An electric tenor telecaster for my daughter

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by zorgzorg2, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

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    Hi guys,

    My 5 year old daughter asked me if I could build her a guitar, as she sees that I'm building a few and because I build one for her big brother...

    Since she still has tiny hands, I was considering a short scale guitar, but at the same time I don't want to build something that will be obsolete in a few year when she wants a grown up instrument. Also, building a 6 string guitar might confuse her while she's learning to play the cello. So I was looking around, and found out that tenor guitars are tuned in fifths, mostly like the viola (which is like cello an octave higher) CGDA.
    That fits the bill perfectly, as she'll be able to use the same fingerings as the cello, the scale is 21-23'' and still is a valid adult instrument that she can keep her entire life if she wants to.

    Now, planing the build, I got thinking about the custom hardware that I will need:
    - 4-string bridge (I suppose a cigarbox guitar bridge would do ?)
    - a couple of pickups (where do I find 4-string tele pickups ?) I considered winding my own, but I never did that so I wouldn't really know where to start.
    - smaller double action truss rod (are they selling those ?)

    As for the shape of the guitar, she wants a tele like daddy :) which is fine, but I should shrink the size a bit, right ? Any blueprints available ?

    So that is going to be fun, please share your ideas/comments/advice! I'll be completing this thread with pictures once I start the build.

    For reference, here is more or less what I'm aiming at: http://eastwoodcustoms.com/projects/tenorcaster/
     
  2. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Afflicted

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  3. Steveinthesticks

    Steveinthesticks Tele-Meister

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    CB Gitty has 3 & 4 string pick ups for cigar box guitars. Bitterroot guitar has short truss rods. Looking forward to seeing your build

    boot small.JPG
    this guy has just a standard tele neck pick up
     
  4. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks a lot for the answers !

    How about pickups though ? Any pointers ?
     
  5. 10orgtr

    10orgtr Tele-Meister

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    Moongazer music used to make a mando Tele kit that had a 4 string Tele style bridge and pick up. Don't know if it's still available or if they sell them separately.
    Cheers,
    Woody
     
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  6. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tom passed in Oct 2017,he was a very kind soul and will be sorely missed :cry:
     
  7. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    You can also look for electric ukulele parts for pickups and the like. Also, you could wind your own :)
     
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  8. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

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    I've considered winding my own indeed :twisted:, but I have no idea how to get started. Any pointers ?
     
  9. 10orgtr

    10orgtr Tele-Meister

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    Talk to Barncaster, he's one of our resident pick up gurus.
    Cheers,
    Woody
     
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  10. crisscrosscrash

    crisscrosscrash Tele-Meister

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    I made a couple of baritone ukes about the same size you are looking at (20" scale) -- one tele style one that I just went ahead and used a regular tele bridge pickup and one half a p-bass split coil for the neck.

    pine uke 2.JPG
     
  11. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

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    Yes, good idea, let's summon @Barncaster to the thread :)

    That looks good! And the string spacing looks almost right on the pbass coil, interesting. You seem to use a regular Tele bridge, so the string spacing at the bridge is around 10.5mm right ? (0.41'')
     
  12. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You could use rails pickups. Should be an interesting build. I look forward to seeing the end result.
     
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  13. Reckless Rat

    Reckless Rat Tele-Meister

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    If you need something, there's probably a guy in China selling it on Ebay. Any of these any good to you? I think they would ship to Sweden.

    Single Coil

    Humbucker

    Strat-ish Neck(?)

    The last one is available in about a hundred different colours, although the pole pieces themselves aren't magnets. If all else fails, it might be a cheap source of parts to roll your own.
     
  14. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

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    Yes, rails would work, I'll keep that in mind. I'll be sure to post progress of the build as soon as I set this project in motion. Woodworking could start as soon as in a couple of weeks.
     
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  15. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the pointers, these are interesting indeed. Now about ordering from China, well, the national post company in Sweden has put in place a new regulation that make you pay 25% tax on everything that comes from outside europe (I'm fine with that) plus 8$ for administrative fees per parcel... I'm looking for a loophole, but unless I'm ordering in large quantities, it defeats the purpose of cheap chinese components.

    I still have a few alnico 2 pole pieces from converting strat ceramic pickups to alnico (which turned out sounding great btw), I could use that as a first solution. If it fails, I can do as you say and rewind them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  16. Itchyfeet1000

    Itchyfeet1000 Tele-Meister

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    What a fantastic story! Following this build closely.

    I'm about to start something similar. A friend has asked me to build her an electric baritone ukulele based on a Tele design. I've opted for a single lipstic pickup and a modified Tele bridge but might now look at adding a bridge pickup as well I already have a switch and spare pots from my thinline kit.

    This is going to be fun!
     
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  17. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

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    teletenor.png

    So this is the first sketch. 90% body size, 28mm nut width, regular string spacing at the bridge, 23'' scale. I use an overhang of 2mm everywhere, but it feels like the neck heel is a bit thin, right ?
    the headstock is one I used for my bass build, just scaled down, so the tuner are surely oversized.
     
  18. Itchyfeet1000

    Itchyfeet1000 Tele-Meister

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    That looks fantastic but I'm not sure about the nut dimension. I think a baritone uke is 35mm at the leading edge of the nut. Surely that would be the same on a tenor? I may be totally wrong.

    My plans are a paper sketch for now. I'm starting later today so will be refining things a little.

    IMG_20180903_220923.jpg


    Bought a lovely piece of maple for a through neck design. The idea is that the bridge and pickup will be attached to the same piece of wood.

    IMG_20180908_155453.jpg
     
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  19. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

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    @Itchyfeet1000 really nice design ! I see that the neck to body connection happens at the 12th fret, not 16th, is that normal for a uke ? What overhang and string spacing do you have at the nut and bridge ?

    For this model https://eastwoodguitars.com/collections/tenor-guitars/products/eastwood-tenorcaster the have a nut width of 33.3mm, so removing 2mm overhang on each size, that's 29mm string spacing at the nut. Using standard guitar string spacing at the bridge, that would be 31.5mm, so almost no tapper. But maybe that's the way it's supposed to be?

    This maple looks sweet, I'll be following your build for sure !
     
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  20. Itchyfeet1000

    Itchyfeet1000 Tele-Meister

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    I'm using a pre-made fretboard so my dimensions are decided for me really. 297mm long, 35mm at the nut, 48.6mm at the body. This fretboard is for a baritone ukulele and has 16 frets. This seems to be the standard. Attaching to the body at the 12th fret would be possible on a neck through, I guess. My sketch really is very basic and dimensions aren't final. Hopefully I'll have some more definite dimensions later today once I measure the string spacing at the tele bridge I'm modifying.
     
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