So the body arrived a few days ago, and the neck is due today, so this morning I bit the bullet and drilled the first holes in the body.
These were for the output jack at the end of the lower part of the V, and the hole through to it from the control cavity.
I didn't want to drill through the back or sides of the body, as that would have been a disaster, obviously.
I started out by drilling the hole for the output jack. I used a 3/4 inch Forstner drill bit, brand new as it happened, drilling until the hole was deep enough for a Pure Tone mono mini 2-contact jack.
Then I used a 12 inch long 1/4 inch diameter drill bit on the end of a 12 inch extension bar to drill through from the control cavity to the output jack hole. All I needed to do was to "hit" the output jack hole. Dead center would have been nice, but wasn't essential. As long as the wires will go through, that's good enough.
Pleased to say it was successful. I hit the side of the hole but the wires will go through.
Next up is deciding whether to set the neck and align the bridge with that, or fit the bridge then align the neck. Gut feeling says the former, but I will wait until the neck arrives and see how snug a fit it is before deciding.
It'll be finished in gloss wipe-on polyurethane, no stain.
The neck, too, is solid mahogany, and it'll get the same gloss polyurethane. I will then sand the back of the neck to take the shine and stickiness off.
Its getting Dean "Michael Schenker" pickups and Kluson vintage style tuners with pearloid knobs. The pickguard has been ordered from pickguards.com, cream/black/cream, 58 style with the matching poker chip for the output jack. The rest of the hardware will be from Gotoh and other sources.
One thing I forgot to mention is that the necks on these kits are quite thick at the body end.
There's not much option to set them lower by shaving the bottom of the neck, as the tenon is only about 3/8ths thick to begin with, likewise the wood at the bottom of the pocket in the body is also only about 3/8ths thick. So unless you're prepared to take the fretboard off and shave the top, you're stuck with it.
You also need to cut off about 1/4 inch off the top body end of the neck behind the fretboard so that there isn't a step. I forgot / didn't realize, and had to cut mine back after I glued the neck in. I rescued it with a fine tooth dovetail saw I have from years back and a sharp chisel. I will do some sanding, but in any case the top of the cut will be hidden by the pickguard.
The height from the body to the crown of the fretboard is now about 1/2 an inch. 1/8th will disappear under the pickguard and I'm going to put the pickup rings and bridge adjustment screws on top the pickguard to help compensate, but it's still higher than the 1/4 inch or so on the vintage instruments. Maybe Gibson increased the neck height too when they went over to mounting the rings on the puckguard instead of directly onto the body and maybe it helps strengthen the neck anyway.
SGJohn has built a V I believe and a few other guitars basses. Hit him up for pointers.
Also, I was looking over your pics. Man that tenon seems super short, and that controls rout seems to extend past the area where that v shaped plate extends. I guess there is a smidge of a compromise here.
That tenon actually extends all the way to the back of the neck pickup hole, it's okay.
The control cavity size is a bit of a bummer. If I was going to paint it, I could have set a block in there, painted over it, job done. Or I could have used a stop tail piece, which now I think I should have done, but oh well, I wanted the chrome V thing.
As it stands I'm going to have to make a custom pickguard to cope with that and the somewhat oversized pickup cavities.
Today I got the output jack fitted, the string ferrules on the back done and the adjustable nut and truss rod cover (chrome but smudged in the pic) fitted.
The tuners I bought (Kluson SD90SLNs) don't fit. The bodies are a tad too long for the hole spacings and they also clash at the tip of the headstock. I've ordered some Grover 205Cs and they should be here Sunday.
Checked the neck body and bridge alignment this morning. I stretched some strings from the vee piece to the nut, over the bridge.
The neck and body slignment is pretty much spot on. Maybe a 1/6th out at most, but live-with-able.
The bridge is 1/8 "south" of where it is supposed to be. Bummer.
I'm going to have to pull the studs, dowel the holes and re-drill them.
Given that eff up and the problems with the pickguard, the control cavity and the chrome vee-piece, I'm going to go ahead and dowel and or fill the through body string holes and vee-pice screw holes and give it a paint job. It'll get a regular stoptail and I'll be able to use a standard pickguard, all be it with the output jack still at the tip of the lower vee.