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1956 Telecaster build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by preeb, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Lostheart

    Lostheart Tele-Afflicted

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    Gil, I'd give my right arm to know where you got your stepped drill bit from...was it custom made?
    Drilling ferrules is such a PITA and this would sure speed up the job!
     
  2. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    A short day today... I'll get on with the body finish and start with the pickups.
    I already have a few flatworks of Tele pu's that I cut a while back but didn't take pictures... so for the complete pu process you can check here.

    The body needs a little yellowing, just a bit so it will look like an authentic 55 blonde.
    I'll use two thin coats here, one clear and one slightly cream tinted. this way, when the guitar will get played the tint will fade first in the correct places and the aging will look as it should, this is because lacquer, in the real time line, will get darker on the outer surface.

    I start with sanding the oversprayed (little dry powder) areas left from the white blonde coat.
    [​IMG]

    The step drill is back from sharpenning... so the ferrule holes are drilled. No chips as the lacquer is still fresh and I used high speed on the drill press
    [​IMG]

    Clear aged lacquer coat
    [​IMG]

    followed by tinted coat
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  3. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Now it looks aged enough (really bad pictures today... it looks much nicer in real life)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Same for the back... I took the following shot before the tint so you can see the contrast between the white and the tinted sides
    [​IMG]

    tinting stage is done
    [​IMG]
     
  4. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Hanged for 24 hours. Here's a few more bad shots...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Now for the pickups.
    The bridge pu will be a 1955 type with raised D & G sand casted AlNiCo-3 magnets plain enamel coated AWG 42 wire. I plan to wind it to 6.1K (about 8000 wounds) which is right at the lower range for that period (I like the tone ot weaker pu's better).
    The neck pu will match the bridge with same magnets but with enamel coated AWG 43 wire. 7K (at 8000 wounds). Yes... the neck pu should have a slightly higher resistance, but it will work great, trust me. That's how it was back in the old days too.

    Flatworks and magnets are selected
    [​IMG]

    Magnets are hammered in to fit tightly in the holes
    [​IMG]

    I use this little jig to flush the magnets on the bottom flatwork.
    [​IMG]

    Spacers are attached and secured
    [​IMG]
     
  6. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Top flatwork is pressed in and spacers are removed
    [​IMG]

    I repeat the same process for the neck pu and I'm done with this step
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    pu's are attached to a wire and prepared for a nitro lacquer bath
    [​IMG]
     
  7. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    VVVV
     
  8. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    In the bath we go... this is a very old lacquer and will give the pu a slight mojo color
    [​IMG]

    They look bad but the lacquer will get flushed and look nicer in a few hours
    [​IMG]

    I'll introduce them to the body... they are going to spend a lifetime togeather... and it will start with getting dried side by side (please tell me if I'm getting too romantic here...)
    [​IMG]

    That's it for today.

    See you soon,
    Gil
     
    twr102 likes this.
  9. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    I had it custom ordered. Couldn't find any at the time. Before that, I had 2 templates, one with 3/8" and the other with 5/8" (actually 8mm) guides. Not a big deal, but it saves a little time. I have the same solution for the stepped tuner holes.
     
  10. wikur

    wikur Tele-Meister

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    Great thread!
    I just read it from first to last post.
    Lots of useful info!
    Thanks for sharing!
     
  11. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Thank you!!!
    I wish....
    I build my own pu's.
     
  12. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong... but do I use the word "correct" correctly or should I correct it and do it in a more correct manner?

    Thanks!
     
  13. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Thanks.
    May I ask, what info did you find most useful?

    Gil
     
  14. allen st. john

    allen st. john Friend of Leo's

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    Nice work.
    One question--why did you use koa for the skunk stripe?
    (Although it looks pretty dark and straight grained for koa...)
    On an original it would be Brazilian rosewood and I would think that a piece of that dimension--essentially a trim piece from a fretboard--would be rather inexpensive.

    best
    Allen
     
  15. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, in the very early days maple was used for the skunk and plug followed by walnut and koa.
    In the early 50's koa was more common and in 1956 it was completely dropped in favor of walnut (much cheaper).
    I usually use koa in pre 56 models. It's a nicer wood. I don't care about costs and I use the best wood and materials I can get. The target is to build the best instruments I can.
    I never heard of Brazilian RW used for skunk stripes. Are you sure about that?

    All the best,
    Gil
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  16. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    I'll trade it towards your right arm... although I'm not sure what to use it for...
    Maybe I'll use it to turn the drill press on and off while my left hand is holding the piece and my right hand holding the lever.
     
  17. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Now seriously...
    Here's one solution (Cheap but works very well):

    get this step drill bit or similar (they're all over the place).

    You will need to do a little work on the tall bit
    3/16'' to 1/2'' Six Step Bit (3/16'', 1/4'', 5/16'', 3/8'', 7/16'', 1/2'')

    Cut the 3/16" and file the 1/4" section to 1/8".
    File half of the 5/16" section to 1/8" as well to shorten it to 1/4" (depth of the 5/16")
    Now you'll have a 1/8" lead for the already drilled 1/8" hole + 5/16" that follows 1/4" deep + 3/8".
    Now you'll need to put a collar on the 3/8" section at 1.7mm and you're done.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Arlo

    Arlo Friend of Leo's

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    Outstanding!
     
  19. Chris Clemens

    Chris Clemens Tele-Holic

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    Niiiiccceeee! I'll keep fallowing this (without stalking ;-)!
     
  20. Lostheart

    Lostheart Tele-Afflicted

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    That's an interesting idea but I think custom made is the way to go. I wonder how much such a made-to-specs custom bit is but I will check into it....

    You do some magical stuff here, Gil! And now in the words of Uri "Echad Steim Schalosch" back to work, mate! ;-)
     
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