325 build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Mr. Freddy, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    In 2013, with only one child, and determined that I still had a life of my own, I started building a replica of Lennon’s guitar he used on the first Sullivan appearance. It quickly became obvious that my time was not my own just yet. After another two little miracles (Owen is almost 2), they are becoming independent enough that I can carve out a few precious minutes here and there to play. Cleaning out the garage, I found this old project right where it left off, so I am going to make it my summer project. Here are the parts I made when I left off, and I started to carve off the “shelf” for the tremolo. Perhaps it won’t take another 6 years to finish it.... Life before 3 kids.jpg IMG_2611.jpeg IMG_2612.jpeg IMG_2613.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  2. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Time to work on the neck. Got the fingerboard template on and trimmed, and then used a few hand planes (including the mighty #7) to make the 7 degree headstock angle (I have seen 5 and 7 degrees, went with 7). I tried cutting the original one in 2013 with the chop saw and a jig but the results weren't great for a number of reasons, but all was easily corrected with hand tools. Glued up the scarf joint and tail block extension today. My wife took the kids to visit family as well as give me a few straight hours, and I became a little over-ambitious (as I do). As I was finishing up my last step, the mailman delivered a router bit I needed for the truss rod slot, and instead of being an adult and doing what I SHOULD have done (cleaned my bench for the next day) I tried to use my last little bit of time to get a slot cut. I unpacked the bit, tried to pull the bit out of its packaging (1/4" cutter and shaft), and my fingers slid right up the blades leaving some nasty cuts. A valuable lesson that I hope sticks with me. IMG_2623.jpeg IMG_2624.jpeg IMG_2625.jpeg IMG_2626.jpeg IMG_2627.jpeg IMG_2632.jpeg IMG_2633.jpeg IMG_2634.jpeg
     
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  3. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

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    Looks like it is shaping up to be awesome! Excited to watch your progress!
     
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  4. Mr_Q

    Mr_Q Tele-Meister

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    #7 looks like a Beast!
    Sorry about the finger, but every guitar send to demand a little blood.

    Good luck on the project!

    Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk
     
  5. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    SWEET! snacks.gif
     
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  6. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone, this forum really got me started building. It is something I have always wanted to do, and wandering here really inspired me to get to doing years ago. Routed for the truss rod and installed, NOT cutting myself this time and being very careful with my setup. The truss rod was cut and welded to fit the short scale neck by my brother in law 6 years ago, as he is the welder in the family. Then I glued “wings” so the headstock template would fit and rough cut it out on the scroll saw. Someday I will get a bandsaw, but this works just fine. I also trimmed the neck tenon that is glued in from the back, using the table saw. Cut the neck shelf in the body and gave it a test fit, all good! Now we are getting somewhere! I have never held one of these, it is a short scale instrument, which helps people with small hands reach tough chords, but i didn’t realize how tiny it really is. It is like a child’s guitar, really funny, like holding a toy!

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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  7. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    I already did all these steps and am just playing catch up on the forum, which I had posted on my facebook page. This isn't real time, I let all structural glue joints dry for at least 12 hours. Cut fret slots and glued down board, and then used water putty for fretboard dots. One of my fret slots was off, so I mixed some fingerboard sawdust with wood glue and filled the slot. Recut, radius sanded the board, and installed frets. Now I can start shaping the neck.

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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  8. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Almost all the big jobs are done! Worked on the scoop at the lower end of the body, still have some shaping to do there but it is level now. I also shaped the neck using a spokeshave, rasp, file, and plane. The general shape is dialed in with 1:16th to play with and refine. So the neck goes on with a lot of glue for 12 hours to be sure it will never move again. You may notice the back of the guitar is hollowed out, which gives it a very light weight. Now, on the ‘58 model I am making they did it as I did, a drill press and big forstner bits (at least that is what I have read). In the next iteration they routed it out to make it much cleaner looking on the inside. However, for both historical accuracy and laziness (and the fact that after this nobody will ever see the inside of this guitar again) I will leave it as is. Although, considering I have never even seen one of these in person and will modify the wiring circuit, historical accuracy is clearly a lame excuse. Next the back goes on and this thing will look like a guitar, and many hours of sanding and scraping to the lines await.


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  9. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Just a reference for those interested, Lennon’s guitar to the left, my children’s child sized guitar on the right. They are the same size. Funny stuff.
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  10. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Clamped on back with 20 regular wood clamps/18 homemade spool clamps/two long reach. Almost maxed out my clamp collection but it all worked out. Wife took the kids to the playground and gave me some time to fit the tuners, tailpiece, and nut so I could string it up, and it works! It is an odd guitar to play, hard to explain except to say it is very small. I can see how it would be attractive if you don’t like reaching for your chords though. Still have lots of fine shaping to do, make recesses for the pickups, and cut the electronics cavity. Also have to make a pick guard and truss cover. Had to make sure it would actually play before all that, and since I am not working from plans, I am fitting everything like the pickups based on the string path. If I was working from an established set of plans I would feel more confident doing things in an order that makes it more efficient. What I did to get the shape is blow up an image using available dimension information to get the outline, and everything after that was done based on measurements you can easily google and descriptions on forums like this. This is also the first bigsby I have ever strung up, and it is a pain! Any tricks you may have that make it easier please let me know. I am using heavy flatwound 12s so the action isn't floppy. The nut is a zero-glide, which has a slot for a zero fret built in. I really like these for a variety of reasons. This post brings things up to the present.





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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  11. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Thanks!
     
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  12. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    The 7 is a beast, my father passed me a whole set of planes including a few bedrocks, and it is really great to take the long planes to a neck blank. If you put in the sharpening time it cuts like butter and leaves a pristine surface after a pass or two with the #4 smoothing plane.
     
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  13. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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  14. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Worked up some spacers to determine where the pickups will sit, 1/2” spacing between pickups. Made a super sophisticated jig to route out the recesses for the pickup magnets and that went just fine. Used the masking tape and superglue trick, look it up if you hate double sided tape. So the pickups are in. Now, working without a plan you will always encounter a problem you need to improvise your way around, and this is one of them. I set my neck .54” above the body based on all the info I could find, but on the outer E strings it is too close to the strings for comfort. My plan is to use a forstner bit to make recesses for the four corner nuts and sink the pickup to its base. More to come, thanks for watching!
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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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  15. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Looks like it is going to work out without drilling, will set it up fully when I wire it up before painting to make sure everything works like it should. Have clear 1/8” acrylic for the pickguard shaped and control holes drilled. This is a slight modification from Lennon’s pickguard, which was traced when it was last repaired. I just reduced the straight side to better fit this build. So now I have to take everything off, rout the control cavity, wire the electronics, make a metal jack plate, test the electronics and do a final setup, take everything off again, file and sand and sand and sand and sand and then finish. And then I can’t touch it for a few weeks while the paint dries. See, I am pretty much done!


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  16. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    Are you going to use grommets under the pickups corner screws? You could get some extra clearance depth, probably 3-4mm, for your strings over the fretboard that way.

    Thats what older vintage era Rickys used before they changed to the modern style pickup underlays. You could probably make those from old mouse pads!

    You might need either grommets or underlay to stop pickup vibrations & feedback.

    I used ordinary cheap 3mm hole grommets!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  17. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    I have the rubber grommets that came with the pickups, they raise it up a hair. With the screws pegged I have a 1/16” clearance to the low e at the moment. I didn’t account for the loss of height from the radius at the sides of the fretboard, that was my mistake here. Live and learn, we will make it work though.
     
  18. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    Great job so far! Yes, it does feel like a toy - but once you get used to it - there is no other guitar that is going to have 'that sound'. I've got a 325C64 and I love it - yes it's a niche guitar but I play a lot of Beatles and nothing does the early Beatles rhythm sound better. Looking forward to your build.
     
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  19. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    EF0296F4-1739-4216-986E-91AE26973D68.jpeg Foreshadowing... East Indian rosewood, for that other most famous Beatle guitar....
     
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  20. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Executed the cavity rout with no injuries, and did a test wiring. All works as it should, neat sound! Instead of the stock wiring, which I could not find anyway, I really wanted to be able to use all the pickups while retaining the look of the original. So the three way switch works like a typical tele, neck/bridge/both, and the middle pickup volume turns on the middle pickup in any configuration. This gives me any combination of all three pickups, which was not possible in the original.



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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
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