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Thread: #1 - DTL-1 Guitar Kit... What Could Go Wrong???

  1. #1

    #1 - DTL-1 Guitar Kit... What Could Go Wrong???

    Greetings from Portugal,

    I'm new into guitar kits, woodworking, finishing, etc... I've bought two Pitbull kit guitars. Mine is DTL-1, the other one is my friend's EXM-1. EXM-1 will be ongoing in another thread later. For now, DTL-1...

    Step -0 ... Order, Custom Support, Package...

    The purchase process was quite simple. Adam deserves heaven because I was a total pain in the *****, you know the word. Always kindly replying every foolish (or not) questions. If someone is considering buying this kit from Portugal or Spain, there'll be an annoying pit stop at the Customs, and here is where the purchase turns into something expensive. For both kits I've payed more in Customs taxes than shipping (150€/162,46$/124,52£), and waiting a LOOOOTTTTTTT of time to be released from Customs (one week and one day).

    When arrived, I've checked the kit and comes nicely packed. There're no missing parts, the bodie and neck seems fine (neck with 21 frets is for another project).

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    I think that the kits need some time in order to climate, but I do not know how long it's needed, and when it's ready to roll. So, here're first questions. In order to climate correctly, the kit must be inside it's box? For how long? When do I know it is ready to roll?

    I'm currently reading the guides and the manual. Before the purchase, I've seen tons of videos and stuff and felt so damn ready. When I opened the box, I sh**** myself.... Don't know where to start... Help????

    Kind regards for all of you and sorry for my poor English, and bad language....
    Last edited by rjmc; 16-02-2020 at 09:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    Its pretty intimidating that brand new wood, waiting for you to spoil it. I know the feeling well. The first instrument I made from a kit so worried me when I opened the box that I went back and made something simpler to get some practice before I started. Are you planning anything sophisticated for finish? If so don't be afraid to grab odd bits of wood and practice. Have you got an old solid wood bookshelf or something lying round that you could sand off and try your planned finish out on?
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
    Build #4, pre-owned PB ESB-4

  3. #3
    Hi JimC,

    Thank you for your reply. I don't have any scrap woods around. In order to test that, I have to buy little pieces of wood. I'll do that during this week. My first concern for now is about climate the kits...

    About the finish, another concern because unfortunately I live in an apartment, and I don't have a garage or a shed to do this...I'm thinking about butterscotch or lake placid blue.

    Next one is? Sanding, how to correctly, when to know that is enough, techniques, etc...

    Cheers

  4. #4
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    Climate adjust... Its been in your country a while now, shipping is the worst time. That time in the customs warehouse all helps.
    Get it out of the box and practice assembling it dry. If the neck feels tighter or looser different days its still settling down. If its consistent that's good.
    Your big enemies are going to be dust and fumes. You need to figure out how to control all the dust you get from sanding. Especially as others in the apartment may not like butterscotch or blue dusty fingerprints or the smell of paint. Have you figured out exactly how you propose to finish it. I don't like to spray paint in an apartment, you may be better off with wipe on dye and oils.
    Practice wood may come free by keeping an eye open for old furniture broken in a skip!
    Last edited by JimC; 16-02-2020 at 01:20 PM.
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
    Build #4, pre-owned PB ESB-4

  5. #5
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    Joining in here because you were asking about the climate adjustment thing in your thread on the "Welcome" section of the forums too. I'm a newbie too, so what I'll say next is based on what other people have written when explaining things to me, or in things that have been said in other build threads, but I'm pretty sure it's right -- and I'm completely sure that someone will correct me if I've made any serious errors

    I don't think you need to keep it in the box; the important thing is to not do too much work on it before the wood has adjusted to the climate that it is in now. Experts here on the forums have suggested to me that a week or so is about right.

    Wood expands or contracts depending on the temperature and humidity. Your guitar was made (I think) in China, and at that time all of the pieces were a particular size and shape because it was a particular temperature and humidity there. Then it went to Australia, and sat in PBG's warehouse there, so everything expanded or contracted due to the new temperature and humidity. Then, it was put into the unheated cargo hold of a plane, and flown to Portugal, and probably adjusted a little during the flight. Next, it sat in whatever storage the Portuguese Customs kept it in for a week while that was all sorted out. Finally, it has arrived in your apartment.

    The changes in size and shape are going to be really small -- millimetres or less, not centimetres or anything crazy like that. But because guitar parts have to fit together precisely, it's best to wait until the changes have happened before doing anything serious like sanding things or putting screws in.

    For example, let's imagine that the heel of the neck -- the bit that goes into the body of the guitar -- was expanded when it arrived, but you tried to put it together right away without letting the wood adjust. You would try to fit the neck into the guitar body and find that it did not fit, because it was too large. So then you might use sandpaper to make the pocket in the body larger, to make it fit. Everything would look good, so then maybe you'd move on with your build.

    But then, over the course of a week, the neck would shrink a little bit as it adjusted to the temperature and humidity in your apartment. When you tried to put the neck in, you'd find that it was now loose, because of the sanding that you did earlier. It would probably not be a disaster, and people on these forums would be able to suggest ways to fix it, but it would be an extra problem that you would have avoided if you had let it adjust to the local climate.

    That's not to say that you can't do anything for a week -- for example, you could shape the headstock. That doesn't have to fit into anything, and a fraction of a millimetre here or there won't matter, so I don't think there would be any harm in doing that right away -- at least, I did mine only a few days after receiving the kit, and it doesn't seem to have done any harm...

    I hope that helps!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by gpjt View Post
    Joining in here because you were asking about the climate adjustment thing in your thread on the "Welcome" section of the forums too. I'm a newbie too, so what I'll say next is based on what other people have written when explaining things to me, or in things that have been said in other build threads, but I'm pretty sure it's right -- and I'm completely sure that someone will correct me if I've made any serious errors

    I don't think you need to keep it in the box; the important thing is to not do too much work on it before the wood has adjusted to the climate that it is in now. Experts here on the forums have suggested to me that a week or so is about right.

    Wood expands or contracts depending on the temperature and humidity. Your guitar was made (I think) in China, and at that time all of the pieces were a particular size and shape because it was a particular temperature and humidity there. Then it went to Australia, and sat in PBG's warehouse there, so everything expanded or contracted due to the new temperature and humidity. Then, it was put into the unheated cargo hold of a plane, and flown to Portugal, and probably adjusted a little during the flight. Next, it sat in whatever storage the Portuguese Customs kept it in for a week while that was all sorted out. Finally, it has arrived in your apartment.

    The changes in size and shape are going to be really small -- millimetres or less, not centimetres or anything crazy like that. But because guitar parts have to fit together precisely, it's best to wait until the changes have happened before doing anything serious like sanding things or putting screws in.

    For example, let's imagine that the heel of the neck -- the bit that goes into the body of the guitar -- was expanded when it arrived, but you tried to put it together right away without letting the wood adjust. You would try to fit the neck into the guitar body and find that it did not fit, because it was too large. So then you might use sandpaper to make the pocket in the body larger, to make it fit. Everything would look good, so then maybe you'd move on with your build.

    But then, over the course of a week, the neck would shrink a little bit as it adjusted to the temperature and humidity in your apartment. When you tried to put the neck in, you'd find that it was now loose, because of the sanding that you did earlier. It would probably not be a disaster, and people on these forums would be able to suggest ways to fix it, but it would be an extra problem that you would have avoided if you had let it adjust to the local climate.

    That's not to say that you can't do anything for a week -- for example, you could shape the headstock. That doesn't have to fit into anything, and a fraction of a millimetre here or there won't matter, so I don't think there would be any harm in doing that right away -- at least, I did mine only a few days after receiving the kit, and it doesn't seem to have done any harm...

    I hope that helps!
    Hi gpjt,

    I've been checking the tracking again, and the packages were in Portuguese Customs for 9 days. In my house for five days. But no worries, I'll wait a bit more...

  7. #7
    Hi JimC,

    Is it possible to achieve the finishes I want with stains? If it is, how?

  8. #8
    Step 0 ... More Pictures, Mock Build...

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  9. #9

  10. #10
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    I fear I'm not the right person to ask about fnishes. Other folks out there, what's achieveable in the way of approximating a butterscotch or lake placid blue finish with dye?
    Last edited by JimC; 19-02-2020 at 03:58 AM.
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
    Build #4, pre-owned PB ESB-4

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