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

Snakehead Esquire build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by TenaciousP, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    After routing the perimeter, I hogged out the pickup and control cavities and the neck pocket with a forstner bit.

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    Then routed with the template reattached. I don't have any pics of most of that but I used the same template as I had shown above for the pickup and control cavities. I used a template I made for my previous tele for the neck pocket. I also rounded over the edges with an 1/8" round over bit.

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    I drilled for the pick up wiring with a long 3/16 drill bit I believe.

    image.jpg

    I then drilled the string through holes and counter bored the back for the ferrules. I don't remember if fender used the kind of ferrules with a lip on them requiring a second counterbore back in the old days. I used the kind that are 3/8 diameter all the way down for ease of drilling.

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    Looking at these pics I see that I drilled the hole for the jack at some point as well.
     
    Captain Nutslot likes this.

  2. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    Plating your own parts?
    Bravo to you!
    I'm subscribed and impressed all to hell.
     

  3. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Thanks! I probably wouldn't have gone through all the trouble to fab and plate my own parts if I could find accurate looking parts off the shelf somewhere. I saw a few people selling snakehead control plates and the small neck plates but I couldn't find any one selling a snakehead style bridge plate. After seeing the bridge being made and plated in another thread on this site, I figured I'd give it a try.
     
    boredguy6060 likes this.

  4. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    I don't have a picture of it, but I think I used the same 3/16 drill bit and drilled a wiring hole from the jack hole to the control cavity since the jack hole doesn't intersect the control cavity like on a regular Tele body.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016

  5. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    For the neck, I used a piece of flat sawn hard maple planed to 1" thick. Here it is roughed out on the band saw.

    image.jpg

    I drilled the tuner holes while the headstock was still 1" thick using the stewmac 3 on a side tuner drilling jig. It worked great. It made getting the tuners all aligned so much easier. Since I used 3 on a plate kluson tuners, I was very concerned with getting the holes exactly aligned and spaced. I then cut the headstock down close to thickness on the band saw.

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    Then sanded to final thicknes with the spindle sander, shaping the curved transition area as well.

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    I then radiused the fretboard surface using a jig I built when building my first tele. I don't have any pics of it at the moment. It's basically a long piece of 3/4" plywood with a curved 9.5" radius block attached at each end. The neck is attached between the blocks on the centerline of the jig with double stick tape. I use a long sanding beam which rides on the radiused blocks. There is a section of sand paper in the middle section of the beam to sand the fretboard. I take extra care to not let the sand paper section go on to the radius blocks while moving the sanding beam back and forth parallel with the center line of the neck. I work it across the neck at the same time to sand the surface evenly.

    image.jpg

    After radius sanding the fretboard surface, I cut the fret slots using my fender scale slotting template and miter box. I also marked where the nut slot would be located.

    image.jpg
     

  6. Revv23

    Revv23 Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2009
    Michigan
    Subbed. Love it so far. No truss rod?
     

  7. smile-4-me

    smile-4-me Tele-Meister

    107
    Apr 15, 2011
    Arkansas
    Don't think the original proto esquire had a truss rod.
     

  8. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    No truss rod in this one. As smile-4-me said, I don't believe any of Fenders guitars had truss rods until the Broadcaster was introduced. However you will see in my upcoming posts that I left the neck a full inch thick all the way from headstock to the heel like the early fenders had. Since this guitar is already complete, I can say from experience the neck is holding up well. It's been strung up with 10's for nearly 4 months now. It developed a slight amount of relief almost right away, but it doesn't appear to be increasing and it plays really nice for my taste.
     

  9. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    For fret markers I did not do the painted on markers like the original. I did regular plastic dot inlays. I bought a piece of 1/8" ABS rod from McMaster Carr and cut dots from it. Here is the fretboard marked for inlay locations. (sorry again for the crappy pics)

    image.jpg

    The inlays installed and flushed with a file.

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    I also installed 1/16" side dots. I don't know if the original or the reissues have side dots. but I discovered from the first guitar I built, I can't live without side dots!

    For the back profile, I roughed it out a bit using the router table and a 45 degree chamfer router bit.

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    I shaped the back of the neck using a finger plane and a sanding block with 80 grit. I did the transitions at each end with a rasp and then sand paper. I shaped it to a slight V shape with rolled in edges on the "fretboard" sides. I took care not to sand the center line I had drawn so I wouldn't decrease the thickness any.

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  10. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Somewhere around in here I cut the nut slot using a 1/8" router bit. I made a simple wooden jig that bridges over the neck and has a fence that my router can ride against to cut a straight slot across the neck. I also test fit the neck and drilled for neck screws. No pics of those operations apparently.

    After a lot of final sanding, I primed the body with Zinnser BIN shellac based primer. I sealed the neck with zinnser spray shellac.

    The body and neck were both sprayed with nitro lacquer. I used Sherwin Williams PROMAR Hibuild lacquer. Its relatively cheap and it checks pretty quickly if you like the aged look. I used stewmac white pigment with a touch of vintage amber and tobacco brown tints to make an antique white for the body. And a mixture of vintage amber, tobacco brown and cherry red transparent dyes to get a nice dark ambered tint for the neck. Here's a few pics of the finished body. It's been wet sanded and buffed.

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    I guess I didn't take any pics of the entire neck after finishing/sanding/polishing. There is one pic of the headstock where I had to repair some chipped out lacquer around one of the tuner holes.

    image.jpg

    Next up, pickup winding!
     
    Shango66 and Captain Nutslot like this.

  11. David_Maas

    David_Maas Tele-Meister

    308
    Oct 28, 2014
    Potsdam, Germany
    Beautiful work! Love the home made bridge plate, and plating the plate too :D Do I assume correctly that the screw hole of the template in the bridge area will also serve as the start of the bridge ground wire?
     

  12. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    53
    Nov 18, 2010
    Vancouver
    Wow... That's a work of art. Really like the fabricated and plated hardware. Another guitar that I must build.
     

  13. smile-4-me

    smile-4-me Tele-Meister

    107
    Apr 15, 2011
    Arkansas
    Love that creamy white finish.
     

  14. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Thanks! I'm glad you like it. Actually, the hole is not used for anything. It just gets covered by the bridge. A tele bridge with a traditional style pickup in it doesn't require a ground wire. The plate, saddles and strings are all grounded through the pickup mounting/adjusting screws to the pickups steel base plate which is grounded through the neutral pickup lead which is soldered to it.
     

  15. Mister B

    Mister B Tele-Holic

    558
    Feb 20, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Its always good to see another Snakehead build - this one looks great. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished guitar.
     

  16. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Thanks! I hear ya on the "another guitar I must build" thing. I find myself thinking that every time I see a guitar I like.
     

  17. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Thanks! Me too!
     

  18. Revv23

    Revv23 Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2009
    Michigan

    Nice. I was aware of the history, just could quite be sure from the pictures if you went for it. :)
     

  19. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Meister

    370
    Apr 1, 2016
    Arkansas
    Thanks! Actually this one is already finished. :) I posted the completed pics at the beginning before starting the build pics. I finished this one up a few months ago. I still have more build stuff to post when I have time. So I hope you will continue to enjoy.
     

  20. Colors

    Colors Tele-Meister

    325
    May 12, 2016
    Nebraska
    That is a seriously sweet guitar. Now if you could refrain from new posts until after I get off work I would appreciate it. After all I'm not getting paid to ogle your guitar. :D
     

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