Friday, 3 October 2014

Start of the 12 String Kit Build

Today is my birthday so Mrs F finally let me loose on my present.

Here it is as it arrived.  For some reason they actually fit the scratchplate and electrics, probably for safety in transit to stop them getting damaged but obviously if you want to finish the body you need to remove them... so first thing was to whip them out...

And then to try a test fit of the neck, can't resist it!

All good, all parts (body, neck and scratchplate) are marked with 35 on them somewhere showing they've been mated together before putting into the kit.  On the body and neck  this has proved valuable the neck is a very good snug fit into the pocket, so much so with friction alone holding it together you can lift the guitar by the neck and body doesn't fall off.  This is a good sign.  Incidentally the body is basswood and very light.  The neck is maple with a nicely grained rosewood fingerboard - being a 12 string the neck is quite wide measuring about 48 mm at the nut compared with say my 6 string Strat which is about 42 mm.

The headstock is supplied as a "blank" which is ok not as bad as the paddle heads you get on many 6 a side kits but still a bit boring and bland.  So my first job was to get a better headstock shape on there.

So I traced out the headstock on some paper, scketched a new look shape and then cut that to make a template to mark the new shape.  There isn't acres of room, I was hoping to do something like the old Squier Venus XII shape but not enough wood really, in the end I went for something just a little wavy and tried to reflect the bass side shape bias of a Strat body.  I'm please with it any way.  With the template I marked the new shape onto the wood and then was ready to cut it.

Here is the neck clamped down before I went at it with the jigsaw.

A few mins later after final sanding with grades down to 320 I'm pretty happy with the result.

More soon.  I'll let you know how the finishing goes with which is the next set of actions before we can think of assembly.  This might take a couple of weeks or so as the finish providers recommend several coats and some days between each coat.  A lesson in patience about to be needed I think.


  1. Happy birthday, pal. Many more. This looks like a lot of fun but also a monumental pain in the ass. Look at the bright side: when you're done you'll be able to play Xanadu.

  2. Happy birthday! I love what you did with the headstock. Clever!

  3. Happy Belated Birthday. You ARE clever - I wouldnt know where to start!

  4. Looks great already! I have always wanted one of these so I am dead jealous.