Play Stairway To Heaven for Real now!
I wanted to build an electric 12 string that had a maple neck and there just so happens to be plenty of kits that will oblige that. Unfortunately many of them will have some foibles and challenges. This is entirely stock and the pickups are actually pretty decent, but if I played this a lot I would upgrade. Overall the process took around 4 months to complete whilst working on and off. The kit itself is pretty much as advertised. The frets are pretty thin (go figure- a tele) and honestly mine wasn’t fretted very well at all. I had to level the frets and re-slot a couple of them just to make it play. Your results may vary but there’s some tools you’ll need to course correct should the situation occur to.
The Build itself
Beyond that– electronics went together like a straight tele. The tuners actually work pretty well for a stock kit. I don’t have any issues and once the guitar was intonated, it pretty well does the trick. The truss rod on this is pretty tight- given the tension 12 strings brings to the mix. I’ve had this for around 4 years now and there’s no issues with warping or anything like that. I’ve never done a show with it, but if i were to use it to gig, I’d replace the nut and likely give the electronics a solid shielding and once over. It’s a sturdy road worthy axe beyond that though.
Want to build one? Here’s what You’ll need! This can be made for under $300 pretty easily.
12 string guitar kit– First and foremost. The body is great, the neck on mine had the aforementioned fret issues but otherwise solid.
Fret Leveler – You may find yourself needing this. Test the fretboard before you do anything else!
Minwax Stain– I’ve used this a few times and it works really great on these basswood bodies. One can will last you a few guitars if you want to do a series.
Clear Nitrocellulose Lacquer – You’ll need a couple cans of this to do the guitar.
Sanding Sealer – This is good to have on a basswood body to save the amount of clear coats needed