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NGD handmade thinline tele

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by morky, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. morky

    morky Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    182
    Jun 23, 2016
    Athens, Greece
    I had a thinking tele body that I bought brand new for 50 euro from a local luthier that didn't want it. I figured that I buy a neck and put together a guitar but the body ended up collecting dust for more than 2 years.

    Until I had this idea of building a neck from scratch with help from my dad. We've never done anything similar but I thought that it would be a nice experience and a way to spend more time together doing something that he would also enjoy.

    So we started building a one piece wenge neck, I ordered some new pickups and hardware and we just put everything together this week.


    20180807_201704.jpg 20180807_201757.jpg 20180807_201713.jpg 20180807_201656.jpg 20180807_201748.jpg 20180807_201722.jpg

    The body is a 2-piece korina back with a more-than-4-pieces burned Chestnut top. The edges aren't the traditional tele shape as you can see but they are much more curved. It originally had a hole for a normal neck pickup but I had to route a bigger hole for the neck pickup. I made the neck pickup ring from leftover wood from the neck blank.

    The neck is a one piece wenge with a walnut skunk stripe. 14 inch radius stainless steel frets. The profile is a soft-V turning into a D on the 14th fret. I like fairly chunky necks so it's 1 inch thick all the way. The nut is bigger than normal but I can't recall exactly what and I don't have the template we made with me right now. It's a size fender has used though for some guitars. I didn't fill the grain of the neck cause I preferred that look and feel.

    Both the neck and body are finished with Tru oil. The neck only has 3 layers of it and the fretboard is raw.

    I tried to keep most components made in Greece and everything is made here except the frets, pots, capacitor and tuners which I already had and I'm planning to change them to gold locking tuners sometime soon.

    The hardware is from a fantastic company named Halon in Thessaloniki that makes custom hardware in really good prices and with excellent materials. Really great service and only payed 150 for 2 sets of compensated saddles, neck plate, control plate, brass ferule block and a stainless steel bridge with the ability to top load all gold plated.

    For pickups I wanted something more modern since my other tele has a pretty vintage sound. I considered rails for that Richie kotzen sound but after talking with Nick Silver, a local pickup builder, whose pickups I already have in my tele, I changed my mind.

    I went for a combo of an underwound Charlie Christian and a more modern version of the tele bridge pickup (Sweeny Todd model on his website) wired in a 4 way switch and with 500k CTS pots and a 22nf cap and they sound magical.
    The bridge pickup is a bit hotter that usual but not brighter, it has more mids and crazy attack and dynamics. Overall it's pretty well balanced. The Charlie Christian is much more warm sounding with a lot of volume and depth making the guitar sound huge and is great for anything from jazz to hard rock. Both of them work amazing together. In parallel they give a 4th position strat vibe which is my favorite strat position. On series they almost sound and behave like a humbucker and makes the guitar sound much more like a Les Paul.

    You can see that the neck pickup cover is broken. I asked Nick to make the cover from vinyl and I accidentally dropped the pickups the day I got them and it broke. I glued it back and I have already asked Nick to make a new one to replace the broken one.

    Overall the guitar turned much better than I expected. The neck is super slik and comfortable. The guitar when played unplugged has a really acoustic sound and it's much louder than any other guitar I own. I was afraid that the bridge pickup would be too bright but it matched with the wood nicely and it's not harsh and brittle at all.

    There isn't anything I would do differently and I learned a lot from the procedure. It's much more easier to build a neck than I thought and I didn't use any guitar making tools other than a radius sanding block. All the tools I used where tools my dad already had or tools we bought from a normal hardware store. The result is and looks really professional in my opinion. Only the nut isn't that great but it was my first time cutting a nut and I did it without the proper files, but still it works pretty well and I don't have any problems with it, only cosmetic issues. Maybe I'll replace it in a few years.
     

  2. G-52

    G-52 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    59
    134
    Jul 10, 2017
    Denver, Co
    Beautifully done!
     

  3. morky

    morky Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    182
    Jun 23, 2016
    Athens, Greece
    Thanks! It was a lot of hard work that payed out in the end.
     

  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Gorgeous, and strangely familiar!
     

  5. morky

    morky Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    182
    Jun 23, 2016
    Athens, Greece
    It looks a lot with the one in your profile picture but without the pickguard. What wood is the body of yours?
     

  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    My guitar body is one piece light swamp ash.
    Bill Giebitz made it for me in 1987.
    The F hole is just for looks, the guitar is not hollow.
     

  7. Crobbins

    Crobbins Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Meiners Oaks CA.
    Looks nice, congrats.
     

  8. DocScotter

    DocScotter TDPRI Member

    46
    Jun 27, 2018
    San Diego
    Wow, nicely done! I really like the Charlie Christian pickup at the neck.
     
    hemingway likes this.

  9. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jan 1, 2014
    UK
    Still trying to put my eyes back in!!!! :) Now that's Beautiful!!
     

  10. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    Beautiful. Love everything about it - gold, Christian, neck, all of it.
     

  11. morky

    morky Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    182
    Jun 23, 2016
    Athens, Greece
    I knew about the Charlie Christian pickup but I had never played one. Nick's version is so versatile and covers a wide range of music styles from jazz to hard rock and it's so much more than I ever expected!


    At first I ordered nickel hardware but after seeing the hardware on the guitar I decided that gold would look better so I returned it and the seller was happy to send the same in gold at no extra cost because of a delay since it took some time for everything to be ready and delivered.

    The neck is fantastic. The wood looks and feels amazing. As for the pickups yes the Charlie Christian is really good and everything I've tried from Nick never fails to amaze.
     

  12. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    That's a great looking build! Got any video of it in action?
     

  13. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Are you saving up for a switch tip?
     

  14. morky

    morky Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    182
    Jun 23, 2016
    Athens, Greece
    Not yet. We just finished it this week in mid of vacation. We're currently at our summer house and I didn't have the time to record anything.
     

  15. morky

    morky Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    182
    Jun 23, 2016
    Athens, Greece
    That's a funny story. We didn't have enough time to finish it before our vacation started so we had to pack the pieces along with the outmost necessary tools and finish the build on our summer house. Somewhere along the way the switch tip got lost or maybe I forgot to pack it ...
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  16. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    HAH!

    You did a beautiful job.

    I'm just a wise-ass!
     

  17. morky

    morky Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    182
    Jun 23, 2016
    Athens, Greece
    Thanks a lot! Weird that no one has noticed the missing switch tip other than you.
     

  18. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    I'm sure some noticed it, but they're not a wise-ass like me.

    One little point:

    Did you intonate this yet?

    It looks like you have those saddle heights really maxed out, and I don't like the look of the break angles on those strings. You might want to consider a neck shim in half the pocket.
     

  19. morky

    morky Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    182
    Jun 23, 2016
    Athens, Greece
    It's actually intonated but for some reason the saddles needed to go that far back. Maybe I miscalculated and drilled the bridge a bit more forward? I've noticed that too. I'm planning to do a more proper setup when I get back home.

    Can you tell me more about the break angle though? What exactly do you mean? Maybe it's showing that way in the photos. I thought that it might need a shim but after playing with it a bit it played great.
     

  20. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    I don't like the way the strings are crossing the saddles at like a 95-degree angle. It's like they're coming up at a vertical and have to make this steep turn, steep break, to horizontal.

    It should be more gradual.
     

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