DIY Bass Kits

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by arginator, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. arginator


    Feb 28, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Just curious if anyone has any experience with these bass build kits:
    Bass Guitar Kits

    Any good?
  2. I'm in the process of building one of their 5 string fretless kits. For $180, I was reasonably impressed by the quality, but then again, I've never built a kit before, so I don't have much to compare it to.
    My first kit bass build
    arginator likes this.
  3. arginator


    Feb 28, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Good to hear. I’m looking for some kind of project. I’ve modded basses before, but I’m a complete neophyte when it comes to actually building one. So a kit like this appeals to me, as long as the end product is useable. I have my eyes on the short scale jag kit.

    How’s quality of the neck, and how well does it join to the body? And how’s the fret work? I would assume that they probably need some filing, but I think I can figure out how to do it.
  4. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    There's a youtube channel "Guns & Guitars" where the dude builds a lot of FretWire kits.
  5. The neck seems pretty decent, though I got the fretless kit, so I can't speak to their fretwork. :)
    The neck pocket was pretty snug. They obviously go to the effort of matching a particular neck to a particular body, as both were numbered.
    arginator likes this.
  6. BaileyMan


    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    I built one. I was happy with everything supplied, for the price. The finishing was a PITA! If I had known all that was involved in finishing, I might have passed. Filling the grain, getting it perfectly smooth, followed by sanding sealer, color coat, top coat, was lots and lots of work! I used nitrocellulose spray from Stew Mac. There was no way I was going to get a great finish with what I was working with. I didn't have a good indoor space to spray in, and spraying outdoors, even in a cheapo spray tent meant dust in the finish. I don't know about all their kits, but the body of mine was Paulownia. Look at it wrong and it dents...I assume a hard epoxy finish will prevent that.

    Would I build another kit? Sure. Using Paulownia? No. Using a spray finish? No. I just don't have the proper set up for those kinds of finishes. YMMV, and I'm just a minimally experienced hobby DIYer with a small garage workspace...
  7. I haven't gotten to the finishing step yet, but I'm in a similar situation, without a spray booth, etc., so I was just going to apply StewMac water-based stain, and then Tru-Oil over top of that. Should be fairly simple, I hope. My body is Alder and the neck is Maple. Not sure if I'll stain the neck, I'll probably only stain the body.
    BaileyMan and JRA like this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    FWIW: the cheap, glarry bodies are finished with some pretty thick poly = resists denting. (i use the glarry bodies to assemble parts axes that are uber lightweight, i.e., paulownia.)

    per the OP: i haven't assembled a kit-based ax. but many TBers have, and some of them are pretty nice!
  9. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    I did a kit when i had no clue what I was doing and completely botched it. Last summer I overhaul a Harley Benton and it turned out great.

    If you're going to go for something standard I would suggest a pre-built bass like a Harley Benton or squire to overhaul. At least then you are starting with something that works