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Final Assembly – KAOSS Pad Guitar Body – Part 1

* Note – Since I had last posted about the guitar drying, I decided to completely strip the body and start from scratch for a variety of reasons.  The main reason, is that I had piled on SO many layers of lacquer (very quickly), that it would literally take another year (or more) to dry.  The second reason, is because of the subsurface moisture bubbles that had appeared all over the edges of the body.  Stripping the guitar body, and redoing it has shortened my dry time to a matter of weeks, rather than years, and I have next to no bubbles at this point.  The only thing I did differently was not applying so many layers of lacquer, and allowing two hours between each coat for drying time.  In addition, I would lay no more than three coats per day.  Now on to the fun stuff.


The body is dry, and I am now ready for final assembly!  At this point, I wet sanded the body using the following order of paper:  400, 600, 1000, 1500, 2500.  After I had finished sanding with the 2500 grit wet paper, my friend (the guitar builder) buffed the body on his pedestal buffer to what you can see below.  It looks great, and isn’t even glazed / polished yet!  A quick note on polishing, I was told to let this dry for another month or two before polishing, in order to allow the body to dry completely.


This is a closeup of the guitar body.  Even though the picture is slightly blurry, you can see the mirror finish on  the surface, and the reflection of the black metal flake beneath.

In preparation for final assembly, I had to clean up all my interior edges, including the neck pocket (above).  The interior edges must be properly cleaned, so as to allow for the perfect, pre-finish fit, as before.

Pre-drilling is required to clean out all of the existing screw holes on the body, including the back of the neck pocket as seen above.  Pre-drilling pulls out all of the lacquer that had built up in the screw holes during finishing, and helps to prevent any surface cracking during final assembly.  Be very careful during this step, and take your time!

This is the touchpad cavity, after applying many coats of lacquer.  As you can see, the edges are very wavy, and the tab slots have been partially filled.  In order to get the touchpad to fit in what was previously a snug compartment, much cleanup will be needed.

This is a closeup after using my Dremel to clean out the excess lacquer from the control cavity.  Note: I probably should have done this before the final buffing and sanding, as I put myself in great risk of scratching the nice, shiny surface!  Live and learn.  As you can see, I increased the size of the slot where the touchpad wiring harness will wrap under, and I sanded the ledge and edges.  

Now THAT’S the snug fit I had before spraying countless layers of glitter and lacquer!  This is the outer frame for the touchpad assembly.  This was previously mounted in the Korg KAOSS Pad body.

Here’s a few shots of the pickguard, bridge and touchpad, placed on the guitar body.  In this shot, you can see the snug fitting KAOSS Pad trim piece, that I fabricated a few months ago.  This will serve to hold the touch screen in place, on the face of the guitar, as well as provide a nice cosmetic look.  You can freely download the plan for my custom KAOSS Pad touchpad here, or actually order one for yourself with the link in this post!

It’s finally starting to take shape!  Note, none of these items are actually installed, for a variety of reasons.  More on that later.

I couldn’t resist putting the neck, and control plate on for a quick look.  What do you think?

Now, on to the minutiae, beginning with the string trees.  Note to self, order black chrome, roller style, string trees at some point.

Tuning machines installation is next.  I wanted to avoid drilling any new holes in the headstock, so I am forced to angle the tuning machines slightly in order to fit the holes from the old tuners.  After looking at it, the angled knobs give this headstock a mean, unconventional look!

Here’s a shot of the finished headstock.  It almost looks like a harpoon tip, with angled barbs!  Also, I’m very pleased with how well the waterslide decal headstock logo appears, after finishing!

This is a top-down shot of the headstock.  Going on my previous comment, it is easy to see that I most certainly need to order black chrome string-trees, to replace the old standard chrome trees.  I’ll get to it at some point.  Keep an eye out – over the next few days, I’ll be posting about the final wiring of the KAOSS Pad touchscreen, the mounting jack interface, the KAOSS Pad floor unit and much more.  This is the home stretch!

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