I Bought a $99.00 Tele Guitar Kit

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Slacker G, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. Slacker G

    Slacker G Strat-Talker

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    I wanted a winter project so I bought a $99.00 Tele Guitar Kit that arrived this morning. When I opened the box everything was packed like it was a far more expensive product. The major parts such as the neck and body were enclosed in well padded foam bags and packed in individual boxes within the heavy shipping box.

    I looked at the neck first and it felt nice. no frets hanging over and they were beveled & smooth to the touch. The neck itself was very smooth. But it had smaller frets and the neck was drilled off center. That was a bummer. The tuner holes were drilled perfectly in alignment for Gotoh style tuners. The neck has a "Composite Ebony" fingerboard. (paper epoxy and die named "Composite Ebony" to make it sound better than it is. But the Bullet I have is a plywood body.. and they call that a "laminate body" since that sounds so much better than plywood. I understand that some Gibson's and a few other brands have also used "Composite Ebony" fingerboards. They also use this laminate for skate boards and a myriad of other uses as it is very durable.

    Then I opened the the body. The wood was heavier than I thought it would be. It is made of Okoume wood. The grain has a Mahogany look to it. No dings or problems with the body, and the neck hole drilling matched the off set of the beck. So no problem there other than I would have to re drill the holes to match a Fender hole pattern. But I probably won't need to if everything lines up as good as it looks.
    Then I opened the hardware box and checked those parts. The tuners were a Gotoh style and felt quite firm. Time will tell when I get strings on it. Plating on the neck-plate looked good and the neck-plate had standard hole spacing on it. The control plate looked good with only a couple of edge flaws on the bottom where it doesn't matter much. The tailpiece looked a bit rougher on a top edge but still wasn't a deal breaker. It I can't live with that individually sold after market tailpieces are all over the place and most of them look pretty good. The plating on everything has mirror finish flawless chrome plating. You also get a set of strings, a guitar cord an instruction & a construction manual. I was impressed with how good it looks and the workmanship for $99.

    But then time will tell. The big test will come when it is finished and plugged into an amplifier. The offset holes in the neck & body are rather irritating but they can be re drilled if I can't live with that.
     
  2. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    Will there be pre Assembly photos?
     
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  3. Roger66

    Roger66 Strat-O-Master Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Yeah. I LIKE to WATCH!.....and irritate Thom, apparently.
    I would love it if you posted your assembly steps here. I'm sure everyone else even thinking about DIY from a kit would too.
     
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  4. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Dr. Stratster

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    My cheap kit build was a major disaster. Hopefully yours works out!
     
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  5. Philo426

    Philo426 Senior Stratmaster

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    Nice !I made a Tele kit and 20210614_120718.jpg it came out Great!
     
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  6. Slacker G

    Slacker G Strat-Talker

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    Yes. I will post some pics of it as it arrived, then during construction. I'm not eager for winter but the humidity is so high right now it would be impossible to paint anything.

    At the moment I'm cursing an incompetent idiot that made the wiring harness for my KM100 Dirt bike. Some wires cut far too short and other wires at least 8" too long. I wonder what he would think if he knew that someone was cursing him and telling how crappy his workmanship was 40 years later.

    I guess that's a pretty good reason for a person to do theirr very best whenever they do anything.
     
  7. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    images (1).jpeg
     
  8. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    KM100 Dirt bike
    Couldn't resist...
    Guy i traveled with
    Had a full ride
    Kawasaki
    He was incredible
    Coulda been world champion on any other brand...
    But
    Ya have to finish more than 60%

    {
    Never load your dreams on a green bike
    Never load your dreams on a "K"
    }
     
  9. Soul31

    Soul31 Strat-Talker

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    Wow so you knew Ron Lechien?:)

     
  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Strat-O-Master

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    I built this kit last year. There were a few quirks, mainly the pickguard placement/size is non-standard. I had to cut my own guard using birch craftwood. The electronics cavity was a bit shallow for a 4 way Oak-Grigsby switch so I had to carefully make it a little deeper. I also replaced the bridge with a classic Tele 3 brass saddle bridge and the cheap plastic nut with a brass one. Electronics were replaced with the 4-way, full size 250k pots with a no-load tone and Tone Hatch Shin Kicker pickups. It came out pretty good although I found that I didn't care for the neck profile so much.

    20201114_123215.jpg
     
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  11. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    You don't mention the kit maker. I looked the Harley Benton one for the same thing, but ultimately decided I needed to practice all the skills separately first with building partscasters, etc.
     
  12. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up CUSTOM USER TITLE Silver Member

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    I'm considering buying a blonde T-style from Monoprice. They've got one with a black guard that looks real good and it's only $99, IIRC. I know their upper range guitars like my gold top are awesome but I've got no experience with their budget line. I assume they're pretty good guitars, as well. Just can't decide if I want that or an Epiphone LP Plus Top Pro with a nice burst or an Alpine White Epi LP.

    I know @Baelzebub has one of the Indio guitars, also, and he seems to like it so there's that.
     
  13. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up CUSTOM USER TITLE Silver Member

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    Laminate hardwood really isn't the same as what we all consider plywood. Either way, good luck and I'll be keeping an eye on this. I'd love to do a kit myself someday.
     
  14. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    {
    I like how you define your statements;
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  15. Sixstringer107

    Sixstringer107 Strat-O-Master

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    This is one of the kits from Bargain Musician. I'll admit though, I did not assemble it, I bought it already assembled. The first thing I did was put a Switchcraft toggle and new pickups from GFS in, the ones that it came with were garbage. One day I'll put better tuners and pots in it. Sorry for the crappy pic. It does have binding. Looks like they don't carry the pre-assembled ones anymore and their prices have gone up a little.

    BargainMusician.com - Warehouse Direct DIY Guitar & Bass Kits, Finished Guitars and Basses - Home

    White LP Copy.jpg
     
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  16. Dibbs

    Dibbs Senior Stratmaster

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    My Strat kit was around 250$ and it didn't come with any instructions at all. Plus I had to buy the shellac, and sand and finish the body and back of the neck. So you got a Tele kit, finished, with instructions, for 100$? You did OK, but now I'm feeling a little ripped off...
     
  17. Slacker G

    Slacker G Strat-Talker

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    It's a BexGears kit. It looks just like the pics they advertise. I have heard some kits aren't that good but this one looks real good to me. Construction will tell.
     
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  18. Slacker G

    Slacker G Strat-Talker

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    No. It doesn't have a drop of paint on it but the wood looks good. I don't mind doing the finish work though. I won't know if all the screw holes line up until I start on it. It looks like your kit turned out quite nice.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  19. Slacker G

    Slacker G Strat-Talker

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    OK I took the time to check some things out. No after market Fender stock parts fit without some creative mods. The neck is slightly wider but it fits the body OK. The pick guard holes do not line up properly and a stock Tele pickguard won't fit. But that is a matter of drilling some new holes. The parts fit this body other than that. I'm sure the bridge holes are also off.

    However, being a member of Strat Talk, I have been educated in toothpickology. Toothpicks can fix a multitude of sins, as I have learned. The neck and body still look good. I will have to get into construction before I know how this is going to turn out. Even before I bought it I read all the reviews and the most common complaints were the things I mentioned above. I think this will be a fun project.

    Most of the reviewers said they liked the finished guitar and that it sounded and played good. Quite a few stated that they would do it again. But for $99 I still don't think I made a bad buy. This just gives me the opportunity to possibly add a tummy cut and an arm cut and not risk a lot of cash. I can get creative with it and I will not have lost a lot of cash. I may even try a tong oil finish. Time will tell. It is a good beginner project kit but I can't picture this guitar selling for a few hundred or being a gotta have it collectors envy when it's done.



    Tele Kit Top.JPG Tele Kit Rear.JPG Bridge & Control .JPG Tele Kit Loaded.JPG
     
  20. Roger66

    Roger66 Strat-O-Master Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    It looks great! Cool color!