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Thread: First Build GST-1

  1. #1

    First Build GST-1

    Hi folks,

    Just got my first kit yesterday, GST-1 (american ash body, maple neck, jatoba fretboard)

    Love the grain in both the fretboard and the body, so planning on doing a stain/natural kind of look to showcase the grain.

    Just started doing the dry build, all seems sweet. 1 question though, how snug of a fit do we want the neck to be in the body. It is firm all the way around except for the "bridge end" of the heel.
    See attached photo.
    Should I be shaping that out a bit more to fit perfectly or is this gap the norm?

    Look forward to this build!

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  2. #2
    Mentor jugglindan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    I won't comment on the neck fit beyond saying that a lot of the advice I have read here is along the lines of treating any sanding or adjustments of the neck fit very very carefully, and avoiding them where possible. I don't know enough to comment on the gap visible in your photos (see disclaimer). But I am waiting eagerly on more knowledgeable replies so I can learn something too.

    I will say that you have some fantastic grain there, it would definitely be a crime to hide that under paint. And the jatoba fretboard looks much nicer than the engineered blackwood on my build. I will never get that again if I can help it.
    Mantra: No more pedals, must finish BlueyCaster...
    Disclaimer: I haven't done woodwork since high school, and wasn't really paying attention at the time ...

  3. #3

    What would be the best way to get a finish like this one below...
    Sienna Sunburst.
    I want the grain to really pop out and keep the natural look but get darker out to the edges.
    To get the grain to pop, do I use a darker coloured grain filler or try to match the ash colour?


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  4. #4
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    Also, upon sanding I have noticed this large chip/split.

    It originally looked like it was just a machine mark but once i sanded through it turned out to be a pretty decent crack.
    Will wood filler cover this?


  5. #5
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Toowoomba, Qld.
    Ouch. Ok so going by your above post you are planning a burst, so any repair will be covered which is good. Personally I would fill it with CA (superglue) first, then take up any other indent with filler.

    There are a number of ways to do a burst, some people get quite good results staining a the lighter colour and then blending in the darker colour from the edge. Otherwise an airbrush is a good idea. If you are handy with rattle cans' you could probably get a reasonable result as well. They do take a bit of practice to get right so I would have a go on some scrap wood or cheap pine to see what's going to work best for you.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
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    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    Personally I wouldn't be happy with that at all. There's a danger that any knock on that horn will open the crack right up.

    I'd email Adam and see what he suggests as it's not just cosmetic. That's right through the wood. I'd be after a new body.

    Otherwise it would be safest to knock/break that corner off and stick it back on properly. It seems drastic but it is the right way to fix it, same as if it was a neck break.

  7. Liked by: Joe Garfield

  8. #7
    Bummer.. l will check in with Adam and get his thoughts.

  9. #8

    I got in touch with Adam, and I was able to drive up to the warehouse and swap it out for a new body.

    Didnt notice until i got home that the body is actually a HSH strat body? Pickup routes are for humbuckers and I originally ordered S/S/S.
    The single coils obviously fit in alot easier, but will this be a problem having too much space in there? Hopefully not...

    Also ran into a little problem.. The neck is drilled to suit the original body, and the new body I received has got pre drilled holes. They are about 1 - 2mm out... I ended up drilling out the body holes 1mm bigger to give it enough play to fit and luckily it bolted up and everything was spot on.

    (original body has no holes anywhere except for in the pickup routes, this new body has every hole pre drilled?)

    Only thing i may have to do is try to move the bridge back a couple of mm or so as it is almost at its max adjustment to get the correct scale length. (651mm at max adjustment)(645mm at lowest adjustment approx)
    The holes for the bridge were pre drilled so I couldn't really set my scale length as I would have liked but hoping this will still work.
    Neck alignment looked good.

    I had to trim the pickguard a little at the neck to be able to fit and being that it has humbucker cavities I will be able to slide the pickguard in and out while the neck is attached.

    Hopefully everything is still all good and I can now continue on with the sanding.

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  10. #9
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    HSH routs is a standard body configuration for a lot of the ST kits, as it saves having multiple body rout configurations. However the GST-1 should have SSS routs according to the kit pictures. It shouldn't make any real difference to the sound, but if you wanted to make a more authentic SSS Strat-style guitar, then you really wanted to take it back and get an SSS one (if one is available). It does sound like its not a GST-1 body.

    You probably needed to drill the neck holes a bit wider anyway, so that the screws don't need to be screwed through the holes in the body (just the neck, so they don't bind before pulling the neck down firmly).

    Scale length is 648mm, so I'd say the bridge could go back slightly or you may run out of intonation adjustment on the bass strings. Always drill and plug the existing holes with some thin hardwood dowels before drilling new holes. It may be that the kit the body came from (if it was kit) had a slightly longer neck with a slightly shorter neck pocket to match. But the trem block will still need to be fairly central in its rout in order to do both up and down bends, and not too near the rear of the rout, otherwise you won't be able to down bend very far before the block hits the back of the rout. But if you can intonate the guitar with the two E strings fitted as shown in the picture (just by ear), then you should be OK.

  11. #10
    Thanks Simon,

    You were spot on with the bridge placement/intonation. I tuned up and the low E was sharp by a fair bit at its max adjustment on the bridge.
    The high E was okay with a little more room for adjustment.
    Looks like ill be plugging the existing holes and re positioning the bridge.
    Is it okay to drill half dowel / half body as it only needs to go back 2-3mm..

    Also annoying as I have already modified the pickguard to suit current setup and now the bridge will be further back, ohwell..

    During this process I managed to strip the thread on one of the adjustment saddles. It didnt have a lot of tension and it pulled straight through. Can I drill and tap to next size up or are these an easily replaceable item? Is it worth upgrading to a better bridge? Got me thinking the quality might not be too flash for it to happen that easily...
    Last edited by Royami; 19-05-2020 at 10:23 AM.

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