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Second partscaster: the Telelestercaster

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

  1. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

    Finishing is tough for me as well. Always something coming up. It looks great, will be beautiful once all setup.
     
    Blue Bill likes this.

  2. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    I have this persistent dream: I spray on the lacquer, sand and buff, and nothing bad happens. Then I wake up. :confused:
     
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  3. Robert.II

    Robert.II Tele-Meister

    202
    Feb 25, 2013
    Fort St. John, BC
    Now you know why it’s good to wait for a few weeks after spraying.... hehe

    Oh a lighter note.... Nice geetar you got there, I’m a big fan of the burst, it’s very close to what I’m gonna do on my current build.
     
    Blue Bill likes this.

  4. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Wow, that took forever. I believe in supporting local music stores, so I shop there, instead of the internet, whenever I can. In early June, I went there to get the Ghost pickup saddles, and figured it made sense to get the bridge plate there as well. The saddles were not a stock item, so it would take a couple weeks to get them. No problem, I'm in no big hurry. Oh by the way, the bridge plate needs to be ordered too. It just got here yesterday. Really guys? 12 weeks?

    Soooo, where were we? Wow, that's a lot of stuff. I guess the first step is to figure out where the tardy bridge plate goes, and screw it on. It's been so long, I can't even remember where I put the bridge pickup, I can't find it anywhere. It'll turn up somewhere.

    DSCF2048.JPG
     
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  5. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    702
    Dec 19, 2017
    Chattanooga
    My local locally owned music store has unreasonable prices I feel. He has to stay in business, but with more than non competitive pricing, I just can’t shop there. I went to a very nicely priced local place in Murfreesboro and Memphis. I bought stuff I didn’t need just to make a purchase.
     

  6. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    I believe they do the best they can. Some are definitely overpriced. I'm just cranky about a 3 month wait. I know I could've just ordered one on the internet, and cancelled their sale, but like you, I'm trying to do my part to support local commerce.

    Ouch, my head hurts from how complicated things have gotten. So many decisions. At this point, I think I'll wire the magnetic pups through a master volume pot, Strat-style, except with a single master tone pot in the regular Tele knob layout. Then I have to figure out where to sneak another pot somewhere, for the piezo volume.

    There's a mini switch included, which selects magnetic, piezo, or both, like a LP. It's kind of tiny, I hope it doesn't break off if I hit it too hard. The installation manual warns that you can not use a different switch, like a nice, sturdy Switchcraft one, but they don't explain why. I figure the circuit uses some kind of voltage-controlled switching.

    Looks like the pot holes in my control plate are 5/16 inch, while the pot collar threads are 3/8 inch, so I'll either need to enlarge the holes or get new pots, or a different plate.

    Also,the through-the-body holes, that are already drilled, are about 1/8 inch too far back. I'll need to enlarge them into slots, or something. The 25.5 inch mark looks like it will work nicely with the bridge/saddle setup, that's a relief. Still no bridge pup.
     

  7. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

    Bill, you will love the Piezo bridge. I used a stereo jack with a stereo cable that ends up with two mono plug. One in the acoustic amp and one in the electric guitar amp.

    The switch looks flimsy but did not give me any problem.

    Can't wait to here it.
     
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  8. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Bon Jour Andre!!
     
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  9. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Here's my rig-a-ma-jig to center the bridge on the fretboard:

    DSCF2049.JPG

    Once I was comfortable that the plate was centered, I used a self-centering drill. Everything else will be referenced from this middle screw. If you aren't familiar with these Vicks bits, try them.
    They're great for hinges, or any time you need to drill a screw hole centered on a hole in a plate.
    DSCF2058.JPG

    I used a couple straightedges to make sure the plate is aligned with the neck:

    DSCF2059.JPG

    Next, I have two things to figure out, both mildly daunting. First, is the string-through holes. They are about 3/16 inches farther from the neck than they should be. I'm thinking about making up a sled jig that will hold the body at the correct angle to re-drill the holes, with the target being the holes in the brass string block. My biggest fear is that it will be a PITA to thread the strings through the body and through the bridge plate, if the holes are all over the place. Hmmm.

    The holes are where they are because I used the hole locations on the template, which I guess are for a different bridge plate, probably a vintage style plate.

    The second thing is,what to do with the wires that stick out the bottom of the saddles. Each saddle has a wire that needs to be routed into the body cavity and connected to the gizmo inside. I'm thinking the best solution would be to cut some slots in the bridge plate, where the wires can disappear into, and still allow for intonation adjustment. Yikes.
     
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  10. imploration

    imploration Tele-Meister

    167
    Sep 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Brother, this is just FANTASTIC work! Enjoying your pics, BIG TIME!
     
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  11. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    I think I must have stuck the Fralin bridge pup into another guitar, then forgot about it. They all look the same to me, once they're installed. Found a Twisted Tele on e-bay.
     
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  12. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Quick update: The pickup arrived, looks good.

    This morning, I experimented with a way to re-locate the string-through holes. Feeling like a dentist, I used a small drill bit to make a sort of slot, which incorporates the old hole and the correctly located hole. My worry is, that it will make re-stringing a nightmare,if the string follows the old hole, and refuses to "find" the hole in the bridge plate. So I thought about ways to make the hole curve in the right direction. Here's my experiment: I got the biggest guitar string I could find, a 0.53 low E, threaded it through a length of heat-shrink tubing, then threaded it through the string hole, as if I was stringing up the guitar. I loosely attached it to a tuner on the peghead, to keep it bent properly. Then I mixed up a tiny batch of bondo and stuffed it into the hole around the string. I'm waiting for the bondo to set up a bit more, then, I'll see if I can extract the string,leaving a nice smooth curved tunnel.
    DSCF2069.JPG

    Once it hardens up, I'll run the string back and forth to enlarge the hole, if necessary.

    Next puzzle: How to cut 6 slots in the bridge plate for the piezo wire leads. I figure they need to be around a tenth of an inch wide, and about 3/8 inch long, to allow for intonation adjustment. Any ideas? I'm not experienced, nor set up, for precision metalworking. I've done enough to have visions of wandering drill bits creating havoc. Any suggestions are very welcome.
     
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  13. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Wow, at this point, I am really frustrated. After waiting 3 months to get my hands on the bridge, I dropped it off at a local machine shop to get the slots cut for the Ghost leads, on the bottom of each saddle. "No problemo." they said, "We'll call you late Friday afternoon when it's ready to be picked up." They never called, so I tried calling them and got the answering machine. So I drove over there at 4:00. Doors closed, lights out, no one home. WTF? Grrrr. :mad: I called again and left an angry message.

    I'm trying to finish before Jupiter gets his DPP hollowbody done; I think he just pulled ahead. It's like a turtle race, except it's just slow, not really steady.
     
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  14. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Allright, I'm a jerk. Turns out, they had called me and the bridge was ready, I just didn't get the message that they close at 3:30. I apologized for leaving a d-baggy message, (Thank goodness I didn't say anything really bad, just some mild sarcasm). They did a great job; a million times better than I would have done flailing away with my little drill press.

    I didn't realize these bridges are chrome plated brass, who knew? I'm going to visit my Mom and Dad this weekend, so who knows when I'll get to make some progress.

    DSCF2084.JPG
     

  15. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    That's lovely bridge milling they did.
    Speaking of music store pricing, I'm no big fan of Guitar Center, but I was in there once looking at some Schaller straplocks, which were too pricey. I asked the clerk if they price-matched and he said "sure." So I pulled out my cell phone and did a quick search online, and they sold me the straplocks for the equal of the best online price I could find. And I didn't have to pay any shipping. I've never tried this there with anything else but it was a pleasant experience.

    Looking forward to seeing this one completed.

    Rex
     
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  16. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Now that I have the bridge in hand,it's time to get down to business. Installed the saddles and threaded the wired through the holes. Next, I need to make some kind of channel for the wires to travel in, under the bridge plate, on their way to the control cavity.

    I came across this set of gun stock checkering tools I got years ago for some woodworking job. They have this curious quality that they easily keep a straight line when cutting a V groove.
    DSCF2085.JPG
    I need a deeper channel, these are not cutting it, no pun intended. I got out the Dremel; this burr disk deepened the grooves nicely:

    DSCF2090.JPG

    Here's the completed channels:

    DSCF2092.JPG

    Here's the bridge with the wires threaded through. You can see the bondo-modified string holes. Kinda ugly, but it seems to have solved the problem. Luckily, all this will be hidden under chrome-plated brass.

    DSCF2093.JPG

    Now, before I can screw down the bridge plate, I need to run all the wires through the bridge pickup cavity, into the control cavity. I mounted the middle and neck pups. I need to cut and splice an extension to the electric/acoustic switch wires, the one they provided is too short. Jeepers, there's 14 wires that feed into the control cavity. I'm getting that overwhelmed feeling again.

    Thanks for checking in!
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
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  17. jedgington

    jedgington TDPRI Member

    Age:
    45
    12
    Jul 31, 2018
    Cedar Falls, Iowa
    Very interesting with the piezo pickups in the bridge saddles. Seeing that Dremel cutting into the finished top must’ve been a bit, um, exciting. I’m very interested in how this turns out.
     
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  18. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    It was a nail-biter for sure. The burr wheel is very aggressive. I used a teeny pointed grinding stone on the Dremel to smooth things out. No serious mis-haps, phew.
     

  19. jedgington

    jedgington TDPRI Member

    Age:
    45
    12
    Jul 31, 2018
    Cedar Falls, Iowa
    Well it looks like you did a nice job. I would have been so nervous I’d probably drop it halfway into a cut, or have it grab and go all over the place. Did you consider using a router or router attachment for the Dremel?
     

  20. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

    Well done Bill! You are getting closer:)
     

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