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Old December 21st, 2013, 05:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Kesselkaster lives!

I have another partscaster together! I finished it myself, and put together most of it - left the nut and the frets to a handier luthier friend.

It's a swamp ash Cabronita body I got off Ebay (from guitarbuild.uk) fairly cheap, with an Allparts FAT neck. Had the body re-routed for a pair of Kay Barney Kessel (aka "Kleenex Box") pickups I got from a friend. It has a Marc Rutters bridge and jack cup, Gotoh kluson type tuners, and Gibson ES250 repro-knobs.

I filled the ash body with black timbermate, and finished it with transparent white nitro, and clear nitro from rattlecans. Looks good enough, but this is the second body I've ever finished, and the first ash - and you can tell from up close. Still good fun, and a good exercise in patience.

The pickups sound great - imagine a pickup with the power of a P90, but a little brighter and twangier, and without all that midrange honk of a typical P90.

Here's some pics from during the finishing process, and of the final, finished guitar.




















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Old December 21st, 2013, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice work. That decal is subtle, I almost didn't notice it
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 05:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Very cool, Walter!
Are you going to use it with your Mercenaries any time soon?
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 10:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That's a nice Telecaster, for sure!
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 01:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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LOVE the Kleenex box pups! Hard to find a clean set. Video please! ;-)

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Old December 22nd, 2013, 04:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Very cool, Walter!
Are you going to use it with your Mercenaries any time soon?
Jef
Jef...well...I usually have a solidbody with me as a backup, but for that band the main guitar will always be one of the big Guilds!


Thanks for the kind words folks! I'll probably do a little youtube vid somewhere this week.
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Old December 24th, 2013, 09:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This looks fantastic !!!

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Old December 24th, 2013, 09:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Awesome.
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Old December 24th, 2013, 09:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Cool guitar! Really like those pickups
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Old December 24th, 2013, 10:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey Walter,

You have inspired me. I just picked up a Kleenex box pup in need of some love off of eBay last night. A restoration thread is to follow. Can't wait to hear your guitar!

Rob
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Old December 24th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey Walter,

You have inspired me. I just picked up a Kleenex box pup in need of some love off of eBay last night. A restoration thread is to follow. Can't wait to hear your guitar!

Rob
Cool Rob, I'll be watching for that!
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Old December 24th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I love the look of this Tele, very nice from top to bottom. Great job Walter!
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Old December 24th, 2013, 11:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks folks!!!

Rob - any idea what you'll be putting it in yet?

I'll do a video after this as soon as I have some time. Spent some more time with it plugged in yesterday, and it sounds great!
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Old December 26th, 2013, 12:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Here's some video I did today. Image quality sucks, sound is much better.

Plugged straight into a tweed Deluxe clone (in a 2X10 Tweed Super Cab), about halfway through I turn up the amp a little.

youtube clip!
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Old December 26th, 2013, 12:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i dig those kleenex pups!…has almost a luther perkins jazzmaster spank to it but dirties up nicely too…great build

cheers
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Old December 26th, 2013, 01:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Most excellent! They've got to be the best sounding pick ups I've heard.
Cheers,
Woody
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Old December 26th, 2013, 01:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Excellent Walter!

A little Link Wray in the morning really makes my day. Walter, can you take resistance measurements off of those pups for me? I have to rewind one and need a target value.

Thanks,
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Old December 26th, 2013, 02:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wow, that sounds great!
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Old December 26th, 2013, 02:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Rob, I don't have my multimeter handy, but the guy I'd bought them from had measured them, and they're somewhere between 11 and 12K as I remember. And that seems correct seeing other readings I've found online.

So they're probably wound with pretty small wire. Seeing how nicely they're made, and that they have hot coils with smallish wire makes me suspect these could very well be DeArmond-made pickups. (?)

This came up through some google-ing, Jason Lollar on some forum : "Some more info on the Kay pickups i never noticed. Stock its 12K and it looks like 44 gauge wire given the coil size and resistance.44 is pretty common on alot of oddball old pickups. "
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 02:54 PM   #20 (permalink)
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And now it's completely finished, not touching it any more except to play.

Gold anodized pickguard from Tone Guard :

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