Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Project thread: reclaimed parts

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by TigerG, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    Uniting a severely mistreated Peavey neck:
    and this Mighty Mite swamp ash Tele body, now displaced from this baritone in which it here sits:

    When putting together the bari in 2012, the finish I did on this body was clear Rustoleum spray lacquer over Minwax pecan stain, and pretty much all I knew about spray painting a guitar was the instructions on the Rustoleum lacquer can. No grain filler, just sanding prep. It had gotten kind of grimy over the years, so after cutting it loose from the baritone (in favor of the Jazzlemacaster in my avatar) I set out to refinish it, aiming for the same look but properly done this time around. After sanding off the old lacquer (and working in arm & back contours), I decided to darken the grain with black grain filler. This is about how it was looking after a couple coats of clear:
    Front.jpg Back.jpg

    Honestly, while I liked the back, I wasn't all that crazy about the way top was looking. In the meantime, my wife had seen a surf green Epiphone Wildkat and had been raving about the color for weeks. Since I was feeling ambivalent about the way the body was headed, I let her talk me into switching gears over to surf green, even though my first reaction when she told me I should get a guitar that color was "I hate green guitars!" I should say, I switched gears to two-tone, getting some ReRanch surf green for the top, while leaving the back and sides with the stain/grain showing, like so:

    SideAngle1.jpg Side1.jpg

    The neck has been another adventure. When I got it at a yard sale a few years ago for a few bucks, it was in sorry sorry shape: the whole board gunky as hell, the frets all flattened out along edges and the edges themselves very worn:

    spare screw holes all over the head… PegheadRear1.jpg

    …and heel

    continued on next post as I just hit the image limit on this one
    2blue2 and Ekko like this.

  2. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    The 22nd fret was missing, and there were two big chips in the fret board at the 21st and 22nd frets—hard to see in this picture but they’re there (on the upper edge between the 21st fret and the empty fret slot, and on the lower edge at the end of the board):

    Despite its screwy condition, it was—after all—a maple neck with an ebony board & abalone inlays, my absolute favorite combination of neck materials. And with just a bit of sanding, the heel fit into the Tele neck pocket. I was thinking, “man, if I pulled the frets out and sanded the board clean down to fresh edges, I might really have something here.” The thought of refretting it did intimidate me some; I’ve refretted only 3 or 4 guitars, the last one at least 16 years ago. The ebony was an additional challenge, since all the fretboards I had worked on before were rosewood. Ultimately it was a challenge I couldn’t resist, and I found myself digging out my fret pullers and plugging in the soldering iron. As the frets came out, I reinforced the slot edges with super glue. I chiseled out those big chipped areas to more uniform shapes that I was able to fill with little maple blocks since I didn’t have any ebony.

    With all the frets out, I sanded the whole board down with a 14” radius block and pretty well worked out the worn edges.

    Somewhere in the middle of all that, I reshaped the headstock to be more Telecasterish:



    Here’s the progression from the initial sorry state through the refret:

    Filled in the array of tuner screw holes with dowels and plastic wood:

    Went with a 5/16” dowel to fill screw holes in the heel. 5/16” covered the entire area of each pair of screw holes, plus the 5/16” dowel I have is maple, whereas my 3/16” dowel is poplar. I figured maple would be a better way to go for this purpose.
    With the new 5/16” holes drilled in:

    Then filled in:
    You can also see here that I cut off a bit of the end of the neck to create an overhang similar to what is typical on 22-fret Tele necks. As it was, the scale length measured from the nut to the bridge adequately so that I think the bridge would’ve compensated without this modification, but the overhang seemed like a good idea just in case.

    Since it’s a right-handed neck going on a left-handed guitar, I added dots on the lefty up side:
    Side_WhiteDots.jpg The white plastic isn’t as pretty as the abalone dots on the other side, but it is easier to see.

    Continued yet again...
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017

  3. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    With parts set in place to get a glimpse of what it might be one day, here’s where it’s at:

    Part of what I want to do with this guitar is use it to try out various pickups. In the interest of being able to change out the bridge pickup quickly, I made a tortoiseshell ring to go with a half bridge. I even contemplated a neck pickup ring rather than a pickguard, but I just can’t abide that no-pickguard look on a Telecaster. I tried, I really did because I also wanted as much of my wife’s beloved surf green to show as possible. I even went to quite a bit of trouble to render the pickguard screw holes invisible under the new finish so as to create a clean look for the no-pickguard option, but in the end it’s very unlikely I’ll go that route. I’m liking the 3-ply black pickguard, but am tempted to try tortoiseshell as well.

    Work yet to be done:
    Finish spraying the clear
    Sand/buff the finish on the body
    Finish the neck, including painting the headstock to match the body
    Sand/buff the finish on the neck
    Cut a nut
    Install the tuners
    Line up the neck/drill the mounting holes
    Drill screw holes for the neck pickup
    Drill a channel for a bridge ground wire (since grounding through the pickup will not work with this plastic ring/half-bridge arrangement)
    Wire it up
    Bridge set up
    Install strings, tighten them and loosen them any number of times during the set up
    Probably a few other things I haven’t even thought of yet
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017

  4. Lavely

    Lavely NEW MEMBER!

    Jul 14, 2006
    Very cool, and thanks for sharing - keep posting on this project!
    TigerG likes this.

  5. Duggo

    Duggo TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Jul 8, 2017
    Mill City, Oregon
    Going to be very nice!
    TigerG likes this.

  6. Barncaster

    Barncaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Excellent! If you want to make your Tele pickup swapping easy, drill your bridge to be a top loader.

  7. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    Will that make much of a difference given that the pickup is mounted in a ring separate from the bridge?

  8. Barncaster

    Barncaster Poster Extraordinaire

    If the bridge pup is separate from the bridge, you're good to go. Simply drop tension on the strings and pull the neck for access to the pups.

  9. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    Clear coats are finished. It was a battle with gnats to the bitter end--on the very last pass with the spray can, one got stuck to the surface. Fortunately it's in a spot that will be covered by the pickguard so the stubborn speck remaining in the finish as a gnat remnant won't bother me.
    Now she's hanging to dry for a few weeks:

    and the back:

    In the meantime, TruOil is going onto the neck, which is really bringing out the tiger stripe:


  10. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    Got to spraying the headstock this evening. I was curious about how close Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ocean Mist is to Surf Green, so I'm using that to start. If the match isn't close enough, I'll let the Ocean Mist serve as primer and spray over it with the Reranch Surf Green. (Not to worry, I have tested the compatibility of the two and so far so good.) At this point the Ocean Mist looking lighter and with a touch more blue. My camera doesn't capture the hues that well, but here they are side by side.

    Front with body.jpg

    Back reduced.jpg
    Ekko likes this.

  11. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    Tort pickguard looking good against the green
    2017 1008 pg.jpg

  12. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    Decals in place, starting some Minwax wipe-on poly to clear coat the headstock

    Kriticaster and fenderchamp like this.

  13. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    The lacquer has been drying for 8 weeks, time to get to work with the sandpaper

    20171031_210628 sm.jpg
    Kriticaster and Zepfan like this.

  14. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Apr 10, 2015
    Italy and Switzerland
    The labor of love and a work of art! I would just leave a traditional bridge on… changing bridge pickup is easy even with the old design, and I think it’s part of what really makes a tele a tele.
    TigerG likes this.

  15. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    I agree about the full bridge plate being part of the essence of true Telecasterness, so a traditional bridge will likely end up on here eventually. I'm going to be very careful to not make any mounting holes for my bridge pickup ring outside the footprint of a traditional bridge.
    RadioFM74 likes this.

  16. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Holic

    Jun 8, 2014
    Subscribed. Guitar build threads fascinate me since I have zero skills in that area.

  17. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Awesome save! I love reclaimed guitars :D
    TigerG likes this.

  18. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    Headstock is done!
    Got the clear poly all gussied up and glossy, then put the tuners on


    And for a final bit of of headstock fun, here we compare the back in the condition it was in when I got it to its final state before the tuners went on.

  19. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Tele-Holic

    Jan 4, 2017
    Excellent work. Love it!
    TigerG likes this.

  20. esetter

    esetter Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Sep 1, 2011
    That’s looking good!
    TigerG likes this.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.