Refer to our community forum for help with a build.
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.
Your 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 the 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 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 it's 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:
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
Wiring & Electronics
- Wiring Diagrams
- Soldering Techniques
- Installing Semi-Hollowbody Electronics
- Changing Semi-Hollowbody Electronics
- Replacing Semi-Hollowbody Electronics
- Wiring a Telecaster Guitar
- 5 Way Switch Explained
- Correct Way to Drill Holes & Insert Screws After Paint Job
- How Set Intonation
We now offer free local shipping on items R500 and over. We use FastWay couriers who have a guarantee delivery timeline of 2 working days to major city hubs.
We currently have two types of Shipping:
1) South Africa: Door-to-door courier service. Will arrive at your door within 3-5 working days.
1) International: South African Postal Service. Includes tracking link. Depending on your location, please expect 3-4 weeks for delivery. Delivery can take up to 8 weeks in some remote locations of the world.
Each product has been carefully weighed and its shipping or postage cost is dependent on the products weight.
Don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any queries.
We manufacture the wooden components of the guitar and all other parts are sourced from various suppliers. From time to time, we do hear of faulty parts being sent with the kits - we will replace any faulty items as soon as we're able to source a replacement. This applies to parts as well as wooden items. We will replace any faulty parts made known to us within 3 months from the purchase date. If we do not have a replacement we will refund or issue a credit note for the value of the item to be replaced.
We accept full returns or swap-outs of full kits within 30 days from receiving the item. This either due to a change of mind and/or wanting to swap for a different kit, or due to damage to the kit.
We are also happy to swap out returns for credit on Blackbeard's Den. This credit will not expire and can be used at any time.
The cost to return any faulty item is absorbed by Blackbeard's Den. The only time the customer would absorb this cost is if their decision to return the guitar is not related to a product fault. This applies to parts and accessories too.
Shellac is a classic finish and the basis for French Polishing, which gives your guitar a beautiful hand-rubbed finish. The finish is evaporative; it cures entirely when it's solvent, the alcohol evaporates and it also re-dissolves on contact with alcohol - which is the basis of the application of Shellac to your guitar body or neck.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE:
Brush on 3-4 coats of undiluted Shellac. The coats should overlap each other slightly. Allow these coats to dry overnight and then lightly sand with 360 grit sandpaper. Repeat this process until you are happy with the finish. The thinner the coat, the easier it is to apply but you will then need more coats.
For a satin finish or a deep, soft shine, rub the Shellac with liquid sandpaper. If you are having trouble applying Shellac, you can dilute it with methylated spirits.