Guitar Of The Month – March, 2019

Written by: Kevin Strom On: Apr 8th, 2019

Congratulations goes out to Keith Tilley for his guitar build, to earn him Guitar of the Month for March 2019.

Keith used our GFK-10 DIY kit to create his guitar.

“I have been refinishing a few instruments recently to decide if I wanted to build a guitar from a kit. I found that I love working creatively with stringed instruments. I refinished an old Baritone Uke, a Mandolin, and am currently working on an Irish Bouzouki. My wife surprised me at Christmas with this Arch-top Hollow Body Guitar Kit from SOLO, a GFK-10. It was beautiful right out of the box. Best Christmas gift I can remember!

I began learning all I could about DIY Guitar Kits on YouTube and studying the unique features of Gretsch style guitars. After reshaping the headpiece, a bit, and sanding it down, I used 2 different colors of ink, black and a blue, to stain the wood. I sanded in between applications until I was satisfied with the coloring. I then applied a coat of Tru-oil, glued the neck to the body, and continued with 7 more coats of Tru-oil, which really brought out the various colors.

The most difficult part for me was getting the wiring right on the electronics and creating a harness that would be hidden inside the open body. I am very pleased with the final product, it sounds great, plays great, and is a beautiful and unique guitar. It wasn’t until after the build that I found out this style guitar is rated the most difficult to build. It was definitely a learning experience, and I can’t wait to build a Tele or Stratocaster next. Very pleased with the quality of this SOLO kit!

-Keith Tilley

2 Responses to “Guitar Of The Month – March, 2019”

  1. mjdorozio says:

    Lovely, sounds like you had fun, that’s job #2.

  2. jberk123 says:

    I did one of these recently – I didn’t change much on it apart from getting a nice-looking solid trapeze tailpiece – I may still swap the tremelo back in though. I agree about the difficulty of these compared to the solidbodies, even with the old fishing line trick, I found it really tricky to get the controls in. Good friend of mine who has worked on hollowbodies a lot swears by clear vinyl aquarium airline tubing – it may take some hot water to make it stretchy enough to go over the pot shafts, but he says once that’s done, it makes it really easy to pull the pots through. I keep a few roachclips, ahem, hemostats, in various sizes to help grab the fishline, string, or aquarium airline tubing to run it through the holes.

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