May 16th, 2010, 02:17 PM
So this is going to be my build thread. Please feel free to comment about my progress or lack of, give advice or generally waffle :)
I am building a pair of tele's one for me and one for a friend. Its our 40ths birthdays and I thought a guitar would be a perfect present for my best buddy. We were due to be born the same day and played in a band together. He bought me melvyn Hiscock book in the early 90's but it has taken me 20 years to get round to building a guitar.
The pic below is the guitar I plan to build. Any comments or suggestions will be welcome.
I might have to see how the maple headstock goes with the rosewood neck and pickguard. the image above is kind of odd but the real woods might look better.
It will be swamp ash body possibly with a slight tint if needed to bring the whole sherbang together. Flame neck with rosewood finger board. tortoise shell pickguard. Wilkinson compensated bridge and gotoh vintage tuners.
A big thanks to all who post here, I can't thank all who have placed treads and ideas here that finally got me into building these guitars but you are fantastico chaps.
May 16th, 2010, 02:39 PM
So progress so far...
I have taken my rough fingerboard blanks and planed them down flat. Also I have planed on face of my finger board blanks. The one above is a plain maple blank.
Below is one of the body blanks being glued after edge jointing.
And here are the master neck and body templates.
These were from the Tdowns and Ed drawings. I roughed them out with a jigsaw and then smoothed them with a pillar drill mounted sanding drum....
May 16th, 2010, 03:00 PM
Next job was the neck pocket template.
I used the neck template and a pice of string for setting up the template.
After this I used scrap around the neck template to make the edges that I would route around to form the pocket.
This is the neck pocket template after routing with a patern bearing bit.
And this is the fit with the neck template.
It is a bit tight and the radius on the neck template is not perfect. I will re do the radius on the working template and also slightly sand the pocket template so that its not bitch tight.
May 16th, 2010, 03:10 PM
Below is the second swamp ash blank being planed. It is a bitch for tearout so I have stopped and I will either make a jig to thin the two down with the router or go to a few local wood shops and see if I can get them thickness sanded on the cheap.
This is the router 'table' I knocked up to house my .... router! I read lots that it is much safer and I belive it. It uses a table insert from Rutlands in the UK. On the top are the master neck template and the 3/4 MDF blank for teh working neck template.
I am going to use Stewmac Hotrod truss rods. the pic below shows the 3 necks with the channel routed in. Sorry for not having a pic showing the 'in progress routing' but the camera was dead. To cut them I simply layed scrap either side of the blank that my router sat on and two pieces of wider spaced scrap that my router ran between, All was clamped to the bench and the neck was double sided to the bench. With the neck stuck I just adjusted the scrap that the router ran between so that it was dead on center. The scrap was edges of stock board to ensure it was straight.
May 16th, 2010, 03:38 PM
So the next job was making a working body template. I jig sawed a 3/4 MDF blank to shape then attached the master with double side tape. I used my router table to profile the new template. All was good but I have a slight error in the bridge pick up route that I might fix but you can't see it so it might stay.It was caused by a build up of dust under the parts that caused the parts to lift off the bearing. I will make sure this does not happen again.
And after routing (turned upside down)
And thats where I am at.
In the next weeks I hope to make a thick neck template, thickness the neck blanks, fit and glue the truss rods/fingerboards.
May 17th, 2010, 05:57 AM
So I had another look at virtual guitar and changed the head stock for flame maple, which I think looks much better.
Also added a slight burst that I will ponder.
May 17th, 2010, 10:11 AM
Since this build is for my buddies birthday (its a secret, don't tell him) I want to personalize the head stock.
I thought a headstock like below would be cool, His initials are PW by the way, oh and its his 40th, oh and his birth date is 9th July, Too cheesy?
PS My name is Leigh by the way, in case the whole leighcaster thing was confusing.
May 23rd, 2010, 03:19 AM
Well yesturday was not the best.
Fail 1 - I went to make a second nexk template (see blank above and the sides of the neck are not straight. Not sure if it was routing problem or my very light sanding after just took off too much. I will try to remake today in plywood.
Fail - 2 the hose attachemnt to the tap in the gargage decided to disconnect itself while i was cleaning out the chickens! 2" of water in the. Nothing of real valu or importance damaged and all wood stored on shelving but a pain all the same.
Heres hoping today goes slightly better.
May 23rd, 2010, 05:56 PM
So today inbetween child care and tidying away after the biblical flood yesterday day I did 2 things.
The first was a trial assembly o fthe GOTOH vintage tuners.
I used a aluminium block with pre drilled holes to right spacing and dia. After drilling and assemling I was happy with the result.
I also did another neck template from ply and I have decided that I much prefer ply to MDF. A lot less dust than MDF too.
June 14th, 2010, 03:26 PM
Just started routing the first body after jig sawing it out!
Routing bodies even on a table is scarey as f............
First on outline finished with only the slightest nick that should disapear with sanding! No pics as Wife has the camera in the UK.
SO anyone like the headstock decal I did?
June 19th, 2010, 05:14 PM
So, its been a few weeks! We went ot the UK for a holiday and that brought the guitar building to a halt. Whilst there though I managed to get my body blanks thinned down to the correct 1 3/4 inch which was good. Unfortunately I asked for them to thin my necks too which they did perfectly, perfectly banana shape! so tomorrow I hope to see what I can rescue from them. I have stuck here the picks of the almost finished necks, unfortunately I have no pics of the production as all our cameras are in the UK. So I have pinched the work camera just to take a few pics.
Neck pocket and the sides need a bit of sanding
Here you can see the hole from the neck pocket to the bridge pocket
The 2 together. I think I will stick with the tortoise shell pick guard though
And a last image,
After all the templates the actual bodies were rather quick to make. I managed to jigsaw and route the profile then route and drill the cavities and finally drill the jack hole in under 2 hours per guitar.
Tomorrow we are on to necks!
Cheers guys for assistance on best body routing practice.
I used a.........
- 1" bottom bearing bit for the profiles and pockets.
- For the drill holes between cavities I used a 1/4" 10" long drill bit.
- a 22mm flat wood drill for the jack socket
I will commence on the necks tomorrow.
June 20th, 2010, 07:11 AM
OK, So after the wood shop in the UK made my neck blanks thinner (and banana shaped!) I needed to cut the truss rod channel deeper. As I did not get a pic before I can do it now.
You can see in the pics the neck is double sided taped to the bench. I placed 2 bit of scrap either side, these are the same thickness. On one side I clamped a straight edge that the router will run along.
I set it all up so that I will cut down the existing groove and can make it deeper. All went well and hopefully I can continue with the fret boards and necks later today :)
Time for a tidy up also I think.
June 20th, 2010, 01:00 PM
Today has been neck day!
Below is a pic of the neck after jigsawing out the profile. I have also drilled to take the adjustment screw of the truss rod and fitted it.
Here you can see the rosewood fret board fret slots being cut.
Finally today I routed the neck to shape. I knew this was going to be hard, and it was. Below is a bit of tearout that I got when going round the headstock. Given it was my first one I dont think it was too bad to only have one error.
Not sure what to do but I might just fill and sand it down , it looks to be too small to cut it out and glue in a patch.
Whats my best plan? mix up some shellac and maple dust filler, glue and maple dust, or cut out and add a patch?
I guess I could always just change the headstock form slightly and snd out the bad bit. Any suggestions?
June 20th, 2010, 01:14 PM
here is the tear a bit closer.
June 20th, 2010, 01:39 PM
Check out the end grain tear repair on my build thread here (http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/210279-so-starts-my-tele-1-a.html) It's about half way down the page. Although it looks like you absolutely have the skills and knowledge to fix it I though I'd share my repair technique as well.
June 20th, 2010, 01:56 PM
Cheers for that, I might even consider doing that now. Might be better than filling.
I am going to leave it today but will have a shot tomorrow I think.
June 11th, 2012, 06:26 AM
Well, I have moved house twice and its take a while to get the sheds back up and running so this has turned into the longest tele build in history.
I have now almost finished one guitar and the second is getting there too. I will hope to stick some pics of the last 2 years later!
June 11th, 2012, 10:15 AM
Hey, remember, 2 years later is still a 100% better than "never". Looking forward to
seeing the pics.
June 12th, 2012, 10:02 AM
So the necks.
I am nearly finished on one and the other just needs shaping. I had a problem one one neck that the fret board slipped slightly on gluing, I know its there but I doubt anyone will notice. Also on the near finished neck I did not do a good job of clearing up the glue when bonding the fretboard. I then had some bad tear/pop out of the figured maple. Luckily it has almost all gone in the shaping of the neck.
Below are pics of the 2 necks.
June 12th, 2012, 10:09 AM
And the bodies are done. I have lost the pics of the radiusing and finishing but if they appear I will add them. Once the edge profiling was done I used a carroll drum sander in a pillar drill and a router for the edges. I went for a 1/4" rad as I liked it.
The pickups are tonerider vintage in one body with a 3 way switch and tonerider hot classics with a 4 way switch in the other body.
I finished both with a tung oil finish left over from another project I did when in france. No grain filler for that full grain effect.
June 12th, 2012, 01:33 PM
And here is the decal awaiting the neck finishing.
June 20th, 2012, 05:23 PM
Add a few coats of liberon finishing oil and bazinga, thar she blows capn
Can you tell I am happy with the finish :)
I have stuck a few decals on a test piece and I am going over with more oil to see if I can avoid nitro and protect the decal.
June 20th, 2012, 06:19 PM
nice figure on that neck. Drool... ;)
June 30th, 2012, 05:53 PM
Wiring up is complete on the 4way body :)