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

4 String Tele Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by kthornbloom, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. kthornbloom

    kthornbloom TDPRI Member

    75
    Jun 7, 2010
    Indiana
    The idea for this one started when I made a four string Cigar Box style guitar out of "junk":
    IMG_20161119_230757.jpg

    It played terribly, but it was still a ton of fun! So I decided to revisit the idea, and make a more legitimate instrument that I could do some folk-style jamming on. I settled on a 20" scale telecaster shape and started digging through the wood pile. I found some Basswood for the body, Maple for the neck, and a strip of 1/4" Walnut for the fretboard which I tested my new, cheap, Zona fret saw on:

    IMG_20170314_212238616.jpg

    Before long, I had a telecaster shaped body and a neck with a "snakehead" style headstock:
    IMG_20170316_213216407.jpg
     

  2. kthornbloom

    kthornbloom TDPRI Member

    75
    Jun 7, 2010
    Indiana
    Next, I routed out for an old humbucker which fit like a glove:
    IMG_20170320_131113137.jpg
    and I took a "Great Polka Hits" vinyl record to the bandsaw, and made a pickguard out of it:
    IMG_20170318_224611863.jpg

    Then I decided to work on the cut outs for the controls & input jack. I really didn't want any more pickguard on the guitar, but I also hate making access panels in the back. (The lids never seem to line up perfectly for me.) That's when it dawned on me that if I drilled my input jack hole really deep, and used a mini potentiometer, that I wouldn't need to route EITHER side of the guitar!
    IMG_20170320_130838389.jpg IMG_20170320_130842130.jpg

    I was pretty proud of myself for thinking that one up :D. Lastly, I added some fret dots & shaped the neck:
    IMG_20170320_131031163.jpg
    Until next time...
     
    Arch Stanton and Bristlehound like this.

  3. adamkoop

    adamkoop Tele-Meister

    157
    Feb 18, 2016
    Halifax
    oh man .. that pot idea is a good one.

    Looking good ! What's the tuning going to be DGDB ?
     

  4. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I have several 4 string CBG types that use the A/D/G/B strings from a 6 string set and tune it G/D/G/B. Works great for slide and fretting. Occasionally I tune that A string back up to A for regular guitar stuff.
     
    Arch Stanton likes this.

  5. adamkoop

    adamkoop Tele-Meister

    157
    Feb 18, 2016
    Halifax
    That's actually what I was thinking when I typed that, brain and fingers just not in sync today I guess. All my four strings run that tuning, I have a 3 string "explorer" I use GDG on.
     

  6. kthornbloom

    kthornbloom TDPRI Member

    75
    Jun 7, 2010
    Indiana
    I'm not sure what I'll tune it to yet... the funky 20" scale might affect which notes are going to be reachable with decent string tension. GDGB as Zepfan said sounds good though!

    Hopefully once it's done, it will be a good instrument to learn how to play slide on.
     

  7. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    On a Tenor scale like 20" you may have trouble tuning that high. You may have to go with a UKE or Mandolin tuning instead.
    From Wikipedia:
    [edit]
    Tenor guitars are normally tuned in fifths (usually C3 G3 D4 A4, similar to the tenor banjo, mandola, or the viola) although other tunings are also common, such as "guitar tuning", "Chicago tuning," or baritone ukulele tuning (D3 G3 B3 E4), "Irish" or "octave mandolin" tuning (G2 D3 A3 E4, like a violin but one octave below) and various "open" tunings, for slide playing. The tenor guitar can also be tuned like a soprano/concert/tenor ukulele, using various versions of G3 C4 E4 A4 tuning.

    The normal CGDA tuning is very "open" and it gives the instrument voicings more reminiscent of the mandolin family than the guitar family, from both open and closed chords. The fifths tuning also makes for easy moveable chord shapes. The instrument is equally well suited to both rhythm and lead playing.

    Though books are available for the standard tunings above, books are also available for more esoteric tunings as well such as GDAD, CGBD and DGBE in the Chord Genius series of books published by Northern Musician Services. One of the attractions of this instrument is the breadth of available tunings.
     

  8. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    I built two 20,7" scale ones, both 4 strings. There is some sloppiness, yes.

    You can overcome the sloppiness using 12s strings if you want to tune like a guitar.

    Building a 6 string right now, same scale.
     

  9. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Feb 23, 2010
    East Tennessee
    My tenor is a 23 inch scale which seems ideal for the standard CGDA tuning, you will likely have to go way heavier on string gage to get appropriate tension
     

  10. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Feb 23, 2010
    East Tennessee
    FYI, I built one on a 20 inch scale and had to go higher in tuning, though to be fair that was my goal on that particular instrument.It has what appears to be a slightly altered guittern tuning.It is a five course instrument with the high string tuned a fourth higher, the rest are in fifths. I was trying for an octave mandolin but the 20 inch scale was too short so I ended up with something totally unique
     

  11. kthornbloom

    kthornbloom TDPRI Member

    75
    Jun 7, 2010
    Indiana
    "Unique" is definitely what I'm going for on this one! I picked the 20" scale somewhat randomly, so I figured I'd need to do some experimenting with the strings anyway. Helps to know what to expect, so thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm hoping to get some more done this Friday.
     
    crazydave911 likes this.

  12. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Feb 23, 2010
    East Tennessee
    Just wait until I get you hooked on unison strings lol
     

  13. kthornbloom

    kthornbloom TDPRI Member

    75
    Jun 7, 2010
    Indiana
    Got some frets in tonight!
    IMG_20170327_204419409.jpg

    Awhile back, I was interested in that "Richlite" material for fretboards. I didn't end up buying any large amount, but I did get a few free samples:
    IMG_20170327_211110856.jpg

    I figured I'd try to use it for a nut on this guitar. If it doesn't work, it's a simple enough thing to pop off & replace. So I started on that as well. (I'll take it down to the final height later)
    IMG_20170327_211031025.jpg

    Then I took a break and made some boomerangs to throw around with my son later

    IMG_20170326_211926975_HDR.jpg
     

  14. kthornbloom

    kthornbloom TDPRI Member

    75
    Jun 7, 2010
    Indiana
    Got her into my super high tech paint booth tonight. Getting excited to assemble it!

    IMG_20170408_231010855_HDR.jpg
     
    Mimmo_CVC and LeftFinger like this.

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