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Thread: TL-1A (Alder body) First kit build.

  1. #1
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    Question TL-1A (Alder body) First kit build.

    Hi there,

    I'm Patrick from norway and about to start my first kit-build. But i need some input on the stuff below before i can start.



    Sooo i recieved the kit today and was looking forward to starting my build today. But i found some things on the body that annoyed me a little.

    Can somone tell me if the cracks in the neck pocket will give me problems?

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    The crack on the side does not look good either, but i suppose i could reshape it a bit to hide it.

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    I also noticed that the neck and neck-pocket are not the same shape. so how do i know if it is supposed to be fastened where it is now or if i should reshape the neck to fit the pocket? the bridge is partly pre-drilled so i need to put it in the right spot to get the tuning right.

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    It would be great if someone could help me out a little here. First impression of the kit is not really good at the moment. Now i feel like i could have saved me some money by getting a cheaper kit from gear4music.

  2. #2
    Overlord of Music Andy40's Avatar
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    Hi there Zrgst.

    I received by TL-1A this week as well!

    I can tell you that I am absolutely stoked to get into this kit, Hi five man! This will be the fifth telecaster I've built, second from Pitbull.

    In my opinion, and this is only mine, others may be a little more pedantic that I, Tele's are built like tanks, there's not a lot of kit problems (other than a twisted neck) which would be fatal to a build.

    The crack in the heel should be checked to see if its superficial or not. If its deep you are going to have to decide whether you are going to glue it up or return it. Remember, the body itself is about 3 pieces of Alder glued together anyways.

    Most telecaster kit neck pockets are not a super tight fit. There will be a little play. It will be up to you to make sure that the scale length is correct and the neck is straight with the body and the bridge. Once you have found the correct fitting, if you still do not like the gaps, you can always put in some wood shims, for your own preference.

    Keen to hear what your plans are for the build though!!!!
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  3. #3
    Member Groovyman32's Avatar
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    Hi Zgrst,

    I've built a PB tele and am now working on a second (non PB). There are loads of far more experienced builders here but I'll relate my experience.

    I agree with Andy - the crack in the neck pocket might be a concern but even in the worst case could be fixed. Of course, if you're unhappy check it with PB and see what they can/will do?

    I had similar gaps around the neck on my tele. There was quite a lot of play when the neck was in the pocket. I think the gap at the front certainly seems to be normal. You just have to make sure you clamp it in the correct position before drilling the holes in the neck.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  4. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It looks to me like a proper deep crack, in which case it should be replaced. That's an area which will be under a lot of stress and there's no guarantee that you could repair it properly. You'd need to force glue all the way down into the crack, not just at the top, and then be able to clamp it together so the gap closes. The damaged edge to the pocket is another reason to return it. That edge could be repaired with some epoxy if you were going for a solid colour paint finish, but not a stained finish.

    Looks like the person drilling the neck holes slipped with the drill, pulling it sideways, levering the wood apart and catching the edge of the pocket with the chuck in the process. If so, IMO it should have been binned in the factory or gone out as a known second.

    As has been said, the slight neck pocket gaps are common. Until the factories start using CNC machines they will never be a great fit. They are only an aesthetic problem. You may want to try and improve the fit (though it's hard to see what's going on with the fretboard overhang that all those 22 fret necks have) and some people have done that. Don't worry about 1mm or so of neck to bridge distance, there's more than enough adjustment in the bridge saddles to cope with that. In fact the bridge is often found to be on the edge of being a bit too far away from the neck, so the saddles have to be pretty far forwards to get the intonation correct.

    What you will probably need to do (on this or the replacement) is drill the body neck screw holes out to the size of the screws, so that they are a tight fit in the hole, but you don't need to screw them in. They should only screw into the neck itself, which ensures that the neck is pulled down properly into the pocket.

  5. #5
    Overlord of Music Andy40's Avatar
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    Simon's got a point. I still reckon it could be glued an clamped. Using a syringe though.

    What about modifying a neck heel to a more modern comfy fit and re-drilling that third hole as an option?
    Build #1 - ST-1 - Completed
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  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Why should someone have to repair a kit before they can build it? Pit Bull should be doing more thorough checking of the kits before they go out, especially if they are sending them halfway around the world which complicates returns. I don't expect perfection from a cheap kit, but I do expect any imperfections to be of a more minor nature.

  7. #7
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    Hi guys and thanks a lot for your input. I really appreciate that you guys took the time to read my post and reply

    I reached out to PitBullGuitars and we came to an agreement about a partial refund. I have started the build and will probably post some pictures tomorrow.

    I even found more weird stuff on the kit today. There appears to be blue ink under the frets. Probably from ballpoint pen. Looks like blue ink thats coming out from under 1 of the frets after i had to clean the fretboard off after fret leveling and shaping/polishing. (would probably have gone unnoticed if i didnt make a little mistake tho)

  8. #8
    Overlord of Music Andy40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    Why should someone have to repair a kit before they can build it? Pit Bull should be doing more thorough checking of the kits before they go out, especially if they are sending them halfway around the world which complicates returns. I don't expect perfection from a cheap kit, but I do expect any imperfections to be of a more minor nature.
    Too true Simon. I agree.

    I've returned stuff in the past with very good customer service from Adam and the guys. Its a bit easier for me though as I'm in Oz.
    Build #1 - ST-1 - Completed
    Build #2 - LP-1SS - Completed
    Build #3 - TLA-1R - Completed
    Build #4 - SGD-612 - Completed
    Build #5 - ES-1G - Completed
    Build #6 - STA-1HT | Completed
    Build #7 - ST1JR - Completed
    Current Build #8 - JBA-4
    Build #9 - Semi-scratch build Tele x 2 - Completed
    Current Build #10 - PRS-1H
    Current Build #11 - AGJR-1 - Completed
    Current Build #12 - ATL-1SB
    Current Build #13 - GST-1
    Current Build #14 - FBM-1

  9. #9
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Will the blue come off using a mild solvent? Say Isopropyl Alcohol or Naptha (lighter fluid)?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    Will the blue come off using a mild solvent? Say Isopropyl Alcohol or Naptha (lighter fluid)?
    I used Liberon Furniture-cleaner and that was what made the blue come out from under the Fret. Its a tight spot so hard to get access to scrub it. Gonna try Isopropyl Alcohol later today.

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