Guitar Fetish Explorer Kit Build

dropthepuck

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Longtime lurker, first time poster... and builder.

Alright I've been eying up one of these GFS explorer kits for a while now, and with my birthday last month I finally pulled the trigger. So here we go.

While not fantastic quality, it's actually better than I was expecting, a few ugly marks here & there, but no major dings/chips or extra holes through the headstock. Here's the worse of it pre-sanding.
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All of which came out after a round of careful sanding (120-220-320-400 grit), and at this point it doesn't appear the neck pocket/fit is going to be an issue. Unless my untrained eyes/hands are missing something.

That ugly red mark on the horn, gone.
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The hardware included is pretty cheap, but I'm leaning towards replacing it all with black anyways, toss in a set of EMG's and get a Hetfield/Ken Lawrence clone going. :D

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Black Ice

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I've been looking at one of these my self .:thumb:

Subscribed!
 

EagleOnyx

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Looks like a great starting platform! Nice
 

dschwartz

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Hey man congratz!!
You were lucky, your kit looks pretty good..the neck fit is great and the router job looks a lot cleaner than my lp kit..

I wish you luck on this build..i'm struggling with mine but reaching the last phases..but the first steps are the hardest ones and the most critical..

Are u gonna dye it? Or paint it solid?
 

Hangers

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Way cool. Will be looking forward to seeing this come together. I'm not a luthier, but I can use glue and a screwdriver. I think watching you put this together may persuade me to try one.

Is the body maple?

PS, dig the dropthepuck name....
 

David Mccarroll

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If they were willing to do this kit in Korina I reckon they'd sell hundreds ........
 

kasu

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Looks really nice!
Looking forward to follow the progress.

Happy building!
 

acloudofhaze

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Just as I was eyeing this kit! Subbed! Any idea how you'll finish it?
 

dropthepuck

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Thanks for the encouragement guys! Been mulling this project over for a while so it's great to actually get started on it.

To answer a few of you specifically.

Hey man congratz!!
You were lucky, your kit looks pretty good..the neck fit is great and the router job looks a lot cleaner than my lp kit..

I wish you luck on this build..i'm struggling with mine but reaching the last phases..but the first steps are the hardest ones and the most critical..

Are u gonna dye it? Or paint it solid?

Yeah I've been following your thread and it definitely looks like the kit I got had less out of the box issues than what you received. Luck of the draw I guess? Either way I was relieved when I pulled it out of the box and saw the routing as clean as it was.

For the finish I'm going with dark walnut danish oil, so I'm hoping to end up with something like this.

1.jpg



Way cool. Will be looking forward to seeing this come together. I'm not a luthier, but I can use glue and a screwdriver. I think watching you put this together may persuade me to try one.

Is the body maple?

PS, dig the dropthepuck name....

Haha pretty much the same with me, I figure I can use sandpaper & glue, so hopefully it'll turn out.

According the GFS site the body is Poplar while the neck is maple. Overall it's not super heavy.

Ps, enjoying the playoffs?

Just as I was eyeing this kit! Subbed! Any idea how you'll finish it?

See the pic above, I'm thinking a Ken Lawrence like scheme, dark brown, all black hardware.

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Anyways folks I should be gluing/clamping the neck on later today, if all goes well starting the Danish Oil later this week.
 

Mexicanbreed

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For the finish, since it´s mahogany, I doubt it´ll look similar to walnut, except in color, of course. Have you considered a veneer? Since it´s a flat top it would make it easier. I am not sure if you could get away with not using a veneer bag, though.

I have also been eyeing GFS kits, I would like to do one with my boy once he´s old enough.
 

dropthepuck

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For the finish, since it´s mahogany, I doubt it´ll look similar to walnut, except in color, of course. Have you considered a veneer? Since it´s a flat top it would make it easier. I am not sure if you could get away with not using a veneer bag, though.

I have also been eyeing GFS kits, I would like to do one with my boy once he´s old enough.

Yeah I should have been clearer on that, just looking for that dark colour, obviously the figure is what it is. It's my first build ever so I'm not quite brave enough to try a veneer on this one.
 

dropthepuck

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Progress update!

Got the neck glued in on Sunday afternoon, actually went a lot smoother than I had anticipated. It was the one part of this kit I thought would give me issues, but went pretty smooth (knock wood).

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And tonight I started hitting the front/sides with the dark walnet danish oil, going pretty good so far, but there is a few spots that just don't wanna absorb any of the oil really. Knots in the wood? Foreign substance? Insufficient sanding? Any ideas?

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Aside from the oil penetration issue I've got one other question for the MLP braintrust, when it comes to the rosewood fingerboard, do I need to treat/finish it at all? Hit it with some fine steel wool and call it a day? Go for some lemon oil?

Honestly a little lost as to if I actually "need" to do anything to the fingerboard or if it's good as is.
 

David Mccarroll

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probably the thing you WILL have to do is a fret level - they don't seem to try too hard with the frets on these. Other than that, most likely just a quick dousing with lemon oil or fret board conditioner.

I'd strongly suggest replacing the pickups - even GFS make no bones about the supplied ones being pretty ordinary!
 

dropthepuck

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Alright time for another update.

Hit the entire body/neck with a few coats of the Danish Oil this week, went pretty good overall but I did get some bleed through the painters tape and onto the fretboard. But overall I'm happy with the colour, almost matches the fretboard.

Any ideas on what I can do about the oil dried into the freboard? Try some lemon oil to darken the whole board up, learn to live with it?

My next plan of action is to let the oil dry/cure for a week and then hit it with a coat or two of rub on poly to get a light satin sheen. Always been a fan of Gibson's faded finishes, so I'm more looking for that than the high gloss "glass" look.

Hopefully the black hardware I ordered will arrive by the time the poly is cured and I'll be assembling in about two weeks.

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BCRGreg

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Clarifying, since somebody else said that it was.
 

Black Ice

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Looking good so far,shame about the bleed through. I'm refinishing my Cortez LP copy a Pelham bluish with a dark back stain and had some bleed through onto the binding. You might be able to get it off with some mineral spirits ? You should definitely wait for someone with a bit more experience than me to answer that question though.:fingersx:
 

kasu

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Looks good. The area that wont take the stain, could it be some wood glue residue at a joint? I would try to sand the spot gently and try again.
 

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