DIY Guitar Help
This page is a collection of hints, tips, best practice, YouTube links and general links all aimed at helping you make the right decision of DIY Kit for you and also aiding you in finishing your guitar with the best possible finish.
You're first stop before choosing a DIY Guitar Kit is to determine which type of set is right for you. Either 'Set-In' or 'Bolt-On'.
Also see our DIY Tips & Tricks blog for up to date info.
Which Kit is for Me? ‘Set-In’ Neck or ‘Bolt-On’ Neck
Since the birth of the first guitars there has been the debate of ‘Set-In’ vs ‘Bolt-On’ guitars. Quite simply, the only difference is you need to glue in a ‘Set-In’ neck to the body of the guitar with wood glue and bolt on a ‘Bolt-On’ neck with 4 screws. The debate is that Set-In holds a better tone by being part of the guitar due to the glue binding it – but reality is that if that statement is true, you will only notice it if you have awkwardly sensitive ears. Even machinery doesn’t pick it up. It’s the same debate as Superman being better than Spiderman; it’s all down to personal preference.
Here at Blackbeard's Den we offer both Bolt-On and Set-In neck guitars. Bolt-On already have the bridge and tailpiece holes pre-drilled into the body of the guitar (because we can be 100% sure of how the neck will lie). A Set-In neck requires you to glue the neck into the body of the guitar and thus we cannot be sure of even the slightest movement which will affect the placement of the bridge and tailpiece, thus if you choose a Set-In neck, you will have to manually determine where the best location is to drill in the bridge and tailpiece holes only once the neck is attached, and only then drill them yourself.
If you are looking for an easier build, choose a Bolt-On, if you are looking for a slightly more challenging build, choose a Set-In.
* The product we supply is of an outstanding quality. If you choose to assemble the guitar yourself, we will not be held responsible for poor workmanship as a result of a bad build. We are however here to guide you. It is not a difficult process to do, but does require some TLC. If you require help with any part of the assembly, your local music shop will be willing to help, maybe for a small fee. But its worth it.
As the saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat. Likewise there are many ways to assemble a guitar, which is why over and above the instructions that come with the kit, here are some links to help you with assembly:
Finishing Your Guitar
- What Paint/Lacquer to Use
- Guideline for Spraying
- How to do a Sunburst
- Finishing a Tele-Caster
- How to Paint Your Guitar with Spray Cans
- For All Your Wood Needs!
Where to Buy Finishing Products in SA
Finding Where to Drill Bridge & Tailpiece Holes (Set-Neck Guitar Kits Only)
- Where To Drill Bridge & Tailpiece Holes (Part 1 of 3)
- Where To Drill Bridge & Tailpiece Holes (Part 2 of 3)
- Where To Drill Bridge & Tailpiece Holes (Part 3 of 3)
- Locating the Tailpiece and Bridge
- Fret Position Calculator
- How Run Ground Wire Bridge to Semi-Hollow Body
Assembling the Guitar
- How to Glue Set-In Neck to Body of Guitar (Set-Neck Guitar Kits Only)
- DIY Guitar Kit Assembly
- Install Strat Bridge & Tremolo
Wiring & Electronics
- Wiring Diagrams
- Soldering Techniques
- Installing Semi-Hollowbody Electronics
- Changing Semi-Hollowbody Electronics
- Replacing Semi-Hollowbody Electronics
- How Change Pickups on Semi-Hollowbody
- Wiring a Telecaster Guitar
- 5 Way Switch Explained
- Correct Way to Drill Holes & Insert Screws After Paint Job
- How Set Intonation