Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups darrenriley.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

My very first build. How to start?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by harriswho, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. harriswho

    harriswho TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    13
    Dec 27, 2017
    Athens, Greece
    Hello everyone!
    I want to build a custom tele. That is going to be my very first build. I have build several other things like furniture etc, even refinished a guitar but haven't actually build a guitar from scratch. I would like to build a custom tele, kinda modern so no sratchplate, two humbuckers and a string through hardtail bridge (no tremolo etc).

    Of course I have already something in mind and it looks like this one.
    [​IMG]
    Looking for templates I have been able to find the more traditional Tele PDF files but these seem to deviate a lot from the design I am aiming for.

    So my questions are:

    1) Is having a template for the neck (scale length, width, nut position, frets position) enough to start? If so how do I know where the 25.5 inch scale length stops since the string saddles are not aligned to the point where the string touches them.

    2) Pickup positions, do they need to be precise down to a millimeter or tracing them out of a picture would do? Same for every other part, knobs position, bladeswitch etc. can these be roughly positioned based on an image instead of actual plans?

    3) Thickness. How thick should the body be, how thick should the neck be. How thick should the fretboard be? I suppose I can pick a traditional telecaster template for those and stick to whatever values they suggest, right?

    Thank you for your time and appreciate any advice given. Looking forward to meeting you all.
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    A good place to start is by reading the various build threads recent build threads that still retain all their pictures. Having a copy of the body and neck plans is important as well. The drawings show the dimensions of all the routs and holes. The build threads show the different ways of approaching it.

    This is a great source for the telecaster information and just about every other guitar most people want to build:

    http://www.gitarrebassbau.de/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=6


    Most tele bodies are 1.75" thick. Some Squiers and other Asian imports come in about 1-5/8" You usually won't find anything thinner than 1.5" with the standard switch arrangement because that would make for a really thin control cavity surface on the back.


    It's handy to have the parts in front of you before hand but you can still make the body to spec according to the TDOwns drawing shown in the sticky on the main HD page at the top. Remember all the routs are covered by parts except the sides of the neck.


    You can stick the pickups where ever you want between the neck end and the bridge saddles. Most pick the standard location for looks and accentuating the bass and treble locations. Controls can be put where ever you want them as well, but ease of use should be a consideration, and proximity to other parts and the edge of the body make sense too. You'll need a 1"-1.25" diameter area around the knob to accept the control pot back and be able to get terminals and wire in there.

    The front edge of the neck cavity lines up with the 16th fret of a tele with a 25.5" scale length. IF you use the Tdowns drawing, the dimensions show where the hole centers for the standard vintage bridge are located.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
    DrASATele likes this.
  3. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I would use the standard Tele plans that Marty indicated above to start with and modify them to what you want. That will give you your dimensions and scale length. You don't want to mess with those. The illustration you're showing is a 24 fret version so that's something you'll have to deal with if that's what you plan on building. Standard Tele's are 21. There are fret calculators out there like at stewmac. If this is your first build you may want to consider a standard scale (25.5") fretboard so you won't have to rethink scale length, neck pockets etc.

    The string through holes on the tdowns plan will usually determine where your bridge will go. Have your bridge available before you drill to check scale length to be sure.

    Your illustration isn't much different from a standard Tele in shape except for the bottom horn. The headstock on the neck is reversed and very similar to a standard Tele. So the plans available would be a good place to start. They are the basic shape you're after and are very easily modified.

    Post a build thread and you'll get lots of help and advice. I've attached the plans most of us here use.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Here is the layout for your humbuckers and that Hipshot bridge in the photo you posted. The rest is easy for anyone with furniture building experience.

    Read the old challenge build threads in the sticky post on page one of the Tele Home Depot for lots of techniques.

    Good luck, you came to the right place.
    Rex
     

    Attached Files:

  5. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jul 20, 2013
    Island of Oahu
    Welcome aboard.
    Its gonna be fun! But be forewarned most can't stop at one.:):D
     
    devrock likes this.
  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
  7. harriswho

    harriswho TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    13
    Dec 27, 2017
    Athens, Greece
    Guys thank you all so much! It's great to have your support and I feel really honored to have received so many replies.
    Marty that link is pure gold not only for the current build but for future builds as well. Thanks man appreciate your input.
    Richard thank you so much I will start with those plans and scale them to actual size so that I start getting a print of the template and sticking it on a piece of MDF or ply. I think I'll go with the standard 21 fret design, that guitar sample was what I like regarding scratchplate (absence of it) and the HH pups configuration. I hope redesigning the bottom horn and headstock wont bring any unwanted surprises plus since this is the first build I think it would be a good idea to work on two different settings. I'm thinking of getting some cheap pine just to make a demo and get the feel of it and if everything works out fine then I'm gonna repeat what I did on the actual piece which is probably gonna be Korina for the body and Padauk for the neck.
    Rex thanks so much for the HH plans that's great for me to start. Will definitely go through the posts not only for knowledge but inspiration as well.
    2blue2 you are totally right, another friend said "you will be thinking of your 5th build when you are working on your 3rd."
    Cheers brookdalebill nice to feel welcomed.

    Thanks guys see you soon!

    Here is one of my latest woodworking projects! Hope the link works.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/mHbvMP8RBo1Fhzkq1
     
    Mat UK likes this.
  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    That's a great table. I love the dog bowls...LOL . You'll have that guitar body done in a couple days.
     
  9. harriswho

    harriswho TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    13
    Dec 27, 2017
    Athens, Greece
    Haha thanks Marty, they are actually cat bowls hahaha!
     
  10. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jan 9, 2010
    virginia
    you might want to read melvyn hiscocks book on making your own electric guitar as a start
     
    DrASATele likes this.
  11. harriswho

    harriswho TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    13
    Dec 27, 2017
    Athens, Greece
    Cheers! Will try and find it although it might be tricky where I come from.
     
  12. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Oh my, that table is brilliant - I predict you will have no problems with the execution of the guitar build. It appears you have both the needed equipment as well as perhaps the most important skill - the ability to carefully think through the upcoming steps to avoid any mistakes and correctly order your work.
    So are cats allowed to eat out of those bowls?

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
  13. harriswho

    harriswho TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    13
    Dec 27, 2017
    Athens, Greece
    Thanks for the compliments guys. Truth is I have no bandsaw no flush trim bits no drill press and nothing related to guitar building such as radius blocks fret cutting tools etc so I'm gonna have to get some of that stuff or think of workarounds. Either way patience is the magic word.
    I already managed to modify the templates you guys provided so I will soon go and print of that stuff and start working on the MDF templates.
    Rex I don't own a cat but I'm sure one would manage to drink out of those bowls. In the meantime it's ideal for peanuts and other beer snacks :)
     
  14. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    Love that table!

    Here's another neck diagram that may help.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    51
    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Welcome to the forum dude. Fantastic looking table! You obviously have the skills to master guitar building, and you're defo in the right place to learn all the tricks of the trade.

    I got into building gats about a year ago, and it gets quite infectious. I tend to jump around on projects, and to date have completed 3 builds with another in its finishing stages. Also have another 3 currently under construction. I have minimal tools for the job, so tend to do things my own way to get around lack of certain things.

    Where there's a will, there's a way! ;)

    Enjoy the experience, and please keep this thread updated to show us your progress. We LOVE pictures! :cool:
     
  16. paulmarr

    paulmarr Tele-Meister

    452
    Nov 9, 2011
    Adelaide, Australia
    Good luck and LOVE that table!
     
  17. harriswho

    harriswho TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    13
    Dec 27, 2017
    Athens, Greece
    Thanks for the support guys you got me pumped. Macrogats I love pics too, how do I see your builds, do you have a gallery page? I clicked on your profile and tried looking for a media or gallery link but can't find it. I have also uploaded some images on a refinish and partscaster project I did last year but not sure if its linked to my profile.
    But I did create a post on the finely finished thread/forum. http://www.tdpri.com/threads/96-squier-strat-refinish-and-mods.792655/
     
    Macrogats likes this.
  18. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

    DrASATele and Macrogats like this.
  19. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    51
    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Hey there Harris.

    I haven't actually done any build threads as yet. I keep promising (threatening :D ) to do one, but just haven't got around to it yet. Maybe subconsciously I'm too embarrassed at my work techniques to put one up! :oops:

    Here's Several sort of completed works, including my latest:-

    IMG_0228.JPG

    The one on the right was my first build. It's totally hollow acoustic style with a bridge block inside, but a bit of a clunker. It's go an old acoustic top on it, but the back wood is about 3/8ths thick! The neck is a relic job I picked up off our local trade site. I grabbed it cos I wanted to try a thicker, chunkier neck - but truth be told I don't like it.

    The Strat was my third build. Again it's mostly hollow with bridge block and a supporting piece running right thru the back of the body. It's just a pine frame and ply top and back. That's wallpaper on the top, and I've paired a no name Tele bridge pup with a standard acoustic sound hole pup at the neck. I love this guitar to bits - it produces great sounds for me, and it's a joy to play. I definitely need to upgrade the tuners, and I'm thinking of using a black bridge and control plate.

    IMG_0231.JPG

    On the left is my unfinished Danelectro build. Hollow body with bridge block - Ply frame with Masonite top and back - true Dano style. The neck is off my old Ibanez Blazer - I just love it to bits! I've had it together and played it - really like it, so much finish it.

    On the right is my take on Lindsay Buckinghams Model 1 by Rick Turner.

    IMG_0242.JPG

    Here it is basically completed. It still needs a bit of light sanding and poly finish. My only solid body build to date it's made from Macrocarpa wood, a local species from the Cypress family.

    IMG_0297.JPG

    One of my first Tele builds in its current state. Not quite sure where I'm going with this one.

    IMG_0344.JPG

    And here's my latest project. Total hollow body once again with bridge block. I was hoping to use it strictly as an acoustic guitar, but don't think it's going to work. This picture has it strung up with electric strings (sounds really nice, but too similar to my Strat). I put acoustic strings on it the other day, but they just don't seem to play right with the hard tail bridge. Great resonance, but extra pressure put on the neck which raised the action. I'm going to try tweaking a few things before I give up on it, but more than likely I'll convert it to straight electric - maybe use a lipstick pup.

    I think to get the true acoustic vibe I'm going to have to do one without a bridge block and use proper acoustic floating bridge. Have already got a project in mind which will include building my first neck! :eek:
     
  20. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    51
    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Hey Macaroonie. I started reading through this. Looks very interesting, and reminds me of the one I'm doing in my last pic above. I'll read through the whole thing later - hope there's a sound clip in there! ;)
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.