar?
I plan to get a solid finish, perhaps something close to TV Yellow like the LPJ that Green Day uses. I looked at a build online and they briefly said that they used acrylic lacquer (rustoleum) and clear coated it with crystal clear rustoleum, then let it cure for 72 hours. Is that okay, will I need to do any sanding or anything first? They said that they used this method due to the wood being sealed, so I imagine I should just do this.

5. Can someone give me an exact step by step guide to finish this guitar?

For example:

1. spray xxx paint on
2. sand it down with xxx grit paper
3. spray xxx clear coat
4. sand down to xxx grit
5. wait xxx hours


I hope someone can answer any of these questions.

I have a SAGA tele kit I got a few years ago. It is an OK first kit, but they are nothing special. The hardware is pretty crappy, I put some new tuners, electronics, pickups and bridge.

It never gets played, it is a cool wall hanger though.

If you want to do a kit look here www.guitarfetish.com they have decent in-expensive parts you can upgrade to also (pickups are pretty good)

www.byoguitar.com is another decent site to order kits from I would get either of these before I'd get a SAGA

watch sully's guitar garage on youtube, he has great tips on every part of making a guitar
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Id stay away for Saga, i bought one recently and i had to change nearly every bit of it, also mine was laminate top so it was difficult to colour, and all the clip together wiring was wrong
Misha Mansoor:
Uplifting quote disguising failure as something to be proud of.
http://www.bargainmusician.com/servlet/the-Guitar-Builder-Kits/Categories Here are some good kits. Im currently fighting myself on weather I want the ML, RGA7, or the ESP kit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS4CgrFRvoo This tells you the basics of what to do to get a nice smooth finish but you will want to find some more videos to actually fully watch the process.
You get what you pay for. A cheap kit will be harder to build and give you poorer results than if you start with a good kit. I get my guitar kits from www.rmolsonguitars.com.
The guitar building tools I've aquired other than the usual aren't much. A fretrocker, a raduis sanding block, fret crowning tool, nut files, etc. The better the kit, the better the neck and construction details.
Upgrading hardware can cost more than it's worth on a first build. Build a practice kit first, then upgrade the parts on your second build after you know what you're doing.
There are books and You-tube video's that will show you how to finish the guitar, do the electronics, setup, etc.
Check out the kitbuilders and kits at www.realmusiciansforum.com. There you can get an idea of what it takes to build a guitar kit. Plenty of help there if you decide to go for it.
I'm Guitbuilder there, and am building the Baby Doc guitar kit right now, and built a couple of great ES-175's before that.
Good luck.
Last edited by Guitbuilder at Apr 7, 2014,
Quote by Dimarzio45
Has anyone here built one of the Carvin kits?

No I have not, but the quality is soposed to be the same as their regular guitars
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
from the few people ive talked to about these kits as far as how fit they are goes the worste ive heard is them having to do a little fretwork on them which honestly is something you should expect on any kit guitar you do. But a talked to a guy who built a RGA7 kit from their that said he got a low *he didnt specify actual measurement* action without any fretbuzz and he didnt do any fretwork, just painted it and put it together and started playing. Though I expect some hardware to be cruddy such as trems which obviously would not be an issue with a hard tailed kit.