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LP Junior kit build

 
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 1734
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:38 am    Post subject: LP Junior kit build Reply with quote

I've always wanted an LP junior. Right now everything I have in my collection is either a Fender/Squier, or a copy of Fender.

I ordered an LP Junior kit on Amazon, got it today. The description says the body is Basswood and the neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard. Here's the pic from Amazon's website:



When the kit arrived, I opened the box, and was a little surprised to see this:



First of all, the body is definitely not basswood... judging by the colour and grain I suspect it is actually Mahogany! That's a pleasant surprise. And the neck is bound and has inlays instead of dots... I actually think this might look a little weird on a Junior instead of dots/no binding. But hey, I can't really complain, as the binding and inlays look good and are well done. Fingerboard looks too dark to be real Rosewood, and has some kind of sealer applied to it. Not sure why they would seal a Rosewood fingerboard, unless it is a different wood that has been dyed. Maybe it's even one of these engineered woods, since CITES has thrown a monkey wrench into the Rosewood trade for musical instruments. Still looks and feels nice, though I would have preferred raw wood on the fingerboard. But overall not a big deal.

Bridge actually looks and feels pretty nice:

It's a wrap-around bridge, but with TOM saddles so it can be intonated. Not bad!

The rest of the parts is the usual assortment of stuff one expects to get with these kits: tuners look OK, they look like the typical sealed ones you get with an Affinity Squier. I might upgrade to some Kluson types, or not. We'll see how these hold up first.

Electronics look like garbage (they usually are with these types of kits), I've already ordered quality pots and jack for when I wire up the guitar.

The pickup looks like a real dog-eared P90, can't see the magnet so I don't know if it's alnico or ceramic. I'll keep it if it sounds good.

My plan:
Cut out the top of the headstock to have the open-book/moustache shape like on a Gibson. I will need to buy a coping saw to cut the shape. I will try and find an amusing headstock decal. Not one with a Gibson logo, since it's a copy, but hopefully something that looks cool/funny/amusing/LOLs.

Finish the body in tinted polyurethane. I would have loved to dye the wood, but the body has a thick coat of clear sealer and I can't be bothered to sand it off. Will probably try some of this stuff:



Not the black stuff in this particular pic, but rather this colour: which is what they call "Natural Cherry". It's a wipe-on polyurethane which can be applied over an existing finish (or clear sealer in this case).

The headstock will be painted black, the back of the neck (which also has a coat of sealer) will most likely be painted with Tung oil, we'll see, I might change my mind.
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kingkiller
He is our only hope!


Joined: 02 Jun 2017
Posts: 1224
Location: Dumbtown, Florida

PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I built a strat copy from one of these kits before. It didn’t turn out great but at the time I was very underprepared for that type of task. Can’t wait to see how this turns out!
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I got a coping saw and some finishing supplies. The store I went to was out of the Minwax Polyshades so instead I got some Varathane poly that's tinted in a slightly darker cherry colour than what I was originally planning to get. Also got some of the same stuff in black for the headstock.

I downloaded a life-size template of a Gibson headstock, printed it, stuck it on cardboard, and cut it out. I taped it to the headstock and traced the shape onto the wood:


Stuck the neck (wrapped in a towel) into a vice to hold it secure:


Then I used the coping saw to do a rough preliminary cut of the shape, took about 10 minutes:


And after about and hour of hand sanding with 120 grit sandpaper I have a shaped headstock. Not 100% perfectly symmetrical but most people won't notice.




I decided to get some kluson style tuners for the guitar, purely because I prefer the look of vintage tuners, so I glued toothpicks with wood glue into the pre-drilled holes to fill them, since I'll have to drill new holes for the Klusons.
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Bacchus
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my best guitars (and certainly the one I pick up the most) was one of these kits. But it was a strat, and they're nearly impossible to get wrong.

http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=64337&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bacchus wrote:
One of my best guitars (and certainly the one I pick up the most) was one of these kits. But it was a strat, and they're nearly impossible to get wrong.

http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=64337&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0


Wow, that strat turned out beautiful!!!!
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the "cherry" coloured Varathane brush-on poly on the body, two coats so far:



The colour is more like red wine than cherry, not sure how I feel about that as I was hoping for something more reddish. I have a can of black for the headstock face, maybe I should do the body black as well?
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NickS
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Location: Nr. Basinggrad, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More Morello cherry than Maraschino....
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kingkiller
He is our only hope!


Joined: 02 Jun 2017
Posts: 1224
Location: Dumbtown, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never really liked the Varathane when I’ve (albeit a limited about) used it, I found it ended up being too dark in general, it was harder to get lighter stains out of it. That being said, the project is coming along nicely
_________________
Al_ wrote:
I prefer to squeeze balls.

Hurb wrote:
I love Jizz

robroe wrote:
IS THAT A SQUIER ? WHAT A PICE OF FUCKIN SHIT
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kingkiller wrote:
I never really liked the Varathane when I’ve (albeit a limited about) used it, I found it ended up being too dark in general, it was harder to get lighter stains out of it. That being said, the project is coming along nicely


It's my first time using Varathane and so far I am not too impressed, it took 5 coats to no longer have big ugly brush streaks, and despite the fact that it is supposed to be a transparent stain, it is completely opaque. So basically it is paint, not stain. I was hoping to have the grain visible through the finish but no such luck. The grain wasn't spectacular on this body so at least it's not that big of a loss.

I will keep the cherry stain/paint on it, now that it's on thicker it reminds me of Fender's Midnight Wine colour, which I think is nice.
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kingkiller
He is our only hope!


Joined: 02 Jun 2017
Posts: 1224
Location: Dumbtown, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

astro wrote:
kingkiller wrote:
I never really liked the Varathane when I’ve (albeit a limited about) used it, I found it ended up being too dark in general, it was harder to get lighter stains out of it. That being said, the project is coming along nicely


It's my first time using Varathane and so far I am not too impressed, it took 5 coats to no longer have big ugly brush streaks, and despite the fact that it is supposed to be a transparent stain, it is completely opaque. So basically it is paint, not stain. I was hoping to have the grain visible through the finish but no such luck. The grain wasn't spectacular on this body so at least it's not that big of a loss.

I will keep the cherry stain/paint on it, now that it's on thicker it reminds me of Fender's Midnight Wine colour, which I think is nice.


I don’t usually like all-in-one stains and finishes, even though they save a tremendous amount of time, just because you can’t build color without also building finish, but it’s good that you don’t have to reapply a different color
_________________
Al_ wrote:
I prefer to squeeze balls.

Hurb wrote:
I love Jizz

robroe wrote:
IS THAT A SQUIER ? WHAT A PICE OF FUCKIN SHIT
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 1734
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This Varathane one-step stuff is nearly indestructible... In order to get rid of the brush marks in the finish, I have been wet sanding with a 60(!) grit sanding sponge for over an hour... on just the front side of the body... and there are still brush marks/grooves in the finish!!! At least I haven't sanded through the paint to the wood!

And here I thought a brushed on finish would save time and effort... LOL!

It does look better sanded though, to be fair. In fact, I might just leave some faint brush marks in the finish because they are starting to look like wood grain.

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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been using Watco wipe-on polyurethane for the clear coat. It seems pretty good so far. I'm not wiping it on though, I'm using a foam brush. Goes on nice with no brush strokes, dries slowly but it looks pretty smooth when it is set.



I had used the same stuff to do the clear coat on the neck and headstock, and so far it is coming out pretty good. Although the one-step "stain" I used sucks (it's completely opaque) and will never be used by me again, I am so far really happy with the Watco wipe on poly. If it turns out durable I will definitely use again. It's super quick to apply and less involved than spraying.



Still waiting for some stuff I ordered from Guitarfetish, namely kluson type tuners and a square jack plate that uses 4 screws (the stock plate is a football type with only 2 screws, which will most likely get pulled out of the wood when repeatedly unplugging the guitar). Tracking has not shown anything new in 5 days, hopefully Canada Post did not loose the package.
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kingkiller
He is our only hope!


Joined: 02 Jun 2017
Posts: 1224
Location: Dumbtown, Florida

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great so far, can’t wait to see it with all of its parts!
_________________
Al_ wrote:
I prefer to squeeze balls.

Hurb wrote:
I love Jizz

robroe wrote:
IS THAT A SQUIER ? WHAT A PICE OF FUCKIN SHIT
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