#2:Neck-through Reverse Body Bird

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Slowtwitch, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    IMG_20190818_155243.jpeg

    With the success of my very first build, a complete build, https://www.tdpri.com/threads/novice-first-build-the-jawbone.909907/, I was keen to do it again.

    This time something different, way different:
    A through-neck, reverse headstock, Firebird Tele kinda thing.

    So there are T-Birds out there, most have bolt-on Tele necks. I wanted a tele neck but not bolt-on.

    So geometry becomes something I had to sort out first (no neck angle, or high protruding fretboard)
    Some answers came...https://www.tdpri.com/threads/firebird-geometry-questions.954947/

    I got some reclaimed wood (an ex-kitchen counter made of the same Kiaat wood my #1 was made of)
    This one was going to be painted a colour.
    I also received a very nice piece a Beechwood - the centre piece/ neck
     
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  2. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    IMG_20190610_103903.jpeg IMG_20190610_115845.jpeg IMG_20190610_150851.jpeg IMG_20190709_153438.jpeg

    Made templates, had a buddy with a table saw and planner & thickness planner sort out the rough wood



    Routed trussrod, and I decided to glue-on the wings early in the build. That's just how I decided to do it. Some attach the wings later in the build, but I wanted to "protect the joined edges. I didn't find it too much of an issue working with the full guitar as opposed to just the neck piece
    IMG_20190612_121151.jpeg IMG_20190615_140903.jpeg

    Tele neck template used - neck/ body interface is somewhere between fret no. 16/17. I still use the theoretical heel position to determine bridge, pups, etc
    IMG_20190617_103449.jpeg
    IMG_20190618_124747.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  3. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    My neck/ centre piece wasn't thick enough, but I didn't want a quarter sawn /laminated neck, but rather a one piece Fender style neck, so I glued on an extra piece of Kiaat to make up the body thickness

    IMG_20190619_104408.jpeg IMG_20190619_173250.jpeg

    Wings were tapered top and bottom to the outside edges by sanding
    IMG_20190619_173433.jpeg

    Cavities
    IMG_20190622_102603.jpeg IMG_20190624_143650.jpeg
     

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  4. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    IMG_20190624_154705.jpeg IMG_20190625_154816.jpeg

    thinning out the headstock
    IMG_20190625_153334.jpeg IMG_20190705_143442.jpeg

    On my first neck I used a Japanese flush cut saw with a purpose made mitrebox (CNC to scribe the frets lines for perfect position). Did that again...
    IMG_20190704_153120.jpeg

    It worked, however, the blade is slightly narrow, so I wanted to try a slightly wider blade. I decided to try this super cheap saw. It worked perfectly!!!
    IMG_20190709_120115.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  5. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Trimmed the fretboard. Note the board is just held in place with locating pins and double-sided tape. Reason being I need access to router the accurate cavity for the P90 neck pup (when it arrives) so need to remove the board, but didn't want to stall progress. It worked a charm doing it this way
    IMG_20190709_131004.jpeg IMG_20190709_141551.jpeg IMG_20190706_164814.jpeg

    Frets were good flush fit, gel superglue used on tang edge to glue in frets
    IMG_20190711_153446.jpeg

    Side dots
    IMG_20190711_131948.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  6. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    home made fret bender approx 10" for a 12" radiused board. When pressing in frets when the board is not glued on, you need a backing board to support the thin piece of wood
    IMG_20190711_092349.jpeg IMG_20190710_171226.jpeg

    Board sitting flush with body for lower string hight and cleaner look - so I need to drop the bridge into the body to accommodate this
    (only a mock-up with locating pins holding the board)
    IMG_20190713_101451.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  7. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Radius transition done and starting to shape the neck
    IMG_20190803_143600.jpeg IMG_20190803_143642.jpeg

    checking alignment before doing my first Tele bridge cavity. Also dropped the Tele bridge approx 2.7mm into the body for good string hight.
    Neck cavity for P90.

    These few pics represents hours of work to get this done, from making accurate templates to final depth routing
    IMG_20190731_102521.jpeg IMG_20190804_161327.jpeg


    The hours spent paid off very well
    IMG_20190804_161442.jpeg IMG_20190804_161501.jpeg
     
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  8. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Fretboard glued on, I used a bicycle inner tube to clamp the board along with other clamps (I don't own too many clamps) and have seen others use this method. It worked well, however, it does leave plenty glue residue afterwards which requires sanding flat. I shaped the neck by this stage and I was glad I didn't finish it before this step as it too some sanding to get off the glue residue
    IMG_20190804_180407.jpeg

    The Firebird's a thin beast - one of the attractive points for me of this body shape IMG_20190804_182914.jpeg

    String-through holes done. This is my 2nd time I do this and came out good.
    IMG_20190806_123727.jpeg IMG_20190806_175205.jpeg

    First time to make a recessed fitting cover. Happy with the result
    IMG_20190806_175341.jpeg

    The neck/ body transition wasn't easy to shape. I found it way more complicated than my first neck (bolt-on Fender style).

    But I'm happy with the end result.

    This pic also represents many hours
    IMG_20190803_143642.jpeg

    Start with 1st sanding sealer

    IMG_20190805_144938.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  9. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Pre-paint complete assemble. Single ply Scratch plate made and edges chamfered

    Made the Bone Nut (not shown) from my own blanks (refer to my first build) and shaped and slotted the nut
    IMG_20190806_200404.jpeg

    Colour will be vintage green/ blue/ pearl. Difficult to show on camera
    IMG_20190806_201142.jpeg


    At this stage, the guitar was assembled, electronics installed and frets levelled. Happy with how it sounds and plays

    All stripped again and time to finish this baby

    The Beech wood was stained using dye in Teak Oil. It worked okay, although it still doesn't come out even coloured. There are some darker spots which accepts the dye easier than other places.
    This is more evident on the back of the neck.

    Once I was happy with the colour, I switched to just Teak Oil to finish.

    Own logo's added. The Bird is my boy's creation since he will be playing this guitar way more than me, and to involve him in the build. To add the "reverse" theme, logo's were done upside down (facing the player) :)

    Poly clear coat - a rough job, but that's what sanding is for
    IMG_20190819_112436.jpeg IMG_20190819_135514.jpeg

    about 3-4 coats sanding sealer by brush sanded flat this weekend sprayed 2 coats Prime and there's still grain pore marks showing. The prime is basically the same particle thickness(?) as grain filler, so I stuck to prime.

    Here I'm doing spot filling by brush - this will be it - all pores are filled and I'm left with a pretty much perfect surface once sanded flat to start with colour
    IMG_20190819_112429.jpeg


    Note that I've got no experience spraying besides Build No.1. So learning as much as I can and gaining confidence

    And this brings us to real time :)
     

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  10. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Tele-Meister

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    Wonderful job! I was loving the natural look, but something about that white paint job has just drawn attention to the sculptural details.

    The thin body is very nice, I also think it's a good fit for a Fender style headstock because you can sit it flat on a table unlike the original!
     
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  11. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Thank you sir, I agree the 2 tone wood does look good. However, there's too many imperfections I had to hide due to it being reclaimed wood, and also esp on the centre piece I had to add a little strip to make up the width.

    Also I'm very keen to try my hand at a gloss solid colour
     
  12. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Very cool! Good job man you nailed it with this one.
     
  13. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Thx GPlo;)

    That Bass of yours.... maybe, just maybe a next project is looming also for a mate of mine :)
     
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  14. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    My first attempt at Nitrocellulose lacquer.

    Decided to do it vintage style, so a thin NC lacquer finish

    Here's the colour coat done. A vintage metallic type of blue/green, difficult to capture on camera

    That centre piece step has been a pain to work with, from routing the body, to round-overs, to prepping for painting...the whole process is more complicated

    IMG_20190828_102444.jpeg IMG_20190828_102425.jpeg
     
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  15. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Clear coat done. Now the long wait for the lacquer to cure :rolleyes:


    IMG_20190829_132035.jpeg IMG_20190829_132103.jpeg

    One of the issues with this body shape is it doesn't fit a normal fender box style hard case :mad:. So while I wait for the paint to cure, I'm trying my hand at a hard case
    IMG_20190828_174328.jpeg IMG_20190829_165457.jpeg
     
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  16. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It’s gonna be heavy. Try a t style bass case or ex style guitar case.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    I was very aware of the weight when planning, so I used 8mm MDF for the sides, 6mm ply for the tops and almost no wood for the interior. So far it seems okay

    Working with polystyrene is NOT recommended. It's fragile, is not as quick to shape as one thinks and it makes a massive mess!!!!:mad:
    IMG_20190901_071228.jpeg IMG_20190901_071559.jpeg
     
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