Guitar Of The Month – September, 2018

Written by: Kevin Strom On: Oct 4th, 2018

Congratulations goes out to Brendan Londos for his guitar build, to earn him Guitar of the Month for September 2018.

Brendan used our TCK-10 guitar kit, to create his guitar.

“In July I drove to Solo’s store in Mississauga to check out a few kits.  As soon as I saw the Ash Burl top I was sold.  When I got the kit home, it was much nicer than the previous kit that I built.

Initially I was planning on making this tele with a natural look so I used some Keda dyes and tried to darken the top and then sanded it back.  I coated the front in a brown grain filler to help the grain pop and also to make the surface level and smooth so it would look like glass with the clear coat.  After lots of sanding, the surface was level and smooth, but I didn’t love the colour.  I tried adding some yellow, but still wasn’t satisfied.  

So I decided on red.  After a few coats I was pretty happy with the look.  I put on several layers of wipe on poly to build up the finish and make it add some depth to the finish.  I used 0000 steel wool to buff and smooth out the poly every 2 or 3 coats.  This part of the build required lots of patience, but it was worth it.  I added 2 to 3 coats a day and worked up the finish over a few weeks.  

I sanded the neck to 600 and used a palm sander to speed up the process of shaping the headstock.  I used Tru oil on the neck because I prefer the feel.  I put on 5 or 6 coats until I was happy with it.  I ordered a custom vinyl decal for the headstock and slowly built up coats of poly to level and smooth out the finish to hide the edge of the decal.  It took weeks of adding coats of poly to build up enough to become level with the thickness of the decal.  After more than 30 coats decal was buried in clear coat so you couldn’t see the edges.  

I added some copper shielding to build a Faraday cage around the pickup and switch cavities.  I followed the video instructions to install and solder the pickups to the controls, after watching the video it was pretty straightforward.  I installed the bridge, switch cover and pick guard in no time, as all the holes were pre-drilled.  

I checked the neck with a ruler and it didn’t need any truss rod adjustments.  I bolted on the neck and added strings and plugged it in and was pleasantly surprised by how little set up she was going to need.  The pre drilled holes were all aligned and really made finishing this kit quick and easy.  

Before winning this, I was already thinking of what kit I was going to build next summer.  I can’t wait to head back to Mississauga to pick my next build!”

-Brendan Londos

2 Responses to “Guitar Of The Month – September, 2018”

  1. fv277 fv277 says:

    I really like the brown version in the second photo. The red is nice but I just have a ‘thing’ about red guitars, the only exception is a 335.

  2. dprocyshen dprocyshen says:

    Hi Brendan, really like the kit you built so mush that I ordered one for myself. I’m getting the Spalted Maple top and had a more questions on how you finished the top. Would you recommend putting on the brown first again and then going to the red? I’m looking to accent the features/colour of the grain before going to the red. Any more info you could provide me.
    Thanks Dave

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