The Demokratik Republik of Kalifornia

Do you ever get the feeling that something is wrong?

BYO Les Paul Guitar Kit

I’m Building an Electric Guitar… Every one should do it… As a matter of fact, how can you call yourself anyone if you haven’t built a Les Paul anyway?


I bet you didn’t know this, but I am a guitar virtuoso… Well, to be honest… I can make a $4000 Gibson Les Paul sound like someone squeezing an alley cat in a vise… At any rate, everyone needs a hobby and this is mine: I collect guitars and play them badly.

Build Your Own Les Paul Electric Guitar Kit.
Build Your Own Les Paul Electric Guitar Kit.

Pictured above is a Build Your Own Guitar Les Paul Kit from BYO Guitar (Electric Guitar Kit – LP Std). I chose this kit because:  A)  it was cheap and B)… Because it was cheap and looks pretty good for a cheap electric guitar kit. This isn’t so much that I’m intending to “cheap out” as this is a practice run for my Masterpiece… Now I’m not exactly a total novice at Guitar Luthier work but I for sure ain’t a pro, and it’s been quite some time since I tackled a project like this.  Following is the description of this kit from BYO Guitar’s Website:

“Building your own electric guitar has never been easier! Here is your chance to express yourself by creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. The BYO-LPSTD is a single cut-away, arch-top that will easily accommodate any of today’s music styles, being limited only by your imagination! Kit includes all parts to build a complete, playable guitar. The body is a carved top, single cutaway design made of select Mahogany with a Flame Maple Veneer top. Solid select 22 fret Mahogany neck with a fretted rosewood fingerboard.”

A lot of the hardware that comes with this kit I won’t be using, BYO offers several “upgrades” with this kit, upgrades like Grover machine heads, Gibson or Seymour Duncan Humbuckers etc. but I have some very nice parts sitting around here that I  will be using in this build… And besides… Half the fun of my guitar hobby/addiction is scrounging for parts. I am also actually very well versed in guitar electronics so all the potentiometers, capacitors and other stuff coming in this kit will be tossed in the bottom of my guitar junk box in favor of the real deal Tone Mojo Classic Gibson stuff.


The first installment of this project’s pictorial will be comprehensive critique / inspection and highly detailed images of the entire Les Paul style guitar kit as it is comes from BYO Guitar.  This is something I have always found lacking in pretty much any product sold on the Internet. As you can see from the image of this kit above it is impossible to tell many details of this kit like:  How clean are the cuts?  How well is the binding installed? Is that really mahogany? Just how cheap is that hardware?… Lot of questions left unanswered even in the Additional Images section on their website… Well I’m going to fix that here.

Detailed  Images of  the building process will follow soon, and I may even do another kit from Bulldog Bodies and  yet another kit straight from China.

The end game here is to build Gibson Les Paul Standard Copy with a Flame Top Transparent Purple Burst

This is what I’ll be shooting for in the days and weeks to come:

Purple Burst Gibson Les Paul Standard
Purple Burst Gibson Les Paul Standard

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