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Common Electric Guitar Building Mistakes and How to Fix Them

If there’s one thing that’s extremely likable about getting a DIY electric guitar kit it’s the fact that you’re going to get a musical instrument that’s relatively cheaper than purchasing a fully-built electric guitar off of a physical store rack. While you’ll save money, there are new challenges that do take place in return.

For instance, you’ll have to invest in more time and effort to start playing the musical instrument as compared to buying a completely built electric guitar, in which case you can start playing music on it as soon as you get home. Well, the extra time and effort in building the instrument is a tradeoff for buying something that’ll help you save up on cash. But all will be for naught if you commit mistakes during the building process. To prevent these concerns from happening, let’s take a look at the possible things that might take place while you’re building the instrument.

Grain Filling

Grain filling is such a delicate process when building an electric guitar out of a kit that it’s one of the easiest steps in the entire musical instrument making process to create mistakes. First of all, know the timber material the body of your electric guitar is comprised of to make sure you use the right wood grain filler. Note that loose grained timbers, such as Mahogany and Ash, will generally require some treatment as opposed to filling the grain of other tightly grained wooden bodies like Maple. When you’re applying the grain filler, remember to work into the body first before working against it. Make sure that the surface is nice and even before you start painting.

Paint Finish

Do note that when you’re applying paint on your electric guitar, the color should be sprayed in coats instead of applying a thick coat of paint in one go. There are two reasons on why you should do this: (1) you’ll avoid running the paint on the nice surface of your electric guitar and onto your clean floor, and (2) applying coats will allow you to gauge the intensity of your color application. Doing it all in one go just spells disaster for the entire project.

Paint Drying Time

 As much as you’re excited to start using your electric guitar after you’ve finished painting it, you have to wait until the paint dries completely. Failure to do so, and you’re going to see hand or finger marks on your nice paint job, not to mention the possibility of getting wet paint on your nice shirt. Remember – patience is a virtue, and it’ll pay off in the end. Note that the paint will become touch dry after 1-week since the application, but it’ll take 1 to 2-months before the paint dries out sufficiently.

Building an electric guitar from a kit is certainly rewarding, and your wallet will thank you for it in the end. Just make sure you follow the instructions laid out to you to the letter or else you’re going to suffer some consequences, some of which may render the instrument to be useless.


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David King – who has written posts on Advertise Your Discover.