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eBay 12 string "Tele" Kit Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by DesmoDog, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 28, 2010
    SE Michigan, USA
    As mentioned in my intro thread, I bought another kit to try my hand at.
    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/welcome-wagon/228320-my-intro-its-long.html#post2696688

    It showed up today so I thought I'd start a build thread for it. I've also got two bike projects underway right now so I'm not sure how quickly this will go together, but here it is.
    I got it off of eBay, from a store that has quite a few different kit options, including double neck guitars and hollow bodies.
    http://stores.ebay.com/Reid-and-Son-Violin-Company

    This one was a "buy it now" for $139, including shipping. I thought it would be a good way to experiment with finishing the body and neck, plus give me an idea of how much I liked 12 string electric guitars before I plunked down big money to buy a "real" one. Make no mistake, I'd much prefer to be putting another Warmoth together but come on. $139? A cheap education if you ask me.

    Here's what was awaiting me when I got home from work today. No brand name on the box - nothing.
    [​IMG]

    Packaging was ok. I think the ebay store must open them up and check them before shipping, the box was taped shut with the staples not, um, stapling anything. It also looked like the components had been re-wrapped after leaving whatever overseas factory this came out of.
    [​IMG]


    Here's what you get for $139. The cheapo 3-way switch was no surprise, but there were a few things I didn't expect to see.
    [​IMG]


    I wasn't sure if it had binding or not, the ebay ad made it look like it might but I couldn't be sure. The neck is no great piece of wood with a few knots and maybe a small crack developing at the end of the fretboard? (The fret board is glued on, this is not a one piece neck) Doesn't look like it will be an issue but I'll check it closer when I have time.
    [​IMG]

    Looks like the body is made up of three pieces. The ad claims it's basswood. I'm no expert on wood so I'll assume it is. It's still pretty fuzzy and there are some minor tear outs at some of the holes, but nothing that will cause issues. According to the Warmoth site, Basswood is rather soft and easily damaged. This body has a few dings it already but again, nothing I saw should cause a problem.
    [​IMG]

    Surprise #1. The bridge has intonation adjustments for the octave strings too. Wasn't expecting that. Granted it doesn't look like a top-end bridge but it's nicer than I expected. Six strings go through the body, six are toploaded. Sounds like a takeoff of the Gotoh bridge but I've never seen one to know how close it is.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The frets have some sharp edges and they look a little too beveled to me, but we'll see how it goes together. I think they overdid the rounding of the fingerboard edge? The neck* seems pretty wide, but it IS a 12 string after all! I'll put a caliper on it at some point but for now I'd say it's about 1/8 wider than my Warmoth neck, which is a 1 11/16"* IIRC.
    [​IMG]


    So there it is. Now to decide on a finish. I had been thinking Butterscoth Blonde but in surfing the Telecaster forum it seems that's what everybody does to their tele so now I'm thinking some sort of white... not sure if the grain is prominent enough for a Mary Kaye finish to work? Neck will likely be either Tru Oil or a satin finish from Reranch.
    [​IMG]

    A couple other comments/observations. The wires from the pickups are shielded, which I didn't expect. I'm not sure how high quality they are, but it's a nice attempt anyway.

    The binding is already pulling away from one side of the neck pocket and will need to be reglued. If that's the worst problem I have I'll be ecstatic.

    The neck fit seems good, I'm happy with it.

    The pick guard and screws look kinda crude. Might order something up from GFS if it starts to bug me.

    The top two holes for the mounting screws for the bridge haven't been drilled yet. Hopefully the bottom ones give a good enough fit that bridge alignment won't be an issue.

    No instructions! In fact no literature of any kind. Absolutely no brand name on anything, anywhere. IIRC the ebay ad did mention the store would send instructions through e-mail if requested. I]m more interested in instructions on wood finishing at this point so that's no big deal, but if this were someone's first experience with this sort of thing it might be a bit disconcerting!


    All in all, it's about what I was expecting with a few nice surprises. If I had to choose one thing I don't have much confidence in at this point it'd be the neck... would it be stupid to spend $200 on a Warmoth neck for my $139 "tele" clone? :lol:
     
  2. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Jan 6, 2008
    Franklin, TN
    That looks like a pretty nice cheap kit. Nice features for an extra guitar.
     
  3. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    That looks like a heck of a deal for the price. I think I paid around $170 for a Warmoth 12 string neck back in 2005.

    Bound body, 12 string neck, 12 string bridge plus everything else you need. Heck of a deal.
     
  4. homerzeppelin

    homerzeppelin Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 21, 2009
    USA
    I misted my cheap-o grizzly kit pick guard (white) with some tinted amber nitro, then sprayed a nice layer in clear. It gave it a different look to it.

    You might want to try that on the black guard before buying a new one. At worst, its a little bit of spraying practice!
     
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    There's nothing wrong with basswood. It was the wood that half of the pointy hair metal guitars were made from. It is dimensionally stable and will take opaque paint well. It doesn't have much grain to pop but if you oil it, the grain will show through I guarantee it. The kit looks like a pretty good value for the money spent.
     
  6. cguy

    cguy TDPRI Member

    8
    Oct 6, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    IMO the neck and pups are the biggest factors in the tone of a solid body electric guitar. The basics here look OK so I don't think its stupid to spend $200 on a good neck. You might want to check the neck route though to see if a Warmoth (or other tele spec) will fit. A lot of the asian bodies have different cutout dimensions.

    Good luck
     
  7. Reverend D

    Reverend D Tele-Meister

    483
    Jul 13, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    Wow, as others have said for the dough that looks pretty decent. I'll have to watch this thread for sure. I've been jonesin for a 12 string tele. Since its a cheap kit and your thinking of satin spraying the neck, personally I'd get a can of Deft 01704 satin lacquer. Its about 9.00 bucks a can (at most hardware stores) instead of the reranch 13.00 + shipping. No, I have nothing against Reranch its a fine product, just think your paying for a relabel basically of something similar to the Deft. Add whatever stain you want to dye the neck or leave it clear but just thought I'd mention a cheaper alternative since thats been my goal here recently. The Deft is still nitro and works real good. Good luck with it.

    Regards,

    Don
     
  8. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 28, 2010
    SE Michigan, USA
    Thanks for the info Don. I've decided to do the neck with Tru-Oil if for no other reason to get experience using it. For the body I'm going to go with a solid color... but I'm not sure which one yet.

    I've been surfing Warmoth and ReRanch looking at stock Fender colors but now I'm thinking of using something more generic.
     
  9. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 28, 2010
    SE Michigan, USA
    The peg head on this is way to generic and they left enough room to do something with it, so today I started screwing around with different shapes. These are all free hand just to get an idea of where to go so don't take them too literally, but here are my top contenders at the moment. Obviously they could be reversed too.

    This shot also shows what the routing under the pickguard looks like. I was hoping it was more of a universal route in case I wanted to experiment with pickups, but so be it.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a better look at the shapes. First one I drew out (upper left) was based on a Fender shape I saw in a picture somewhere. The others kind of grew from that in no certain order.
    [​IMG]

    I have a favorite, and I think I've chosen a color for the body, but I'm not saying anything yet. I often change my mind at the last minutes. Besides, I could screw up when I cut it out and I'd never be able to hide my mistake if you knew what I was shooting for! :lol:
     
  10. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    My vote is for the upper right design. It's reminiscent of the snakehead shape. In fact I would probably go with a smaller radius on the corners.
     
  11. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    If you decide to cut the headstock to shape, test fit to be sure the tuner doesn't overhang the edge before you cut - some of those designs are looking pretty close! :D
     
  12. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 28, 2010
    SE Michigan, USA
    Excellent point, thanks for reminding me.

    I thought of that this morning, but I can see myself improvising when the time comes and making that mistake... plus I never did actually CHECK the tuners, I just guessed where they'd be.

    The tuners are pretty small so I think I'm ok, but I'll have to make sure to double check whatever it is I decide to go with!

    [​IMG]

    And now in looking at the upper left design, yeah, I think that could be a problem... oops.
     
  13. julesyoung

    julesyoung Tele-Meister

    Age:
    60
    278
    Jul 22, 2010
    alnwick uk
    further down the road a hockey-stick neck ?
    funnily enough i used exactly the same bridge but with 6 saddles on 6 str build
    never crossed my mind that it was a 12str bridge

    ( or is it just me ....)
     
  14. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 28, 2010
    SE Michigan, USA
    In a word, no. I'm not a fan of that shape. At all.

    I didn't get as much done this weekend as I had hoped, I spent more time than expected working on a bike in prep for a little event this Friday.

    The GOOD news is, I found some Tru-oil at a shop about 5 minutes from my house. I completely forgot we have a gun shop in town until I was literally heading out the door to drive 30 minutes to a place I knew would have it. But, that place is about 5 minutes from a guitar shop so I missed out on that. Might have saved me some money?

    The BAD news is... I managed to spill the Tru-oil all over my bench while I was doing the third coat. And it was the last bottle the local place had. I think I have enough to finish the neck (no pun intended) though.

    Verdict is still out on the Tru-oil. I have all the equipment to spray things (I paint motorcycles on occasion) and I'm not so sure I wouldn't rather have sprayed this? Oh well, I did this to learn a few things, and I'm certainly learning. Still have low confidence this neck is going to be worth a rip. I suspect the nut will need work to even be playable and the frets don't look so hot either.

    One of the holes for the pick guard was messed up so I glued a plug in that, along with gluing the loose binding.

    [​IMG]

    Obviously since i'm finishing the neck I decided on a peg head shape. In the end it came down to, this guitar is supposed to be pretty basic, nothing fancy. So I went with the simple design and just rounded the corners.

    [​IMG]

    I also chose a color. After debating way too many choices I ruled out any finish involving stains. I made up my mind to use Deft sanding sealer, Duplicolor laquer, and Deft clear.

    I went to the autoparts store looking for a metallic blue or red, but when I saw all those colors I kinda froze and did my classic change my mind at the last minute deal. I came home with an Arctic White. Again, the guitar is supposed to be simple, and white with black is about as simple as it gets. Also, when I was a lad my brother had a bass that was white with a maple neck.

    Hopefully I can make more progress in the next few days, but the bike still needs work so it may be a while.
     
  15. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Excellent ........... I like the look.
     
  16. Steveinthesticks

    Steveinthesticks Tele-Meister

    131
    May 11, 2006
    Austin
    Look forward to seeing the build out, I bought the kit at least six months ago. I have it sitting next to my bed assembled unfinished and strung for late night noodling. Have not been able to decide on colors or headstock shape yet.

    I was impressed with the very snug neck fit on mine. The hardware was not great but better than I expected.

    Steve
     
  17. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 28, 2010
    SE Michigan, USA
    I've made a little progress over the past few days. I think the neck is done - it's got about 6 costs of Tru-oil on it and has been sitting for a few days now. I've buffed it to about where I think it should be. Yesterday it still seemed like it got kind of tacky when I had any kind of moisture on my hand.. I'm hoping that changes as it sets up more. I still haven't decided if I like Tru-oil. I think the biggest thing it has going for it is I don't have to clean up a spray gun when I'm done using it! But I'm trying some Deft aerosol on the body. Depending on how that turns out I'd like to try a maple neck with Deft satin finish sometime too. Hmm... another build maybe? :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, I know it's a very light color. I don't particularly care for a lot of the tints I see so I thought I'd try it in a natural finish.

    I also started spraying the body. One coat of Deft sanding sealer followed by a few coats of Duplicolor lacquer. I'm a bit disappointed with my masking job on the binding. The sides worked ok but the top was a mess. I've got a lot of scraping to do... I knew I'd have SOME but not this much. I also tried to pull the tape too soon so I may have a little repair work to do here and there before I can sand it down and spray some clear on it. I'm not a big fan of binding...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Reverend D

    Reverend D Tele-Meister

    483
    Jul 13, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    Looks good Craig, I think you made some good decisions, the headstock is clean and elegant (and yeah it does have the snake head vibe which is great), nice clean color and it looks like it'll turn out great. Anxious to hear how it sounds at the end of the day. Oh yeah on the binding, its par for the course, Gibson from the video I've seen on they're Les Pauls doesn't even mask it, they scrape the whole thing.

    Regards,

    Don
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  19. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 28, 2010
    SE Michigan, USA
    Well I tried to clean up the binding this afternoon. My efforts weren't entirely a success... it looks ok from a distance but don't get too close! Sanded the white and sprayed some clear coat too. I really like the Deft clear so far, sprays nicely and zero runs in four coats. With bikes (using spray guns) I'm always getting at least one run in the clear at some point!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also took a look at the neck again. I'm liking the Tru-oil more the longer it has to set up. Time will tell how it feels on a sweaty hand but for now it seems like a decent finish.

    So the score so far;

    Don't like Teles => I like Teles more than most other guitars but still not as much as, say, a hollowbody Gretsch or a Strat. (That's a huge change BTW)

    Don't like maple fingerboards => I still don't care for maple fingerboards

    Don't like cheap kits => Verdict is still out

    Not sure about binding => No desire to have binding, would prefer it to not be there on a solid body guitar.

    Tru-oil vs spray on finish => No decision yet. So far I like them both, for different reasons.
     
  20. Reverend D

    Reverend D Tele-Meister

    483
    Jul 13, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    Once tru-oil cures it can be top coated with nitro btw, not sure why people would want to except for the color, but I've seen it done. I like maple necks myself, I like the gloss as I've never had them feel gummy, but it depends on what you like, some peoples hands get wet I don't have that problem. I really hate satin necks, never fell for the look or the feel. Anyway looking good!

    Regards,

    Don
     
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