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Unread 06-08-2012, 02:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Hi guys,

Just bought an ES-335 Kit from GFS. Seems to be a «too good to be true» type of deal but hey... we'll see!!

Even GFS advice the buyers that the electronic supplied with the kit is less than great...! I can only imagine how much it's bad..

Since I didnt find anybody here that build this kit, i'm gonna try and document this post as soon as there is some progress!

(english = not my first langage soooo my grammar-nazi friends, be indulgent please! )
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Unread 06-10-2012, 09:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Seems Legit.

Post more.
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Unread 06-10-2012, 09:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

I just bought one too... Lets compare notes, sepc 'em out, and we'll get an idea about kit to kit quality...

It may be awhile until i get around to finishing my kit, I have a lot of paid work to get done before..but it should be here next week to spec it out.
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Unread 06-10-2012, 05:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Nice!

I can't wait to get this kit!
Since i'm in Québec, Canada, it should get here in 2 weeks maybe...

I think about finishing mine in a kind of blackburst with a purple center...I'm not sure yet.

I've almost finished a weirdo project (surf green strat with 3 lipsticks and matching headstock) and a refinish on an old, cheap, acoustic fender so i NEED another project!

I'll try to post as most detail as possible!
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Unread 06-15-2012, 11:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

So what's the verdict?
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Unread 06-15-2012, 11:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

YOU PICK - HOLLOW AND SEMI HOLLOW BODY ELECTRIC GUITAR BUILDER LUTHIER KIT | eBay
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Unread 06-17-2012, 10:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

I just got my kit last friday.

Didn't had time to closely inspect it.

After a good inspection, I can say that I'm not surprised that this kit is only 200$...! It's a 3 pieces maple neck, there's some minor finishing flaws (fingerboard dye on the neck binding for example) but all in all, nothing less than expected from a 200$ kit.

The neck pocket dosen't fits the neck tenon but the height seems nothing like in the picture (see the other post).

The body is covered with a pretty nice flamed maple veneer but it's soooooooooo thin that I'm gonna have to be really careful when sanding.

The bag of electronics and parts is nothing less than a bag-o-crap though... the tuners are horrible, the wiring they give is horrible, the pick guard is such a piece of sh*** that I actually laugh when I saw it.

Sooo... after hesitating a lot, i decided that I was gonna try and make that chinese not-335 sound like a great guitar: PAF hb, new tuners, new bridge, saddle and some good vintage electronic. Anyway... if it's bad at the end, i'm gonna be able to recycle everything in another project!

--Pictures coming soon--
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Unread 06-17-2012, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Bit of a shame but post pictures as you go man - would love to see this build.
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Unread 06-17-2012, 10:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Ok...so let's post some pictures of this kit...!


Overall look of the thing...not bad...from afar



The inlay job....not A1



Ooopps...a little bit of dye on the binding...bahh...those canadian
customers won't care...!



A little gap between the binding and the neck...



3 pieces neck



Tenon...



Not THAT symetrical back (and a GREAT beer from the province of Québec! )



Thinnnnn flamed maple top



Nice flamed maple top (higlighted with some naphta)



Binding in F holes, nice touch



Neck height. Not that scary but i wonder about that angle....



So, as you can see, it's far from perfect but i've decided to get the max i can from this kit and I see it as a challenge to build this in a great sounding guitar. Hope it's gonna work....! Wish me luck hahaha

It's as far from a es 335 that a semi hollow can be..seriously...but still, it's a nice base from where to start... who knows, maybe I'm gonna be able to get something good at the end. At least, i'm gonna have some fun building it!
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Unread 06-17-2012, 11:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Thats disappointing, but nothing that cant be fixed. What happened to the tenon too? If it came like that you should see if you can get a discount. B-Stock kits lol Put that $50 towards a nice bridge or something.
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Unread 06-18-2012, 05:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

The tenon came that way...
Like you say, nothing that can't be fixed.

I just realize that i didn't post a picture of the pick guard or electronics...

I'm gonna do it soon. Promise.
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Unread 06-18-2012, 06:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

ELECTRIC GUITAR KIT- PRS-STYLE - Guitar bodies and kits from BYOGuitar
not sure exactly how different they are but on general principle I'd opt for one over the gfs
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Unread 06-18-2012, 06:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

$280 + shipping is kind of steep though... i'd probably opt for an Epi and hotrod it. I know you dont get that personal touch but you save a bit and get a nice finish lol

BYO Guitar are not bad though... I bought a neck from them once and the workmanship was beautiful, but the fretjob was horrible.
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Unread 07-05-2012, 09:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Sooo
It's been a while since I gave some infos on this kit.

I decided to go with a kinda-sunburst look on the top and black everywhere else. I may do a funky matching headstock with that...not so sure about that atm...

I decided to do everything by hand, with rags and transtints colors.

My advice to all of you that may buy one of these kits: carefully check for glue residue. On my kit, they were all over the place and I had to work a lot to get those of the top. Since the veneer is sooooo thin, it's a delicate operation and the glue is hard to spot. It got a little bit annoying very fast...

So, decided to tint the top black:




Sanded (to pop the grain):



Coat of mustard-vomit-brownish-mucus-yellow as a basecoat to work from (that was NOT the color i was looking for hahaha):



And....the colors...!!! Pretty happy with the results (since it's the first time I work with dyes!) I called it ''Fireburst'':



And...with the binding scraped:




Note: the binding in the F-holes is not well made....there is a lot of irregular spots and the scraping was a p.i.t.a.... but overall, very satisfied of the result!

More to come!
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Unread 07-05-2012, 10:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Nice
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Unread 07-06-2012, 02:19 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Very nice. That colour turned out excellent man. I do love that binding on the f-holes.
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Unread 07-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

I almost want to pick one up...but I have too many other things right now...they can store it there until I'm ready, and maybe the next generation will have a bit better binding.

For bang for bucks...GFS still is pretty good stuff.
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Unread 07-06-2012, 04:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

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For bang for bucks...GFS still is pretty good stuff.
True
I have 1 GFS pedal (a fuzz) and one of my friends bought a neck and everything is A1...!

Still, the kit is a little bit cheap.. hehehe
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Unread 07-06-2012, 11:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

I think that looks great. Keep at it and keep us posted!
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Unread 07-08-2012, 11:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

let's see - 3 piece Maple neck, ply body, slightly dicey construction quality ..... hmmmm - sounds like you got a slightly better than Norlin period 335 for about $200!

The result looks great so far - I totally agree about the hardware, I got a Les Paul kit very similar to the GFS ones and the bag-o-bits was pretty much 100% binnable!

FWIW, I bought one of the Xaviere Jazzmaster copies for something ludicrous like $219 to make a Baritone (Warmoth neck) and generally the quality of the Xaviere was top notch for what it cost me - very impressed!
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Unread 07-10-2012, 01:16 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Thanks for the updates, lagtastic. I am absolutely chomping at the bit to buy one of these kits, but I have decided to let you do the dirty work for me and wait till you're finished before I buy one! That way I will have a better idea what to expect from start to finish. So keep updating, if only for my sake! (The fireburst looks great. I was thinking of Pelham Blue despite the flametop...or Mary Kay white...)
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Unread 07-10-2012, 05:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Thanks a lot for the good words!
It's a pleasure to be a part of this community and to share my experience with this kit!

For the moment, i'm a little bit stuck on the headstock... i want to shape it somewhere like a gibson and I tried with....a dremel.... All I got is a nasty burnt smell, 345566 broken cutting wheels and 234 burnt sandpapers rolls...

so i bought a coping saw and I'm gonna learn the hard way hehehe

I'm gonna post pictures as soon as I work on that!
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Unread 07-13-2012, 09:57 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Ok...
So I got a litlle time to work on my headstock and i'm pretty happy about it. I finally learn to use my dremel the smart way (not everything is better at 3234000 rpm...who knew?) and it was very usefull.

I wanted a headstock inspired by the open-book look of gibson but a little bit different at the same time and I think it works.

I'm gonna put a flamed veneer on top of the maple headstock and i'm planning on trying a fancy desing that involves the same fireburst pattern than the body AND a secret ingredient: resin. Yup.

I made some tests with a resin (Résine in french... kind of epoxy but for arts and crafts) and it turned out very good. I wanted to find an
alternative to MOP since I don't reallllllly like the look of it and wanted to develop a technique of my own. Don't get me wrong, I find some of the MOP work here absolutely incredible but I wanted to do something else, something different that would allow me more freedom with dyes, pigments and metal flakes.

As you can see, these turned out pretty well. I molded them in little plastic bottle caps. The resin got pretty hard but it still possible to engrave it with the appropriate tool. In this picture, one is tinted with yellow dye from Transtint, the other one got gold metal flakes in it and the last one pure yellow lacquer pigment. Imagine the possibilities...!




In these pictures you can see the headstock with veneer on top of it. It's not glued on since i want to cut some pieces before i do it (you'll see ) The trustrod cover is made from a flamed maple headplate by hand. It's gonna be a part of my design.



More to come!
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Unread 07-16-2012, 12:09 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Glad I found this thread, I just ordered this kit yesterday and am glad I can watch someone else go through the steps first.

Very interested in seeing how this comes together. I like the look of the burst you did, was that all done applying the dye by hand? If so i'd love to hear how you did it.


I'll be watching this one closely. Best of luck.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 07:06 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cary View Post
Glad I found this thread, I just ordered this kit yesterday and am glad I can watch someone else go through the steps first.

Very interested in seeing how this comes together. I like the look of the burst you did, was that all done applying the dye by hand? If so i'd love to hear how you did it.


I'll be watching this one closely. Best of luck.
Good to know my experience is gonna help someone!

The burst was indeed applied by hand with rags. Look at those videos to give you an idea on how to do it:

But, beware, NEVER EVER put an orbital sander on your 335 kit top. Sand it by hand. The veneer is SO thin that you are almost sure to sand trough with an Orb. sander and the curved top makes it very hard to have a nice result. Believe me... I learn the hard way.

Other than that, practice on scrap wood once you get your tint mixed. You wanna make sure that the color will come out nice.

Other than that...have fun doing it! It's the creative part!
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Unread 07-17-2012, 12:59 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Thanks, that is pretty much exactly what i'm looking for. Looks like you used a technique closer to the first video, but just so i'm sure, did you do any selective sanding (more in the middle) after you applied the dye? or just the whole thing after applying the black to pop the flame? Meaning, did you use the rag to blend the burst, or sanding, or a combination of both?

Looks like the top veneer is pretty damn thin so i'll be sure to be gentle on it. I'm thinking about a "light burst" type finish, maybe with a little browner of an edge colour and a wider edge than this one. Gibson Memphis ES-335 Dot (Light Burst) | Sweetwater.com

Is the back also a flame veneer or is it the same as the sides? do you intend to "burst" the back as well or just dye it a solid colour?

What do you intend to finish it with? poly? nitro? tru oil?

Having built one of their strat kits, I know the electronics are crap and will have to go, do you think the internal cavity of the body has enough room to fit full size CTS pots in it? or are we going to be limited to micro pots?

How would you describe the neck profile? its hard to tell from any of the pictures.

Sorry for the barrage of questions, i'm just excited to get my kit and I want to be as prepared as possible for all the things I'll encounter.

Thanks, and keep us posted on the build.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 08:49 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cary View Post
Thanks, that is pretty much exactly what i'm looking for. Looks like you used a technique closer to the first video, but just so i'm sure, did you do any selective sanding (more in the middle) after you applied the dye? or just the whole thing after applying the black to pop the flame? Meaning, did you use the rag to blend the burst, or sanding, or a combination of both?
I didnt do any selective sanding, only blending with dyes and rags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cary View Post
Looks like the top veneer is pretty damn thin so i'll be sure to be gentle on it. I'm thinking about a "light burst" type finish, maybe with a little browner of an edge colour and a wider edge than this one. Gibson Memphis ES-335 Dot (Light Burst) | Sweetwater.com
Looks like a pretty nice burst! You're gonna have to focus on the yellow tints much more than me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cary View Post
Is the back also a flame veneer or is it the same as the sides? do you intend to "burst" the back as well or just dye it a solid colour?
The back is also flamed in the same material than the top. I destroyed mince with an orbital sander so i'm gonna finish it with a solid color (black)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cary View Post
What do you intend to finish it with? poly? nitro? tru oil?
Nitro all the way. I found a supplier, here in Québec City that can sell me nitro lacquer by the quart and opaque pigment by the ounce!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cary View Post
Having built one of their strat kits, I know the electronics are crap and will have to go, do you think the internal cavity of the body has enough room to fit full size CTS pots in it? or are we going to be limited to micro pots?
There's some wood working to do since the routing is not ideal near the pickups but you are definitively gonna be able to put normal sizes CTS pot. I myself going to put a full bumblebee package in it and ReWinds pickups. I want to try to make the most of this chinese piece of...plywood...If it dosent work, I will always be able to salvage the good electronics and put it in my Gibson USA Les Paul or another project...!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cary View Post
How would you describe the neck profile? its hard to tell from any of the pictures.
Hmmm...something like a modern Les Paul Studio profile...not a slim taper...but not a '57 in any kind of way...


If you want more informations, you can always ask!
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Unread 07-20-2012, 02:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

thanks so much for the detailed answers. My kit should arrive some time next week so i'll be sure to post the thread link in here.

So how about a progress update? anything new?
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Unread 07-20-2012, 02:34 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

Quote:
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thanks so much for the detailed answers. My kit should arrive some time next week so i'll be sure to post the thread link in here.

So how about a progress update? anything new?
I'm finishing the headstock. I'm gonna post some pictures asap!
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Unread 07-28-2012, 01:41 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: ES-335 Kit build (GFS)

just sharing the link for my 335 kit build, lemme know if this isn't cool and i'll erase it.
GFS 335 kit build.
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