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Thread: First Build GR-1SF

  1. #1

    First Build GR-1SF

    Hi everyone,

    this is actually my first build and I am really looking forward to it. A couple of days ago I received the GR-1SF kit from PBG and after letting it sit a while I did the mock build yesterday. I believe that everything looks quite good so far, however, I found some issues that I would like to have your opinion and help. Thanks in advance.

    I hope you can sse the attached pics. In general it seems as if the neck sits nicely in the pocket. Neck angle is correct and the strings run perfectly from the nut to the bridge when the neck is dry-fitted.

    Some of the issues that I found (see pics):

    There is a small gap on the low e-string side between neck and body - however, this could easily be filled with wood filler.

    On the high E-string side there seems to be routing mistake roughly 1 cm below the fretboard? I am pretty sure that the angle is not supposed to be there. I don't think that it'll cause major problems, but I'd like to hear your opinion on this.

    Furthermore, there is a slight gap between the neck block and the top - it seems structurally ok but not completely sure.

    Of course there are also some glue spots on the body which I hope I can get rid of with acetone and a brass brush. I haven't done a mineral spirits inspection yet, but from the mere visual inspection I found a couple of spots. There are some minor scratches and dings on the top as well - on a solid body I would probably just sand them off, but I am not sure how the laminated ply would take the sanding. I might go over ever so slightly with 240 grit sandpaper to get rid off the worst parts - or do you think I would do more harm than good?

    The only thing that really looks bad is the pickguard - it doesn't really fit (which could of course be dealt with). It also has a lot of scratches so I am thinking of using it mainly as a template for self-cut pickguard.

    I will probably stain the guitar in some kind of orangy tone and apply wipe on poly for a semi-glossy finish.

    Thanks in advance for your help and input along the way.

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  2. #2
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Perth, WA
    Hi, nice choice.
    Double check that neck angle with the bridge in place just in case.
    1. Thatís an interesting gap between neck and body. Letís think about that...glue first and fill before staining?
    2.Routing below fret board. Iíve done three set necks and they have all had the same angle. Check how parallel (side to side) the fret board is to the body and adjust if required. Consider any neck angle change resulting (nut to bridge).
    3. Something else Iíve seen. I try and get some glue in there when I glue on the neck.
    4. Personally Iíd give the scratches a light sand. Donít go too hard, but I wouldnít want stain highlighting them.

  3. #3
    Hi, thanks for your help.

    I will check the neck angle again - just to be extra sure. When I checked it last time, I put the tune-o-matic bridge in place just with some tape around the posts and tried to set it at a height that resembles the lowest height when it is installed. I then put a long straight edge on the clamped neck (on the fretboard that is) and checked how it runs towards the bridge. When the straight edge lays on the fretboard it touches the bridge - I thought that this might be ok. I'll make photos when I check it again.

    1. Yes, that is what I was planning to do: glue the neck and then fill the gap. Of course that means that the gap might also be filled with glue after putting the neck on, which might lead to a slightly awkward staining picture. It's really only a small gap, so I think it won't be that bad.

    2. I already checked that. The fretboard is parallel, so I hope this isn't an issue.

    3. Will do

    4. Ok, I'll give it a try. Do you think 240 grit is ok?

  4. #4
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Perth, WA
    I think 240 will be ok, Iíve done it myself, just be careful.

  5. #5
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Caloundra West, Sunshine Coast Qld
    Hi Markus, my last build was the ES1 and had interesting gaps to fill all around the set neck joint.
    Thank god for Natural coloured Timber Mate as that stuff soaks up the stain colour really, really well. It may require a few more stain coats in and around the joint to blend and hide those gaps.
    Cheers Waz

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  6. #6
    Hi DarkMark and Wazkelly,

    thanks for your thoughts. I had some time on the weekend to work on the guitar, so I did some sanding and got rid of most of the tiny scratches and dings - as well as most glue spots without sanding through the ply. There was one spot though on the sides, right in the middle of the bend in the cutaway. It seems as if the factory used quite a lot of filler there - quite a lump there actually. So I gave it a light sand and now it's almost level with the wood, however still quite visible. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture. I don't think that there is a lot I can do, but I am willing to live with it.

    I only checked for glue marks with a damp cloth (water) since I didn't have any denatured alcohol here. I have Isopropyl though, would that work too? Then I might go over it one more time to be extra sure.

    I also checked the neck angle again - this time I tried a couple of different methods and it always came out quite good - so I am feeling pretty comfortable in that regard.

    I also "dry-installed" the pups and noticed that the neck pup is off center. Though there's some wiggle room to move the pup, it isn't enough to get it centered. The neck pup-routing is a little off, it needs to move about 1.5 - 2 mm towards the high e-string, but that should be doable with some light sanding. I hope the pick-up rings still cover the slightly larger hole.

    @waz: I am not sure whether I can get Timber Mate here in Germany, but it seems to be very similar to a filler from "Clou" which I used on a couple of other projects. Thanks for the tip.

    Next up: Drilling the holes, check one more time for glue, a very light sand with 240 grit, and a little filing on the neck heel - which was done rather sloppy by the factory.

    One last question for today: In terms of workflow I am thinking of something along these lines:

    1. Staining neck and body
    2. Glueing neck to body, filling all the remaining gaps with wood filler - restain where necessary
    3. Wipe on Poly
    4. Fretjob
    5. Wiring and Installing

    Would that make any sense to you? Or should I switch things around?

    Thanks again, Markus

  7. #7
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Perth, WA
    You might find that lump in the cut away may reduce to nothing depending on how many coats of poly you use.
    I usually start straightening the neck and fret level as the first step.
    I also usually glue neck to the body after a early few coats of poly. I believe this makes it easier to clean up squeezed out glue, especially as it will be stained at this stage.
    Other people may have variations also.
    Sounds like youíve it under control, good luck and look forward to more photos.

    Edit: by the way, Iím going to have to flatten that neck overhang routing (high E side) you mentioned in your first post on my current build to set the neck correctly.

  8. #8
    I am actually really glad that I don't have to mess with the neck angle. Hope it works out fine for you.

    I thought about your workflow quite a bit and I am thinking about doing it in a similar fashion. However, not sure whether I did understand everything correctly. Would the following be similar to your routine?

    1. Fretjob
    2. Pore and gap filling and staining
    3. Couple of coats of poly
    4. Glueing the neck - cleaning up
    5. further coats of poly

    I've successfully done refretting on my other store-bought guitars with set necks, so I kinda feel comfortable with the fretjob on the almost finished guitar. Or are there any major drawbacks when doing the frets after the poly?


  9. #9
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Perth, WA
    Yes, thatís generally my order. Keeping in mind you may have a gap to fill and stain once the neck is attached. Depending on the size of the gap you could glue and shape some veneer before attaching the neck, Clou and stain after attaching the neck, or simply fill with lots of poly over time if the gap is small. The gap size is a little hard estimate sometimes from a photo.

    If youíre happy to level the frets at the end, no problem. Perhaps just make sure the truss rod works for piece of mind.

  10. #10
    Had some time to work on the guitar over the weekend, with limited success, however.

    Drilled the holes for the bigsby, did some filing on the neck heel, gave the body a light sanding and checked for glue spots with isopropyl, and started staining.

    In particular the last two jobs gave me quite a headache. I wiped down the body with alcohol and I found only a couple of minor glue spots. I congratulated myself on being lucky with this kit and put on some stain on the back.

    Well, not so lucky after all, a couple of major areas didn't take the stain (1st Pic). It was actually worse than what the picture suggests.

    So out with the acetone and the sandpaper. I ended up rubbing in the acetone with sandpaper, restrained the areas, let it dry, sanded the back restrained the whole back. I think it's kinda OK, since it's only the back of the guitar (Pic 2).

    I then wiped the front with a quite liberal amount of isopropyl and did find one or two tiny glue spots that I didn't see before, but since the big spot next two the neck position on the back was completely invisibly even with the iso, I am a little bit worried. Any suggestions to improve the check for glue process would be very welcome.

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