Custom Tele Build (need advise)

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Maverick44m, May 23, 2019.

  1. Maverick44m

    Maverick44m NEW MEMBER!

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    Howdy fellas. I'm not great at introductions, so I figured I'd just jump in head first. My name is Aaron, and I'm a relatively new guitarist (been playing a little over a year). My first guitar was a Squier Telecaster, and I've really just fallen in love with the Telecaster platform. I love the look, the feel, and the sound.

    Anyways, I've reached the point where I know this is something I'm going to stick with, and I've started looking at getting another guitar. I've decided that I want to build it instead of just buying it so that I can get exactly what I want. I have over 10 years of experience as a woodworker, so building the body should be pretty easy. I posted a thread similar to this one on another forum, but it died off pretty quickly and I still had questions. The main thing is that I don't know a lot about the electronic side of things. I mostly play classic rock, punk rock, and a little bit of country, so I was thinking of getting a Humbucker for the bridge and a single coil for the neck. One recommendation I looked at was a Seymour Duncan Little 59, which is a single coil sized humbucker. I don't know much about it, but it looks nice, and to my untrained ears it sounds nice. I'm not sure what neck pickup to pair with it though if I go that route.

    Here's what I was thinking for the body. I want to make it out of Alder and top it with some extremely nice Quilted Maple. I want to dye the Maple green, and have it fade into black, with the sides and back being pure black. I also want to do a high polish on the body, as well as possibly do double edge binding.

    The pattern I plan on buying is for a Thinline, only I'm make it a solid body instead of semi hollow.

    This is pretty close to the color/fade I want.

    [​IMG]

    For the pickguard, I'm thinking of using a Thinline style guard. I like the shape, and it shows off a bit more of the wood. I'm not sure what color to go with that. Maybe pure black, or maybe black pearl? It would be really cool if I could get one in black with just a bit of green in it.

    Hardware wise, I'm thinking that matte black and chrome would go great with the green/black body. I am open to suggestions on what hardware to get.

    For the neck, I'll probably go with Warmoth. Building a neck from scratch is a little bit more than I want to take on for my first build. I think a Flame Maple shaft with a dark Indian Rosewood fretboard would probably look good with the body. My hands are pretty big, so a 1 3/4" nut might be a good idea. I like the standard thin profile of my Squier, so I'll probably stick with that. How do you guys feel about compound radius fretboards (10" to 16")?

    BTW, lets just assume the budget is $600-$700 just so I don't go super crazy. This is one of those things that I'll probably build over a period of time, so the budget is going to be flexible.

    Thanks in advance fellas. Any advise or suggestions are welcome. I think this is going to be an awesome project, and I look forward to learning more about building guitars. :D
     
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  2. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Gidday Aaron..................The recipe you have devised sounds like a viable plan, but sadly you lost me when the green body came up, all the rest sounds good! Nothing personal but I just don't like green anything much apart from some vegetables, but if they invented an orange or yellow lettuce I'd eat that!

    DC
     
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  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Howdy!
    Great build idea!
     
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  4. Kneel Young

    Kneel Young TDPRI Member

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    I'm with Davecam48. Blue is a lot like green, but different. But, if you want green, you should do it. You mentioned dye. I never found anything that could be used as a finish coat that didn't change the dyed color. Do some testing! Good luck!
     
  5. Kriticaster

    Kriticaster Tele-Holic

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    Hey Aaron, welcome to the forum!
    I started my journey here rather like you, jumping into a partscaster build and learning along the way...

    It’s a great community of knowledgeable people who are happy to help if you’re trying to help yourself

    I’d be keen to see a build thread of your progress...

    Get stuck in!
     
  6. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Meister

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    A good neck pickup with the Little 59 is the Vintage Stack. Those are often sold together (and offered as a set). Both pickups are noiseless (my favorite).
     
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome, Maverick. What you are proposing is doable but might be pushing the envelope for a new builder. I sincerely recommend getting Melvyn Hiscocks book for general background on building an electric guitar. Spend some time studying the section on geometry - you want to really understand that before you start designing your guitar.

    I can't comment on you pickup choice except to say the typically humbuckers and single coils like different values for tone and volume pots and for capacitors. However people do mix them all the time, just make sure you are are using the right values of controls. Another option is to use two humbuckers but provide so called "coil splitting" (actually, usually grounding one coil) - that way you can get single coil sounds along with the 'bucker.

    Some potential issues. I assume the guitar in your picture is just to show the colors - just know that staining wood and fading one color into another can be very tricky. I can point you to some good background information, but as you build keep every piece of maple scrap to practice on - you are going to want to have the process nailed before you put stain to a nice piece of wood.

    Binding is tricky, plastic is much easier than wood but its still not easy. As far as I know, the only difference between a thinline and standard tele is the chambering and f-hole. There is a good accurated D sized tele plan on this forum that many of us have used to make our guitars. Here are two that I have built recently, a maple caped chambered tele and a LP shaped guitar. Both are bound, the tele has some grain enhancement

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/a-chambered-tele-ish-sort-of-thing.884657/

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/a-chambered-lpish-looking-thing.874641/

    Edit to add, if you want to see an incredible green/blue sunburst and how to apply it, look at the upper video on this page. I can't just embed the vid but Condino does some of the finest stains and 'bursts. Note that he uses water soluble stains because his final finish is French polish - you may want to do something else (I don't think FP is a good choice for electric guitars)

    http://condino.com/skoolin/
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  8. Maverick44m

    Maverick44m NEW MEMBER!

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    I know the green is not for everyone, but I like it. To each his own. The funny thing is, I used to hate green. That shade of green is one of my favorite colors now. For the finish coat, I'll probably go with nitro. I'll do some testing and make sure everything turns out just how I want it before I do anything to the guitar.

    Kriticaster, I looked through your Trashcaster thread. You did a fantastic job bringing her back to life. I'll definitely be sure to keep this thread updated as I go.

    I will look into that vintage stack and see how I like it. Thanks!

    Freeman, yep. I'm diving in head first with this project. I figured that if I'm going to put in all the work, I might as well make it just how I want it. :D If it wasn't for my experience as a woodworker, I would not be taking on a project like this. I've seen quite a few videos on building guitars and doing the detail work like the binding, and it looks like a challenge. I think I'll be able to get it done right though. I've done fine detail work before. I will definitely look into that book and take some time studying it. The color is probably going to be the most challenging part of the build. I will definitely do a lot of testing before I do anything to the guitar. I will also do some reading on pickups to make sure I get that right. What good is a pretty guitar if it sounds bad?

    I believe that's the only difference on the Thinlines too. The only thing I want from it is the pick guard just because I really like that look. Though my next build might be a Thinline. That would be fun. ;)

    I will check out that video and those threads right now. Thanks!

    Thanks again fellas. I will keep you all updated.
     
  9. cleanheadsteve

    cleanheadsteve Tele-Meister

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    i love green
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Drak

    Drak Tele-Holic

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    Just speaking to colors and hardware...
    I have (probably) thousands of guitar pics on my computer.
    I have them classified/categorized in many different ways.
    Shapes, colors, hardware, specialized details, and more.

    When I'm aiming at a particular color for a new build, I'll open a new file.
    I'll stick in there shots of 'damn close' to what I want, and shots that are to the left and right of 'that'.
    Dead on, too light, too dark, etc.
    The brain will then 'understand' better where it is you want to go.
    Its important for me to 'see' pics that are 'too' this and 'too' that to help me really Zero In on what it is I DO want.

    For you, who will be learning as you go, it will be important to zero in on this.
    There are a thousand shades of green, some have been shown above.
    Here's another with some colorful hardware/pickup choices.
    Start a file now, collecting a bunch of green bursts so you can understand how many varieties there are out there.
    And you can begin to zero in on what you want.
    And when it comes time for the tires to meet the pavement and you're actually mixing up your green, you'll know if its right or if its wrong.
    And work on scrap cutoff pieces until you hit it.
    Never 'practice' on the real thing.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice choices!
    Little 59 and the regular 59 hum are great pickups.
    Check classictonewoods on flee bay, they have great Alder blanks. I also noticed that the Wood Yard also has Alder in stock for good prices. I'm not affiliated with either but have bought lumber from both through eBay. As for the top Quilted Maple book matched tops are $$$. If you have access to the ability to re-saw a piece into a bookmatch top you might be able to save yourself some $$. For me that's part of the fun right there, what will the book match reveal?
    Anyway ....with a good bit of wood working skill the learning curve isn't as bad. Consider hollowing out the alder for weight and comfort. It can still have the look of a solid body but be comfortable to play. I have a G&L Blues Boy that is this made just like that and it's a dream to play.
    Bob Flexner's book on finishing wood mixed with the Stew Mac book for guitar finishing are great if you are going to go all out. There are many great videos out there from finishing too. I think there are a couple of things to remember. 1.) Prep is always the key to a nice finish. 2.) You CAN get a great finish w/out spray equipment. 3) Have FUN!
     
  12. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I just want you to know that the information found above is PRICELESS in my opinion. I have not read any of these threads as of yet but they are saved and book marked for future use. Mr. Kirn is a legend and you would be miles ahead to follow his lead in the building game.

    In your quest for a Tele that is not quite a tele you can check out my build from a few years ago. I think something like that in John Deere Green would be great!
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/new-build-the-bruisercaster.521076/page-2
     
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  13. Jakethedog

    Jakethedog TDPRI Member

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    I’d consider a strat pickup to go with that little bucker. You already have what I assume to be a standard tele setup, so why not mix it up a bit? I put a Texas special in the neck of mine and love it.

    As to the plan, all sounds good to me. I’d practice the burst on scrap wood a bunch before going on a nicely quilted too though, burst is a little tricky. It’s not so hard to do an okay job, but it’s pretty hard to do an excellent job.

    If you like your squier neck, you could probably pick up the same neck online fairly cheap. Nothing wrong with squier necks and they are usually less than fender or aftermarket.

    The electronics are fairly straightforward, it’s not too hard. Get a good iron, watch some you tube, and have at it. Even if you fry a pot or something like that, it’s cheap to get a new one.

    Good luck, I like the green burst idea, post pics!
     
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