Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

1956 Telecaster build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by preeb, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    OK.... so here we go again...
    I already have a couple of pre-cbs bass builds posted on the "The Bass Place" section (1956 p ,1957 p ) and I was asked to post guitar builds as well, so I promissed to do so as soon as I'll get a new guitar ordered. I'm working on a 1955 Strat and a 1955 Telecaster at the moment and in this thread I will show the Tele build process.

    This is a late 1955 reproduction with a fat soft V neck, feather weight, white guard (although I was trying to talk the customer into a black bakelite without luck) and thin nitro blonde finish.

    The templates were made from a 1954 original Telecaster which will be OK for 55-58 models as well. It took 3 days to measure and cut the templates very accurately, after all this is a critical stage in the build and will be reusable in the future too.

    Body basic template
    [​IMG]

    Complete set
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
    imploration likes this.

  2. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I start with the neck (for some reason I always do...).

    Old growth maple blank is selected and neck shape outline is penciled
    [​IMG]

    Shape is cut right outside the line
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    template is attached correctly (pre-cbs screw locations) to the back
    [​IMG]
     
    imploration likes this.

  3. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Very carefully flush trimmed with a special spiral router bit
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thin period correct truss rod channel is routed on the back
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

  4. twangcaster1

    twangcaster1 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 28, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Looks like you know what you're doin', man! Cool stuff.
     

  5. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Headstock is thinned down to allow the truss rod insertion channel drill
    [​IMG]

    Headstock plug side hole is drilled with a jig - aligned and in the correct angle
    [​IMG]

    Came out nicely - in the middle and flushed with the channel bottom
    [​IMG]

    Same for the heel side
    [​IMG]
     

  6. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I could never find an after market period correct truss rod so I build my own to match the pre-cbs rods 100%

    Rod is inserted (actually - hammered in)
    [​IMG]

    Washer and nut are installed and rod is tested to function properly
    [​IMG]

    Headstock transition is partialy shaped and koa plug is glued in
    [​IMG]

    Koa skunk stripe is cut
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009

  7. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Skunk stripe is sanded and shaped for a tight fit
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    tight fit is a must
    [​IMG]
     

  8. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    When dry it is flushed and sanded
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    tuner holes leads are drilled
    [​IMG]
     

  9. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Back of neck is shaped the pre-cbs way with a 56 cutter/shaper (I made a special cutters for each pre-cbs year 1950-1965)
    [​IMG]

    Shape is roughly done. it will be transitioned and sanded smooth of course
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    some transition shaping here
    [​IMG]
     
    imploration likes this.

  10. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    more shaping
    [​IMG]

    shaped to original type specs
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    7.25" Radius is cut "the old original way" (sorry - no jig picture here...)
    [​IMG]
     

  11. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Headstock transition is cut
    [​IMG]

    once again - period correct radius and plug shape
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    nut and fret slots are cut on the jig
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009

  12. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    My daughter thinks the neck is OK. Fat soft V is her favorite neck shape !!!
    [​IMG]

    position marks are ... well... marked
    [​IMG]

    and drilled
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

  13. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    position markers are hammered in (Yes, they are bakelite of course)
    [​IMG]

    and flush sanded (notice the greenish bakelite dust - lots of fun...)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    nut slot is smoothed
    [​IMG]
     

  14. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Nut is cut from yellow cammel bone (the bone is yellow not the cammel... well... maybe both)
    [​IMG]

    ...and hide glued very tightly (tightly is important)
    [​IMG]


    Neck is done for now. I'll get to the body.
     

  15. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Body is made of feather weight old growth swamp ash. Same kind Leo used in the mid 50's. Some of the lightest and greatest guitars were made in the mid 50's period. This is my personal favorite period for Fender guitars and basses.

    Those blanks are carefuly stored...
    [​IMG]

    Outer shape location is selected and penciled
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Cut right outside the line
    [​IMG]
     

  16. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Roughly cut body
    [​IMG]

    Template is attached (once again, with period correct screws location)
    [​IMG]

    Body is drum sanded to save router bit labour
    [​IMG]

    ... and flush trimmed on the router table
    [​IMG]
     

  17. Lobstapickin

    Lobstapickin Tele-Meister

    Age:
    59
    365
    Sep 23, 2004
    Maine

  18. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Neck mounting holes are drilled
    [​IMG]

    Top routing template is attached (correctly...) to the body
    [​IMG]

    Routs are made to correct depth (I say "correct" too much... I know... I don't care...)
    [​IMG]

    Body roundover is shaped on the router table
    [​IMG]
     

  19. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Neck is fitted to body to check that fitting is as tight as a... whatever
    [​IMG]

    It's very tight alright
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Bridge holes are drilled from the top (hope the holes will not come through the back in a straight line... if you know what I mean)
    [​IMG]
     

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