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Building a SAGA TC-10 Part 1 – Preparation

Why build a kit?

On these pages I explain how to build a Telecaster-style guitar from a kit. The project started when a young friend who is interested in guitar broke his leg and wanted something to occupy a few days of his convalescence.

You should only build a kit for fun. You should end up with a playable instrument that sounds good and that you can be proud of but don’t expect to be able to sell it at a profit!

Choose your kit

Cost is almost always an issue, so we chose the popular Saga kit which is great value for money. They are available from a number of sellers. For this build, we upgraded the tuners to a set of Gotoh mini tuners and the pickups to Kent Armstrong units. Because of this the assembly of the kit is less straightforward but will allow me to demonstrate wiring and soldering.

 

Check out your kit

In your kit you should have:

  • body
  • neck
  • pickguard (scratchplate) and screws
  • bridge and fixing screws
  • lead pickup, screws and springs
  • rhythm pickup, screws and springs
  • control plate
  • 2 potentiometers and knobs
  • tone capacitor
  • 3-position switch and tip
  • output jack and plate
  • connecting wire
  • tuners (machine heads)
  • string guides, spacers and screws
  • neck plate and 4 screws
  • 2 strap buttons and screws

If you want to paint your kit, and most people do, how do do this is shown on the following pages. You can buy the nitrocellulose lacquer you need in various colours from me here.

Make sure you have everything before you start. Some items above may come ready-assembled, for example the potentiometers, switch and knobs may come already attached to the control plate and ready wired as the “control plate assembly”

You will also need:

  • screwdrivers
  • soldering iron and solder
  • coping saw or jigsaw
  • various grades of sandpaper
  • various grades of “wet or dry” emery paper
  • sanding block
  • tack cloth
  • primer
  • coloured lacquer
  • clear lacquer
  • patience

5 Comments on “Building a SAGA TC-10 Part 1 – Preparation

  1. I love kits like this! You can roll your own guitars for cheap have the pride of saying I make my own gear and get amazing tone on a budget

  2. love this thing. im currently using it for recording. unless you want to paint it (which i didn’t) or customize the head (which i didn’t either), it only takes a couple hours to assemble it, string it up and set the action.

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