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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freeman Keller, Oct 21, 2018.
Wow. That is one awesome looking Telecaster! Fantastic job.
Turned out great !
Post script. Its been a week now - time flys - so its time for a little finessing of the setup, which basically isn't bad but the nut slots can go down a bit. A couple of people have asked me what I think of it, particularly the chambering.
This first thing you notice when you pick this puppy up is just how incredibly light it actually is. It weighs 5 lb 13 oz on my postage scale - my hollow arch top is 6 lb 8, the chambered LP thing is 7 lb 10, my solid Lester is 9 lb 3. I'm tempted to take the scale down to the music store to weigh a "real" tele.
Second thing I notice when comparing to the LP is that unplugged it has a lot more "acoustic" presence. Neither one sounds good unplugged, but the tele seems considerably louder. We could speculate all day how that affects the plugged sound, and of course there are so many differences between them that the point is moot - but something for sure is moving a little bit more air.
The ergonomics seem fine - I like the neck shape (remember its based on a LP), the fret board is 12 inch and just a hair wider than most tele. I do notice the flat body - I'm used to angled necks and curved tops.
How does it sound plugged? It sounds like a tele, at least what I think a tele should sound like. Remember, I'm not an electric player, I've only rarely played other telecasters (and mostly those were ones that I built). Remember too that these are pretty generic pickups - I happened to have two StewMac "golden age" pups - I bought them for something else and so thats what I used ). I've used these in a couple of the barncasters and people seem to like them so for right now I'll leave them in.
With both my LP clone and the jazz guitar I tend to play thru my home made tube amp with no effects - just pure and clean. I play more on the neck pickup too - I've become spoiled by the lush sounds. The tele I've plugged into a cheap Fender practice amp that has a bunch of different "voices" - it seems to prefer just a little clipping. I don't know much about effects but I have a multi effect thing that I may experiment with. I'm way too old to be a shredder.
So, short story, I like the way it sounds, it will supplement my other two electrics rather than replacing them. I certainly am sold on the whole idea of chambering - both the chambered LP and this convince me it is worth while. I like the woods and finish, altho I'll admit that its a little more than I expect of a telecaster.
Final note, I always do a spreadsheet of the costs just for my records. This was kind of interesting - every thing involved came out of my stock. Sure, I bought it some time but the records are lost and it was basically like building for free. I bought two sticks of fret wire but didn't use them, a quart of lacquer and a 30 dollar gig bag. Maybe I need to look in boxes under the work bench more often.
I'm an even worse photographer that I am guitar player/builder, but here is a bit of porn
That is beautiful!! I'm sure that you told this in the beginning, but, where did you get the maple top?
Gilmer Hardwoods in Portland Oregon. Its been down in my wood cellar for a while
Gorgeous! Another amazing build Freeman!
Looks superb FK.
Certainly looks the part in your small collection!!!
Post postscript. A friend was over having me do a couple of tweaks to a couple of guitars (payment was his new cd, I scored!). I was giving the tele a bit of a tune up, its been a couple of weeks now. I handed him the guitar, his eyes got really big and he said "wow, that is the lightest telecaster I have ever played". He noodled around a bit, did some pretty tasty chicken pickin' and said "is this thing for sale". No way I told him.....
I feel like the "can I buy this" question is one of the best compliments a builder can get. Even if the price they have in mind is out of line with reality, it still shows that they really want it.
Looks great! Great thread - I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it.
Just finished reading this thread. Masterful work Freeman and you're hardly an amateur! Props to you!
Thanks JK. I still think of myself as an amateur but with enough experience to have made most of the mistakes. I think that gives me a good perspective for newish builders - I've been there, done it, struggled like they are and I hope my advice is relevant.
As I've decided to make a neck for my 'Telecaster' I've been looking at this thread quite a lot. I'm also installing an LMI truss rod. I've installed a few in the past but always in instruments with tilt-back headstocks and always installed them low enough to glue in a fillet of wood on top which is then planed flush. I assume you don't do this here as it would make the rod too low relative to the hole in the headstock. Even so, it seems to me that the hole in the headstock will be higher than the hole in the rod. Does this not matter? Does the diameter of the hole allow for enough wiggle room for an Allen key?
Wow I am amazed at true talent. That is a work of art.
I use the LMII rod in almost everything I build. The channel is just deep enough that the flat top of the rod is resting against the bottom of the fretboard - there is no filler or anything between them. I'm careful not to get glue into the channel but frankly the way the rod works I don't think a tiny bit would matter.. The adjuster ends up where ever it happens to come out at the head (I hate heel adjusters).
To drill the hole into the end I just made a block of wood with a hole measured down from the top of the neck, lined everything up and bingo!
I will add that this is the only time I have done this, I normally make angled heads. On acoustics I always put the adjuster in the heel (accessed thru the sound hole) so its only when I'm making gibson inspired guitars that I have the adjuster at the head. Gibson style necks always get a scarfed head so they are pretty strong. This one got a veneer to cover some of the mistakes.
Freeman, Freeman, freeman you make it look so easy! The rosewood binding is an artistic touch and really does add to the beauty of this guitar. Why would anyone degrade the beauty of the wood with a plastic binding? I have been trying to figure out how to achieve the color you are using. I describe it as a tea burst. Heritage has finish with a similar style and color, it might have been a honey burst or maybe they called it a tea burst but it did not go to amber(yellow) in center like most do, faded to the natural. The Heritage looked like it had a hint of green to my eye but others did not see green. More art than science. Anyway thank you very much for the formula. I have 3 bodies waiting for a finish I will try this color on one.
Thanks Wade. Once in a while I will use plastic binding when I think it suits the guitar (trying to stay close to a les paul or 335 would be an example) but most of the time I use wood. Its more work, I break pieces, but I really like trying to match binding to other trim pieces - I just think it gives a finished look.
What I remember with the burst is a lot of experimenting on scrap. The veneer that I used on the head was very white compared to the maple top so the first step was trying to get them closer. Then it was a matter of fading the natural amber of the top to the edge. If you wipe DNA or naphtha on the wood it will give you a good idea of what the zpoxy + alcohol will look like. The zpoxy makes the alcohol color stay in the wood if that makes sense. With any staining go slowly and practice on scrap.
I will try to make it work with the techniques I have been using. I use Simtec 2K urethane as the top coat. I put down one normal coat of clear to act as a sealer/barrier. Then I use an airbrush if going for a dark burst or just my regular spray gun if a light color burst. I mix transtint dyes in with the urethane just like you would with lacquer. Kandy Kolor Koncentrates work even better but will be limited on how dark you can get. When I get the colors like I want I then put several coats of clear on top…Enough so polishing /buffing will not get down to the color coats. It produces a more painted on looking burst since you do not ever get the variations you get with the way wood absorbs the stain. This way I have complete control of the color but loose the character you can achieve with staining.
Looking at your shaped neck. Could you give us the measurements of the first and 12 fret thickness of the neck. My necks necks run around .82 at the first and .93 at the 12th. You picture looks like your neck is quite a bit thinner? I worry about getting too close to the truss rod.
I measured it tonight - it is right at 0.840 at the nut and 0.880 at the 12th fret. Width is 1.72 at the nut, 2.03 at 12. That is skinnier than I remembered (I think my LP necks ae more like 0.950 at 12). I frankly don't remember, this build was almost 3 years old, I'm pretty sure I used the templates off the old '56 LP with the chunky neck but memories fade with time.
I played the guitar for a while tonight - the neck does feel thing but still has some chunk. I'll probably keep; it.
Oh, not that it makes a difference but the radius is 12 inches which I kind of gravitate to.