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A couple of Tele builds

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by ctmullins, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    Was able to start my weekend with a couple of hours in the shop. Got the neck fretted (no pics, it looks just like all of the other fretted necks you’ve seen). Then I started shaping the back. With the extra-thick blank, I began taking away the bulk with a series of roundover bits:

    [​IMG]

    Then I used a straight bit and some rails to trim down the center section (making lots of fluffy ebony chips):

    [​IMG]

    Then I refined it with my usual Shinto, half-round rasp, and sanding drums:

    [​IMG]

    The maple and ebony have such a neat look together, almost like a tuxedo. They both sand out to such a nice satiny smooth finish. Yum! :)
     
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    Had a productive weekend, and this evening too. Got the Regal neck and the Korina neck both final shaped and sanded, fretted, frets dressed, and ready for finish. The Korina neck also got a matching Korina headstock cap, which I sanded, shaped, and drilled this evening.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next step on the Korina is to install the bridge, then I think it’ll be time for Tru-Oil.
     
  3. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    51
    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Wicked looking stuff dude. I'm loving it!
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    Tonight's task is installing the bridge on the Korina. I'm using a Hipshot Baby Grand, which is their upscale replacement for a wraparound. This means two studs placed exactly right. :eek:

    I thought I would do a photo-tutorial, step by step, to show how I do this, for anybody who's curious.

    First, we mount the neck, and put a clean, fresh piece of blue tape in the bridge location.

    [​IMG]

    Next we put a long straightedge along one side of the neck, and mark its position on the blue tape.

    [​IMG]

    And do the same for the other side.

    [​IMG]

    Then we measure and mark halfway between these two marks. This is the center of the bridge.

    [​IMG]

    We also use the yardstick to mark our scale length on the treble side, and our scale length plus 1/8" on the bass side. Then we draw a line between those two points. This is our "saddle line".

    [​IMG]

    Now that we have our center line and our saddle line, we can place our bridge. Here is the bridge, and I've selected a brad point drill bit whose diameter is the same as the inside of the "hooks" on the bridge, where the studs will go.

    [​IMG]

    And here is the bridge lined up on the center line, with the saddles in line with the saddle line.

    [​IMG]

    Maintaining this bridge position, I nestle the drill bit into the bridge hooks, and use the point to mark the position, first on one side...

    [​IMG]

    ... and then the other.

    [​IMG]

    We are then left with two small puncture marks where the centers of the bridge studs should go.

    [​IMG]

    The Hipshot Baby Grand comes with its own locking studs, but because I bought this one secondhand, the studs were missing. Instead I'm using TonePros locking studs, which I think look better anyway. Here they are, along with a brad-point drill bit whose diameter is only slightly smaller than the studs.

    [​IMG]

    To the drill press! We line up the point with the puncture marks...

    [​IMG]

    ... and drill one side...

    [​IMG]

    ... and the other, making sure we drill slightly deeper than the stud bushings.

    [​IMG]

    Remove the tape to reveal two nice clean holes that should be perfectly spaced.

    [​IMG]

    (At this point those of you who believe in string grounds will want to drill a channel connecting the lower stud hole to the control cavity, and install a ground wire. I typically avoid string grounds.)

    Press the bushings in.

    [​IMG]

    And the moment of truth - fit the bridge to the studs!

    [​IMG]

    Truth be told, my studs wound up being ever so slightly too close together. The bridge doesn't easily slide onto the studs, but it does fit with some coaxing. C'est la vie! :rolleyes::cool:
     
    John Nicholas and Mat UK like this.
  5. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    A quick mockup with the pickups - Wilde L500s, an R at the neck and an L in the bridge.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    Thanks! As I said, my tastes are a bit left of center... :cool:
     
  7. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    That looks real nice! I have a small fear that the wound strings may be difficult to intonate, but it looks like you have done this before, so I'm probably wrong. I just felt like having the low E string's saddle almost all the way aft, and then lining that up only 1/8" more than the scale length might not be quite enough. Also hope that one neck screw closest to the headstock can hold well against the string pull. What you did with the heel is so obviously more comfortable and good for playing ease, that one would think it must not be real suitable engineering-wise, or it would be more popular.

    Let us know how those work out and best of luck with the rest of the build.

    Rex
     
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  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    Thanks for that!

    The Baby Grand bridge, like the basic wraparound that it’s designed to replace, has one screw in each hook, bearing on the stud. These are used to set overall intonation, by moving the hook fore or aft relative to the stud. The Baby Grand, like the Schaller, BadAss, and other “upgrade” bridges, supplements this with individually adjustable saddles, resulting in a surprisingly wide range of adjustment.

    Newtonian physics teaches us how to calculate force vectors, parallel to and perpendicular to a reference plane. In this application, something like 95% of the force (I didn’t actually do the calculation...) is parallel to the neck, pulling the neck into the body. Only a small amount of the force is pulling up on the neck. Three bolts is more than enough here. As far as “popular”, don’t confuse that which has persisted through expediency and precedent with that which is technically and functionally superior. If that sounds like a haughty criticism of Leo’s original design, that’s because it is.

    I appreciate your comments!
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    The Regal body came from Warmoth already finished, and it’s primarily black. So I dyed the neck black as well, but only one coat, so that the laminations can still be seen.

    [​IMG]

    I put the first coat of Tru-Oil on the Korina, body and neck. It’s always such a treat the first time oil hits the wood!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Regal neck fits the stock Strat-style neck pocket; lining up the necks gives a hint to the difference in upper-fret access.

    [​IMG]

    Edit: Forgot to mention - even with the standard Strat neck heel, the Warmoth Regal is still marginally more ergonomic than the standard Les Paul. So score one for Leo after all!
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  10. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    I see those extra "macro" intonation screws on the baby grand behind each stud now that you point them out. That will certainly take care of any of the concerns I had. Thanks for pointing that out.
    Rex
     
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  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    Got about five coats of Tru-Oil on the Korina. It’s starting to get a decent shine on it. Probably won’t do too many more. Just looking for a nice thin satin look here.

    This amuses me: the fingerboard for my upright bass arrived today. Makes the guitar necks look and feel like toys!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. TelePickler

    TelePickler TDPRI Member

    Age:
    31
    5
    Aug 1, 2018
    Northeast
    What less-than-optimal shortcuts did Leo take?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  13. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    It’s hard to tell from the face of it whether your question is genuine or whether it’s a veiled attempt at baiting a heretic...

    But - as mentioned previously, the worst of the list is that neck heel. It’s as ergonomic as a Volvo 245 is aerodynamic.

    It’s pretty clear to me that Leo’s priorities were, in order:
    1. Ease of manufacture,
    2. Serviceability,
    3. Market penetration,
    4. Superficial aesthetics,
    5. Adequate performance
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.
  14. TelePickler

    TelePickler TDPRI Member

    Age:
    31
    5
    Aug 1, 2018
    Northeast
    Though poorly grammar'd, it was genuine. I only really read your first post, so I must have missed where you discussed the issues in the course of the thread.
     
  15. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

    Love Bill's 500 series, as well as any other pup of his. You won't be dissapointed!
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  16. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    You are so right!

    Got enough coats of Tru-Oil on the Korina, buffed to a semi-gloss, so was able to assemble her last night. Today I deepened the nut slots and set the intonation. So she’s basically finished!

    [​IMG]

    Just a master volume, push-pull for coil-cut, and a pickup selector switch. Not sure if I’m going to install a tone knob or not. I put my set of Steinberger gearless tuners on it. They’re pretty neat!

    [​IMG]

    For giggles:

    [​IMG]

    I’ve been playing it off and on all day. These pickups have a rich, deep tone, but with loads of sparkling clarity up top. When the coils are cut they sound almost Strat-like. I have a few Wilde pickups on a couple of my basses, and that combination of power and clarity seems to pervade every design of his. Awesome stuff!
     
    CraigB, John Nicholas and eallen like this.
  17. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

    Gorgeous work!
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  18. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    281
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
  19. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    54
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    Been strumming on it over the long holiday weekend, getting to know it. I fixed a little wiring mistake, and added a treble bleed cap. These L500s really are astonishing. So much tonal range, even just using the volume knob. And so much power on tap! Impressive indeed. Yet, when coil cut and the volume rolled back, it can do a credible job of impersonating an acoustic.

    The three-bolt chambered neck is working out just fine. The carve turned out nice too, like a shallow C shape, slightly asymmetrical, and the maple and ebony (and Tru-Oil) are very smooth feeling. The bridge needed just a little bit of adjustment for intonation and a tiny bit of lift on the bass side. Neck relief is minimal - almost flat. I may back off the rod just a tiny bit more. Upper-fret access is excellent, as planned. Not that I’m a lead player at all. :cool:

    Total weight is 7 lbs 9 oz (3.45 kg) - nice and lightweight.

    I’m pleased!
     
  20. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    It looks great. Glad to here that it sounds good also!!
     
    ctmullins likes this.
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