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Attempting A 12 String Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by rscalzi, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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    Hi All,

    I have not had a build thread in a while so I thought I start one for my next project.

    My last build was one that resembled that brand that always generates way
    too many comments on the pros/cons/rights/wrongs on building one. Given that, I'll resist the temptation to post a photo here but, it turned out so well that I now have the urge for a 12 string guitar.

    I was going to try to build something like a 360, but thought why not a 12 string tele. I have a body cut out and ready to go from last year that I never used.

    [​IMG]

    I've seen a couple threads on tele 12's here. Anything in particular I should look out for? I have not settled yet on what the headstock will look like or the layout of the tuners. Any thoughts?

    Oh, btw... on my last project I ended up using a piece of corian for the nut. I found that it was very easy to work with and works really well. Anyone else ever try that with good results?
     
  2. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    IMO the hardest thing is designing a headstock that looks right and works. Other than that its just like any other build.

    I use corian quite a bit and really like it.
     
  3. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire

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  5. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, here in the center is the one I built this year:



    [​IMG]


    And it's headstock, a mix of the Tele-Snakehead and that unmentionable "R" word



    [​IMG]


    Unlike the other brand, this headstock does not exist in nature, I had to design it, proto it, then build it. It was the main reason my build challenge was not on time. I wanted the string runs straight (they are) and not crossing each other, or running across wood (they don't) or requiring string trees of any kind (it doesn't). And it was a royal pain! :D


    John Kingma there above me, built a real beauty, with a conventional headstock..............very nice


    Needless to say, I did a lot of research for my headstock..............and I'm going to give you all the pics so you can decide for yourself



    This is a different one that Fender used


    [​IMG]


    This is a Univox


    [​IMG]


    Homemade, from right here on the forum


    [​IMG]


    A half-scale 12, and one of my faves


    [​IMG]


    Another half-scale, a Dano


    [​IMG]


    A really weird, half slot,half flat peghead on an Italian guitar I believe


    [​IMG]


    An older Yamaha


    [​IMG]


    A Hammertone half-scale 12-string, and one my faves as well. It was basically the half-scale Vox 12, with all the bad stuff fixed :D


    [​IMG]


    And the layout of the Gotoh 12-string bridge, which you can use as is, use the saddles in a tele dual loader bridge, or make one of your own...............there are many ways to go here. With 40$ plus shipping, I used the Gotoh :D


    [​IMG]


    Needless to say, there are tons of others, you just have to google them ;)


    Any other questions, let me know :)
     
  6. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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    jkingma - thanks for the input. I've seen some of your threads and always enjoyed them.


    dsutton24 - Thats a nice tele 12 !!


    crazydave- Wow! Thats some great info on headstock for me to look through.
    I wanted to stay away from the straight 6 on a side really long headstock. Nothing wrong with it, just not what I want. I really like your hybrid headstock.
    [​IMG]
    I was gonna try something like that. Not sure I can pull it off, but I'm gonna give it a try. Did you have a thread for that build? Wouldn't mind seeing a few picks of the process of building that headstock.

    That Italian guitar is kind of cool. I would not try to make it, but it is nice to look at.
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, lots of info to go through. Thanks again for all the input.
     
  7. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This is the headstock on the one and only 12 string I did.

    Well, my son and I did it... his guitar... his design... looks pretty good IMO.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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    I like this. Looks like you kept things nice a tight so the headstock wasn't real long and has a curve. I might go this route. I'm thinking trying to have half on the side and half on the back using the slotted headstock might be more than I can handle cleanly.
     
  9. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, as I said, mine was from the 2012 Build Challenge here on TDPRI, though I did not finish on time :(. Here is the LINK.
    There was another that did not finish, that had a headstock similar to mine that might be easier to build LINK.

    Just a note here, 102 people started the Build Challenge this year, of those 4 were 12-string builds. None finished on time, and to the best of my knowledge, mine is the only one that got finished at all, and I had to redo the nut :oops:
    I'm NOT saying this to discourage you (plus we had a deadline), but if you do a search here for "12-string", you'll find maybe 6 that finished the guitar. An electric 12 takes a real commitment to finish, it's extra work and parts, and no matter how simple you set out to make it, complications worm their way in. Also, check out John Kingma's 12-string build thread, it's very complete. All I guess I'm saying, is plan well ahead of time...............then stick with the plan, that will get you a finished instrument. If you come up with a new idea half way through, shelve that for the next build and go ahead and finish this one. I came up with many ideas during my build, and hopefully one day will get to build one or two, but keep your eyes on the prize, that will get you a new guitar to play
     
  10. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Making any kind of slotted headstock, means making a template and using a drill and router..............read the threads, then make a decision ;)
     
  11. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the input dave. I did find your build thread. While I'm pretty comfortable with a router and drill, after careful consideration, I will be going with the 6 on a side slightly curved headstock. My plan is to make the headstock with some scrap first to make sure I get everything lined up right so I don't have any surprises when I go to string it up. I'll probably also buy the 12 - string bridge although I'm not crazy about the staggered string through holes.

    I plan to go only as fast as I can without rushing things(which I have a hard time doing) I'll post my progress as I go. I'm thinking I may just buy a 12 string nut to save myself some grief :)

    Feel free to chime in anytime with suggestions/advice.
     
  12. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    A VERY good plan ;)

    I wasn't either...............FWIW, there are certain tele dual-loading bridges, that you can put the bridge saddles of the Gotoh and have your cake and eat it too :), tele bridge, 12-string, and straight string ferrules ;)
     
  13. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, you want an Affinity Telecaster dual load bridge. That bridge has a taller than normal back lip (the part where the treble strings and saddle screws pass through). You need the additional height because the Gotoh saddles are thicker than normal saddles. This is the bridge combination I used on my Telecaster and Telemaster.
     
  14. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the info!!
     
  15. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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    Will be ordering some parts in the next couple days.
    In the mean time, I'll glue up a neck blank ....

    [​IMG]

    On my last project, I used a set neck instead of the bolt on. Seemed to work really well so I'm gonnna go that route again.

    Matter of fact, think I will lay out my "plan" in the next post.
     
  16. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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  17. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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  18. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity

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    I converted an MIM Standard Telecaster to a 12-string back in 2005 using a Warmoth 12 string neck and the Gotoh 12-string saddles on the original bridge. This required drilling top loader holes in the rear lip of the bridge. This was my first guitar mod.

    ......[​IMG]
     
  19. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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    Jack,
    That looks like it turned out really nice.
    When you drilled the top loader holes did you eyeball it or is it critical to be very accurate?

    I have a bridge I could use , but probably just as easy to order the dual loader.
     
  20. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    First, your going to have to order the Gotoh bridge for the saddles. Jack (or you) didn't have to eyeball it. Once you remove the saddles from the Gotoh bridge-plate, you have it to use as your pattern for drilling the holes in the back lip of the Fender (or whatever bridge you have) bridge. You only need to order the Gotoh bridge, what you might want, could be something else ;)
     
  21. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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    Ah! I get it now. Make perfect sense.
     
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