Note from GuitarAttack:  There are some great techniques in this write-up.  Our favorite was Jim's choice to install adjustment screws on the pickguard.  This allows adjustment of the front pickup much like the new Fender guitars.  The Sagas make it tough to adjust that pickup, and we think it is a great point.

From Jim Johnson:

Hello Guitar Attack.

After checking out all the cool Saga kit guitars displayed on your site, I decided to attempt to build one myself.  I bought a TC-10 kit off EBay for $94.  It arrived the last week of July.  I assembled it and found that some of the pick guard holes did not line up, so I had to drill new ones. 

The holes in the back of the neck where not deep enough, and when I attached the body, the screws lifted the neck.  I drilled the holes a little deeper by turning the chuck on my hand drill by hand to avoid having the bit grab and go through the fret board.  Everything else seemed fine so I cut the headstock with a handsaw and used varying grades of sand paper and sanding blocks to smooth it out.

I shot a few coats of automotive clear lacquer on the neck and allowed that to dry while I worked on the body.  I used light gray automotive primer on the back and sides and white automotive primer on the front.  I used Tangelo Pearl for the color coats and topped it off with four coats of clear.  I was a little leery at how it would turn out using spray cans and all, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I assembled the guitar and tuned it up just to see how she handled and boy did it HUM.  I shielded the cavities with aluminum foil and then lined all the cavities with thin cardboard to prevent any connections from accidentally getting grounded.

Overall, there were only a few small problems during final assembly.  I found out that one of the tuner screws was stripped.  I got it to work ok for now, but I think when I change the strings out, I am going to change the tuners to some of higher quality.  The pots are also very poor quality and have little adjustment.  Those to will be changed out soon.  The pickups sound surprisingly good, putting out a nice bite when played with a little distortion.  I drilled two holes in the pick guard and mounted the neck pickup to it so I can tweak it without removing the guard.

Thanks for making such an informative and interesting site.

Jim Johnson
Grand Rapids, Michigan


Great job, Jim -- great write-up -- Keep up the great work!

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