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Beetle Kill Pinecaster Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Kabrijj, Apr 12, 2020.

  1. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Can I ask you what bridge that is? I've been thinking about moving to a 6 saddle half bridge but they seem to be a little rare other than Strat hardtails that would need a bunch more holes.
     
  2. guitarmikey

    guitarmikey Tele-Afflicted

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    You can find them almost everywhere. Check ebay or so with
    Fixed Hardtail 6 String Bridge Top Load or
    Hardtail Hard Tail Fixed Guitar Bridge for 6, so you skip strings through, which, I admit, is a p.i.t.a.
     
  3. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    Well, since it's a Beetle Kill Pine... figured I'd keep the same initials and go with Bare Knuckle Pickups. BKP squared! Going with the Blackguard Flat 50's in this one.

    That's kind of the guitar junkie logic, finding any excuse (thin or weak as it may be) to try new pickups... but what can ya do? :cool:
     
  4. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    Not sure what your mounting hole pattern looks like, but I've always been very happy with the Hipshot bridge. I've used it on two of my builds, and on two Fenders (with the flat, "hardtail Strat" style bridges -- ie, humbucker Teles); drops right in. Search around on-line for 'em, you can find 'em almost half of what Hipshot charges...

    IMG_20180425_130933e.jpg
     
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  5. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Works for me! Can't wait to hear them. (You ARE going to make a demo for us when you're done...just for those of us who finally got over all our pickup G.A.S.?).
     
  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Looks like possibly a Gotoh half bridge to me...
     
  7. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    I suppose I can be persuaded... :D

    Just keep in mind, it's probably gonna be a few weeks still: only finished the last coat of lacquer recently, gonna let it cure/harden/gas off/wait a while before sanding, assembling, wiring and setting it up.

    I am going to use one of my favorite wiring schemes, though! I found it on these forums a year or two back, and have been using it almost exclusively since. Normal 3-way switch, but essentially you've got one push/pull to introduce series and half-out-of-phase to the mix. Tons of versatility!
     
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  8. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Nice...can't wait to hear it. That switching will be interesting too. Stay safe, man.
     
  9. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    I like that pickguard...
     
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  10. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    It's amazing how much can change in a month or so, huh?

    Well, since I last updated this thread I had been internally debating if I wanted to use the Warmoth neck I had picked out for this body... with this body.

    I wasn't thrilled with the way the epoxy looked, and therefore the body was kind of... I suppose, it's appeal had dulled a bit.

    But before making any decisions, it finally came time to wet sand & polish this one.

    I prepped my sand paper last night, soaking 600, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grits in water.

    Previous final sand/rub/polish attempts had involved micro mesh; while I really liked the results, wet sanding with 8 or so different grits was incredibly tedious. I figured, if nothing else, this will give me practice with a different method.

    Almost immediately I noticed a problem.

    IMG_20200521_110520e.jpg

    Somehow, despite my 15+ coats of lacquer, water had found a way underneath the finish into the wood... swelling... and cracking.

    It was even worse on the back -- and even more noticeable after I was done with the polish.

    IMG_20200521_133409e.jpg
    I have no idea how or why this happened -- like I said, I emptied 3 cans of lacquer on this body, so how water got under the finish in multiple places is a bit of a mystery to me...

    But, the show must go on! So I sanded with all 4 grits, used a few polish compounds and it actually looks pretty good -- with a few major exceptions.

    So, in my head I came up with a plan B and decided that I would now go that route.

    Instead of the really nice Warmoth neck I have (which I'll post pictures of later... in a new build thread) and the cool looking pickguard...

    I'm going to use a single ply blackguard and a cheaper Squier neck, and probably save the Bare Knuckles for the upcoming build as well.

    The neck is mostly stripped of finish already, so I'm going to totally sand it back to wood in the next day or so, and stain it with a steel wool/vinegar mix -- really going to try for a barnwood/driftwood/crapwood vibe!

    The body, I'm going to go all in...

    IMG_20200521_181120e.jpg

    And give it a few more dings (you can see some major areas where the finish chipped away from the water swelling behind the bridge in this pic)...

    IMG_20200521_181103e.jpg

    And I'm very tempted to try sticking it in the freezer overnight, and warm it up really quickly -- hopefully the dings and checking that's already there will continue, and it'll have a sort of roadworn or "relic" look without looking too contrived.

    IMG_20200521_181125e.jpg

    That's my plan at this point, anyway. I'm definitely going to stain the neck... the body in the freezer route, hmm... we'll see. Anybody ever tried that? It'd make for a funny picture, if nothing else! ;)

    Ugh, time will tell.

    Mildly disappointed, but in the grand scheme not extremely -- again, it's a pine caster, so I'm trying to embrace the quirky/janky/ugly factors.

    The fact the wood swelled & cracked is kind of baffling to me, especially since it happened almost immediately. Hopefully it won't be an issue with the next pine body I've got curing in my closet -- and if it is, the next pine body after that (which I'm now planning to be the successor to this one) might be a candidate for an oil finish.

    But I think it'll work out, more or less. Ultimately, it's still going to be a playable guitar that sounds good and looks unique as can be. And it's another learning experience -- kind of like a rough draft -- and ideally, hopefully, each one after this gets a little better!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    this "feature" can often be eliminated if the first coat of anything you apply, usually a sealer, is clear.. it too will soak in, rendering all the end-grain equally "dark".. from there ya finish as normal...

    But just daymmmm ya sure that isn't one of my BarnBusters?? That baby's lookin' fine...

    r
     
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  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great project! I like the look.

    But I've done a few BKP and other pine and fir bodies with reclaimed lumber, knots and nail holes and hand planed ... Picture here is about six years ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. reddy2300

    reddy2300 Tele-Meister

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    Man! Those pinecasters sure look great! Well done. OP!!!!

    I have been going to CO to hike your mountains for the past 6-7 years (Lake City, Buena Vista, Estes/RMNP, Sand Dunes NP, Durango/MVNP, etc) and have watched the Lodgepole's taking a real beating. Whole forests wiped out in a year or two.

    I, too, have been dying to build a couple of Tele's from some worm kill. I haven't been able to find someone to locate and ship some to be in Ohio. (One is for my buddy who has been going out there for over 20 years and introduced me to the thin air.) Would someone be interested in locating some proper wood blanks or even a couple of rough bodies? I have the ability to rout them myself but getting the wood has been difficult. I've called (and even visited) lumberyards and wood suppliers when I've been out there but it hasn't really turned into anything for me. Thanks in advance!

    Subscribing to this thread to watch the build!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  14. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    Daymmm, thanks Ron! I actually was planning to use a neck plate I got from you for this one, but those plans got altered just a bit... all the same, thanks for the good words!

    IF I do the next one in a similar fashion, I'm thinking a good couple coats of shellac before the epoxy is the way to go. I do like the way the epoxy looks in the voids... eh, we'll see.

    I will keep my eyes/ears open. I got these couple bodies from a local shop who got them from Texas Toast Guitars (local builders here in town). Not sure if the Toast folks have any more (they made 10+ for the shop), but it might be worth reaching out to them? I believe the shop wants to keep the remaining bodies for their own use...
     
  15. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    Yesterday I started my "steel wool in vinegar" bath (you can google it for more information, many sites offering a much better explanation than I can provide)...

    IMG_20200522_191936e.jpg

    It hasn't really done much as far as turning the vinegar darker, but the toothpick I occasionally stir it with sure has!

    IMG_20200522_182828e.jpg

    The top 4 or so inches is a test piece of raw maple, quickly stained with the vinegar last night (maybe the steel woold had been soaking for 5 hours?) -- the next 4 inches or so was a test piece this morning before work (soaking give or take 12 hours?). Looks promising!

    IMG_20200522_192419e.jpg

    So after work today I sanded whatever thin finish was on this Squier all the way off.

    Or, what I thought was all the way off... it's a thin finish, but it's a stubborn one! And as the results below indicate, I did a much less thorough job than I thought!

    I decided to just jump in the vinegar pool, and see what the results look like from the other side.

    IMG_20200522_202605_01e.jpg IMG_20200522_203512e.jpg

    Here's a few pics, almost immediately after a quick stain with the vinegar solution.

    Not bad. I'm not thrilled with the way the headstock looks, and clearly I didn't sand nearly as much finish off as I thought (I applied the stain evenly to everything)... but I'm kinda digging the way the neck looks!

    IMG_20200522_210012e.jpg

    Especially after letting it dry for a bit.

    IMG_20200522_210358_01e.jpg

    The headstock on the front is probably my least favorite... but the more I look at it all, the more I'm digging the random-ness (and, if we're being honest, the junky quality) of the stain.

    I might sand a bit more of the headstock tomorrow and re-apply the stain to try to get it a little better looking...

    Then again, it might still grow on me.
     
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  16. reddy2300

    reddy2300 Tele-Meister

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    I'd just be happy with raw pieces of BKP that can be made into a couple of blanks that I can then rout into bodies. I have a shop here that can mill the wood into the proper dimensions/thickness for a reasonable fee.

    I might be back out that way this August. If this COVID stuff is "over" by then.
     
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  17. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    Let the madness begin!

    IMG_20200524_132924.jpg

    At this point, I don't really think there's much I can do that will "hurt" this guitar body... so into the freezer it went!

    And then, unloading laundry I thought to myself "gee, it sure is warm inside this dryer..." into the dryer it went!

    IMG_20200524_141512.jpg

    I did NOT turn it on, although I will admit the thought crossed my mind... :p

    But I'm trying to increase the checking here, not destroy the body. Being pine, it sure does ding easily anyway.
     
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  18. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    Had a day off, so I got to spend some time putting together guitars.

    Long story short... we've got guitars.

    I've still got to make a new nut for this "freezer worn" Tele, so once it's "done" I'll take some more in-depth pictures later this weekend, but for now...

    IMG_20200528_171716e.jpg

    I've also been tru-oiling the second beetle kill pine body, and somehow their finishing schedules are coinciding with each other...

    IMG_20200528_171737e.jpg

    I've still got to wire both of them, and do some fine tuning... but dang, they're looking pretty good!
     
  19. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Very nice work. Those are two beautiful guitars!
     
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  20. wowazeplin

    wowazeplin Tele-Meister

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    Dryer!!!!! I love it... These look great, I've really been digging pine teles lately.... Great Job!
     
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