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Thread: PJSprog Build #1 - KH-1

  1. #11
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.king1 View Post
    They do look rather similar to the Ovation Deacon / Breadwinner except for the headstock & tuning system
    I have a friend who plays a Breadwinner as his main guitar. He loves it.

    I've never played one. However, when I fit the body and neck together, I sat it on my lap ... and it already feels like the most comfortable guitar I've ever held. The balance is incredible. It feels like the neck is just fixed in mid-air. No neck dive in even the slightest bit. The neck itself has a pretty nice feel as well.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

  2. #12
    Member G-Axe's Avatar
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    Tom Morello uses a Breadwinner for a lot of his studio work, purely for comfort reasons.

    Very keen to see this one come together. It's a very different beast to your average, and different is good.

  3. #13
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Opened the kit again last night, thinking I didn't remember seeing a tremolo arm. It was in the bag with the guitar cable. Started looking at some of the other hardware, and I'm not real impressed with the design of the locking nut. Looks like it will be troublesome to restring with that on it. So, I went on-line shopping. I once again found a 12-part blog I'd read some time ago by a guy who built a kit he got from Alibaba. Same hardware. He replaced the locking nut right up front, for the same reasons, and eventually went back and replaced the tremolo bridge as well. He said the spring lost tension after a few weeks. That lead me to look at the supplier he used called Headless USA. Seems they are all about the Steinbergers. A new locking nut and bridge will set me back about as much as the kit itself. However, if the goal is to build a great-playing instrument, then so be it. It's still going to be a fraction of buying a real Klein.

    I'll likely wait until after the holidays to order them. I have four-day weekends for the next two weekends, though, and there's plenty to do before I get to mounting hardware.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

  4. #14
    Overlord of Music FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJSprog View Post
    Opened the kit again last night, thinking I didn't remember seeing a tremolo arm. It was in the bag with the guitar cable. Started looking at some of the other hardware, and I'm not real impressed with the design of the locking nut. Looks like it will be troublesome to restring with that on it. So, I went on-line shopping. I once again found a 12-part blog I'd read some time ago by a guy who built a kit he got from Alibaba. Same hardware. He replaced the locking nut right up front, for the same reasons, and eventually went back and replaced the tremolo bridge as well. He said the spring lost tension after a few weeks. That lead me to look at the supplier he used called Headless USA. Seems they are all about the Steinbergers. A new locking nut and bridge will set me back about as much as the kit itself. However, if the goal is to build a great-playing instrument, then so be it. It's still going to be a fraction of buying a real Klein.

    I'll likely wait until after the holidays to order them. I have four-day weekends for the next two weekends, though, and there's plenty to do before I get to mounting hardware.
    I bought a locking nut for a Steinberger Spirit GT from headless so that I could use standard strings. It is good quality and you should have no problems, interested to see how the headless bridge stacks up against the kit one.
    FrankenLab Guitar Experiments.
    Where Common Sense hides under the bench and averts its eyes!

  5. #15
    Overlord of Music dave.king1's Avatar
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    Yep, getting the hardware to for the dream upfront will save disillusionment later if the kit bits are problematic.

    I've replaced some and not others and so far had no disappointments

  6. #16
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Been doing a bit of body contouring as time allows. Got the arm and rear strap post areas roughed in. Need to get those cleaned up and start on the belly contour tonight. It's going much slower than I'd hoped. Perhaps I need a more aggressive rasp.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

  7. #17
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Been awhile, but finally dedicated some time to get some work done on this build. Got the body contouring roughed in with a rasp a couple of weeks ago, then did some smoothing with a sanding drum chucked in the Dewalt last weekend.

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    This weekend, I started prep sanding with sponges ...

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    ... and painted with a rattle can (Krylon Colormaxx Matte Deep Gray).

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    Had some runs to sand back off after the first coat, a couple on the front and a couple on the back. After that, it went pretty smooth.

    I made a 2x4 hook hanger to hang it in the middle of the garage while painting.

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    It's not perfect. There are some grain lines showing through, a couple of minor marks in the wood, and one spot at the edge of the belly contour where the rasp got a little greedy. I thought about stopping to fill that stuff, but the desire to get this thing done and playing won the argument. I suppose I can always go back later and fix it if it really bothers me that much. It's all minor, so I doubt it will.

    I might try to start the clear coat process when I get home tonight. More likely than not, though, I'll just wait until the weekend when I'll have more time.

    Need to get working on the neck now. Still need to check, level, and crown the frets, and figure out what I'm going to do with the back of the neck. Right now, I'm thinking of a gray-ish stain and maybe Tru-Oil.
    Last edited by PJSprog; 05-02-2019 at 03:34 AM.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

  8. #18
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Been letting this sit for far too long. Ordered a neck check straight edge and fret file, both found on Amazon. They both arrived Friday. Funny, several people here and on other forums suggested getting the 3-in-1 file from Amazon instead of StewMac because it's just as good and much less expensive. I chuckled when I saw the package with the file, as it came from StewMac. Apparently, the same Gurian set I bought on Amazon they are selling for much more on their own site. I'm OK with this.

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    Going to try to get into the neck work this weekend. Need to order the HeadlessUSA part, too.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

  9. #19
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Man, am I slow. Really, it's more distracted by life.

    I finally ordered the new head piece from HeadlessUSA, several weeks ago actually, and it arrived within a few days. I got the neck out Saturday evening and removed the stock head piece. Naturally, the mounting holes don't line up with the new piece. So, I filled and drilled. Actually, cleaned up the surface of the neck end on Sunday and drilled the new holes. The H-USA piece aligns perfectly with the end of the fretboard. The neck profile at the end does not quite match up with the new piece. However, it's less than 1/32" different, so I'm not going to try to reshape the neck there.

    There was a small gouge in the back of the neck when I received it. No big deal, I thought, I'll just fill it and sand it smooth. I used a tube of Minwax stainable wood filler from a plastic tube. Super easy to use. Unfortunately, it also left a big, blotchy brown stain on the wood around the repair. I tried sanding it out, but didn't want to go too deep and end up re-contouring the neck there. So, I left it. I am also using Minwax Classic Gray stain, and was kind of hoping it would mask it. After taping the fretboard and staining the back of the neck, the spot is still there, but less noticeable. I was kind of hoping that the stain would be more ... well, staining. I guess I was looking for more of an even stain, and that's not at all what I got. It now looks like a seriously worn old neck, which is actually way cooler that what I'd planned.

    Sorry, no pics yet. I'll snap some tonight.

    Going to try to start the neck finishing process tonight after work, using Tru Oil.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

  10. #20
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    I got four coats of Tru Oil on the neck this week, and after checking it last night, decided to stop there. I like the feel already, but don't want to make it too thick.

    So, last night I mounted the neck on the body and started on the hardware assembly. The bridge was a little tricky to assemble once the base was screwed into place, but I finally figured it out after some trial and error. There's no good way to compress the spring to get the top in place, other than to put one end against the tension adjustment screw, the other against the top flange, and just push it into place. Turned out I was trying to make it harder than it really is.

    I got the bridge mounted and rechecked the neck alignment with two strings. Still good. Got the selector switch and single coil pickups mounted to the pick guard, and mounted the humbucker.

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    Still not happy about that brown spot on the back of the neck, but it is what it is.

    It's coming along. Planning to do all the soldering this weekend, then some setup, which should give me a playable guitar.

    I might actually finish this thing after all.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

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