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

Rebuilding from the ground up

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Boomhauer, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Michigan
    My first Telecaster was a Noah Franklin, which started out okay, but has aged like a fine milk. The saddles are completely shot, and have gotten worse since I started a thread about them. The bridge is weird in that it's import sized with a standard (import) 3 mounting screws, but the strings come up through the body behind the mounting screws, like a MIM or MIA. The body is soft, so a fair amount of the screws have ripped out. I made a thread about the volume pot, but nearly everything else electronically has gone wrong as well. The high E keeps snapping at the tuner, which I've swapped out after several failed attempts at remedying the situation.

    So, after removing all of the problem parts of this guitar, I'm left with a body, neck, bridge, and pickups. I plan on swapping in some Strat-style saddles, since I've got a set of brass ones sitting around.

    What are my options for wiring? I've got a few feet of spare wire hanging out, but since both pots, the switch, and the jack are all jacked, I'll need to redo the entire wiring system.

    Any other opinions, or does this seem like a lost cause?
     

  2. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Michigan
    So, I bought a new bridge from GuitarFetish, some Bournes pots, and some other odds and ends to rebuild the guitar, and guess what...The OEM control plate is an oddball size. Eff me in the eh.
     

  3. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    Illinois
    What about your control plate is giving you trouble? Most imported control plates have metric pots mounted on them. Installing full sized pots is just a matter of enlarging the bushing holes. If you're buying from Guitar Fetish, this is likely to be the easiest thing you have to deal with.
     

  4. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Michigan
    There's that, as well as the holes for the switch being slightly narrower than the Ernie Ball switch I bought as a replacement.
     

  5. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    Illinois
    Well, at least it's something easy to fix. A new control plate will cost you a lot less than a new guitar... Se how easy it is to fall down the rabbit hole? :)
     
    svaughan1 likes this.

  6. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2015
    Philadelphia
    @Boomhauer can we get some photos of the guitar so we can get a better idea of what you're working with?
     

  7. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Michigan
    I'm actually stoked on the GFS bridge. It's apparently made of steel...the old was nickel-plated crap that looked like copper.

    Here's the troublesome bridge, followed by the whole guitar:
    IMG_1382.jpg hngd.jpg
     

  8. FirTrader

    FirTrader Tele-Meister

    Age:
    42
    193
    Jan 8, 2017
    Alberta Canada
    Yeah, it's bitchy working on the import/non-spec stuff. No fun at all. The good news is, once you DO get things fitting with better parts, you are good to go from then on.
     

  9. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2015
    Philadelphia
    So is the gfs bridge vintage spec? I ask because have you looked to see if a vintage bridge would match the string through holes and the pickup routing on your guitar? If so it'd be a simple matter to drill new mounting holes.
     

  10. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Michigan
    The bridge I bought is a dual-load. All the holes match up perfectly, which is really nice...No re-drilling for me, at least this go-round.
    http://guitarfetish.com/105mm-Dual-Load-tele-bridge-Solid-Steel-Baseplate-Chrome_p_3.html
     

  11. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2015
    Philadelphia
    @Boomhauer thats good to hear! How do you like the six barrel bridge? I know they don't get a lot of love compared to vintage 3-saddle, or modern 6-saddle but I don't think they're bad at all.
     

  12. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Michigan
    I haven't actually gotten around to assembling the guitar yet :oops:
    It looks and feels nice, so we'll see how it compares to the old, crappy one (if at all). They updated the design a little though...the saddles are just a little bit off-set from the center of the screw, so with the new bridge, the strings will go straight from the holes over the saddles and not have to weave around the screw at all.

    I'm actually pretty stoked to get this whole guitar together with decent components...as I mentioned, Bourns pots (up from some oddball imports), a 33k milsurp tone cap, the new (upgraded) steel bridge and saddles, and some hand-wound vintage pickups. When I first got the guitar, it twanged, no doubt, but had a very clean, whitewashed sound to it. My ideal sound (after, of course, rebuilding the whole damn guitar) would be a little less vintage and a little more modern a'la the line dance and honky-tonk country of the 1990's
     

  13. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Michigan
    I'm working on getting pics taken.

    As I mentioned, I stripped the entire guitar down and discarded the broken or malfunctioning OEM electronic pieces. The volume pot started acting weird, not controlling the volume, and generally acting more like a tone pot. The switch was installed improperly from the get-go, with a wood screw instead of a machine screw, so that had to go, too.

    The OEM neck pickup was also of low quality...the wire actually wore loose from the coils, so it was effectively dead. The replacement ones I bought (several years ago now) were from a company that has since closed up shop, but they're supposedly 60's-inspired. Definitely brighter than the Nocaster pickups on my other Tele, and SO clear in this current build. With the OEM electronics, the sound was very subdued, so I think the new control plate made a difference: I didn't wind up using the Bourns pots or any upgrades whatsoever...I bought a pre-loaded control plate from a swap meet with a sort of paisley-looking pinstripe paintjob and matching knobs. That was a really quick install, since I only needed to solder in the pickup wires.

    I buffed the body and neck to a nice satin finish, down from the gross ubershine that came on both. I made a point to fill all of the screw holes with superglue...the body itself is paulownia, which tears out if you look at it funny, so the CA adds a little rigidity where it needs it.

    It's hard to say what difference the steel bridge and saddles make, over the cheapo OEM ones. The guitar is a lot more clear and defined than before, but as I mentioned, I think that's got more to do with the new electronics. I have noticed an increase in string noise with the new saddles, which might actually be attributed to new strings.

    Oh, and I finished it off with a vinyl pickguard, cut from a copy of George Jone's I Am What I Am, the album which gave us He Stopped Loving Her Today, which is the countriest song of all time based on several lists I've read ;) Don't worry too hard, the record was scratched and worn and didn't play very well...and was only something like fifty cents at a local thrift store.
     

  14. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    I thought "You Don't Have To Call Me Darlin'" held that title. After the revision, of course!:lol:
    Of course, anything by the ole Possum is certainly country enough.
     

  15. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013
    Michigan
    I think my folks might have that record at home...

    Once upon a time, I did cut up Micky Gilley's Bar And Grill for a pickguard, but the screw holes were misaligned and it wound up cracking and breaking on me. Because, as we all know, the girls do get prettier at closin' time.
     

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