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Second partscaster: the Telelestercaster

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Blue Bill, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Continued from : http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/554809-build-fever-i-may-have-problem.html

    So far: I stopped by the local lumber supplier and found a 5/4 x 9 x 60 inch board in the "curly maple" stack, looked promising. Ran it through the planer, hmmmm, the "curl" is detectable, but not very dramatic. Oh, well, what can you expect for $18? Keep shopping

    Stopped by Buckdancer's Choice music store, looking for a Fralin Tele pup set. Tim talked me into the Lollars instead. I picked up a CSTS on e-bay for the middle pup, I have one in my old Strat, I love the way it sounds.

    5-way switch, ferrules, control plate, chrome dome knobs, Fender MIK 099204 tuners, neck plate, in hand from various sources. I got a jar of
    Transfast water-soluble dye powder, cherry. Someone told me Stew-Mac has a Heritage Cherry stain that's right on.

    I'm still thinking sunburst, but still deciding on cherry, tobacco, or honey.

    Thanks for looking in, This will probably take all summer, no hurry. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

    Before and after:
     

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    rauchman likes this.

  2. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    I went rummaging through the lumber pile, left over from when I had a woodshop. I ran across a couple maple boards i forgot I had. This one is 36 x 10 x 1.75 inches. Looks like it has some decent stripe. I thought I should do some experimenting with colors. I can't find my stain stash; I used to have dozens of cans and jars of assorted stains. I'm afraid I might have chucked them, 'cause I can't find them.

    I don't want to spend a fortune on stains, so I need to do some research on Les Paul burst finishes, and just do what they do. Also, it looks like I'll need some practice to avoid a blotchy or uneven burst.

    If all goes right I may be able to get 4 bookmatch sets out of this board. I have enough mahogany for 3 backs, maybe I'll do more than one body, while I'm at it.
     

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  3. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Cher--ee, cher--ee, cher--ee! :D

    Nice figure in that board.
     

  4. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Who does more than one build at a time? :rolleyes:

    I bet there's some one piece necks in that light curl board. That thicker one is beautiful.
     

  5. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Hi Rick, thanks for checking in. Cherry was the original vision, I think I'll stick to that. Hi Doc, so far I've been too chicken, or lazy, to try making a neck. I figure it would take me a few tries before I can make a good one. But, you got me thinkin'.
     

  6. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

    Nice maple Bill! Good luck with the build.
     

  7. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Thanks Andre! I picked up a used ROSS for 100 the other day. Ordered an AV Hot Rod bridge, a parchment PG.

    The maple is 1-3/4 thick, I'm trying to decide whether to try to get 4 quarter inch re-saw slices, which would give me 4 bookmatch sets, from this board. It's pretty tight. The risk is whether I can plane the saw marks without getting too thin. I'ts a shame to use a 7/4 board for one set, wasting 1-1/4 inches of nice maple.

    I'm thinking I might resaw on the table saw, using a handsaw to finish the cuts, maybe there will be less kerf loss. My table saw is out on loan to a friend, so see ya next week.
     

  8. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Finally made some progress; I've been busy. I got my table saw back. John Nicholas set the bar pretty for mis-adventure, but I think I may be closing in. I tried to go for 4 slices, with my table saw re-saw rig.

    I figured I'd use the tablesaw to rip around all 4 sides, then use a handsaw to finish the core area where the circular blade can't reach. My brother-in-law showed up for a visit, just as I was sawing. Next day, when I went to finish the cut, uh-oh. The 3/8 inch section had cupped hard, totally pinching off the kerf, no way to get a blade in there.

    I tapped a shim in to pry it apart, then stuck in some biscuit splines to hold it open. OMG I tried 3 handsaws, this stuff is like stone, no way. So, I bust out the sawzall, shook the whole house for 10 minutes or so. Total hack job; the blade wandered and cut unevenly, the cutoff was about 1/8 thick in the center; so much for 2 bookmatch sets.

    I tried again, cut the 5/4 remaining down the center. This cut went like butta. The secret was a new 10 TPI blade on the sawzall. Planed the two sides down to around 0.28 inches. The feed rollers on the lunch box quit feeding when the thickness got down to 3/8 or so. I had to make a sled to support the pieces, in order to go any further. There goes my MDF template stock, back to HD tomorrow.

    Clamped them up to try to arrest any cupping.
     

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  9. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Right now, I'm frozen in indecision. This project is in danger of becoming the most expensive partscaster ever built. I watched Andre Bluesblooded's demo video with the Ghost piezo transducer bridge. It sounded so cool, it brought up severe GAS pains. The Ghost bridge, preamp, extra switch, etc., will run an extra $200 or so. The neck I would like, with a bound rosewood or even ebony fretboard, will cost $500. I ran into an old friend, a pro musician, he got me wanting some stainless jumbo frets, another $60 or so. Bone nut, another 50. I've got $250 or so worth of pickups in hand, I can't turn back now.

    Here's the thing. I don't really need another standard setup Tele, I like the 3 I have so much, I don't want to sell them. I also don't need-need a cherry sunburst Nashville setup, with a piezo. I'm painfully aware that partscasters generally don't sell for what they cost to build. So I'm wondering if the fun building and playing it will be worth all the dough.

    I suppose I feel like I'm not a good enough or "important" enough player to be brandishing such a fancy-pants axe. I'm working a lot, so I have the money...I'll just take it a day at a time and cross the piezo bridge when I get to it.

    It would be cool, with a Les Paul Rhythm/Treble switch to go from electric to acoustic sounds. I'm not sure whose this is in the picture below; it was posted here and showed up on Google. Well wish me luck. I invite any comments, ridicule or encouragement.
     

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  10. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Make your own neck and save yourself $400. ;)

    As an extra bonus, it will slow you down enough that you can spread your other expenditures over several months--maybe years... :D
     
    dr_tom likes this.

  11. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    GearHund and DHart like this.

  12. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    I've pondered making my own neck. I assume I'll need some specialized tools. While I have been doing my own set-ups for years, I've always hired a luthier to do fret leveling and replacement, so I have zero neck and fret tools. The basic StewMac kit is over $200. I'm a tool junkie, so I expect I would end up spending close to $500 by the time I did a couple practice necks and got properly geared up. Plus, the Musikraft neck I have on my other partscaster is so sweet, I'm afraid I'll never make one that good. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll certainly think about it some more. I have lots of neck-sized boards salted away.

    Mike, I love that chocolate burst. That's the kind of thing I had in mind, except with single coils.
     

  13. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    You absolutely do not need 200 bucks' worth of tools to make a neck, though of course it's not hard to find 200 bucks' worth of tools at stewmac. ;)

    The more necks you make, the more sensible it is to invest in tools that will save you time and effort, like fret cauls, etc., but if you are only looking at the first one, there are less expensive ways to skin that cat. Thing is, even if you are buying the neck, you'll still most likely need to do a level and crown, and tweak the nut slots, so either you're paying a tech to do that, or you're taking that money and buying the tools to DIY it.

    I just can't get past the idea of spending $500 on a neck... :lol:
     

  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Buy a preslotted and radiused stewmac fretboard. The rest is a rasp, file, and straight router bit (if you use a hotrod style rod). Good bang for the buck.


    Maple-15 bucks

    http://www.stewmac.com/Materials_an...ds/Slotted_Fingerboard_for_Fender_Guitar.html

    Truss rod -12 bucks

    http://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Truss_Rods/Low-profile_2-way_Truss_Rod.html

    Maple -Woodcraft or similar-5 bucks-

    My local guy is 5 dollars a bf. for select 4/4 hard maple.

    Fretwire-6 feet about 10 bucks at stew mac.

    Dots...make your own.

    The thrill and experience.....priceless.
     
    bigguy12321 likes this.

  15. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Blue Bill - You are headed in the right direction.

    Not so sure about setting any bars, more like jumped into the deep end and grasped for life rafts along the way! The only thing to say is if I'm able to do it, you'll definitely be able to do that and more.

    Make you're own neck. Do like Marty said, buy a pre-slotted and radiused fretboard and build it yourself. It will save you hundreds of dollars you can use for other things.

    The biggest investment in tools I made was in the set up stuff, fret file and the nut files. I got a flat sanding block to level the frets from UAAC (http://www.uaac.us/luthier-tools) for under 15 bucks! Some double-stick tape and sand paper… it's not too difficult.

    As for buying something that is expensive for yourself, hell, why not. Get whatever makes you happy. It's a very short life. Have fun and enjoy as much as you can.

    Subscribed!
     

  16. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    I hear you guys. I know it would be fun. For some reason I'm fighting the urge to acquire guitars. Sounds crazy, I know. If I build one, then I'll build 5, then I'll have a roomful of guitars. Wait, that's the downside? Hmmm.
     

  17. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Why fight it?

    There is no downside!
     

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    T-bone Ted likes this.

  18. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

    Hey Bill, sorry for the GAS infection.

    Well, not that sorry, everybody here fuels mine, so... this is payback... ;)

    That piezo bridge is closer to 300$ with the acoustic-phonic kit, but imo totally worth it.

    I have to agree with Jupiter, Marty, Mike and John, don't buy a 500$ neck, instead buy tools. With Marty's facet method, you cannot go wrong. I've made two so far and it went smoothly.

    Before I started this hobby, I sold all my guitars one by one and bought tools to make guitars without knowing if I would succeed, scared the crap out of me. Today I have three guitars fully built by myself.

    You know what, I don't miss a single one of them.

    Go for it Bill, and as you know, if you hit a wall, theres plenty of us who will lend a hand to get you around it.
     
    Newbcaster likes this.

  19. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston

  20. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Hi John, Doc A, and Andre, thanks for checking in, and for the encouragement. I'm feeling powerless to resist the peer pressure, I'm teetering on the edge of commitment. A pre-slotted rosewood board is $22. That fret press looks nice...wait, it's $250. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time, right? :confused::rolleyes::)
     

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