For the finish I started with some West Systems epoxy stained with black aniline dye to pore-fill and highlight the natural grain, then sanded back to a level finish. Next I stained the body and neck with a basic brown spirit-soluble aniline dye. After many coats of French polish, the surface was buffed to a mirror finish. Then I drilled out the existing fretboard side dots and installed bronze side dots, so it would show up clearer against the brown fretboard. The top is an embossed alligator leather secured with epoxy adhesive and bronze studs.
The hardware is stock with a few exceptions. The pickguard I cut from a sheet of aluminium. The knobs are fashioned from used shotgun shells. The tuners are Grover mini locking tuners. I oxidized the metal hardware to complement the leather top. The electronics are stock – these are perfectly good!
Thanks again PBG and Adam for a fun build.”
Here’s what Andrea says about his build:
“My third assembled guitar and first with Pit Bull Guitars neck and body:
Mahogany body – Maple top – Transparent blue satin finish
Mahogany neck with blue satin finish
22 Fret Ebony Fingerboard
Duesenberg Diamond Deluxe Tremolo Short Nickel Bridge
Allparts Locking Roller Tune-o-matic
Seymour Duncan ’59 Model pickup
Kluson Self-locking MBT33N Tulip Button tuners
3 Volume and 1 Tone Controls”
DarkMark talks about his Custom ES-3 build:
“Hi Folks, finally finished my custom
CTS pots and push back cloth wire. TUSQ XL nut.
Tonerider Alnico II Classic Humbucker.
Floating rosewood bridge. Rosewood veneer pickup ring.
Rosewood knobs reused off my ES-5V.
Rosewood truss rod cover made from veneer.
Rosewood veneer headstock with gold glitter inlay.
Gold tailpiece, output jack, screws and gold Gotoh tuners.
Body is gloss poly. Neck is satin poly rubbed with 0000 steel wool.
Fret board is stained with Japan brown and coated with satin poly.
I really like the chatoyance in the headstock wood.”
Here’s what Ricky tells us about his build:
“This is my first Pit Bull kit build, the
I would have finished it a month earlier except for a bout of Covid 19!
The finish was inspired by a build on the internet and when I saw it I just thought “I gotta have one of those!”
Finish is done with Crimson Guitars Stunning stains (water based). Then many many coats of Omi Cron 2k acrylic lacquer.
The artwork on the back of the guitar is one of my other hobbies. The method is to complete the picture in reverse by building the base coats, locking back with lacquer, adding more base colours and then scratching through the various colours to reveal the finished effect.
The name chosen was “Eclipse”.
Headstock was veneered and then a homemade waterslide transfer applied.
Trussrod cover was made by bonding 7 veneers together, cutting to shape and then sanding to reveal the various colours of the veneers.
The final finish was achieved by hand sanding through the various grades to 2500 and then G3 compound followed by hours and hours (days) of T-Cut. All done by hand so that I could control it.
Modifications include new pu’s (Warman Tennessee), bone nut, volume switches replaced with the push/pull switches to give me the choice of series/parallel effect, roller bridge, Bigsby style vibrato and Gold/Abalone knobs.
The guitar plays beautifully (the guitar – not me). Intonation was a non event and it stays in tune beyond expectation. The range of tones is more than enough for me and balance is great so a compliment to Pit Bull for getting it right.”
Tony says: GST-1 American Ash body, Maple neck, Jatoba fretboard.
The finish is one coat of black Rit dye, sanded back, then two coats of a 60/40 mix of Opaque Red hobby paint and Scarlet Red Rit dye. Then about 20 coats of FW Wipe on Poly. Neck was coated with Tru-Oil and fretboard with mineral oil.
This majestic GST-1 build by Royami is the Judge’s pick for July 2020 Guitar of the Month
Here are the details of my second build:
– finished this ColorTone Red Mahogany, black Timbermate grain filler, and 50 coats of TruOil.
(the Ash needed a lot of filling and levelling)
– Electronics upgraded
– Grover Mini Locking Rotomatics machine heads
– Babicz Bridge
– ToneRider AC2 pickups
I couldn’t bear to cover the grain with the horn on the pickguard so it was cut off.
I am very happy with the result and tone.”
Our first Custom Nylon String. DarkMark’s Custom GR-1SF was the Judge’s pick for this month’s Guitar of the Month.
DarkMark says: “Customised
Modified headstock with rosewood veneer, Bone nut.
Rosewood neck heel cap and truss rod cover.
Mahogany stain, gloss polyurethane (steel wool used on back of neck).
Nylon string, pickup glued under floating rosewood/gold roller bridge.”
It’s been some time since we have seen an LP Style kit grace our GOTM. However, this one, by BakersDozen, is definitely worthy. Great choice of colour and finish execution… who could keep their hands off this one.
Here’s what Bakersdozen has to say of his build:
“Finish on the front is FW (Feast Watson) Golden Teak over the flame maple veneer and SCA gloss. Back is SCA red feathered on over a grain highlight of ebony timber mate, with 3 coats of Tru Oil on to give nice satin type textured finish. My idea here was that I wanted textured look, rather than smooth with a very subtle grain highlight popping through the red (super hard to capture the subtlety in a photo, but I think you get the idea).
TUSQ nut, Grover tuners, Gotoh bridge stock tailpiece, epi Probucker bridge / Alnico Pro Classic neck pups with coil splits. Handmade TRC, recessed jack plate, aftermarket knobs and pointers, switch / wiring etc.”
Great work Bakersdozen
Always refreshing to see something totally unique. Here’s a new take on an old Classic. Jbuller7, from Ireland, took a Custom ES-1F (with no neck binding) and made it something very special with some Copper Leaf and choice upgrades.
Here’s what Jbuller7 says of his build:
“I always fancied an ES335 guitar but the traditional sunburst and cherry finishes never inspired me to lift them and play them so this is my take on it.
Back and neck was kept simple and just sanded back to 3000 grit and then 4-5 coats of Danish Oil whipped on. The top of the body was done slightly differently… Lightly sanded back and sprayed with coral blue nitro undercoat before applying 5 layers of copper leaf over a 2 week period. During the copper leaf process the headstock was sanded, primed, sanded, sprayed, sanded, sprayed, sanded and lacquered to give a piano black finish before some edging detail was added with more copper leaf.
Neck joint was spot on, initial set up was easy, once frets had been levelled polished, and the guitar plays and sounds like a dream. It will need another setup in a few weeks once the neck has got used to the string tension but that’s normal as far as I am concerned.
Copper strap locks and an amazing Richtone strap finished the build off perfectly. I cannot walk past this guitar without stopping and looking (and normally playing it) so I’m a 100% fully satisfied builder. 3 other guitarists have seen it, played it and tried making off with it in their gig bag. Good gob its a 335 size and wouldn’t fit in their gig bags.”
Blam! The Graphic Novel inspired EX-1 Guitar build by HardCoreTroubadour is our Guitar of the Month
Please read Hardcoretroubardour’s full Build Description here (scroll down): https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=9916&page=2
This slick KH-1 build, by PJSprog, is our Guitar of the Month for November.
“Here’s theKlein headless kit I’ve been building off and on (more off than on) since February. Finally finished. Paint is Krylon Dark Matte Gray from a rattle can, and Krylon clear satin finish, also from a rattle can. The neck is Minwax Classic Gray stain with Tru Oil finish. Everything is stock from the kit, with the obvious exceptions of the “Overlord of Music” tremolo bridge and head piece being replaced with J-Custom parts from HeadlessUSA.” PJSprog
Congratulations Step1507, your stunning ST-1 build, for your Daughter, is the Judge’s pick for Guitar of Month.
Here’s what Step1507 says about his amazing ST-1 build:
“I’ve finally finished the second Christmas present for my daughters, this one’s a right handed, again. I’ve tried to make it as personalised as possible, without it being tacky . This one is also, basically, stock, apart from the black pickguard and tremolo cover (again I went with the “Gilmore Black Strat” look with the pickups and controls). The finish is also DNA Custom Paints, colour shift this time, in “Red Rush” (Red/Bronze/Green), over a black base, with lots of clear over the top.
Again, the name of the guitar “Starfish”, was her childhood nick name (she’s also now in her 20s )
Hope you all like it.”
(We do, very much)
Congratulations Daniel, your Custom PRS-1H is the Judge’s pick for Guitar of Month.
Here’s what Daniel says of his complex build:
I wanted to build a travel guitar, but I also love Jazz.
This started out as a PRS-1H kit. I removed the top and replaced it with a hand carved, X-braced arch-top made from a one-piece billet of Huon Pine. I have fitted a floating Gretsch Mini-humbucker mounted to the end of the neck. I completely hollowed out the body, removing the center block.
To enhance the acoustic properties the finish is a very light coat of French Polish over a soft yellow honeyburst buffed to a satin finish. I have converted it to a bolt on design so I can remove the neck to make it fit into over-head luggage on a plane. I fitted threaded inserts into the end of the neck for longevity.
Kac’s exquisite Fabric TL-1 is Guitar of the Month for August.
Hi All, took me 2 months, but I have finally finished my fabric top telecaster.
1. String through body.
2. Bone nut.
3. Belly cut.
4. Wilkinson Bridge.
5. Fender noiseless neck pickup.
6. ToneRider Hot Classics bridge pickup.
July 2019 GOTM goes to Bakersdozen for his stunning JTL-1 build.
Natural TruOil finish.
TUSQ nut, Grover mini rotomatic tuners.
Fully adjustable tele bridge.
Oakes Grigsby 4 way switch wired for 4 way tele options. Orange drop cap with cloth wire.
String thru body with neck ferrules.
You can even hear how sweet it sounds here
June 2019 GOTM goes to Wayne Mumford, for his ES-12G.
“ES-12 with mahogany body. I did a few alterations like the headstock shape, as the stock shape was way off centre so I chopped it off. Then added some mahogany strips for a bit of character. I also added a gold output jack and a gold truss rod cover to go with the rest of the hardware. I was going to go with a straight color on the front but the amount of glue around the bindings needed to be covered with a burst. l hope you like it.”
This gorgeous FS-1 by Neverwas is the Judge’s pick for May 2019 GOTM.
Kit came with a rosewood fretboard, yes it’s that old, and that probably influenced the colour choice. All hardware has been changed,
Frankentone filtertron style pickups with dress rings made by pablopepper (haven’t noticed him on the forum for a while)
Full size 500k CTS pots, 0.022 Orange drop caps and treble bleed mod, Epi 3 way switch and Switchcraft jack
Gotoh TOM bridge and stop tailpiece (instead of the trapeze that came with the kit)
Grover locking tuners, PBG bone nut and Kluson string tree, also strap locks
Headstock has flame maple veneer added and routed the lower level to include a MoP inlay
Stains are a colortone mix over black base and then acrylic lacquer clear.
Had some stain bleed into the binding and painted those areas (it’s in the build diary if you’re interested)
Marshi’s Custom IB-7 with Reverse Headstock is GOTM for March/April 2019.
“Latest build, its a custom order based on the GS-2. I modified the kit to include: Floyd Rose tremolo, reverse headstock and rosewood fretboard. I then modified the stock tremolo to include an Allparts brass block. Other modifications include a Gotoh locking nut and Floyd Rose fine tuners. The guitar was finished with the Dingotone finishes, Bushfire Sunrise on the body and clear on the neck. I also added a timber back electronics cover to match the body, as best as I could. Plays great and has a lovely blues tone from the neck pickup but shreds from the bridge. I modified the wiring to include a volume control for each pickup and the 3 way switch, no tone. Great fun building this guitar even more fun to play. Thanks everyone Pit Bull Guitars.”
Richy17’s JTL-1 is GOTM for February 2019. Congratulations on a stunning build.
Heres my JTL-1 kit “The Blasteroid”
Modifications & Upgrades
Both horns cut and reshaped
Reshaped the forearm bevel
Made a custom pick guard
Painted Block “inlays” on the neck
Countersunk washers instead of a neck plate
Brass screws for pick guard and selector switch (To accent the brass bridge saddles)
4 Layer 2K Paint
Joe bardon Vintage Tele bridge
Tonerider AC2 Neck pick up
Tonerider Vintage Plus Bridge pick up
4 way oak grigsby switch
Recessed jack socket
Overall i really enjoyed this build, Its really nice to play and has that tele twang about it but with a little more oomph in the neck. The string through drilling didn’t go the best but i learnt some valuable lessons there. Probably if i was to do it it again i would take a little bit more off the top horn.
Congratulations Yo_Wattup, your TLA-1 is the Judges’ pick for GOTM January 2019.
This is a Pit Bull Guitar kit I bought a few months ago and finally got around to finishing. It’s the TLA-1 with ash body and black hardware. I replaced the bridge and bridge pickup. For me, kit guitars are all about the look, I spend a lot of time on the finish.
As you can see I’ve added bevels to the top and a curved edge on the bottom side. What isn’t so obvious is the ghost gold pearl over the white top. This is very hard to capture on camera and its visibility depends on the lighting, basically its completely white under ubiquitous light (shade), and the gold pearl emerges when under sunlight or artificial light.
For the back and sides I wanted a mirror gloss finish of the ash – no texture. So I filled the grain, stained it walnut and sprayed it with varnish until there was enough layers to wet sand and get completely flat. Something like 20 coats.
I also stained the neck a walnut colour to match the back but I left the fretboard its natural maple. Both the neck and fretboard are gloss. Actually the whole guitar is now that I think about it .
All finishing done with a spray gun. You simply cant get as glossy/flat a finish using a brush or cloth.
SonicMountain’s Steampunker YB-4 Bass kit is the Judges’ pick this month.
Formally introducing ‘The Steampunker’
As per the build thread I finally got some suitable strings and completed setup today.
So, it’s based on the Y-B4 kit it has a maple neck (With an awesome flame in it) and a bass wood body. Finished in Japan Brown stain with Cabots satin exterior poly. Fretboard stained with Japan Black and sealed with poly.
Stock pickups, after market pots and 3 way switch and ‘custom’ wired similar to a Telecaster.
Hand carved (with a dremel) tentacles, TRC and full custom bridge out of 3mm brass plate (thanks Frankie!)
Modified for string through.
PBG replacement Black Tuners
D’Addario Flat Wound Super Long Scale strings.”
You can see the impressive amount of work that went into creating this Beast in SonicMountain’s Build Diary, here.
EdGomes surprised everyone with his TLA-1 with “Double Purfling”. So good.
Here’s what Ed has to say about his build:
“It was a challenge to decide which finish style I would like, then I found a very famous guitar brand that unfortunately I can’t afford it, called Knaggs. I put my skills as Designer plus my interest in resin art. Few drawings after I decided to start with a Telecaster style looking like Knaggs (double purfling). The specs:
– Telecaster kit from Pit Bull Guitars; ash body, maple neck, maple fretboard
– Tonerider Vintage Plus pickups
– Standard electronics
– Oil finish Birchwood Casey (back&neck)
– Coffee + Black Japan Stain (darken ash)
– DingoTone Black Stump (top, faded black effect)
– Clear resin (top)
– Clear resin + Blue pearl powder (Purfling)
– Bridge: Gotoh BS-TC2
– Grover Chrome 6 Inline Mini Locking Rotomatics
– Wooden Custom Pickguard (Aussie wood sandwich)
The guitar looks good, plays smoothly, more mods will come such as electronics, nut, jack and strap locks. The pickups are very balanced, I love it.
Hope you guys like it.”
DarkMark’s ES-5V was the Judges’ selection for GOTM October 2018.
“ES-5V hand stained burst with Tru Oil finish. Stock apart from strap holders, Tusq nut, rosewood knobs, truss rod cover, modified bridge, chromes strings and standard size audio and linear pots. Made a scratch plate but couldn’t bring myself to put it on.”
GOTM for September 2018 goes to Andyxlh’s Custom AG-1 in Mahogany finish.
Custom AG kit, ordered with block inlay bound neck, Mahogany neck and body.
Finished in Feast Watson Mahogany and cleared with spray pack Cabots poly gloss
Pickups Tonerider AC2
Bone nut (still not glued in!)
Roller string saddle, otherwise all the bits are stock. The tone controls are not wired in (like Angus) and the knobs are unused castoff from my RC4 kit.
The machine heads are stock with buttons bought from eBay and adapted to fit.
Managed to lose the treble rhythm washer, but I’m ok without it!
Blinddrew’s understated ES-5V, with clear stain and handmade touches is the GOTM for August 2018.
Grover tuners, bone nut, upgraded CTS pots, Schaller strap-locks, home-made knobs, scratch-plate and truss-rod cover.
FrankenWashie’s Custom ST Kit, with a stunning Natural finish, was the Judges’ choice for GOTM July 2018.
“Kit (is) stock other than:
-volume pot that required changing out, now Alpha Mini 500k
– aftermarket Gotoh string trees.
The finish is clear gloss Rustoleum on the body, and DT clear on the neck, finished Satin for easy playing and it is SILKY to play.
I have deliberately left the body unfilled to highlight the grain structures and pattern. I wanted the body to remain a tactile element under your hands as you play and handle it. It is a similar story on the head, allowing the finer grain feel to come through on the front and rear.
The pickups are bright and break up well, I angsted with changing them out for a while, but I want to play them in and see how they go.”
The finish and choice of mods and upgrades on this JM-1 build, by Nitroburner1000, are on another level.
Here’s what Nitroburner1000 says about this build:
“As the JM-1 comes with a Fender style bridge and is not setup for a jaguar bridge and tremolo assembly, I had to custom route for the bridge and tremolo setup and custom make the pickguard from a blank.
This guitar is setup like a normal jaguar but with these differences.
The top horn switch in the up position activates the neck pickup with a separate volume and tone control set in the chrome add-on.
When the switch is in the down position it activates the humbucker and the middle pickups with their separate bass, treble and volume knobs.
The difference here is that the lower 3 switches have been wired as 1) master volume 2) treble cut tone 3) bass cut tone. These are generally referred to as G&L Style PTB Tone Stacks. They have a very interesting sound.
The last 3 switches are on and off switches for the 3 pickups.
The body and headstock are finished in candy apple red with a 2k clear over the top. It has 4 primers, 3 silver basecoats, 3 cherry apple red coats, 2 clear coats, then 2 more cherry apple red coats finished with 4 coats of clear.
The headstock decal was redesigned by (Forum member) SonicMountain, painted and applied by myself and coated with 6 coats of wipe on poly then polished.
Grover tuners, aftermarket knobs, and chrome accessories, and Warman pickups.”
This stunning LP-1SS, by TRV, is Guitar of the Month for May.
The Spalted Maple ‘Halcyon’
It features Lace Dissonant Aggressor pickups, modern wiring and two coil-split push/pull volume controls (no treble bleed)
The build diary can be seen here: trv’s Spalted Maple LP-1SS
– Grover Keystone tuners
– Modified Gibson truss rod cover
– Graphtech TUSQ nut
– Switchcraft 3-way toggle switch
– Lace Dissonant Aggressor pickup set
– Gotoh Tune-o-matic bridge
– Gotoh ‘Stop’ tailpiece
– CTS push/pull DPDT 500K volume pots & CTS 500K tone control pots
– Orange Drop .022uF caps
– Switchcraft output jack
– Grover strap buttons
– Various guards, rings, knobs, etc.
– Minwax Oriental Ginger, Saman Hop & Saman Black stain
– Sunburst painted with Createx Wicked Jet Black airbrush paint
– Tru-Oil finish (38-44 coats depending on the area of the guitar, not counting touch-ups)
– Hand cut celluloid logo inlay
– Screen printed wordmark
2 Months in a row for our JBA-4 Ash body Bass kit. This month Guvna’s JBA-4 was the Judges pick for Guitar of the month. Can’t fault that Blue stain.
Here’s what Guvna says about the build:
“finish: ebony timbermate
craftsman pigmented stain (nitrocellulose-based stain) ‘tinted’ with green/blue tinters by hand
wattyl rediseal nitro sealer ‘toned’ with green/blue tints sprayed
wattyl Stylwood pre-cat nitro lacquer sprayed
back of neck/headstock is just sealer and clear coats
hardware: used all the stock Pit Bull Guitars kit parts
great fun building and now playing this kit – cheers all!”
Congratulations OzzBike on your JBA-4 Build, our Guitar of the Month for March 2018
PBG Jazz Bass Ash Body with Blackwood neck.
Walnut Timbermate ONLY….then Feast Watson Fine Buffing Oil then Gilly Stephensons cabinetmakers wax then Bowdens Own Carnauba Wax
Vintage Amber Colortone stain….about ten coats of Tru Oil and then Bowdens Own Carnauba Wax.
Gotoh elephant ear tuners
All parts bridge and neck pickup chrome ashtray covers
All parts thumb rest
1 x Bourns Premium 250K push pull series/parrallel pot, 1 x dishback CTS 250K A curve volume pot, 1 x dishback CTS 250K A curve tone pot
Orange Drop .473uf cap
Switchcraft jack socket
Tone Rider Jazz Bass neck and bridge pickups
Vintage push back wiring everywhere except for bridge earth wire.
Sonic Mountain’s “Black Cherry” SG-1 was the judges’ pick for February 2018 Guitar of the Month.
Specs: Customised Grover Tuners
Custom Truss Rod Cover
Lace Alumitone Pickups
Gotoh Push/Pull volume pots that switch either Humbucker to single coil
All Parts Chrome Knurled Knobs
Stock bridge, nut and Tail Piece – to be upgraded at some point, but are actually quite nice anyway.
Ernie Ball 10’s
Finish is Black stain, red fountain pen ink, black stain again then multiple coats of Septone clear top coat and about a million hours of cutting and polishing.
Congratulations to Adam Barnes, whose stunning GR-1SF was the Judges’ pick for January 2018 Guitar of the Month.
Specs: GR-1SF stained with Dingotone Bushfire Sunrise and Black Stump, clear coating with Tru Oil.
Upgrades: Gretsch Blacktop Filtertron pickups , Bournes mini pots, braided wire, Graphtec tusq nut and a Roller bridge.