Guitar Kit for First Time Builder

Posted by The Fretwire on

DIY Guitar kits are a great way to get started in guitar building. The tasks that require special tools and experience have been taken care of, leaving you to do the fun parts. A DIY electric guitar kit will require you complete the following tasks:
  • Sand and prep the body and neck for finish
  • Apply the finish of your choice, such as paint, varnish, lacquer, etc.
  • Install the neck, bolted on or glued in, depending on the kit
  • Attach the tuners and install the bridge
  • Wire the pickups, knobs, switch and output jack
Once you install the strings, some fine tuning of the neck truss rod will also be required. Here are some questions we commonly get from first time builders. [caption id="attachment_3743" align="alignleft" width="407"]
DIY Guitar Kit
DIY Guitar Kit[/caption]

How Complicated is it to Build a Kit?

The level of complexity depends on the kit you purchase.  While I am confident anyone can build any of the kits, a solid-body style kit like a Tele guitar it or Strat guitar kit will simplify the process in a couple ways.  The finish will be simpler, as there is no binding to mask around.  The neck is simpler, attaching with 4 bolts instead of waiting for glue to set.  The wiring is simpler, as most of it is prewired.  On the strat kit you only need to connect the output jack and the ground wire.  On the Telecaster kit, you only need to solder the two pickups onto the switch, and then wire the output jack and ground wire. Other models like the LP guitar kit or Hollow Body guitar kit require a bit more work, such as masking during the finish process and more wiring. They are still accessible to builders of any level, but require a bit more know how, or a bit more determination to learn what you need to finish it.

Are Instructions Included?

Basic assembly instructions are included. This includes the basic steps, and a wiring diagram.  It is not intended to be a robust, step by step guide.  For specific topics such as applying finishes or custom wiring, there are several resources available online on YouTube and other sites to help guide you to the right topic. You can preview the instructions included in the kits on our support page.

Can I Really Build A Guitar?

Yes! It is very satisfying to create a guitar that no one else has. Once you take the plunge, go slowly and take your time on each step. Ask for help on our Facebook page if you get stuck. With patience you can end up with a great guitar and a great sense of accomplishment.