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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. rauchman

    rauchman TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    6
    May 18, 2018
    NJ
    Wow, what an outstanding job for a great project. I've been playing guitar on Les Pauls and Strats since 1984, and I literally just got into Tele's this past weekend. Among mocking up about 20+ other guitar builds on Warmoth, have been focusing on Tele's this week. You sir have inspired me to go with an unfinished body and go from there. Thanks for the great detail in your build. This will come in handy!!!
     
    RLee77 likes this.

  2. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks, I have been feeling a bit guilty lately for not wrapping it all up and posting the finished result pics. All that's left to do is mount the hardware and wire it up (usually the simple stuff), but I found that I need to do a bit of routing in the front pickup cavity to allow the single coil tele pickup to fit, and I just haven't gotten around to it (although I did get a nice new dremel setup for that).
    Maybe your post will inspire me to finish!
     
    rauchman likes this.

  3. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    I'm hoping to see that neck on the korina body too! I still want to get that body finished -- it's high on my list of projects to finish. Now that the warmer weather is here, I'm running out of excuses...
     

  4. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    RLee - I'm a bit confused. I saw this thread pop up and looked around for pictures of the finished product (since the thread is quite old). It looked like right when you were about to get it all sorted, the thread ended--almost one year ago. Then someone resurrected the thread, but you're still not finished?!? I want to see what you did vis-a-vis the neck pickup and everything else!
     

  5. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    I'm confused too -- where did the time go! I want to see what I do on the finished guitar too!
    The combination of getting slammed at work and needing to set up a working area in my packed garage and cold weather took it's toll... at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. But yes, I'm going to finish! @Jupiter, help me out here! :D
     

  6. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Fair enough. I just didn't think it possible that someone on this site--or really anyone, for that matter--could get so close to having a completed Telecaster in their hands and then just go on hiatus for a year! I think there should be some kind of Forum punishment for this! :)
     
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  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Into the woodstove with it!
    [​IMG]
     
    RLee77 likes this.

  8. jwshuck71

    jwshuck71 TDPRI Member

    22
    Aug 6, 2016
    OKC, OK
    i realize i resurrected a necro thread, but it was germane to my current build. i finally got the neck pickup wire threaded and pulled. i got some 18awg wire and some bent tip super long tweezers. i was able to get the pull wire thru, then, since the hole was too small for tape, i soldered the pickup wires onto the pull wire and it worked perfectly. can't believe i didn't think of that earlier. now i just have to get the ferrules installed on back and i can string it up.

    Lacewood top on Chambered Alder body
    Roasted Maple Fatback Neck
    Suhr Woodshed Pickups
    Cut down Compensated Vintage Bridge
    Strat Switch and VT placement


    Pics https://plus.google.com/+jasonwilliamshuck/posts/M6DFfyUHLdm
     
    RLee77 likes this.

  9. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Glad you got it resolved jw!
    Hopefully this won't be a necro thread much longer, as I just this weekend got an area setup in the garage to do some pickup cavity routing, and got the dremel set up with the grinding wheel. Since I don't want to hold the dremel freehand, I just ordered a routing attachment for it (along with a drill press) which will arrive Wed, and planning on getting the minor routing done next weekend... yay. This project WILL be finished... really. :p
     
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  10. jwshuck71

    jwshuck71 TDPRI Member

    22
    Aug 6, 2016
    OKC, OK

  11. jwshuck71

    jwshuck71 TDPRI Member

    22
    Aug 6, 2016
    OKC, OK
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
    RLee77 likes this.

  12. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    At long last — Progress on my build! :eek:o_O

    So I left off — a bit of time ago — with me discovering that I needed to do a bit of routing to allow the tele neck pickup to fit properly. This was a surprise to me; I had thought that a neck humbucker rout would provide ample room, but no sir it does not. Lesson learned.
    I was puzzling out the best way to fix this (I don’t have a wood shop with all the right tools) and then work and life duties intensified, so here we are.

    Anyway, after contemplating various ways to do this, half-baked at one end of the scale and expensive at the other end, I landed somewhere in the middle.
    Since I had recently bought a new genuine dremel kit (to replace the terrible chicago electric copy — never again will I own that brand), I decided to get the dremel router attachment. Also needing a drill press, I got the dremel drill press setup as well, to drill the pickguard, control plate and string tree holes.

    2BB24002-E650-4C7A-8F8B-3E243DC9C6D8.jpeg E25D8E10-5256-40A1-9A1B-3C828CBABD93.jpeg

    So the first order of business was to mount the pickguard, since that would determine exactly where the neck pickup wanted to be, and also help position the control plate.

    The pickguard fit best when pushed all the way forward against the neck, to allow the control plate to fit well. I carefully marked the hole centers and drilled, using the dremel press for the first time.

    82D64E1C-4188-44E1-A122-6E2431CA4405.jpeg

    The drill press worked wonderfully... the ability to set a depth stop and create perfectly perpendicular holes at a precise location was exciting (you experienced craftsmen will chuckle and think, “duh”). The holes came out perfectly aligned. :)

    Now on to the fraught-with-peril task: the routing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    jwshuck71 likes this.

  13. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    With the pickguard mounted, I was able to position the pickup to match the pg cutout and see where the pickup flanges we’re hitting the wood, and mark for how much I needed to rout out. I removed the neck and taped some paper on the area to allow marking the centerline angle for the router. (The paper cutout isn’t marking the area I’m routing, in case you were wondering; the marking on the wood isn’t visible here.)

    5A9B7670-3F40-486F-98AF-436AC0252808.jpeg

    Then I clamped the body and a piece of guide wood to my bench. As you can see, I need to rout directly into the point of wood in the upper left, and then lower left. The clamps you see are new — I had to make a run to Home Depot for them, once I knew the size I needed.

    DE8D9CA0-0EBB-4BB2-96C9-2F762EDEC3D1.jpeg

    This is the first time I’ve routed anything, let alone a pricy guitar body I was in fear of ruining, so it took a while to get everything figured out and set up. I had to do two passes with the router at different depth settings to get the full depth I needed, then switch everything over to do the other side of the cavity.

    But it all worked astonishingly well! Both of the upper corners of the pickup cavity are now rounded out sufficiently to allow the pickup flanges to easily fit. The dremel router worked very well for this. :cool:

    0CE8029F-0AE2-4F6C-9F94-F056A1702093.jpeg

    With my big obstacle now overcome, I mounted the pickguard, control plate, and bridge with no issues. I strung some thin orange wire in the low/high E strings to see how the neck alignment looked, and it was perfect! I have to hand it to warmoth, their parts fit and quality is amazing.

    B29D7D20-E81B-41BF-AFC3-6DCF701F4CAC.jpeg

    Then I mounted the bridge pickup and put strings on for the first time... an exciting moment (I think this is the first time I’ve put on strings without having to first remove strings).
    Even without doing a set up, it plays great... action is a tad high which I’ll adjust later, but otherwise no issues!

    6E1F5ABB-FDE1-4599-A2EE-52817F774E13.jpeg

    All that remains to be done is mounting the string tree, straploks, and wiring everything up!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  14. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Regarding mounting the string tree... I’ve got both the vintage flat button type and the modern type... it seems like the modern type is preferable since the elevated round posts put the least friction on the strings (although the vintage type would be easier to mount).
    Now I just have to figure out the best way to accurately mark the holes for the guide pin and screw so it’s aligned just right... any tricks for that?

    81E7FEE6-3528-4996-97E3-546BA1005506.jpeg
     

  15. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    The original plan was to swap in the korina body for this swamp ash one once I fill and finish the korina body, but I made the mistake of going to the warmoth site and browsing around, and found a flame maple neck that I just had to have (which arrives tomorrow). So new plan: two teles instead of one. Way better plan, right? So the new flame neck will go on the korina body, and I already have a set of cavaliers for it. Haven't even finished this one yet, and I'm already planning the next...
     
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  16. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    702
    Dec 19, 2017
    Chattanooga
    That’s a beautiful guitar. There were a lot of words that I didn’t read, what pickups did you use?
     

  17. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks... the current build shown above is using fender original vintage '52 pickups.
     

  18. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    The new flame maple neck that I'll be using on the upcoming korina body build arrived last night... so glad I snapped this up from Warmoth, it's a beautiful neck... can't wait to begin the finish process on this one. Thinking of using a deep amber or garnet shellac.

    flameNeck2.JPG

    flameNeck1.JPG
     

  19. jwshuck71

    jwshuck71 TDPRI Member

    22
    Aug 6, 2016
    OKC, OK
    really nice build! looks great.
     

  20. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    At long last — it’s done.

    Got the wiring all done and the fender original vintage ‘52 pickups sound great. Bridge is bright and cutting, just as I wanted. Really glad I wired it in 4 position mode; I really like the aggressive tone of the series position. Very happy with the fender OV 52 pickups.

    Did a full setup using the fender standard factory settings. I set the bridge saddle positions with high E at exactly 25.5” scale length, then set the others to approximate intonation intervals. Had to really crank the saddles back to get them set right.
    Then set the neck relief to the standard .01” at 8th fret, which required flattening the neck a bit. Action set to 4/64” at 17 fret. Everything feels pretty good at these settings, although I do have a few buzzy strings at the 7 to 9th frets. I may raise the action a bit (prefer it on the high side anyway) to see if this helps. Or maybe add a bit more neck relief. However, I have not yet done a fret leveling on this new warmoth neck, so we’ll see. I need to decide on which fret leveling tools to buy.

    The last bits to get mounted tonight were the strap pegs, which were standard fender parts. After marking the positions for the holes, I was thinking about how to to keep the drill (dremel) straight while drilling, and came up with a new (to me anyway) trick to accomplish that... I set the body flat on the bench, and laid the dremel flat on the bench at the proper angle. Then I put a thin cloth on top of layers of thin cardboard under the dremel to raise it to the right height to line it up with the hole, so I could now just slide the drill along the bench, keeping it parallel while drilling. It worked great.

    Then for mounting the strap pegs, I wanted to put felt washers under them to avoid cracking the finish when tightened, but I couldn’t find any in my spare parts stores and realized I needed to MacGyver something. Wandered around looking for something to use, then saw an old leather wallet of mine. I thought thin leather would make great washers, so I cut out a square, put a strap peg on it and used a big wood dowel to press the peg down hard to mark the circle...

    991F064C-DB8A-4901-9650-7F1582D009BD.jpeg

    then cut it out with the precision scissors on my Swiss Army knife...
    DF1A8EC4-39B8-4C9B-A24A-DB64497632EE.jpeg

    Then made another, punched the center holes out and mounted the strap pegs with nice leather washers under them. Worked great and looks nice.

    036EE6EF-BE7F-47E7-83FD-18B2355E7456.jpeg

    All in all, I’m very happy with the build. It weighs in at 6.9 lbs, a nice weight. I haven’t played it enough yet to get a good feel for it, but so far I’m liking it. The neck profile is the thin profile, which seems smaller than my other guitars, which may take some getting used to. Maybe on the next build I’ll investigate a slightly larger neck profile. I’m wondering what warmoth neck profiles others here have tried and liked?

    The somewhat scary thing about finishing is... now I want to do it again! :eek:

    The finished pics...

    61E242C8-DBD3-4F0B-947B-B6255B4A8282.jpeg
    41150247-D879-42FB-B8AC-02ABE4BF4B68.jpeg
    745DA7FB-9110-4A5A-A5F5-CB01C2CC1962.jpeg
     
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