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Kay Value Leader Build- Finished 7/30/17
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rickrob



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 1083
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:22 pm    Post subject: Kay Value Leader Build- Finished 7/30/17 Reply with quote

I'm thinking about a replica project-- basically a copy of a Kay Value Leader.
I seen some pics of how these guitars were made, and it looks like they were kind of a cigar box construction with no kerfing inside, and braces for the front and back.
It looks like the front and back was a thin laminate.

What I can't find is info on how the sides were made-- I don't know if they were a laminate that was cut to shape, or if the wood was bent to form the sides.

Is anyone familiar with how these guitars were made? Any suggestions on how to make the sides?




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Last edited by rickrob on Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:30 am; edited 10 times in total
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twangster



Joined: 05 Aug 2005
Posts: 9512
Location: Nashville Tennessee.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sides would likely have been heat bent then assembled in a mold. Hopefully resident Kay expert Mr Clevername will chime in.

Meanwhile here's a member's Kay Red Devil build using the Danelectro routed ply frame method .

http://vultureguitars.weebly.com/red-devil.html
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rickrob



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 1083
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

twangster wrote:
Sides would likely have been heat bent then assembled in a mold. Hopefully resident Kay expert Mr Clevername will chime in.

Meanwhile here's a member's Kay Red Devil build using the Danelectro routed ply frame method .

http://vultureguitars.weebly.com/red-devil.html


Thanks for the link-- The ply frame would work for sure. I could veneer over the sides once it's all together.
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ghostwolf



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 360
Location: ohio, texas

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know if this would be helpful, but look here-

http://www.columbiaforestproducts.com/product/columbia-radius-bending-plywood/
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Mr. Clevername



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 2448
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a real "expert" expert - Twangster's got it - AFAIK all plywood, excuse me, laminated wood - big old neck block up front extends almost all the way across, and another small block under the floating bridge. I just use the original bodies for hot rods when I find a hulk. I can't remember if this one was Airline or Old Kratsman-branded.

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Mr. Clevername



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
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Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember now - those black ones were branded "Custom Kraft," for St. Louis Music, which eventually brought us Electra, Westone, and Alvarez guitars.


Another that started life as a Value Leader:
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twangster



Joined: 05 Aug 2005
Posts: 9512
Location: Nashville Tennessee.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a browse around Vulture's builds, the " Suprotone" is a single cut flat top much closer to what you're looking for.

Miss seeing him 'round here, he's the king of McGyver builds Smile
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rickrob



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 1083
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

twangster wrote:
Have a browse around Vulture's builds, the " Suprotone" is a single cut flat top much closer to what you're looking for.

Miss seeing him 'round here, he's the king of McGyver builds Smile


I checked out the SuproTone-- Looks like that's the best way to go with a routed frame. I have a bunch of Maple for the front, back and neck, and some cabinet grade Birch plywood for the frame.

I'll take a shot at it and see what I can come up with.

I remember Vulture's Conqueror 3000 build and the Reso Sonic build-- pretty cool guitars.
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rickrob



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 1083
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started to build a Value Leader style guitar, following Vulture's construction methods. Found a good reference pic and made a template. Enlarged the picture in sections on a copier until it was the correct size, and taped it all together.




Made a template from some MDF.



Cut out two rough frames from some 3/4 birch plywood-- Glued them together and cleaned them up a little on the drum sander.



Same with the top and back. Recycled an old Maple coffee table and planed down to 1/4 inch and rough cut the top and back.



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Last edited by rickrob on Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rickrob



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
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Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glued the bottom on the frame and trimmed flush, then glued in the blocks for the neck pocket, bridge and tailpiece




Glued the top on and trimmed flush and then veneered the sides. I used Titebond and rolled it on the sides of the body and the back side of the veneer.
I wait until the glue just barely turns clear, then set the veneer in place and iron it on with an old iron set to 7. The heat pulls the veneer down and sets the glue.









Trimmed all the veneer flush and sanded to 60 grit for now.





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Last edited by rickrob on Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mr. Clevername



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 2448
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks great!

BTW, this popped up on Ebay recently:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Kay-Electric-Guitar-Body-/172328211577?hash=item281f8fd479:g:lIIAAOSwvzRXygTY
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rickrob



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 1083
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Clevername wrote:
That looks great!

BTW, this popped up on Ebay recently:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Kay-Electric-Guitar-Body-/172328211577?hash=item281f8fd479:g:lIIAAOSwvzRXygTY


Thanks! I checked out that Value leader body-- Kinda surprised it didn't sell.
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rickrob



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 1083
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Started on the neck a few days ago. I'm going to make a set in neck instead of a bolt on.






Got everything roughly shaped. Still working on the heel.



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Last edited by rickrob on Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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cooter



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 1596
Location: Blue Ridge, GA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool build. Especially interested in the set neck part of the build. Cool
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twangster



Joined: 05 Aug 2005
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Location: Nashville Tennessee.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great !!
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