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Thread: I Built a Tele! :-) (Pic Heavy)

  1. #1
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    I Built a Tele! :-) (Pic Heavy)

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    I recently completed my first ever guitar build, and I thought I'd go ahead and post it. Started with the T-style guitar kit from StewMac, and I gave it a few upgrades... Swapped the cheap pickups with Fender Original '52 pups, upgraded the tuners to some nice Gotohs, drilled holes and added ferules to make it a string-through-body instead of ending at the bridge. I made the pickguard out of stainless steel and finished the body in a "tobacco burst" by burning the edges with a torch, followed by staining and lacquering.
    It was a really fun learning experience, and I really like how it came out. Those classic 52 pups really make it sound vintage!
    Just thought I'd share some pics, and if anyone has any questions, I would be happy to give them my novice's 2 cents. If you have a little woodworking/finishing experience, this is a really fun kit build!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 9d240c41-bfdc-4f43-8210-e79971efd07a-jpeg   31dd1252-66a4-46d1-9caf-9c331f4efb4f-jpeg   3ebd7c71-f3fd-41bf-ae08-ee699347ffc3-jpeg   a93fff19-6de7-480f-9f45-2262ed702756-jpeg   3a292e53-f275-449c-a808-6f916b14b430-jpeg  

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  3. #2
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    Whatta beauty. Tele's are the best guitar to begin with, but to fashion your own is awesome.

    Kits are a great way to start. Are you ready to move on to the next step? It's like G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome, where you can't stop buying new gear).

    My first project, I refinished a Yamaha bass. Stripped off the metallic paint and finished with a walnut veneer. Came out okay, not great. Second project, I built the body from a chunk of wood and used a bass neck from Guitarfetish. I gig with that bass regularly. Sounds awesome, plays awesome. Third one, I made a fretless bass and did everything from scratch, including the neck. It's not ready yet. I have to rework the neck, but I'll get to it.

  4. #3
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    Nice job, man.
    I just bumped my build thread totally forgot about it until I saw yours. What did you find the hardest part? For me it was drilling the neck pocket holes. So nerve racking.
    I move into my first house in a few months and want to try building more from scratch since I'll have a bench.

    PS. Look into water dyes. I used them and they're pretty awesome. I think you'd get more of a "blend" in the burst using them.

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    Nice job - pretty nice use of the burnt finish with the tobacco - Is it heavy with the stainless pick guard?

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    Thanks, guys!
    @Chili Thanks, and yeah I think I already have a mild case of G.A.S.... Would love to see pics of the bass, if you want to post!
    @Nola Your build is awesome!! Seeing yours was actually part of the inspiration of me deciding to build one. As to using water dyes, I would definitely like to try them in the future. I was intentionally trying to go for a "burned edges" look rather than a sprayed look, but I'm sure other methods would be much more effective at giving it a smooth blend... The hardest part for me was drilling the string holes through the body! Even with my drill press it was challenging to get them exactly lined up with each other. I had to regrind a different shape on the end of two drill bits to get the right countersink, but in the end it was successful. The most frustrating part though was leveling the frets... It wasn't until I had the neck attached and I was adjusting the action that I noticed I had filed part of one fret to low. I had to re-level and dress every single fret around it to make the buzzing go away in that one spot!
    @rob aylestone Thanks! The 1/16'-ish stainless steel pickguard doesn't really make much of a difference in weight, though it is heavier than a plastic one, of course. The guitar weighs in right at 7 lbs. which is pretty typical.

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    Oh cool, nice.

    Yeah all of that stuff is pretty hard. People act like partscasters are easy but they're not. Drilling everything, making a perfect nut, leveling frets, finishing the body...all pretty advanced stuff. Yeah it's not hand carving a body or neck but it's still up there.

    With water dyes you could have blended the hard line a bit more to get a gradient. That's the only improvement I would have suggested. Right now the lines are a bit hard instead of blended. It's still cool, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris K View Post
    Would love to see pics of the bass, if you want to post!
    Of course I do. lol

    refinish-jpgimg_5823_lr-jpg

    There are some problems and real goof-ball mistakes made on the fretless. I won't go into details. I have yet to really put myself back into it to fix them, been too busy playing. Someday I will. The fretted bass is fun to play and has a nice wide palette of tones.

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