Combine Newsletter - May 2023
April's Guitar of the Month Winner!
We’re pleased to announce that Scott B. is the latest winner of our Guitar of the Month contest! This headless guitar is built using Combine's 6-String Multiscale DIY Guitar Kit. Here is his story:
"I became a fan of Headless guitars about three years ago and have three production models from a few different companies which is where the hunt for the perfect Headless kit came about. I had been looking endlessly but all the kits I saw had too many downsides to them. Either a poor bridge design, quality of woods, and other such features. I then ran into Combine and it’s like they saw into my mind on what to provide for a headless kit. Quality wood choice, multi-piece neck, and an outstanding bridge (most the headless kits out there use a really cheap looking bridge with a crank on it). I placed my order and was very eager for the shipment. Conners, who is fantastic, was also nice enough to offer me an alternative shipping discount to the states that was equivalent to the Canada shipping discount I was provided.
The guitar arrived packed well and everything was there. I then set off on the Journey.
To provide a little bit of background, I have been playing for 35 years, worked in a guitar shop early on in my career where I learned a lot of repair/tech skills and am usually the friend to help setup and fix my buddies' guitars.
Finishing the body was a first for me (outside of some awful spray paint jobs I'm sure a lot of us have done on some beater guitars) so I did a lot of youtube watching and decided on RIT dyes with a Lacquer finish. I rough sanded the body down with 320, and then started with various colors of dye. I then sanded that dye back and applied more dye (black, charcoal, and a navy blue). I repeated this process numerous times, working the dye around until I had a look I liked. I did have dreams of something different than what turned out, but am more than pleased with the color.
Next came the lacquer. I applied a layer, waited for it to dry, sand it back with up to 1000 grit and then applied another layer. I think I ended up with about five or six coats until I was happy. I continue to work on the lacquer with 1000-2000 grit wet paper and a buffing attachment on my drill when I’m bored or on a work call and I'll get that perfect finish one day.
The neck was next and I was shocked how well the frets were out of the box. I used a fret rocker and found about six or seven spots that I had to level and polish out (all very minor). I then polished out the rest of the frets with 1000 grit and buffing compound with my Dremel and a buffer bit. Once happy, I sanded the back of the neck with up to 2000 grit and put 3 coats of tru-oil on it. I then sanded down the tru-oil with 1000-2000 to make that thin finish buttery smooth.
The last part of the journey was assembling everything. I ran into a minor glitch with a back bow on the neck, but Connors was there to help. He sent out some youtube videos that I used by clamping both ends of the neck, applying some force to the middle to bend it the opposite way and then applied heat to the neck. I left it in this makeshift jig for about 2 hours and life was great.
Assembling the guitar was the final step. It all went together perfectly. The neck pocket was perfect, the wiring was easy and I finished it off by actually putting a few chrome covers on the pickups I had in a stash. I also opted to not install the tone knob (I mean.. who uses tone) and put a toggle for a coil tap. There is an oopsie on the front where I calculated incorrectly about where I wanted the toggle, but have filled the hole and will work some stain into it another day. The only other out of the box issues I saw was the nut. The nut was pre-cut, but much too high for a guitar with a zero fret. The zero fret becomes the nut and the nut is really just there to hold the strings in place. I removed a fair portion of the bottom and filed the slots more appropriately.
Overall, my experience with Combine and Connors was great. With maybe 20 hours of total time I have a guitar that honestly stands up with my 2-3k Strandbergs. Since I’ve finished the build, this has honestly been the only guitar I have played (about 3 weeks now).
I’m looking forward to my next build as it was certainly fun to take a box of unfinished parts and come out with a great instrument." - Scott B.
Scott's win has earned him 50% off the base price of his next DIY Guitar Kit, and his build has been shared on our website and social media!
UNLEASH YOUR INNER DJENTLEMAN
$30.00 off 8-String Kits
Use code 0-0-0-1-0 at checkout, or click the link below to automatically apply the discount to your order.
Offer valid until May 31st, 2023
May's Guitar of the Month Contest
We know you're all busy working away on your builds, and we expect some of you will complete them in time to enter May's Guitar of the Month contest! The winner will receive 50% off the base price of their next DIY Guitar Kit, and their build will be shared on our website and social media.