Building a kit with my son

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Building a kit with my son

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:35 am

My son is posting some Youtube videos of our assembly of a Stew-Mac ES-335 guitar kit. Let me know what you think.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCla4xC6CG4JiRY6IdSti7bw/videos
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Bob Gramann » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:28 pm

Looks like a long overdue and worthwhile project. Many ought to benefit from those videos. They are very clear and do a good job of showing the basics.

My son and I built a Martin kit together when he was in high school. It was a great experience for both of us. He’s as old as your son, now, and doesn’t have time for such pleasures.

Your spray vent is amazing. Mine pulls somewhere around 1500 cfm and won’t clear the air as well as yours. Do you know your flow?
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Halgeir Wold » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:31 pm

My son wants a Telecaster, and I've been looking at the StewMac kits, - particularly now as they are all on sale.....
Tuners, mic's and stuff are easy to replace, but what is the quality of these kits, - particularly woods and neck accuracy... ?
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:38 pm

Bob, I do not know the flow rate. It is powered by a 1/3 hp TEFC motor and it has a 13" aluminum fan blade. Yes it clears well if you are standing right in front of it.

Halgeir, I am not super impressed with this kit. The neck wood is a bit cheesy. The fit of the neck was good but there was a big gap that I had to cover with a piece of plastic binding. And you are correct, the hardware is on the cheap side.
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:55 am

I really enjoyed watching the fretting video. It was really nice to see video of someone teaching their process to someone else.

I too was impressed that the out of the box fret plane was level with your expected neck relief. I smiled when you mentioned that you had already adjusted it. . .
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:13 pm

How did you like my string tension compensation jig?
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:33 pm

I liked it, simple and effective without being too fancy. I like the carefully calibrated half turn plus a bit more.

I'm far from an expert at fret work so it was great to see your approach. I don't do it that way. Instead of inducing the bow and straightening the neck with the truss rod before fret leveling, I adjust the truss rod to get the fingerboard straight with no tenstoin then level. I use a notched straight edge to measure the straightness of the fretboard plane. Usually there is no need to adjust the rod to get the plane straight but sometimes a little tweak is needed. Then I level and dress the frets. It is only after I string it up that I try to adjust the truss rod for the relief I want.

What do you feel are the advantages and disadvantages of either approach?
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:53 pm

There are a lot of discussions around about string compensation jigs. I think they are marginally useful for a normally acting neck. Maybe a slightly better level but not that useful unless you are building for a maniac shredder that wants super low action. Not very meaningful for an acoustic guitar neck. Where the jigs really shine is for a wonky neck that moves in unpredictable directions under string tension.

I use the jigs because I happen to have them, they are easy to setup, and they do provide a useful neck support during fret work.

The jig in the video is simply a stripped down version for an unattached neck.
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:55 pm

Good point about not being as useful for acoustics which is all I do. I'm also really into 12 fretters right now so that probably makes it less important.
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:14 pm

Yeah, I would not worry about it. I built my first jig (desired by the great Don Teeter) when a Fender bass came in for repair that had a spot in the neck where the grain took a sudden severe turn. When the strings were tightened up the neck took a sharp bend and twist at that spot. No way to correct this without the jig.
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Dan Smith » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:03 pm

Halgeir Wold wrote:My son wants a Telecaster, and I've been looking at the StewMac kits, - particularly now as they are all on sale.....
Tuners, mic's and stuff are easy to replace, but what is the quality of these kits, - particularly woods and neck accuracy... ?

I saw a SM Tele kit someone posted in one of my groups recently.
The body top was not flat (1/4” dip in middle) and had a very bad glue joint running the length of the body. He stated the neck was not good, but no details.
He is returning it for another.
In my opinion, it looks like all the kits from overseas.
Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
Them kids was fast as light-nin.
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:59 pm

That would be consistent with what we are seeing.
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Barry Daniels » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:26 pm

My son added a new video on finish polishing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05knG8K0e-o
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Re: Building a kit with my son

Postby Bob Francis » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:20 pm

Those videos are great Barry.
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