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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by arginator, Jun 30, 2020.
Just curious if anyone has any experience with these bass build kits:
Bass Guitar Kits
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
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.
There's a youtube channel "Guns & Guitars" where the dude builds a lot of FretWire kits.
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.
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...
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.
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!
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