Building a 'Telecaster'.

Dave Higham

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Posts
89
Location
S.W.France
I trimmed most of the surplus off the neck on the band saw and routed it flush with the FB.

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The FB isn’t glued on yet, as there are one or two things still to do which are much easier without it. The first is to sand a radius on the end of the neck to fit the pocket. It’s not quite as good a fit as the ready made neck was (it slides in easier) but I think it will do. It will be mostly hidden by the fingerboard overhang anyway.

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I’ve never liked the idea of using woodscrews to attach a neck to a body. I’ve always used threaded inserts and machine screws on basses and I’ll do the same here. So this is the second thing that’s easier without the fingerboard. With the neck in place I mark the position of the holes.

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Dave Higham

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Posts
89
Location
S.W.France
Bit of a hiatus there. So, to continue:

I explained in another thread how I install threaded inserts so here they are, inserted.

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Here’s what the neck looks like now. The thing behind it is a support used for working on it and also used as a clamping caul when gluing the fingerboard on.

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Started by sanding a radius where the neck meets the headstock. I also sanded a smaller one where the neck meets the body and then took off the surplus from the back of the neck on the bandsaw, but I forgot to take photos.

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I draw up the cross section of the neck at first fret and body junction to enable me to cut a series of facets which will be rounded off to produce the finished neck profile.

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Lines for the first two facets are drawn onto the neck and ‘notches’ cut at each end.

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The ‘notches’ are joined up.

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I cut 4 more facets in the same way and then round them over using sanding boards rather than rasps or files. I finish using cloth backed abrasive in the ‘shoeshine’ method. I didn’t take any photos of all that either, but this is the shoeshine method being used on another instrument.

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Which gets it to this point.

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The neck is blended into the heel and headstock using rasps, files and sanding boards. To get a nice transition from neck to body, I do it with the neck installed.

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Dave Higham

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Posts
89
Location
S.W.France
Time to resurrect this thread. I got bogged down in finishing problems involving the fact that I have no facilities for spraying, even with rattle cans, so trying Tru Oil, Liberon, Osmo, etc.

Anyway, as I’d decided to use this amazing maple top, I wanted to cover as little of it up as possible and have no pick guard, no control plate and if possible, no metal parts showing on the front, not even screws.

I decided to make a bridge cover. The original Teles had the 'ashtray' but I don't think mine will be used for that, although it will be removable.

I first cut a piece of EIR with a 2mm x 2mm rebate, cut it into sections and mitred the ends.

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Glued the frame together with CA. If the mitred faces are flat and smooth it makes quite a strong joint. The piece of pine is clamped down so it can’t move and it’s also holding down a piece of backing paper from double sided adhesive tape. I apply a drop of CA to one of the pieces of EIR, push the sharp end of both against the pine, and bring them together. In a few seconds they are glued.

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With the frame glued up (I forgot to take a photo) I thinned an off-cut from the top to a little over 2mm and cut a piece slightly larger than the aperture in the frame.

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I carefully sanded the edges on a sanding beam (This is half of a builder’s straight edge (square aluminium tube about 1 metre long) with 80 grit abrasive stuck to it. I find I use it for all sorts of things) ...

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... until it just fit into the rebate. I then ran some thin CA round the inside to glue it in place.

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Made a cut-out in the front for the strings...

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... and another for the bridge plate, as the front of the bridge will be flush with the cover.

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The cover will be held in place by small neodymium magnets. The six in a row hold onto the intonation screw heads and the other two onto the two front bridge fixing screws.

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Corners rounded and finish applied.

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It did get modified a bit later on, as you'll see.
 

Dave Higham

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Posts
89
Location
S.W.France
OK, I'll cut to the chase. I also made some rosewood pickup rings and some rosewood knobs with maple inserts.
Then I screwed all the bits together and it looked like this. Without the bridge cover.

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With the bridge cover.

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Neck/body junction

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Arm bevel.

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The bridge cover doesn't touch the front, so it can't mark it. Olivier wanted to keep it, so he can take it off or leave it on, depending on what he's playing.

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That's it. If you have been, thanks for watching
 




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