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Thread: 1st Build IC-1

  1. #1
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    1st Build IC-1

    Hi there,
    This is my first build and I've gone for the IC-1. I've always wanted to buy an Iceman but they're a bit pricey so now's my chance to own one. It is on backorder and I'm not expecting it until November.
    I've also ordered Karijini Red to finish the body.
    In the meantime does anyone have any recommendations for luthier tool-kits? I've seen various kits on eBay and Amazon and prices vary from $20-$80+
    https://www.amazon.com.au/Repairing-...41467371&psc=1
    or
    https://www.amazon.com.au/s?k=guitar...s_ts-oa-p_1_11
    Does anyone have any experience with these or any other kits. Given that I am a new builder and unlikely to be using the tools very often, will the $30 kit do the job? Or is it worth spending a bit more?
    Can't wait to get started.

    Cheers,
    Graham

  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome.

    I'd suggest reading through the (not all that easy to find) PBG build guide, which discusses tools. https://www.pitbullguitars.com/wp-co...s%20Manual.pdf

    Whilst some of those kits contain a few useful items, most contain a lot of filler items that you are unlikely to use during the build.

    The most obvious items you'll need are screwdrivers, spanners and a good metal straight edge/ruler or two. Certainly a sanding block to go with the sandpaper as getting a flat surface on the body is important to getting it looking good. Masking tape and pencils, sandpaper of various grades (a fair bit of that) and one or two small files.

    I'd suggest investing in a decent set of needle files, the ones in those kits do tend to be made from very poor steel and I find I use needle files quite a lot for many things, so it pays to have a reasonable set if you don't have any already. Diamond coated needle files do make things quicker to file down but you pay a bit extra for the benefit.

    You'll also need a decent soldering iron and a basic soldering knowledge of soldering (or someone who can do it for you or show you how). A solder sucker or de-soldering braid is also something that comes in handy here, as do wire cutters and thin nosed-pliers. You'll probably already have a sharp bladed craft/Stanley knife.

    The main area where some more specialised tools come in handy is with setting up the neck and adjusting the nut. Your neck may come with all the frets seated properly and all the same height, which makes things easy as all you'll need to do is give them a polish. But if there are one or two badly seated frets which are high, then this will make the guitar difficult to set up with a reasonable action, so you may then want to try and either reduce the height of those particular frets or do a complete fret level (my preference). If so, there are a few basic tools that you'll need, including a notched straight edge and a fret profiling file, but these can all wait until you're setting up the guitar and be purchased as necessary.

    The other area you'll need to work on is the nut, as the basic kit nut will come with a high string slot height which will need lowering. Yo can either use a set of nut files to cut the slots lower, or remove the nut and keep filing down the bottom of the nut until the existing slots are low enough. Unfortunately, good nut files are expensive, about the same price as the kit itself, so are best only bought if you are working on several guitars. You can get very cheap 'nut file' sets from Amazon and eBay that are repurposed welding tip cleaning files,. You'll need to measure their width to pick the right one for your string gauge (so having a cheap digital caliper is almost a must) and the thinner files are very soft and will only last for a couple of nuts, but they will work well enough for one nut. But you can get by with the filing the bottom of the nut method, although it is quite time consuming as you need to keep fitting it and removing it to check progress. As the kit plastic nut isn't a great nut, I'd suggest a cheap replacement bone nut from Amazon or eBay. You'll need to measure the existing nut to see whether you need a 42mm or 43mm wide nut. It needs to be the same 'Gibson' style as the kit, and not a thinner 'Fender' style.

    Pit Bull themselves sell useful luthier tools, which are similar prices to those on Amazon,etc, but you can choose just the ones you want/need.
    https://www.pitbullguitars.com/shop/...hier-tool-kit/

    Keep posting your progress with pictures in the build diary, and if in any doubt, stop and ask a question before progressing. No build question is stupid. If you don't know or are unsure, ask. We're always glad to help if we can.

  3. #3
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    I also recently ordered an IC-1 kit!!!
    It's good to run into a fellow Ice-man
    I should be receiving it a little sooner than November, but I'm definitely planning on doing a build diary.
    I'm extremely stoked! I look forward to seeing how your build goes as well.
    I'm, unfortunately, also a novice (my first full build too).
    I can't give you too much advice on luthier tools. But Simon B. definitely knows his stuff.

    Maybe you can watch my progress and see where I inevitable screw it up so you can learn from my mistakes!
    Happy building! Stay in touch!

  4. #4
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    Hi

    Hi Simon and thank you for the detailed reply.

    I did have a read through the pdf before I ordered to see what I was getting myself in for.
    I think a lot of it will become much clearer when I actually start the build.
    I own some of the basic tools already. I'll keep an eye out for the tools you suggested and pick them up over the next few weeks, before the kit arrives.
    Especially the needle files and the straight edge. Do you recommend the notched straight edge??
    I have some experience in soldering. I did an electronics course in school and built my own fuzz-box, mind you that was more than 20 years ago. Since then I have soldered the odd input socket on a guitar etc.
    I'll keep you updated on my progress.
    Cheers,

    Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    Hi and welcome.

    I'd suggest reading through the (not all that easy to find) PBG build guide, which discusses tools. https://www.pitbullguitars.com/wp-co...s%20Manual.pdf

    Whilst some of those kits contain a few useful items, most contain a lot of filler items that you are unlikely to use during the build.

    The most obvious items you'll need are screwdrivers, spanners and a good metal straight edge/ruler or two. Certainly a sanding block to go with the sandpaper as getting a flat surface on the body is important to getting it looking good. Masking tape and pencils, sandpaper of various grades (a fair bit of that) and one or two small files.

    I'd suggest investing in a decent set of needle files, the ones in those kits do tend to be made from very poor steel and I find I use needle files quite a lot for many things, so it pays to have a reasonable set if you don't have any already. Diamond coated needle files do make things quicker to file down but you pay a bit extra for the benefit.

    You'll also need a decent soldering iron and a basic soldering knowledge of soldering (or someone who can do it for you or show you how). A solder sucker or de-soldering braid is also something that comes in handy here, as do wire cutters and thin nosed-pliers. You'll probably already have a sharp bladed craft/Stanley knife.

    The main area where some more specialised tools come in handy is with setting up the neck and adjusting the nut. Your neck may come with all the frets seated properly and all the same height, which makes things easy as all you'll need to do is give them a polish. But if there are one or two badly seated frets which are high, then this will make the guitar difficult to set up with a reasonable action, so you may then want to try and either reduce the height of those particular frets or do a complete fret level (my preference). If so, there are a few basic tools that you'll need, including a notched straight edge and a fret profiling file, but these can all wait until you're setting up the guitar and be purchased as necessary.

    The other area you'll need to work on is the nut, as the basic kit nut will come with a high string slot height which will need lowering. Yo can either use a set of nut files to cut the slots lower, or remove the nut and keep filing down the bottom of the nut until the existing slots are low enough. Unfortunately, good nut files are expensive, about the same price as the kit itself, so are best only bought if you are working on several guitars. You can get very cheap 'nut file' sets from Amazon and eBay that are repurposed welding tip cleaning files,. You'll need to measure their width to pick the right one for your string gauge (so having a cheap digital caliper is almost a must) and the thinner files are very soft and will only last for a couple of nuts, but they will work well enough for one nut. But you can get by with the filing the bottom of the nut method, although it is quite time consuming as you need to keep fitting it and removing it to check progress. As the kit plastic nut isn't a great nut, I'd suggest a cheap replacement bone nut from Amazon or eBay. You'll need to measure the existing nut to see whether you need a 42mm or 43mm wide nut. It needs to be the same 'Gibson' style as the kit, and not a thinner 'Fender' style.

    Pit Bull themselves sell useful luthier tools, which are similar prices to those on Amazon,etc, but you can choose just the ones you want/need.
    https://www.pitbullguitars.com/shop/...hier-tool-kit/

    Keep posting your progress with pictures in the build diary, and if in any doubt, stop and ask a question before progressing. No build question is stupid. If you don't know or are unsure, ask. We're always glad to help if we can.

  5. #5
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    Hi,
    Great to hear that someone else is embarking on an Ice-man project. I would love to see your progress when you get up and running.
    Good luck!!
    Graham.

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    A notched straight edge is only needed if you are fret levelling, and need to get the fretboard itself as level as possible before filing or sanding the frets level. You canít use the frets themselves to do this using a straight edge, as you have to assume the frets are of uneven heights, otherwise you wouldnít be levelling them! So you need a notched straight edge so that it will slot over the frets and you can adjust the truss rod to get the fretboard itself as level as you can before starting on the frets. Otherwise itís not of much use.

  7. #7
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    What Simon says is true, but you can get or make one pretty cheaply. If you have a metal straightedge and an angle grinder you can make one in about 30 min.

    I made one I use for basses...about $5 for the straight edge. I discovered I could get one on eBay for around $15 with two different scales for guitars. Of course those are US prices so YMMV

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by fender3x; 27-09-2020 at 02:45 AM.

  8. #8
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    Thank you both for the advice!

  9. #9
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    The Iceman Cometh!!

    So, earlier than expected, in the coming days my IC-1 kit is arriving. I managed to exchange the standard IC-1 kit for the custom special (https://www.pitbullguitars.com/shop/...ustom-special/) that appeared on the site last week.
    The decision was a no-brainer. I get a better kit and get it earlier than anticipated.
    Tracking says that it is in Sydney so it should be here on the Central Coast by tomorrow or Tuesday.

    Updates to follow.
    Build #1 - IC-1 Custom Special

  10. #10
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    Delivery and unboxing.

    The kit arrived today. Thank you PBG.
    I'm really happy with it and can't wait to get started. I will wait until the weekend before doing a mock build and then the sanding can begin.











    Build #1 - IC-1 Custom Special

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