Home Made Telecaster?

Discussion in 'Telecaster/Esquire Forum' started by Phoenix1, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Phoenix1

    Phoenix1 Strat-Talk Member

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    IMG_4494.jpg
    A friend of mine gave (willed) me a telecaster body blank. I'm trying to decide what to do with it. I'm considering building my own.

    •He was a close friend, and he is no longer with us. It would be a nice memory.
    •I'm thinking of adding guts, neck, hardware etc., but I can buy one cheaper.
    •I already own a new Mexican Telecaster, but it is in another location. I'd welcome another.
    •Another friend of mine thinks it is white ash. I expect it will be a real challenge to finish it well.
    •If I do this, I'd like it to sound different from the one I have.
    •I am a decent woodworker (just finished making my kitchen cabinets) and an experienced electronics worker (rewired the panel on my plane). I'm not afraid of the work involved.

    What advice do you have? Is this a classic example of stone soup?

    Do you have favorite accessory suppliers I should consider?

    Thanks in advance for your advice. Please forgive me if I put this in the wrong sub-forum.
     
  2. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 Deeply SHY. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Hi, @Phoenix1

    Welcome ! Very sorry friend passed away.

    I think it would look lovely if made into Tele.


    ReRanch makes nice finish cans for guitars and their web forum offers steps on how.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  3. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Senior Stratmaster

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    Apply tru oil to the body and call it a day. Teles with natural finishes look good, and the grain on that body is gorgeous.
     
  4. Dare1

    Dare1 Senior Stratmaster

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    I would definitely build it. I can recommend Musikraft for custom necks and ReRanch for nice paint. I'd also recommend a nice transparent color or a natural stain, as that grain looks wonderful. I usually just go with Fender parts for hardware, but I also like delving deeper into the world of pickups based off of what I want the guitar to be. Vintage? Modern? Humbucker? Etc.

    I'm sorry for the loss of your friend by the way, my condolences.
     
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  5. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I would definitely build it up but would not go natural. The grain on the lower half looks good but the upper half is very plain in comparison and the guard and bridge will cover a lot of that grain. I would pick your favorite color from Reranch and spray that thing up. Get a fender or warmoth neck, vintage split shaft tuners and what ever pickups you like. Should be sweet.
     
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  6. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    That looks to be a single piece of wood, and it's beautiful. Not a lot of people have true one-piece bodies. I'll second the recommendation for a transparent finish like Tru-oil.

    The single most important piece of a guitar is the neck. Get a good one. Warmoth is one source, they're also a great place to get pickguards. If I were building it, I'd get a set of Bootstrap pickups.

    This body is drilled for a through-body style bridge, get an ashtray Tele bridge and compensated barrel saddles--a lot of the mojo of a Tele comes from the saddles.

    Amazon sells everything--CTS pots, Fender ashtray bridges, control plates etc. often at competitive prices.

    I would suggest you get all the parts (neck, pickguard, bridge, control plate, pickups) and do a mock-up or test-fit before you finish the body. If you need to adjust the routing somewhere, it's better to do that before you've got the finish perfect.

    Yes, of course you can buy a Squier Tele cheaper than you can build this one. But you're not building a Squier, you're building a tribute.
     
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  7. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Jaguar Convert Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You can buy fender Tele necks on eBay and Reverb. The rest should be very easy to source. I like buying real fender necks, but you can also source generic tele type necks that are very nice.

    for a 3-400 (depending on the neck choice) you should easily have a very nice guitar there. even cheaper, if you so choose. And that is very cheap nowadays, for a nice guitar.
    Teles are about as simple as it gets in guitars.

    fender OV tele pickups are very well regarded and also cheap. That’s what I have as the bridge pickup in my tele, and I have one that I’m not using.

    The hardware can be sourced from a million different places for sure
     
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  8. RockGuitarMaster

    RockGuitarMaster New Member!

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    I would just buy the whole shabang. As someone who doesn't know how to fix things and only plays music, I would prefer to outsource the assembling lol
     
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  9. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of DILLIGAF Strat-Talk Supporter

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    These started with a pine body blank.

    156240-9d0f9065487630f9784907f435318f36.jpg

    Build a Telecaster is easy. And its rewarding.

    They sound like this:

    The one on the right:



    The one on the left.

     
  10. myredstrat

    myredstrat Strat-O-Master

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    sorry for your loss!
    did your friend have a favorite color that you know of?
    or you could do something like this, with a picture of him (him and you, or his wife, or dog or whatever would be a meaningful tribute.)
     
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  11. guitarmikey

    guitarmikey Strat-O-Master

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    Go for it! I started with diy reclaimed pine body, and made 14 guitars until now... Get a 4 positions switch if you want something new, or reroute for a P90 in neck position...
    Here one of my latest build...
     

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  12. Phoenix1

    Phoenix1 Strat-Talk Member

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    It would be a tribute build, and a meaningful one to me. Our friendship reached back more than 40 years beginning when we met in Southeast Asia in the military. I was a bass player in the 60s with a fairly standard Beatles/Stones repertoire. He introduced me to more blues/jass/rock artists than I ever knew existed. I got literally hundreds of CDs from his widow that I have not even listed to yet.

    Probably his favorite artist was, ironically, Danny Gatton. So I've decided on something like a Gatton build: Joe Barden pickups and a birds-eye maple neck. I will want a different color than the frost gold he favored, and I'm sure to skip the cubic zirconium fret markers on the side of the neck.

    Neither one of us will ever sound as good as DG, but it would be a nice memory of both of them.
     
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  13. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Sounds very cool. We love guitar builds around here, please post pics as you go.
     
  14. Phoenix1

    Phoenix1 Strat-Talk Member

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    The top pictured at the beginning of the thread is 3-piece. As pointed out, the grain is not particularly exciting on the left, and much of the right will be covered by the pick guard. I'm thinking the best thing to do with this is a solid color.

    In the alternative, I am attracted to some quilt top maple I can add to the top. For example: Quilt top.jpg


    Among the many questions I am likely to have in this project is this: If I add this to the top, won't that adversely affect the distance of the strings from the neck? The materials I have seen are maybe a quarter inch or less. But unless you mount the bridge to the blank, and not to the added top, won't it be difficult or impossible to bring the strings back down far enough? Or do I shim the neck up?
     
  15. Phoenix1

    Phoenix1 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for all the help, but I wonder if the topic belongs somewhere else. The thread seems to have gone dead. Is Tech Talk the better place for my questions?
     
  16. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talk Member

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    The parts are all sourceable on ebay. The seller Stratosphere has everything you need. The hardest part imo would be aligning the neck in the pocket for the screws. I'd say go for it, and leave it natural. The reality of it is that it will cost nearly as much as buying a new one, but while doesn't love a good project, especially one with sentimental value.