Friday, 28 March 2014

Surf Monster Telecaster: Unboxing

I got a nice surprise in the mail this morning - a Telecaster kit from a new Australian guitar parts site: Guitar Builder Store Australia. It is always so exciting to received new guitar kits in the mail! I got the kit at a bargain price that has subsequently been increased by $30, so I am counting myself very, very lucky to have it. I hope I didn't wipe out all the margin for the folks at Guitar Builder Store!

Out of the box the kit looks good. Overall, the packaging was excellent with tons of polystyrene packing that was taped into place. The hardware was placed in a separate cardboard box, with scratchable items (most importantly the pre-loaded control plate) wrapped in a soft covering to prevent scratching. Other much appreciated features - the neck screw holes came pre-drilled on both body and neck, and the neck came without it's nut glued in! I've never seen a kit with this before and it is a really cool way to ship, especially for Telecasters that have that annoying nut slot.

The body is 3 piece basswood with grain nicely matched and cleanly routed. This isn't much of an issue for me as I intend a solid colour for this one.

There's nice grain on the maple neck, and the maple fretboard, and no glue spots are apparent on the body (again not an issue for me this build). The fretboard is nicely finished (it feels very smooth) with no machining marks at all and nice even frets.

One tiny gripe with the packaging is that the pickguard came taped to the body. This meant that a gum stain from the tape was left on the body upon removal (it'll have to be sanded off) and the pickguard's protective covering was ripped off, no matter how much I tried to retain it. This is one thing that could definitely be improved in an otherwise excellent packing job.

I did notice that the bridge pickup route looked a little small compared to my other telecaster kit. A quick fit-test showed that the supplied pickup and bridge fitted snugly. However, when I tried my OEM bridge and GFS vintage '52 pickup that I purchased for my Flamed Telecaster build, they just didn't fit. The bridge could not be seated in line with the neck - the bridge pickup route will definitely have to be enlarged to fit the GFS pickup.

Apart from the issue with the bridge pickup route, I'm very happy with the kit. I'm planning on painting this one seafoam green - I've always wanted a surf telecaster like the example given below. Not bad for inspiration huh?

The closest spray paint I could find to Seafoam Green from Australian online retailers was "Studebaker Green" from OzGraff.

Looking at it now, the colour may be a little bluer than I was hoping for, but what the hell. Hopefully it will look good so long as it isn't held up against another seafoam guitar.