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Assembling a Telecaster!

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by lmjmitchell, Feb 10, 2020.

Buy parts for first build from Guitar Fetish or Warmoth?

  1. Guitar Fetish

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  2. Warmoth

    83.3%
  1. lmjmitchell

    lmjmitchell Tele-Meister

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    Their roasted swamp ash bodies look really nice too.

    Seems like a bit of Tru-Oil would be about all you really needed if you like the "natural" look.

    They also have a "Capri Orange" body that looks great.
     
  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I prefer unfinished Allparts necks and cheap muslady featherweight bodies.
     
  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm with Marty on this.. Go with quality.. here's how it works..

    Ya wanna good bridge... ya see the Callaham is 150.00 (give or take).. but you find a "nice" looking part on ebay.. for say 50.00.. ya spring for it ... it arrives... it's a POS.. all metric.. won't fit your made to vintage specced body.. But since ya took it apart, ripped up the packaging, and boogered a screw or two, so.. you can't return it... so now you're down 50 bux.. so ya give in, ya can't afford the Callaham now so ya just hop on the 75.00 bridge... taking a chance again.. which now effectively cost ya what a "good" bridge would have originally .. If THAT ONE is a POS.. now whatcha gonna do?

    a similar scenario can be had in choosing Keys, Pickups, Bodies, necks, etc etc... and even if you DO manage to successfully assemble a guitar out of the bargain parts, in the back of your mind, in Glenn Campbell's' Caverns of your mind, you're gonna know it's made out of junk.. that's gonna gnaw atcha like a sand fly on a Hot August night... You're gonna know it's made out of the the same junk you could have found in that 99.99 Walmart special.. and you will wind up stashing it in a closet and doing it right the second time.. If there IS a second time..

    Reminds me of what my Dad would tell me when I tried to squirrel through some task he gave me as a kid, hurriedly.. "Funny, there never seems to be enough time to do it right, but there always seems to be enough time to do it over. Get to it Sport." He would also teach me, there's no shame in making a mistake, as long as you learn from it. That doesn't mean you're stupid... Stupid is a choice, it's when you have access to good information and you CHOOSE to ignore it..

    I have been participating on this forum since before there WAS a GFS... as such I have witnessed the many forays into the world of building on the cheep... more times than not to the discouragement of the one doing the building...

    On a couple of occasions I have purchased GFS parts to see f I could find a supplier of low cost components of sufficient quality so that I could produce a "budget" level guitar.. Guys, If GFS was paying me to use their stuff, I wouldn't attach my name to it...

    I have no idea who owns the company and/or who's in charge of quality control, but apparently, neither have a clue about the makeup of a guitar...

    that said.. there return policy is above average.. How's that for an honest endorsement.... :D

    r
     
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  4. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm sure there's plenty of middle ground, which is where I'd suggest you look. GFS is good for some things & not for others. I'd be skeptical that their necks would be of any significant quality. I've only bought one body from them, & it was junk that didn't match up with any other parts (would've needed a lot of re-working). I have seen many other people post that they were happy with their bodies, so I can only speak about my experience.

    If you're assembling it for the experience of assembling, then go for GFS. If you want something just for you that you intend to keep for a while find that middle ground. Possibly a used Fender neck on an aftermarket body.
     
  5. lmjmitchell

    lmjmitchell Tele-Meister

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    You are absolutely correct.

    Even if you get the "bargain" parts to work, there will always be a little voice in the back of your head wondering if ordering the proper part the first time around would have been better.

    When you factor in the time you would likely have to spend trying to get the "bargain" parts to work, it would have been cheaper to just buy from Warmoth.

    I guess my question was if should I take the chance of ruining Warmoth parts.

    I don't think I would, but I suppose it's always a possibility.
     
  6. RobSzat

    RobSzat TDPRI Member

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    Just went through the same process, ended up going with Warmoth body and neck, fender everything else, ReRanch nitro

    193F7D10-4BD3-42F8-8704-449901E5921D.jpeg F1275098-27D2-43DF-B571-8267E633EBED.jpeg
     
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  7. lmjmitchell

    lmjmitchell Tele-Meister

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    Nice!

    Where did you find the decal for the headstock?
     
  8. Rev Rhythm

    Rev Rhythm Tele-Holic

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    I agree that higher quality parts will never have you second guessing the quality of your instrument. I don't agree that you'll always be second guessing if you don't use them.

    That said, if the budget is no concern, go with higher quality. If budget is a concern, I believe you can go cheaper and still wind up with an instrument you love. I don't think you'll necessarily be haunted by a voice telling you that you could've had better.
     
  9. RobSzat

    RobSzat TDPRI Member

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    Rothko & Frost, they have a lot of Styles, but I don’t think they’ll make one that says “Fender” but those are easy to find if that’s what u want
     
  10. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Welcoming a fellow knifemaker to the forum :).

    Chances are, if you enjoy making knives, you'll also really enjoy putting together your own guitar.

    You might have found yourself going through a similar process - Maybe you start making a fixed blade knife using the stock removal method. You find out that you really like it, and you want to improve your skills and do more. So you get into forging blades or building folders. Then you want to get deeper and further into it - so you start forging your own damascus, or building precision folders or automatics . . . . . and on and on ;).

    With guitars, it can be very similar - ya start out by buying the parts and pieces, maybe apply your own "simple" finish, and then assemble the parts and begin learning how to set it up yourself to be a real good player. The next one, maybe you cut your own body from a blank that you've picked out yourself and you learn more about finishing. And then, pretty soon you might find yourself wanting to build your own neck from scratch . . . . and on and on :).

    That same feeling that you get when using a knife you've built with your own hands - you'll get all that and probably more when you play a guitar you've built with your own hands. It has it's own kind of magic.

    A simple analogy -

    You wouldn't want to build a knife using 1008 steel for the blade. It might look good, but it won't perform.

    Same thing with building guitars - you want to use good parts that you know will perform up to your expectations.

    The most important thing - to have some fun and enjoy the process :).
     
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  11. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity

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    I think you should explore more. Too many channeled opinions here. There are many more options than the ones given. So many more body builders in the US and so many more electronics options. Necks are the biggest challenge IMHO. You can build a superior partscaster for less than 1000.00 and it will be a beautiful player too.
     
  12. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Look into MJT for the body and have them finish a Musikraft neck. Musikraft will send the neck right to MJT. Quality stuff!
     
  13. silvertwang

    silvertwang TDPRI Member

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    I built my tele with a warmoth neck and a fender telecaster body with a flawless candy apple red finish. The alder fender body comes in black,white and candy apple red for about 250.00 and the warmoth neck fit it perfectly. Also, the neck required no fret levelling or any other tweaking. you could order the fender body in white and give your own custom color and finish. The only items left out on the tele body are the pickguard and control plate screw holes. IMG_5980.JPG IMG_5985.JPG IMG_5987.JPG
     
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  14. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    yep lotta options out there

    don't go too cheap because then even if you do it right you won't have the best possible result

    If you are getting a decent neck and a decent body, there's not that big a danger that you'll screw them up somehow. Jeez, you only need to drill 4 holes... ;-)
     
  15. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    Lots of people put Partscasters together because it's a way to customize and assemble the exact guitar they want. Figure out what features and specs you want, then decide which parts have and allow for those specs. I kind of prefer actually Fender parts, necks, etc.Look for used parts, or buy a used complete guitar because you like the body or the neck, and part out the instrument and sell what you don't need.

    I personally always wanted a double-bound burst body and my Favorite neck is a Fender Classic 50's neck. Fender sells (or used to sell) this as an aftermarket neck and was the neck on the pre-Vintera Classic 50's Series Teles. My favorite pickups are Fender OV's, and I'm fine with the regular 'ole Fender vintage style bridge and brass saddles, and vintage tuners. Found a near-mint Squier CVC Tele with a rosewood fretboard that was pretty lightweight. Kept the body, sold the Squier neck and electronics. Bought a Classic 50's neck (hard to beat for $199, btw). Used the tuners off the CVC neck and everything else is Fender parts. Wired it up then had a shop make a bone saddle and level, crown and polish the frets. It's an AMAZING Tele. It's the best feeling Tele I'v ever owned and sounds as good as any 52AVRI I've owned in the past.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  16. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I really don't know which way to vote. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

    I've been building guitars where the parts cost me $300 - $400. I source the parts by going to Reverb, Amazon, EBay, StewMac, and yes, I've gotten a few bodies and a couple of necks now from Guitar Fetish. Wherever I can find them on sale for the cheapest. I've been using mostly Wilkinson hardware and Tonerider pickups interspersed with some higher end used stuff. They're all good solid players that feel and sound good and get regular play.

    The problem with my cheap builds is there are obstacles you have to overcome when parts don't quite go together, how to get the neck set right, how to get good action. But it's awesome if you want to learn about the mechanics of guitar building. I'm up to build #9 and I can talk shop with my techy friends now about guitars.

    Never done the Warmoth build, but I'd imagine it's very easy. I have no doubt you'll probably get a great guitar out of it too.

    I guess I'm saying it depends on what you want out of the experience.
     
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  17. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Afflicted

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    My GFS bodies sound as good or better than the fender bodies I have. I can post some vids if you like. Get you an XGP body and an all parts neck. You’ll thank me later.
     
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  18. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    There are so many different approaches to "assembling" your first Tele. Far more than just the binary options presented for polling.

    One way, as I have enjoyed, "assembling" Teles, is to buy take-off Fender necks and bodies from Stratosphere. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Perfect. Trouble-free. Assemble, string up, set-up, and PLAY! And I enjoy that the necks and bodies are Fender-branded.

    As for bodies, I'm happy going Fender MIA or Fender MIM, as long as the design of the body suits my desire and the color totally rocks my boat.

    With necks, I tend to buy more American Special/American Performer/American Professional necks than Fender MIM necks, but I've got good number of Fender MIM necks that I love just as much as my MIA necks.

    Fender's American and Mexican necks and bodies all readily interchange, mix & match with each other wonderfully. I've never had a problem with mixing them around.

    Once you've got the neck and body squared away, select your pickups, pots, caps, wire, switch, and jack, bridge, and tuners to perfectly suit your desires.

    Wiring up the pickups and your electronics harness is a very fun part of this process. You have incredible control over the tone of the guitar by your choice of the pickups and electronics parts. This aspect of the guitar should get a significant portion of your attention in the assembly process.

    If you buy quality parts, the entire guitar will come together like a perfect cake.

    All done, you'll have a fine instrument that you will love and have a wonderful bond with. All for under a grand.

    Then... off and running toward your next project, whether it be an "assembly" or a build from scratch.

    I've assembled close to twenty Teles this way and have thoroughly loved the result every time. And having done this, you will have the knowledge and skills to continue to tweak your pickups/electronics options in seeking the ultimate tone from any of your guitars.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  19. sergiomajluf

    sergiomajluf Tele-Meister

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    Get the best neck and bridge you can to start with. For an electric, I think body wood and finish makes no real difference in terms of quality; sound wise, that's opinion-land territory.

    Everything else is upgradable.
     
  20. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't imagine too many people worry about the sound of a body (certainly some do), so much as geometry and fit and finish. With a cheap body I'd be worried about the neck pocket and if the holes are drilled in the right places...
     
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