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Building a KBG-T-B tele style: Step 1

3 years ago 2581 Views No comments

Ensure you have a decent space to work in with a workbench and the necessary tools and safety gear. I take no responsibility for personal injury, damage to property, your kit or yourself! Power tools and spray paints are fun but can be hazerdous.....

Your KBG kit provides you with all the parts, and screws required for completion.

Additionally you will need

  • Vice/clamps (or a workbench with a built in clamping system
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Jig or band saw
  • Respirator mask (for spraying)
  • Masking tape
  • Lacquer and paints
  • Screwdriver
  • Soldering iron and electrical solder
  • A selection of sandpaper from course to fine
  • Acrylic based primer
  • Polyutherene based sealer (not necessary for basswood)

KBG kits come with bare wood unfinished bodies. The holes for the bridge, pickguard and strap buttons are not predrilled. The reason being is that it allows you to fully customize your selection of components and hardware. Before you start it is a good idea to align and assemble the bridge, pickguard, control plate and neck so that your pilot holes are in place for you final finish.

Pilot Holes - The Neck

Firstly align the neck to the body and clamp in place making sure the butt of the neck sits firmly in place and is aligned with the cutaway on the body. Once in place, mark with a pencil or sharp object the positions of the drilled holes from the neck. Then using a 2-3mm drill bit drill ~10mm pilot holes for the 4x40mm neck screws provided being careful not to go through to the fingerboard.

Aligning The Bridge

In order to make sure the bridge is in an optimal placement for lateral string positioning, tape the top and bottom E strings to the headstock, through the top nut and to the bridge. Align the bridge so that the top and bottom E strings are equidistant from the edges of the fingerboard, mark the 4 bridge holes with a pencil. If you have a string through bridge then now is a good time to also mark the string holes. If you want to convert from top loading to string through see this blog post. Use the marked points to drill pilot holes using a 2-3mm drill bit and fix the bridge with the 4x25mm screws provided. When positioning the bridge you can check the scale length to be sure intonation is correct, however these kits have been set up for 25.5" (648m) scale length and there is little room for error when positioning the bridge. See the article on scale length to get a better understanding of this.

Drilling holes for string through bridge

If you are drilling the string through holes make sure you use a drill press or a stand (as shown) so that the holes are dead straight. Drill using a 2-3mm drill bit all the way through to the back of the body.

Pilot Holes - The Body

tele assembly

Align the pickguard and control plate around the positioning of the bridge and mark out the positions for the screws. Using a smaller drill bit (1mm) drill a series of pilot holes before fixing the pickguard and control plate in place, similarly do the same for the strap buttons. This is a good stage to make any adjustments as your holes will be in place so as to not ruin your finish.

Posted in: How to