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Thread: TLA-1 First Build

  1. #1

    Post TLA-1 First Build

    Haven't got my kit yet but I am using the lead time to learn, plan and prepare.

    I've put this list together with my current understanding of all the steps in the process: From there, I will be linking to relevant forum threads, web articles and YouTube videos as I stumble into them.

    Please feel free to comment in the doc or here. Would love your feedback and pointers to good reference material. I'm sure I am missing lots of important stuff.



  2. #2
    More than one way to skin a cat, however...
    My approach would be to start with step 13. 'Assemble and install electronics'.
    Only on my 2nd Pitbull kit but I'm sure glad I left the finishing 'till last.

    cheers, Mark.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by king casey View Post
    More than one way to skin a cat, however...
    My approach would be to start with step 13. 'Assemble and install electronics'.
    Only on my 2nd Pitbull kit but I'm sure glad I left the finishing 'till last.
    Interesting. Would you mind elaborating on the reason? I would have thought that you wouldn't want the electronics in place while doing the finish. Is that to avoid damaging the finish during the install?

  4. #4
    I get it all assembled and playing. Making all the adjustments to the neck/frets etc...
    Only then will I disassemble the whole thing and set about the sanding/filling/painting/staining.
    Knowing that it will all go together with no problems.
    I'm sure you will read some build threads (mine for starters) where a few backward steps came into play.

    Here's my current build. It' been a couple of weeks in limbo whilst I get some playing adjustments done.
    The MDF pickguard has picked up plenty of finger fudge whilst putting some mileage on the frets.
    Once I'm happy with that, it will be disassembled and the sanding/priming/painting stage will commence.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    cheers, Mark.
    Last edited by king casey; 26-11-2018 at 09:21 AM.

  5. Liked by: mcamelo

  6. #5
    Ah, that makes total sense. Thanks for the tip.

    When is the best time to shape the headstock in your opinion?

    PS: that's a beauty!

  7. #6
    Thanks Marcelo. It started out as a JM-1 but undergone some surgery.
    Actually the neck/headstock prep I did first as it's achieved without adding to the guitar.
    edit: Best to mock-fit on the body and make sure there's no issues with it beforehand I guess.

    cheers, Mark.

  8. Liked by: mcamelo

  9. #7
    I've updated the doc. I'm now planning to go as Mark suggests and do a full build and rough setup before disassembling the whole thing and doing the finish. I like the idea of delaying the finish until after some basic adjustments (and unavoidable mistakes) are made.

  10. #8
    Mentor Andyxlh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Agreed, if U are not in a rush it will prevent heartache later. Just make sure you don't get oily fingers on the timber under the finish.

  11. Liked by: mcamelo

  12. #9
    Member G-Axe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Canberra, ACT
    mcamelo: I like the sensible and ordered approach, and I can't argue with the idea of putting it all together before you start on the finishing. The only thing that glares at me in your step-by-step is that you're haven't made any allowance for coating over the headstock decal. You certainly don't have to, but they can be pretty fragile (assuming a waterslide decal). To really protect it, you might want to consider a few extra clear coats - enough to build up the whole finish above the level of the decal, and then some - so you don't end up sanding/polishing into it.

  13. Liked by: mcamelo

  14. #10

    Red face

    Yes, I had forgotten that important step. A few questions:

    Can I use the same clear coat I plan to use on the body (Dingotone)?
    Does it go on top of the Tru-Oil final coat?
    Should I apply to the decal and adjacent area only or to the entire face of the headstock?

    Thank you for the tip. I will update the doc as I learn.

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