Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

The worst part about learning to work on guitars is...

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Edsel Presley, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Edsel Presley

    Edsel Presley Tele-Holic

    Jan 29, 2017
    ...finding out exactly how out-of-wack your guitars are. Then not having the correct tools to fix it. :(
    oyobass, NilsZippo, summer_69 and 3 others like this.

  2. Reggie77

    Reggie77 Tele-Meister

    Jul 16, 2017
    Other than basic cleaning, I'm too chicken to do anything to mine on my own ... I envy people that are real mechanically inclined
    puddin likes this.

  3. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 4, 2014
    Arivaca AZ
    I'm used to working on things that will kill me if I don't do it right. AKA aircraft, aerospace vehicles in Air Force vernacular. As a flight engineer this was often in awkward locations (N'Djamena , Kinshasa etc.).

    Guitars are easy, and fall in the category of Don't sweat the small stuff. The one that had me worried at all was a neck reset on an epoxied in Ovation neck.
    8barlouie likes this.

  4. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    Worst part is realizing that it belongs to you. I have no problem tearing into anything as long as it isn't mine. I refinished a few guitars for others that were 40 years old and they came out great, but I still can't get myself to remove the decal off the pick-guard on my own stuff for fear of it showing a stain or not tearing away completely.

    I was always the same way with people's cars and computers, as long as I am not emotionally involved, I can do about anything from building a guitar to doing surgery to remove cancerous intestines (yup, I really did that under the surgeon's supervision of course) on a living person. It just can't belong to me.
    summer_69, draggindakota and Doug 54 like this.

  5. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    The worst thing about learning to work on guitars is that suddenly there are an OCEAN of guitars out there that you could buy for pennies and fix up. Every time I go to the second-hand shop now, I walk past the ten-dollar junkers and think, "hmm..." and I gotta stop and pick up each piece of crap and look it over. :rolleyes:
    NICQ, SheldonP, richa and 7 others like this.

  6. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I’m slowly learning. I’ve made minor repairs on my tele (alu foil in the pickguard against static, glue and toothpicks in the pickguard screwholes). The fact that it’s a tele I probably won’t sell helps.

    The other day I’ve taken the excuse of changing the saddles to disassemble the bridge completely, and to take off the control plate, pickguard and neck pick-up – just for a good cleaning and set-up. I start knowing my tele inside out.

    Then I thought of popping the neck out for the sake of it and I chickened out (… uh, what if I ruin the guitar for no reason at all?). Next time I change strings I’ll DO IT!!! The following step is learning to solder. At that point, I’ll be ready to assemble my partscaster. Next thing I know I’ll be cluttering my office with soldering irons, routers, …… LET’S DO IT WOOO-HOOO!
    Vespa_One likes this.

  7. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    PS: it’s helped a ton to be around my tech when he did the first set-ups. Now I feel very confident to do them myself and my guitars are no longer out of whack.
    IsleFan likes this.

  8. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    There's no downside to learning how to set up your guitar.....

    a screw driver, a few allen keys and a good eye is all you need to set a guitar up ..

    when you start building them you need a bit more gear....
    8barlouie likes this.

  9. DonM

    DonM Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 21, 2016
    I don't have it with me but I got that book everyone recommended. It's a great resource. I've changed pickguard S and re-driled holes and reshaped them to fit, changed pickups, rewired switches, pots and jacks. Most mistakes you make are correctable. The only thing I don't like is adjusting pickups. I turned the screw too far on one and it came apart with the spring flying around and I had a tough time getting it back on without having to tear the pickguard off. I've got the soldering and re-wiring thing down pretty good now though. Like anything, it does get easier the more you do it.

  10. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    Word of warning: take the sticker off as soon as you get it.

    I bought a used guitar online last spring for a ridiculous price. It was in new condition, and still had the plastic wrap on the pick guard, complete with the little round "inspected by" sticker.

    When I took the sticker off, the rest of the pick guard had aged to a beautiful ivory color, and the spot where the sticker was has a stark white circle that stands out like a sore thumb. I've had it out in the sun all summer, but it's still there.

    It shows up much more in person than it does in the picture.

    IMG_20170926_014845.jpg IMG_20170926_014845.jpg
    DonM and Milspec like this.

  11. Steve Ouimette

    Steve Ouimette Tele-Holic

    Aug 17, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Get yourself a StewMaxx account at Stewart MacDonald Supplies. I think it's $35 a year and it gives you free shipping on everything. It's really handy when you need some fretwire or something small and the shipping would kill you. Plus StewMac is just great all around and they've got all the tools you need ;)

  12. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    I don't think there's a down side. My first build was a Stewmac Dreadnought acoustic in 2005 and then I have made so may Strats, Teles, an SG, a Les Paul jr. to name a few. Ukes also.

    Only downside was when a guy called Ralph sent me an Ash body and maple neck that NOBODY could fit. Otherwise I can a join you can't get a cigarette paper in. THANKS RALPH

  13. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Holic

    Jun 7, 2011
    clinton, ia
    I'm good with everything except electronics. But I'm trying to learn. Best part is you can set the thing up how YOU want it and not how some book says it should be.

  14. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Which leads to the question: what are the soldering skills required to wire a telecaster, and how do I acquire them in practice without ruining my perfectly good tele? Any suggestions appreciated!

  15. brokenbones

    brokenbones Tele-Meister

    Mar 15, 2012
    Reaching the point where you want to learn fretwork and seeing the sticker shock of good fret tools and the learning curve to feel comfortable performing fret surgery on your "baby".
    SheldonP, gobi_grey and Milspec like this.

  16. esseff

    esseff Tele-Meister

    Mar 25, 2014
    East Midlands, UK
    I'm another in the 'fix it yourself' school. There's nothing complicated about tweaking guitars. Practice on a pawn shop special (or younger brother's instrument :D); there's plenty of free tuition on the internet. I know my limits as far as re-finishing is concerned though.
    (Yep, Kinshasa - the longest 12 months of my life. I've worked at N'Djili and N'Dolo on DC3 and An2s. Someone out there has a Squier Tele that I didn't have the space to take with me when I left.)

  17. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    For me the worst thing is totting up all the money you've saved by doing your own set-ups, repairs, rewires, nut filing, and realising that you now need to decide what to spend all that money on. Damn.

    And then there's that terrible ego boost when your fellow guitarists marvel at your ability to set up and repair their instruments. And that awful feeling of having helped someone. And then the unbearable guilt when they buy you a couple of Britneys to say thanks.

    Yeah, working on your guitars stinks.

  18. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    ...putting it all back together and realizing that you only made it worse. :(:cry::mad:

  19. draggindakota

    draggindakota Tele-Meister

    Jun 28, 2017
    Lehigh Acres, Florida
    I'm the complete opposite of this. If it's mine, hand me the sawzall and grinder (or insert whatever applicable tool here) and I'll go to town. Someone else's property? Nawp, you should seek professional help (at least when I can defer it.)

  20. Flyinlow

    Flyinlow Tele-Meister

    Feb 9, 2017
    NE Indiana
    Reaching an impasse that makes even a much more experienced guy shudder.
    Wanted to change the volume and tone pots in my 1973 Hagstrom Viking... Called my friend who builds guitars of every kind.
    He likened wiring a hollow body to rebuilding a car's carburetor through the tailpipe, lol!
    callasabra likes this.

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