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Beetle Kill Pinecaster Build

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

  1. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    Did a little bit of wiring last night -- not terribly complicated, but complicated enough.

    IMG_20200530_192533.jpg

    This one is for the baritone, but it's the only one I took pictures of. The volume knob is a push/pull which puts both pickups HOOP when in the middle position, and in series in the neck position; the tone knob is a coil tap for the bridge: approx 7K when down and 14K when pulled.

    The trickiest part was keeping everything neat enough to fit back into the cavity! With these big ole CTS push/pulls, there's not a lot of room -- not too much underneath, and almost none side-to-side. Not to mention, where does one ground everything?

    Then I wired up the normal scale (same wiring scheme but without the coil tapped bridge) and it was a fair bit easier. ;)

    At any rate, once the electronics were done it was time to make a new nut.

    IMG_20200531_091732.jpg

    Here you can see the old plastic nut (only slightly damaged from extraction) and the bone blank which I'll make the new one from... sitting on top of some 80 grit sandpaper.

    IMG_20200531_114011.jpg

    Some elbow grease and a lot of bone dust later, and we've got a pretty good looking nut!

    These particular blanks I found from Philadelphia Luthier Tool & Supply -- they're dyed bone, so what starts off a black starts to reveal all sorts of grainy variances of white & gray. This particular one has a very neat line down the center, which should lend itself very well to my intentionally worn-out looking Tele!
     
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  2. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    I'm going to upload probably too many pictures here, so don't say I didn't warn ya!

    IMG_20200531_125406.jpg

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    Found out I don't have nearly as many knobs in the spare parts drawer as I thought (or at least ones that fit a solid shaft) so I opted to use these old Peavey amp knobs.

    IMG_20200531_125416.jpg

    Not sure what type of wood the fingerboard is, but it's got some interesting grain which lends itself well to the overall motif.

    IMG_20200531_125420.jpg


    The iron acetate stain brought out some light but surprise flame in spots of the neck...

    IMG_20200531_125819.jpg

    Not a perfect nut, but not too shabby either!

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    While I was sanding the original finish off but before the acetate, I swung my knife blade at the edge of the headstock here -- just trying to get some more wear patterns.

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    Surprisingly happy with the way the neck turned out...

    IMG_20200531_125453.jpg

    ...and how well it compliments the body!
     
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  3. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    IMG_20200531_125439.jpg

    Despite the way it looks, the neck is as smooth as it can be! After 7 coats of tru oil I lightly sanded with some liquid and 2000 grit paper.

    IMG_20200531_125435.jpg

    From a distance it doesn't look half bad!

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    Actually from a distance it looks pretty darn good.

    IMG_20200531_125721.jpg

    Although the cracks still bug me... but eh, what can ya do? Live & learn.

    You can see the worst of the water-cracks on the back... but there's also some light checking on the side here. Looks like the freezer/dryer situation wasn't in vain!

    IMG_20200531_125739.jpg

    Some more light checking from my freezer & dryer experiments. It's pretty subtle, especially compared to the cracks from the water, but they might get more noticeable naturally, in time.

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    I'm fairly proud of how the ferrules came out, considering I did 'em with a hand drill!

    IMG_20200531_125757.jpg

    Another shot of the back -- those light thin lines are cracks in the finish.
     
  4. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    IMG_20200531_125544.jpg

    I dropped keys, screwdriver tips and a couple screws on the body to create some random dings & dents... and then rubbed some coffee grounds in them (mostly just noticeable in the deeper ones).

    IMG_20200531_125538.jpg

    I'm also a little bummed my epoxy idea didn't pan out like I'd hoped -- I was hoping this long line up top and the 2 smaller worm tunnels would be much brighter/noticeable. Instead they're kind of subdued, and the surrounding grain is much darker than I'd have preferred.

    IMG_20200531_125653.jpg

    This knot looks great, and I dig the two-tone color of the wood here.

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    This part should have been my favorite -- big knot on two sides, a huge crack in the wood and a bunch of cool colors & textures...

    IMG_20200531_125635.jpg

    And honestly I've come to like it more than I did. Not what I'd envisioned, but that's part of the fun & challenge of woodworking, right? Come up with a vision, and either through intention or mistakes change that vision and adapt the results into a new vision... or, something like that. :cool:

    IMG_20200531_125512.jpg

    More side shots. There's a lot of character going on here, at least.

    IMG_20200531_125527.jpg

    I've been approaching all my creations as a learning experience. Try stuff, find out what works and what doesn't, adapt new techniques to the next build, etc etc.

    If I had to do this one again, I'd have started with some shellac after sanding... then done the epoxy. Possibly some grain filler after that, maybe more shellac or a much heavier sealer coat (dunno what else would have prevented the water seepage)...

    But ultimately I'm pretty happy with this one. Not at all what I envisioned when I started, but it's got a cool & unique thing going for it. All said & done, it plays better than it should and sounds great, too. Can't ask for too much more!
     
  5. BigDaddy23

    BigDaddy23 Tele-Holic

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    That's a fabulous looking guitar - you should be stoked with that. So I take it the body is nitro finished and the entire neck and headstock are tru-oil?
     
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  6. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Simply beautiful!
     
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  7. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    You are correct, on both counts: the tru oil, and that I'm stoked!

    After I applied some of the iron acetate for color, I did consider spraying it with lacquer... At that point, I was still pretty burned out on nitro so decided to use up what's left of the tru oil from the baritone beetle kill.
     
  8. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    That's one of my all-time favorite teles I've seen. Nice work!
     
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  9. wowazeplin

    wowazeplin Tele-Meister

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    Man that’s sweet. How’s she play/sound?
     
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  10. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    It plays much better than it has any right to. Like, crazy low action without any buzzing -- super smooth and easy.

    It sounds good! At least, it sounds like a Tele! I used some basic Fender pickups on it, and the extra mod for a little added versatility/options if needed. I've become a huge fan of the series Tele sound, and while I'm not as crazy about the "half out of phase" sound it definitely has it's place -- and it's easy enough to wire up to have both, so why not?
     
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  11. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Wow dude. Just been having a catch-up on this. Both those guitars came out fantastic. But the main one in question looks really good. I think the decision to go with the Blackguard was a good one. It ties in nicely with the darkened fill you originally did on the beetle kill on the top.

    I love those reddish tinged pups on the other guitar. What are they?
     
  12. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! I appreciate the good words.

    Those pickups are by Q Pickups, based out of Croatia. The neck is A2/5 (so it's got alnico 5 magnets under the low strings and alnico 2s under the highs) and a tapped A3/4 bridge (different magnets, plus different outputs).

    I can't say enough good things about these pickups! They look great, sound fantastic, and we're incredibly affordable. The only downside is shipping from Croatia to the US currently isn't happening (I got lucky & ordered them before the pandemic really took hold).
     
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