Scratch & Dentcaster

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by cwzcwz, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    Thanks to Telecaster.com! Without this forum I could not have done this:

    [​IMG]

    Most of the parts I used to assemble my first tele were used or seconds, still I’m very pleased with the results. Just about everything I needed to know I found on this forum. I needed a little help from the Seymour Duncan forum which is great too.
    I bought most of the parts from different vendors on eBay with some good and some bad results.

    Body
    I bought this first. There is a small nick in the binding and some finish problems but you can’t see them from a foot away. The neck pickup route was too big for a humbucker sized pickup so I cut some dowels in half and glued them in the corners. The screws then had something to bite into and the pickup ring covered the edges of the rout.

    Pickups
    I used a Seymour Duncan Phat Cat for the neck pickup and a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound STL3 for the bridge pickup. These pickups sound great and are very well matched. With a four way switch there are unique and very usable sounds in every position. Wiring this combination of pickups was no walk in the park and thanks to the Seymour Duncan Forum for helping with that. For my taste they are a little mushy sounding with the volume pegged and I would prefer pickups with more bite and chime. I’ll take care of that on the next build.

    Neck
    I chose a Mighty Mite 22 fret satin finish neck from one of the big suppliers. This component caused me the most stress. I expected the worst but the quality of the neck was surprisingly good. The only thing I needed to do was dress the fret ends which were too sharp. There was also a small nick in the headstock and some tear out in the tuner holes but nothing too bad. That explains the low price.

    Controls
    I got parts from all over the place for the control set. Domed knobs, 4 way switch, plate, treble bleed kit, tone cap, pots, Switchcraft mono output and a 4 screw jack plate. I used 500K CTS solid shaft pots and had to drill out the control plate for them to fit. The Sprague .0015uf cap and 220K resistor for the treble bleed works great. The .022uF Orange Drop tone cap gives a real wide range of tones but with this set of pickups I’ll probably never use it.

    Bridge
    The Wilkinson bridge with the compensated saddles was a little disappointing. There is a small dent in the plate and there are some sharp edges. Aside from that it works fine and I was able to set the intonation close to perfect. I think next time I’ll try a better quality bridge with 6 saddles.

    Tuners
    The tuners were the big disappointment of the build. I’ve been using Sperzel locking tuners on my guitars since 1989 and love them so that’s what I ordered. The tuners I received cut all my strings at the point where you insert the string into the post. Not just one string, all of them! The vendor says I might have gotten a bad set (you think?) and will replace them. I hope it is just a fluke and Sperzel hasn’t gone down the tubes like so many other American manufacturers.

    The End
    I was in the planning and buying phase for two months and it took about 20 hours to build once I got all the parts. I’m sure I can easily cut the build time in half next time which I am definitely looking forward to!
     
  2. Fockstrot

    Fockstrot TDPRI Member

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    Gorgeous.
     
  3. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    Very nice!
     
  4. cband7

    cband7 Friend of Leo's

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    "used or seconds" to build a guitar....talk to Eddie Van Halen about that! :p



    Really nice job!


    .
     
  5. rusty adam

    rusty adam TDPRI Member

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    awesome! really love the look of that p90 in there!
     
  6. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    I'll ask next time I see him ;)
     
  7. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    I fell in love with the body so I needed something to fill up the neck rout. I didn't want to cover up the wood with a scratch plate so I stumbled on the Phat Cat. SD has some great sound clips of the pickup on his web site. Now, if I could only make mine sound like that...
     
  8. Skjold

    Skjold TDPRI Member

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    I had a pair of the phat cats in a mahogany Les Paul several years ago (sold the guitar), and really liked the sound. Very clear and thick.

    Can I ask roughly how much the build cost you? I'd like to try my hand at building one at some point.
     
  9. JohnS

    JohnS Friend of Leo's

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    Love the name "scratch and dent Tele." Git ain't bad 'neither.
     
  10. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    Sure! I had a lot of fun doing this, can't wait to do it again.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. huckdeuceman

    huckdeuceman Tele-Meister

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    You got off cheap?.. when my partscaster was finished, I had $750.00 in it, but it sounds
    like it belongs in a 60's country band, so I'm Happy!!...lol..
     
  12. Skjold

    Skjold TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the info. The learning experience itself is worth the money.
     
  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Congratulations, I admire a man of resourcefulness, and you sir are one. I like the guitar too, I'll bet she sounds like a million bucks, and then some.
     
  14. wemedge

    wemedge TDPRI Member

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    Great job. What's the body wood?
     
  15. BradL

    BradL Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    That looks really good! Congrats!
     
  16. RollingStone82

    RollingStone82 TDPRI Member

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    I want one like yours!
     
  17. Cymro14

    Cymro14 Tele-Afflicted

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    What a beautiful job - NICE ONE!!
     
  18. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    I didn't want to break the bank on my first build so I watched the budget. It's really easy to spend all your money on guitar parts and tools!

    I was going for a classic rock grind with these pickups and they deliver.
     
  19. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! It sounds at least like $500 :) It's really not very tele-ish sounding, it's hard to describe but its got a unique, full sound. None of the country twang you get with conventional tele pickups.
     
  20. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    The body is solid ash (heavy!) with some sort of thick, shiny poly finish over a light stain - I think. I bought the body finished.
     
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