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Watch a Noob build a Tele body from scratch

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by kleydejong, May 31, 2017.

  1. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I look at it this way based on what little I know about strings and physics. Your string length has nodes at all the many harmonics for the note it is tuned to. The string length changes as you fret the neck and play. Therefore all those node positions change too as you play. Put a pickup anywhere and it'll be better for some note but maybe not another. A pickup placed near the neck will pick up a wider swing of the string as opposed to the bridge where it is anchored.... My conclusion....put the pickup between the neck and the bridge. :)
     

  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Marty's right...

    If ya note, the neck and bridge pickups on all the Fender guitars are pretty darn close to the same location relative to the scale length...

    so. . here's a simple way to determine where to put 'em... look at a "standard issue" guitar with similar pups.. measure 'em . . bingo...

    Leo used a "test rig" ... basically a guitar with a movable sled to mount the pups on.. so he could move them around and have someone that could hear such things, like a very young Bill Lawrence.. tell him how the different positions sounded...

    Bill continued to use a similar arrangement until his death several years ago.. it was a Strat modified so the pickup sled could be slipped in and out without disassembling anything, and it allowed the pickups to be scooted around...

    Somethings in the world of the electric guitar have been resolved, no further experimentation required...

    rk
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
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  3. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Meister

    476
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    Thanks guys. Went ahead and outlined some cavities and used a forstner and / or larger drill bits to hot out.
    [​IMG]

    Routed. I also drilled two holes for a volume pot and 3 way LP style switch.

    [​IMG]

    Decided to rear route. I was feeling pretty confident that I hadn't screwed anything up massively yet. Keyword yet...

    [​IMG]

    I have a large 1 1/2" bit that I use for planing. Thought it would be good just to make a single pass at gently increasing depths. Not the best idea I ever had. Got a little messy. Will clean it up, and thankfully it is on the back and will be covered.

    1/8" roundover. For some reason I found this to be extremely enjoyable. It is such a simple little detail, yet it really took it from a crappy amateur project to a slightly cooler amateur project.

    [​IMG]

    Then I decided to counter sink the bridge posts a bit. I did this free handed. Not perfect. I'm new to using a router, and even as I gain more experience I feel I should maybe avoid free hand cuts as much as possible.

    [​IMG]

    Time for lots of sanding!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  4. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Meister

    476
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA

  5. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    The big hardware stores have 12" long drill bits. I use 1/8" for single coil pickups generally, unless they have braided shield wire. For humbuckers, p90, etc. I use 1/4".

    One thing to note when finishing the body is that the sap in the knots will leech through any paint you use unless you seal with a shellac based primer or with straight shellac. A regular primer won't do the trick. Trust me, I've learned that lesson really well :).

    On the subject of freehand router cuts, they are to be avoided at all costs. Learned that after freehanding my first build.
     
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  6. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Meister

    476
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    Got a long 1/4" drill bit. I went with a hole from the neck pocket to bridge pickup cavity, then another to the control cavity. I cleaned up the routes and then spent a lot of time sanding. 80, 150, 220, 400.

    Executive decision for the finish is Tru Oil.

    [​IMG]
     
    richa likes this.

  7. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    597
    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    That finishing looks like it might be the ticket. Looks pretty good. I'm enjoying your thread mate. Your style in setting up and aligning the TOM bridge was exactly the same way I did for my Danelectro build.

    I would say Ripthorn is on the money about free hand routing. Tried that trick and made some horrible messes! But if what you've done so far is gonna be covered, then you should be fine. That's my motto anyway. :D

    Can't wait to see this come to completion.

    Incidentally, did you check your string height after counter sinking the bridge posts? I like a very low action, but have found with my Dano build that I need to raise the posts slightly to stop minor buzzing off the pickup. It's only set up with a single coil neck pup - so I'm going the other way and thinking of trying to raise my bridge slightly. Mind you, having said that, I was just today looking at getting in a proper lipstick pup, which may alter things slightly - depending how it fits.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
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  8. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Meister

    476
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    I have not checked it again. I'm not super experienced with a TOM bridge, but the one I have appears to have two posts that are inserted into the body. I countersunk those posts to give me a lower potential 'minimum' bridge height. Then I have a second set of posts that can be screwed into the first posts. The bridge is then inserted on these posts. These can be adjustable through the entire travel of the screw, right? Then if I really need more minimum depth I can split the difference using a shim to change the break angle of the neck. Please correct where I am wrong.
     

  9. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    597
    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Well, I'm not the most experienced with any of this stuff, so hopefully someone with a bit more nous will step in and put you on the right track.

    The thing I understand with TOM's is getting the neck angle right. I somehow kinda fluked mine by putting a slight shim in the neck pocket. When I strung it up it was just amazing action wise - just the way I like it. But as mentioned the strings were buzzing off the pup, so I had to slightly raise the bridge pole pieces. No drama in that, it plays fine, but I've only got cheap hardware all round on it, so once I get the proper stuff in and this lipstick, then hopefully I can get everything in the right balance.

    So, what you've said makes sense to me re your adjustment values. Countersinking has given you a closer balance to the fretboard, and if it's too close you can always raise the posts, or if still not enough then add a slight shim.

    Anyway, good luck, and we'll see what happens when you put her altogether. I'd say anything fixable if it's slightly out. :)
     

  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    There are 3 common tunematics. The import metric variety with screw driver slots in the top of the posts with a pair of threaded inserts, the original Gibson style which is narrower and uses threaded rod and round knurled wheels for adjustment, and the Nashville style which is wider which has inserts and a more complex adjusting nut that threads into the inserts. Which one are you using that allows you to screw two posts into one spot, or is this some kind of combination of the two? I can't really see how you can do that with the parts as-is, unless you are talking about two pair of wheels on the threaded rod of the original style. I do know that Stewmac used to sell conversion posts for the original to Nashville inserts, but I don't know if this is what you are talking about. Are you using something different than these? There are variations of the wraparound bridge with integrated saddles that are adjustable... but those aren't called tunematics...examples are the Leo Quan, schaller leo quan style, and modern variations by all the custom people.

    https://www.allparts.com/GB-0520-001-Nickel-Tunematic-Bridge_p_1537.html

    https://www.allparts.com/GB-0540-010-Schaller-Nashville-Chrome-Tunematic-Bridge_p_1567.html

    https://www.allparts.com/GB-0525-010-Chrome-Gotoh-Tunematic_p_1546.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

  11. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Meister

    476
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Onward with Tru Oil. My first coat was applied using 400 grit sand paper to do the slurry thing. Let it dry over night. Then I apply two coats during the day. One over the lunch hour and the other in the evening. I just pour it into a plastic cup and rub it on with my fingers. The next day I hit it lightly with some 400 sandpaper on a sanding block using spit as a lubricant.

    I'm happy with the progress so far, but this won't be a pristine glass-like finish. The wood seems to be absorbing the oil in kind of an inconsistent way. And I probably should have spent more time sanding and prepping the body. But I like working with Tru Oil and am trying to improve my techniques.
     

  12. tonyv77

    tonyv77 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    32
    348
    Mar 24, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I appreciate your "Just do it" attitude. I've been letting the fact that I don't own a jointer hold me up from my build. I've had an MDF template of the guitar in my avatar for over a year.
     
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  13. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Meister

    476
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    Tru oil continues. Starting to get some reflections. I don't think I'll get that super glassy finish, and the wood seems to be a absorbing the oil in a kinda splotchy way.

    I tweaked my method a bit. I'm using a paper towel to apply and keep the coats thinner. I am also spending a little more time flattening once each day.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  14. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Holic

    783
    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I'm about two months behind you, thanks for posting all of this! Love your fearless attitude and creativity with tool use. I've already got some ideas from this thread.
     
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  15. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    597
    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I just noticed one of the pot cavities in that knot. This ain't gonna prove to be a problem is it?
     

  16. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Meister

    476
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    Thanks you! One of the things I enjoy most about woodworking is how there seems to be an endless number of possible solutions to any given problem. My $40 skil saw was 4 screws and a $15 piece of Melamine board away from being a table saw. My table saw was a few jigs away from effectively crosscutting and jointing a 2x4 into a guitar body blank. That blank just needs a jig saw, router, and sand paper from becoming every piece of wood's ultimate form - a telecaster. And the only reason I was able to figure any of that stuff out was because I saw some person (who is much smarter than I) make a video or a forum post about it.

    Hmm, I didn't really think about that. I drilled that hole thinking it would be a convenient location based on my preferences and it might be kind of interesting visually to 'feature' the knot. But my understanding is that a knot is technically a defect in the wood, and has less strength. So maybe drilling a hole and mounting a pot may cause a problem?

    I guess if it really mucks things up it wouldn't be too difficult to just route a channel and use a typical tele style control plate. A bit sub optimal as I'll have needlessly routed through the rear, but hey - I'm learning right!
     
    Daniel94 likes this.

  17. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Get some Epoxy 5 minute or better and fill the not in the front and the back, then re-drill. The epoxy should keep it from going anywhere or becoming unstable from use.
     
    awasson likes this.

  18. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Meister

    476
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    Thanks for that, good tip.
     

  19. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Meister

    476
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    As I continue to tru oil I'm thinking about the next step - mounting the neck. Right now I'm going to use a neck from an SX Furrian tele clone. I imagine some day I'll get a proper Allparts or Warmoth (or build my own...) - but for now I want to use what I have on hand. Problem is that someone in China had a bad day when they drilled these holes. So I'm going to fill them with dowels and then drill the screw holes in both neck and body together. Never done that before either, so why not?

    [​IMG]

    For my own reference, I found good information here:

    http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onlin...lding_Instruments_and_Kits/Bolt-On_Necks.html

    http://bcguitars.empirion.co.uk/assembly/mounting-the-guitar-neck/

    Then I'll take a trip to the hardware store and get some #8 1 3/4" phillips head screws.
     

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