# The Buttercaster Project

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Buckocaster51, Sep 13, 2006.

1. ### Rock onTele-Holic

Nov 4, 2006
Barrington, RI
thanks,

i think i might have someone do it for me.

Rock on

2. ### KokoTeleDoctor of TeleocityVendor Member

Age:
42
Mar 17, 2003
albany, ny [not chicago]
Jack, I know they had long bits because they did them on the Broadcasters. It wasn't until the spring of '51 that they added the wiring channel.

I re-read the Tele bible and Duchossoir only speculates about problems with drilling, he didn't really know for sure.

3. ### Tom SFriend of Leo's

Aug 3, 2005
To make this a little easier and less nerve-racking, you can first create a block that you can place into the neck pocket that will let you guide the drill bit along it to ensure the proper angle. Just cut the correct angle in a block of wood, then cut that to fit the neck pocket. It doesn't have to be a perfect fit.

What's the correct angle?

Let's say the control cavity is 1.5" deep. If you want that hole at least .25" above the bottom, then it ends up being 1.25" down from the top of the body. Since you are starting the hole at the bottom of the neck pocket, that's 5/8" down from the top of the body. So the total drop from the start of the hole to the finish is 5/8", or .625". The distance is roughly 5.5 inches laterally. So using those two numbers, we know that the angle you need is 6.48°, or let's just say 6.5°. So you need a wedge cut at 6.5° that you can cut easily on a table saw or bandsaw. Insert the block into the neck pocket and let the drill bit ride along it and you will drill at the correct angle.

Before you start, draw another line on the body to indicate the exact direction you want the bit to travel, and follow it when you drill. Put a piece of tape on the drill bit to indicate the depth so you don't go too far and end up with a nice hole in the body. That length should be just a little more than 5.5".

Or you could just eyeball the whole operation.

Btw, if you cut a humbucker cavity for the neck pickup, you can drill the hole right from that cavity.

4. ### JellecasterFriend of Leo's

Age:
49
Dec 12, 2006
New Hampshire, USA
As you can tell from the photo of the pine body I cut, I use a Forstner bit to cut a notch between the neck pocket and the neck pickup cavity. I do this to allow truss rod adjustment without removing the vintage necks that I use, but it also allows you to drill the wiring channel much more easily.

You just angle the bit through the neck pocket, into the neck pickup cavity and on through to the control cavity. I still almost hit bottom!

5. ### Buckocaster51Super ModeratorStaff MemberAd Free Member

Age:
66
Jan 6, 2005
Iowa USA
Admin Post
I've often wondered why the "normal" path isn't from the neck pocket straight back through the neck pickup and into the bridge pickup cavity. The the neck pickup wires could share the hole from the bridge pickup route to the control cavity.

There is PROBABLY a reason this isn't done, but I haven't been able to think about it.

Unless it is a matter to too many wires in the bridge pickup cavity.

Or something like that.

6. ### Jack WellsDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Oct 19, 2003
Albuquerque, USA
Tom's guide block with a hole in it is a good idea. In his book on guitar building, Melvyn Hiscock uses something similar to drill holes from the heel and headstock into the truss rod channel. Here's my jig patterned after the one in his book. The guide block is hard maple. You wouldn't need anything this elaborate for drilling the body holes.

........

7. ### Buckocaster51Super ModeratorStaff MemberAd Free Member

Age:
66
Jan 6, 2005
Iowa USA
Admin Post
Somebody in Albuquerque is building a neck!

8. ### KokoTeleDoctor of TeleocityVendor Member

Age:
42
Mar 17, 2003
albany, ny [not chicago]
Jack, what are those cool clamps called and where do you get them?

9. ### AlamoPoster ExtraordinaireSilver Supporter

Nov 15, 2006
Berlin, Germany

It's anoying when you want to put a new neck pickup in it.
You can push the wires into the bridge cavity, but then what?
How are you going to thread 'em 90° to the left into the control cavity?
Ok, it works if you take the whole bridge off - but thats not a small job then. Not quite Leo's idea, I guess.

I just recently had to do this on my Hoyer Black Lady Telecaster.
It has a set neck, and no extra routings at all (except the pickup cavitys of course).
The high e-string had killed the neck pickup and I thought ok a 5 minute job, until I realized.......

So my vote goes to Leo thinking - everything must be interchangable without a hassle.

or something like that

10. ### gtechFriend of Leo's

Jan 4, 2007
Quebec, Canada
A trick to replace the neck pickup without having to take the bridge apart is to tape a string to the wire of the old pickup in the control cavity before taking the pickup out.

You then can attach the wires of the new pickup to this string and pull on the string to guide the wires into the guitar.

That's what we need to do with hollow or semi-hollow guitars to work on the electronics.

Quick Action Toggle clamps...

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?Offerings_ID=2150&TabSelect=Details

Gilles

11. ### Jack WellsDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Oct 19, 2003
Albuquerque, USA
The clamps ............. they're called toggle clamps. Woodworkers's Supply has a warehouse and retail outlet in Albuquerque. Other places like Wood Craft, Grizzly and Rockler probably have them too. They come is various sizes and configurations.

......

12. ### cradlehallTele-Meister

Apr 11, 2007
Inverness, Scotland
Phew, it's hard work being a newbie and having to read this 25 page thread in a oner - actually I read through over several sessions.
Many congratulations to the Buckocaster of course, but also to all the other contributors for their questions and ideas.
A really illuminating thread. Quite excellent.

13. ### Buckocaster51Super ModeratorStaff MemberAd Free Member

Age:
66
Jan 6, 2005
Iowa USA
Admin Post
All the way from Scotland!

Thanks much.

One of these days work is going to slack off a bit and I will be able to get back out to the garage...Mario at the Guitar Mill just sent me a couple of really nice looking chunks of Alder. That will be at least four (4) project guitars for the summer...plus a couple of doublenecks.

I'm going to have more fun than any one person should be allowed to have...

But I have to get to the end of the school year first.

14. ### BarnesTOTele-Afflicted

May 28, 2006
Yuma, AZ
Doublenecks? Cool....12/6 string, baritone/regular scale....

If you've got the Fender Custom shop book from several years ago, there is a double B-bender baritone/regular scale doubleneck blackguard Tele, copper with matching headstock(s). Very cool, probably incredibly heavy....

I think a big problem I would have with building a doubleneck (besides the expense) is finding the right case....I do you have an inside track on where to find those, Bucko?

15. ### JellecasterFriend of Leo's

Age:
49
Dec 12, 2006
New Hampshire, USA
You absolutely MUST start a new "Doublecaster" thread when you do this project!

16. ### Buckocaster51Super ModeratorStaff MemberAd Free Member

Age:
66
Jan 6, 2005
Iowa USA
Admin Post
I don't know about the new thread...but I love that name...

DOUBLECASTER

has playful, yet decidedly sinister sound to it

17. ### JellecasterFriend of Leo's

Age:
49
Dec 12, 2006
New Hampshire, USA
You only get to use the name if you give us a new thread!

18. ### mikoNEW MEMBER!

May 5, 2007
Istanbul
Hi, all. First post here but I've been lurking around for a while. Read this whole thread today and I must say I'm really inspired thanks to Buckocaster and everyone else.

You've shown an excellent effort to document the building process for each guitar and I thank you for that. Great job!

I've been playing a MIM tele for 2 years now and I'd really love to have a tele that makes me think of all the work I've done on it every time I play it. So far the only work I've done on my tele is to put a tortoise shell pickguard on it and reverse the control plate. It would be great if I could build my own tele -I have the courage to do that thanks to this thread- however I don't have as easy access as you guys have in the US to most of the resources I need. I could find body blanks with the help of some luthiers I know but it would cost me a lot. So, for now I'm only thinking of refinishing the body and neck of my MIM tele. The body has a thick arctic white poly finish on it. I'm thinking of something like daphne blue or maybe blonde. I'd love to do a sparkle finish like shoreline gold but as a first time project I think it would be too hard.

Anyways, for the ones who didn't bother to read that long paragraph (I know I wouldn't) I would really apreciate your tips and support once I start this project. I could get a luthier to do it but I want to feel the satisfaction doing it myself. BTW, I have a budget of about 300-350 dollars but I'll spend some of it on new pickups and electronics.

Many thanks in advance!

19. ### Buckocaster51Super ModeratorStaff MemberAd Free Member

Age:
66
Jan 6, 2005
Iowa USA
Admin Post
Welcome aboard.

Thank you for the kind words.

Before we go any farther, remember that I just make most of this up as I go along.

Unless your specific goal is to remove your "thick arctic white poly finish" I would suggest that you just sand it down, fill any dingers you might have, feather them out, prime it, paint it, clear it, sand, and polish it and be done with it.

If your goal is to remove that finish, which is something I have never done, I think I would attack it with a heat gun. There is a recent thread where that is discussed in some detail. It sounds like the way to go.

I hope that this hobby is addicting.

Think about it long and hard before you start.

20. ### mikoNEW MEMBER!

May 5, 2007
Istanbul
Thank you. I'm thinking of sanding it off and spraying it as you said. Waiting for some good weather, don't want to do that stuff inside. I'm also thinking of refinishing the neck with a vintage tint and putting my own decals on it. Would I have to remove the frets to sand off the finish?

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