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My first Tele partscaster build, from Warmoth body/neck

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by RLee77, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. cdwillis

    cdwillis Tele-Meister

    148
    Jan 20, 2010
    Bloomington, IN
    That Korina is going to look great with the rosewood board. It would be hard for me to put a pickguard over the top of that. I'd put a covered neck humbucker in and break it in. Maybe you wouldn't miss the neck single and wouldn't need to worry about a pickgaurd.
     

  2. Kerryelectric

    Kerryelectric TDPRI Member

    Age:
    73
    3
    Nov 4, 2016
    Melbourne
    Looking like the real deal.
     
    RLee77 likes this.

  3. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Yeah I've debated going with no pickguard, I'll see how things look once everything's together. Can't wait to see how the korina is going to look after the finish is applied.
     

  4. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Got the tuner guide pin holes drilled using my new Chicago Electric dremel tool, seems a nice bargain. However, the tuners are not fitting nicely into their holes, they are binding up well short of flush against the headstock. I'm thinking this is a result of the wet sanding and water getting into the tuner holes, swelling the wood. (Although I did do a lot of sandpaper work trying to clean them up last week.)

    I'm wondering if I'm still fumbling along a well-worn path of commonly encountered "oh well!" blunders, or if I've struck out upon a new trail of "what the hell have you done now?".

    I do think I have an easy method of fixing it that seems to be working, at least.

    So here's one of the tuners, binding up partway in:
    [​IMG]

    This shows a bit of the swelling in the hole from the wet sanding:
    [​IMG]

    After a bit of trial and error, I came up with the idea of wrapping some double-sided 3M tape partway around a nut driver, like this:
    [​IMG]

    Then sticking a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to it. This fits very snugly in the hole, due to the padded nature of the tape.
    [​IMG]

    Then this is pressed down into the hole, until the edge of the nutdriver is on the shelf of the countersink, then I can twirl this around, sanding the exact area needed, nice and evenly.
    Maybe I should just get myself a nice sharp 25/64" forstner bit…
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016

  5. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Got a nice CMT 25/64" forstner bit, now I just need to get that other little thingy, what's it called… oh yeah, a drill press. No way am I going to try a hand drill with that type of bit. This makes perfect sense to me; can't waste the bit by not getting the drill press, right?

    This is the same technique I attempted when I bought my Lamborghini wristwatch years ago, figuring I'd get the car to match later, but somehow that didn't work out… but the drill press is a bit more manageable. :D

    But still I'm a tad apprehensive of using a forstner to clean out an already bored hole; it may just bind and grab.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016

  6. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I wouldn't use a Forstner bit. A straight 25/64th drill bit will center itself because the hole is almost big enough. You have no way of centering a Forstner and if you're off by a hair then your tuners won't line up.
     
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  7. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Just use a cheap HF Reamer.

    3 bucks.
     

  8. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks, yes I agree, I'm going to use a normal bit first to clean things up, I would hate to see the forstner bit bite in a bad way and tear a chunk out of my finished neck!
     

  9. Jackadder

    Jackadder Tele-Meister

    452
    Jun 12, 2014
    West Australia
    What's changed your mind on the Babicz?
     

  10. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    I wanted a mostly standard vintage type bridge for this first build; once I establish a baseline, I can adjust components to taste, knowing that I started from a relatively standard setup.
     

  11. Jackadder

    Jackadder Tele-Meister

    452
    Jun 12, 2014
    West Australia
    Fair enough. I will try and elbow my way to the front of the queue if you sell the Babicz!
    Anyway, good luck with the rest of the build, it's looking beaut so far.
     

  12. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Ok, so that didn't go so well. I ended up drilling through 3 of the tuner holes completely with the 25/64 drill, which as you can see from the earlier pics above, have (had) a 11/32 section at the top, for schaller tuners. I knew it was a risky thing to try with a hand drill, but went for it, thinking I could control it better; however it was a new, very sharp drill, and the depth tape I had wrapped on the drill slid up, so I drilled too deep.

    But, these tuners (fender locking type) have a big enough washer to cover the oversized hole on top, so I think it will work out, although I'm pretty bummed at my blunder. I really needed to use a drill press for this. The initial problem was caused by water from wet sanding getting in the pre-drilled tuner holes and swelling them; I'm wondering how others have avoided this.

    Also, another mistake seems to be that the guide pin holes (2 per tuner) are off by a tiny bit, so the tuners don't lay completely flat yet. I think my method of marking them (detailed earlier in the thread) was flawed; I'll figure that out tomorrow.
    So, while I resoundingly messed up at what should have been a simple task (mounting tuners), the fumble won't be visible in the end, and I don't think it matters mechanically (at least I hope not). At least the next neck will benefit from the mistakes made on this first one.

    Some pics with the tuners mounted:
    (Btw, these tuners weigh a freakin' ton!)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016

  13. Loudog99

    Loudog99 Tele-Holic

    526
    Jul 29, 2009
    Howell, NJ
    Great looking build. Tuners look good and like you said the blunders won't show. I typically use a cheap tapered reamer from the back to enlarge neck mounting holes. Even a piece of 400 grit sandpaper rolled up and finger spun in the hole will work. Manual power vs electric works best in this situation, slow and steady.
     
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  14. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Wow, just stumbled accross this thread and..... What a beautiful guitar that will be! I went the bug juice route one time on an acoustic build (Redwood top) and convinced myself that it must be French polished. What a learning curve I went through. Getting the 'rub heat' vs shellac drying thing down was maddening. I had to go backwards many times and it was excruciating! In the end, that top was feather light, lightning fast and gorgeous because of the effort. After its done and you get to enjoy such a fine instrument, and SEE and HEAR and FEEL the fruits of that hard work and extra effort, well, nothing you ever pickup again even comes close to 'your baby'.

    That neck is gorgeous! Great job! Can't wait to see the finished work of art this guitar looks destined to be. That shellac looks really dark for blonde, really really nice hue there.

    PS, You will want a bug juice friendly way to hang, display and store that very special creature. Standard wall hangers, stands destroy it very easily. Rubber pads can chemically 'eat' through and or stain it. Especially latex (surgical tubing)!!! Even nitro does this but not as easily.

    It will shrink and craze and crack and darken over the years ( and look and feel even better IMHO). Resist the urge (advice) to 'correct' or renew it. It will loose its character and you will regret it as I did. That roasted maple is plenty safe, stable by itself. No need to 'maintain' that finish.

    Wow, just wow!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
    RLee77 likes this.

  15. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks, I'm trying not to obsess over the mistakes, could have been worse. I tried a reamer, but with the smaller 11/32 hole at the other end, it seemed like it would ream that more than the swelled parts halfway down.
     

  16. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks, really appreciate the kind words, makes me feel a bit better about messing up the holes.
    Know exactly what you mean by having to go backwards many times on the finish; the final sanding process was the hardest for me, thankfully shellac is forgiving when patching up areas. When I did the final polish with an 8000 pad on the headstock, and saw the mirror shine emerge, that was the best moment. :)
    Yes I've noticed the fragile nature of the finish, I'll have to take care with how I treat it. Looking forward to seeing how it ages.

    Now then, I have that korina body finish to tackle… new challenge!
     

  17. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Looking at that grain and knowing you have gone "bug juice" on the neck....

    I didnt mean to give you the idea that the shellac finish is inferior. Most methods of finishing are a bit fragile immediately after application. Sounds like you did about 13 layers in a relatively short time. Give it some time to do a free standing post cure and it should toughen up. Looking at that slab of Black Korina.... and considering you went a much tougher route on the neck... that grain screams for a really thin hand loaded and rubbed FP.... What an instrument!!! Take a damp rag and just moisten that beautiful piece of wood and imagine it with the depth that an FP would produce!!! After the grain is loaded it only requires a few coats. Yes, it is labor intensive but when you get the rhythm down its a total zen thing and there is nothing that looks or sounds (im speaking acoustic tops now) like hand polished Lac bug poop!! Nothing worth while is ever easy. Seriously. What a priceless family heirloom this particular Tele would be! Please look on some acoustic guitar forums for stunning examples and you will be hooked! Luthiers are the masters of the art too!!
    Typically acoustic builders are REALLY snobby to outsiders but there are quite a few great guys at: http://www.lint.org/
    My only advice is buy or make a good hand scraper and scrape (do not sand!) the body prior. MUCH finer finish and a quarter of the time and effort! just sayin'
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    BTW my #1 is a Warmoth tele. I started building them in the mid 80's and have never needed to look beyond thier quality product. To date I've owned 9 of them. I only have the one now but this thread and the need for a guitar with a trem has me on thier site lately.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016

  18. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    I think I figured out why the guide pin holes I marked very early on were off (by a tiny amount, but enough to keep them from laying flat), and thought I'd explain it in case others use the technique I did.
    The pin holes were all a bit low (toward the center of the tuner). This was likely due to the tuners tilting when I tightened the nut to make the pins mark the wood. The mark wasn't made by the center of the pin, but rather the outer edge of the pin as it sat at an angle on the wood. This was enough to throw it off, as the pins are fairly thick. Hope that's not too obtuse of an explanation!
    Anyway, I have elongated the holes upward a bit with my dremel, and now the tuners lay flat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016

  19. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks for the recommendations, I can use any and all advice.
    I've read a bit on the French polishing technique, and it interests me, but I guess I don't quite understand how it works exactly. From my small experience applying shellac, it seems continuously rubbing wet shellac over a previously finished area will just melt the previous coat; how do you get any build up or thickness that way?
     

  20. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Yes. for the longest time you are "loading" the pours of the wood. Its a contant and seemingly fruitless task for the longest time. This is the most important phase for getting a smooth finish free of grain valleys. This is a different process to the method you used on your neck. French polishing uses mineral oil to help load the pours. The link to article below is for a method that also uses very fine pumice dust (which becomes transparent) to fill larger pours.
    I'm sure you can get a idea of just how spectacular that body would look from your adventures on the neck. The pad is known as a tampon (I know, right?) Stewmac suggest pipe cleaners or small squeeze bottle to help as an applicator. The polish pad needs to be something soft of cotton. I used a cotton diaper string tied into a bulb filled with t-shirt material. Once you understand how you are filling and building, the rest is elbow grease. I am not familiar with Black Korina, but, if it is a dense, tight grained wood (as apposed to, say, mahogany) it will go faster. Good luck!

    https://www.shellac.net/Shellac-FrenchPolish.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
    RLee77 likes this.

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