Kemp Guitars 2019 Build Thread

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KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
edited April 20 in Made in the UK

It's 2019 and it's my 10th year of building guitars "from scratch", so I thought a brand new thread was called for.

And to get the ball rolling, here's the first build of the year - Idigbo Strat-body, Maple neck with Rosewood fretboard, Tonerider "Octane" Alnico 8 pup and a stunning matte Metallic Purple finish

Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • DixieDixie Frets: 7
    Very nice! the finishes look superb :)
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  • webrthomsonwebrthomson Frets: 477
    Welcome back Matt - love the purple one!

    Ross
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  • grappagreengrappagreen Frets: 286
    They do look super tidy.. love the finishes as well..
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
    edited February 8

    So it's 2019 and Kemp Guitars has been building for 10 years now. During my time away from the forums throughout the second half of 2018, there were a couple of changes made as a result of my increasingly painful back/shoulders, and I had decided to start using CNC machined bodies and necks.

    After speaking to a couple of potential companies who could do the work for me (as I didn't have the funds or CNC knowledge to do it myself) it became apparent that my options would be limited if I wanted to keep costs to an acceptable level. This would see me making nothing but Strat or Tele style builds - such as the Metallic Purple guitar in the opening post of this thread. Yeah, it was fun taking these traditional shapes/styling and turning them into something... well, less traditional, but it really wasn't what I wanted to be doing long-term, and, unfortunately, the costs of incorporating my own body shapes, etc into the CNC work was going to be too high - and definitely not a cost I could justify passing on to my clients.

    Over the past week, as I lay indoors recovering from flu, I decided that I just couldn't do it and Kemp Guitars had to remain the way it should be for the boutique custom guitar manufacturer... handcrafted bodies and necks... NO CNC!


    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
    edited April 4

     So, having decided against using the CNC Stratocaster's, I did have one last Strat planned. This will be a handcrafted build and it will be finished in Kiwi Green - as unofficially voted for on my social media posts. I will continue with this one next week, as soon as I've recovered from this damn flu-virus

    [Sorry, image deleted at original source]

    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181

    Doesn't seem to many who are aware of this...

    CITES Standing Committee to exempt “finished musical instruments”, “finished musical instrument parts” and “finished musical instrument accessories” from its licensing requirements...

    http://mmrmagazine.com/mmr-global/mmr-global-gear/breakthrough-at-latest-cites-meeting/

    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • DrBobDrBob Frets: 1953
    I think it’s great that you’re back building the full fat Kemp guitars, but I also thought the superstrats were cool. Is there any value in maybe keeping the two lines alive ? Full on Kemp as the Haute Couture offering with the Superstrats as a Pret A Porter alternative?
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
    edited February 10
    DrBob said:
    I think it’s great that you’re back building the full fat Kemp guitars, but I also thought the superstrats were cool. Is there any value in maybe keeping the two lines alive ? Full on Kemp as the Haute Couture offering with the Superstrats as a Pret A Porter alternative?
    Thanks DrBob, it's good to be back doing what I want to be doing. The Strat-body will remain an option so there will be more of those to come still... Including that Kiwi Green one I already have planned above  
    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
    edited March 11

    Finally back in the shop full-time after a month off to flu and a house move. Quick update on where I am right now. Currently finishing up sanding this handcrafted Strat ready for spraying... Then once this one is done, I'll be moving on to some proper Kemp-like builds, including some new custom work

    There is a slight spec change on this one - hardtail instead of tremolo. Unfortunately, ran into issues positioning the Lockmeister correctly after routing out for the bridge humbucker. Does mean I'm now selling the Lockmeister now - see my FS post in classifieds.

    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181

    A new week in the shop and today was spent finishing up sanding out the handcrafted carve on my latest (and last) Skunk-stripe neck - they look good but those few minutes of anxiety whilst routing into the back of the neck is too much. This one also has a one-off headstock shape as seen on recent mock ups...

    53283419_1545496715593669_46099125276466

    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181

    Decided to post a bit more regular with this build as it's the last one I intend to do as stock in the traditional Strat style. That said, unlike my other recent builds in this style, this one has not been machined or shaped at all using CNC, it's completely handcrafted and therefore has some significant, yet subtle, differences.

    Something about a standard Strat nut I don't like, so giving this neck a 1/4" thick GraphTech TUSQ XL nut =)


    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 685
    Idigbo? Interested in how that turns out as iirc it’s quite close to oak in its characteristics?
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
    rsvmark said:
    Idigbo? Interested in how that turns out as iirc it’s quite close to oak in its characteristics?

    Hi rsvmark,

    Idigbo is mentioned as an alternative to Oak in terms of colour, but that's as far as the similarities go. Idigbo is part of the Limba (aka Korina) family - it's even been marketed by some UK tonewood suppliers as Korina in the recent past. I've used it a few times and find it to be a little lighter than Limba, slightly more course with irregular pores and grain. You can find some decent bits for natural/transparent finishes, but I'd suggest it as an easier to obtain alternative to Limba for solid paint finishes.

    FYI, it was the Metallic Purple Strat that had the Idigbo body. This latest build is Alder =)

    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181

    It's on... The Kiwi Green top coat, that is. Strat body sprayed this morning. Nearly there with this one now =)



    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
    edited April 4

    Sizing up the scratchplate for the final time before spraying clear coat. Will be putting the Seymour Duncan TB-15 (Alternative 8) into this one...

    [Sorry, image deleted at original source]

    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • MilkMilk Frets: 5
    im loving the purple strat. id love is with a single coil in the neck. il be watching the progress on the green one.
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181

    It's been a gorgeous day today so I decided to take a drive to Binner Downs here in Cornwall for an outdoor photoshoot with the latest build...

    Handcrafted KST0419 full spec: Alder body, Maple neck (Modern C profile), Maple fretboard (12" radius, 25.5" scale length), 3-ply scratchplate loaded with Seymour Duncan Alternative 8 pickup and CTS volume pot, Hipshot Fixed Bridge, Gotoh 381 tuners and Kiwi Light matte Poly (body)/matte Poly (neck) finish

    kemp-strat-alternative8-hipshot-1jpg




    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
    Milk said:
    im loving the purple strat. id love is with a single coil in the neck. il be watching the progress on the green one.

    Thanks Milk... And here's that green one finished ^ =)
    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
    edited April 13

    Getting to work on the neck for the latest (handcrafted) DC build - Alder archtop body, Black Walnut neck w/ Kemp Guitars' pointy inline headstock =) Ebony fretboard, Gotoh bridge and tuners, pickups TBC and Vintage White finish

    56644894_1568830333260307_90496540486842

    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181
    Five months ago I was planning to start working with CNC machined bodies and necks, but I decided it wasn't what I wanted to be doing. So, here we are today with the resurrection of the DC (my most requested body shape). Still some work to do, such as the archtop, contouring around the neck join and tweaking the Kemp Guitars' pointy headstock - new template being made as we speak with better (straight-pull) string angle over the nut. Also going for a single coil pickup at the neck on this one, possibly SC size humbucker, and recessed Tune-O-Matic bridge...


    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181

    More progress updates on the latest (and reintroduced, again) DC stock build. I won't post this much on future builds, as a full time builder they all go through near identical processes on a standard specification build, but this one is being made with new templates and tweaks to the original design =)

    Checking existing logo size fits new headstock with improved "straight-pull" string angle...


    FYI, I don't go for generic all-in-one templates when handcrafting my guitars. Instead, once the neck has been bolted on, bridge and pickup positions are measured out on every guitar individually for accuracy. This latest one has a recessed TOM bridge too...


    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181

    It's fretwork Friday! Just made that one up, but I am genuinely hammering frets in today. This 25% N/S Sintoms Elite Series fretwire is nice enough to work with and nowhere near a pain in the arse as stainless steel fretwire to cut and file =)


    Kemp Guitars - Custom Made Guitars for the Modern Rock & Metal Guitarist
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  • KempGuitarsKempGuitars Frets: 181

    Thin strips of veneer in various species (colours) of wood... Perfect for filling those fret slot ends without messing around with glue and dust =)

    58382987_1574024062740934_14506210166308




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