A Collection of Unfinished Projects!

DIY Les Paul Guitar Kit (Part 4: Gluing the Set-In Neck to Guitar Body)


Glue neck to guitar bodyWe are getting close to the end with our DIY Les Paul Guitar Kit. I am back today to show you the steps I took for gluing the set-in neck to the body of the guitar. This is not necessarily a difficult process in this project.  However, it is one of the most nerve-racking steps we will take to complete this guitar kit. You really only have one chance at this.

The items you will need consist of wood glue and some clamps. The glue that I will be using is Titebond II Premium Wood Glue, but as mentioned in the video, any wood glue will work. The clamps I am using are inexpensive hand ratcheting clamps. As with the glue, any wood clamps you have on hand should work.

As you will see in the video above, I started with sanding off the extra wood stain that I had applied to the neck joint. The reason I am sanding the joint back is because I want the wood glue to be in contact with as much wood as possible when connecting to the guitar body. I did not want to take any chance of the stain affecting the bonding qualities of the wood glue.

Once the neck joint was cleaned off, I simply applied a generous amount of wood glue and rubbed it all around. This step can get pretty messy. Don’t worry though, any extra glue can easily be wiped up with a damp rag.

It is now time to join the neck and body together, the moment of truth. All the joints were routed precisely on this guitar kit, which made the neck and body fit together rather nicely. Just go ahead and clamp the two guitar parts down with your clamps. I decided to use a few folded up pieces of paper in between the clamps to prevent any damage to the guitar body.

Follow the dry time instructions for the wood glue that you are using.  Once ample dry time is given, you can now release the wood clamps and marvel at your accomplishment! Not bad huh?!

That’s all it takes for gluing the set-in neck to the guitar body. See I told you this wasn’t a difficult step in the guitar kit build, but it sure was nerve racking. The wood glue does a great job at bonding the two guitar pieces together and the joint it made is very solid and sturdy.

I will be applying several more layers of Tru-Oil before I start installing other pieces of this guitar kit. You can take a look at Part 4: Applying Tru-Oil Finish to see the process it takes to complete the guitar finish. The next article for this DIY Les Paul guitar kit series will involve the bridge installation for this guitar. So as always, stay tuned!

(Get this DIY Les Paul Guitar Kit here or here on Amazon)

16 Comments

  1. Brian Hunt says:

    Super excited to see how this project turns out. I’m curious how the neck angle is after being glued in. I’m sure any issues there could cause major playability issues. I’m also curious how the fretwork is.

    • fred says:

      The neck angle is pretty good, there is room in the routing that allows for adjustment prior to gluing. Frets are also nicely done but I may file down the ends just a little.

  2. Steve says:

    Fred, have you finished the project yet? I’d like to see how it turned out. I stumbled across your site last weekend and wound up buying one of these kits. It should be a good project for my son and I to do together.

    • fred says:

      Hey Steve, the guitar is not quite finished yet but its almost complete. I have a lot of projects going on at the same time, one of which being a bathroom remodel. I do plan to upload a new guitar video very soon though. This will be a great project for you and your son.

  3. Tim says:

    Fred, I have built about 4 guitars and have completed them doing Nitro and wet sanded to get a mirror finish. Can you do the same with Tru oil? The Nitro spray cans can get cumbersome. If you make a mistake, it takes a week to correct sometimes. The cool thing about Nitro though is that you can use waterslide decals to name your guitar and such and the true clear hides it. Does tru oil dry clear or does it have a slight amber or yellow tinge to it? I have been buying kits around $900.00 with non-veneer tops and I must say for $150.00, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck being it is set neck. I’m thinking of buying a hollow body from the guy on eBay. Have you had any communications with the person? I had a few questions to ask before purchase.

    • fred says:

      The tru-oil does seem to have a very slight amber tint to the finally look of the guitar. I do not see any reason why you can not buff the finish to a mirror like surface. In fact, I plan on doing so once I am finished with this guitar.

      I have not had any direct communications with the seller of this kit. However, myself and some friends have purchased kits with no issues. I do not know if the quality can compare to the $900 kits you have bought in the past, but I am happy with the value.

  4. Tim says:

    Oh, one last thing, did your guitar come with a sanding sealer or protective coating and if so, how did you remove it? With the veneer, I can imagine it would be a little stressful sanding through a coat….

    • fred says:

      The guitar had no sealer or coating on it. It was bare wood. It did need to be finish sanded but it was not too difficult

      • Tim says:

        Great, thanks for letting me know. Yeah, even the $900.00 kits have to be finished sanded. The main difference between the $900.00 is the veneer versus the solid wood cap. One last question and I really appreciate your responses to my questions. Could you check to see if the veneer is over Mahogany or is it over a plain maple cap that is solid wood? As long as I can the Maple, the tone could care less whether it is highly figured or not :)

  5. Mahesh Sharma says:

    fredyen
    DIY LES PAUL : PLEASE READ IMPORTANT!!!!!! Hi Fredyen ,

    Long story short , i am a 16 year old guitarist from the uk . Recently i got a summer job for the holidays and already ive made quite a bit of money :) i decided that it was time to build a guitar and have it customized . I do take my musical talent very seriously :) Listen i saw your les paul and almost died . I am going to buy that kit no decision ive made my mind up ! however the issue is that i cant find that kit . Please can you help me , if i can ge this kit , me and my father can make it together and i really love your paint job so im going to do a similar style but red and striped .

    Please respond soon
    Regards,

    Mahesh Sharma :)

  6. rafael says:

    to fredyen
    good dying ideas nice colours back and front too but you first began with a spalted maple lp kit but did you swap it for a flame maple kit as the grain of the spalted maple lp is different from the grain of a flame maple kit? thats how it looks to me i am just curious thats all the finish you got was nice for a lp please reply rafael

    ps let others know you need to measure up the neck before you set it

  7. Johan Carlsson says:

    Hey man! Great video and fantastic souce of inspiration.

    I got 2 questions for you, the first and the obvius, how does it sound? and seccond you never showed how you did the white stripe around the body, how did that come?

    Cheers and keep up the good work!

  8. Jeff Tarpley says:

    Hey Fred great videos. I just purchased a SG kit with a bolt on neck for $139.00 delivered. Do you have plans for a SG video series.

  9. james smallwood says:

    @rafael

    That’s still the spalt maple. “SPALTED MAPLE” Is just maple taken from a dying tree the spalt pattern is not the grain itself but rather a fungus that is only found in dying trees so in actuallity any type of grain in maple can be a spalt birdseye spalt flamed spalt quilted spalt burled spalt even hard and soft maple can have spalt

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