COMPLETED Spa-Caster - TDPRI $100 Telecaster Challenge

Discussion in '2009 TDPRI Tele Build Challenge' started by IrishMail, Feb 13, 2009.

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  1. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    Spa-Caster - TDPRI $100 Telecaster Challenge

    "Rule 3. Parts can be new or used but must be valued reasonably. Wood costs need not be included." I'm not employed, so the wood MUST already be around here somewhere, hmm. I stared at the broken-down fiberglass spa during the morning rain and thought, 'Hey those old wooden steps might become a guitar body!' Those 2x10s used to be my water-bed frame in the mid-70s.
    [​IMG]

    "Then the rain let up and the sun came up, And we were gettin' dry...." sang Van Morrison. So I busted the steps apart with a clawhammer, and selected the wood for the body of my 'Spa-Caster'. By then, the top was kinda dry, and the spider-webby, dry-rotty bottom was, well, still iffy.
    [​IMG]
    "Stoned me just like jelly roll"​

    [​IMG]

    So, by starting this thread, I'm *jumping right in*. With apologies to Van, "We looked at the swim and we jumped right in, Not to mention single-poles".:rolleyes:
     
  2. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This ought to be pretty cool. Good luck.

    Can't wait to see how it turns out!
     
  3. XinTX

    XinTX Tele-Meister

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    Seeing as how you started it on Friday the 13th by getting violent with tools, couldn't you call it a "Jason-caster"?
     
  4. Tdot

    Tdot Poster Extraordinaire

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    Waterbed -> Spa -> Telecaster. Groovy baby.
     
  5. TelecasterBlooz

    TelecasterBlooz Tele-Afflicted

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    It needs to be said...."Bow Chika Bow Wow...."
     
  6. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    How I spent my Valentine's Day (honey, i'm sorry and i'll never do it again... blah,)

    I excised the knotty center portion, smoothed the edges enough, invoked the deity Elmer of Carpenter, and got 'the clamp' for all my trouble. I have a few tools at hand, hopefully enough to finish without asking friends for help.

    I'm getting kinda scared....
    [​IMG]
     
  7. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    Clamp-On! Clamp-Off! The Elmer's is dry and my nerves are settling. I'm ok with handheld power tools, but I'm a total NOOB at this phase.

    I traced the outline of my 84-MIJ-Tele onto some taped-together cardboard beer boxes and cut my pattern. The wood had been outside for the last 20 years, and had to be smoothed a lot before I could even Sharpie the pattern onto the blank. I'll be the first to admit my lack of sophistication, and hope like heck that my ingenuity compensates enough for my lack of bench tools or a proper shop.

    Here is the pattern as traced, and my total 'arsenal' of smoothing tools. The little one is a Stanley surf-form plane. I avoided the mushy dry-rot part near the lower horn - it's in the heart of this plank, and you can see the 'green' at the other end. Maybe this hot-tub idea wasn't so hot . . . [​IMG]

    And, moving from smooth to rough, here are my 'Weapons of Mass Destruction', ancient but effective. The greatest little device IMHO is the 2" diameter rotary rasp - boy can that thing make sawdust! I guess it also counts as a smoothing tool, but it's more for shaping. [​IMG]

    Now, off to the spare parts and a quick inventory. Measure twice - cut once.
     
  8. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    FOUND: short scale neck - ooo-woo-wee!

    I still remember that Duo-Sonic and its little neck. I opened for the Jefferson Airplane (6-30-67) with it, but sadly it was stolen.

    I found this neck at a yard sale and made a 'Stumpf Fiddle' out of it. What's that?? Well, watch the cartoon band in the Mary Poppins movie - it's a rhythym instrument from Hades.
    [​IMG]

    My iteration (i digress from the thread briefly) used a guitar neck, a tambourine pot, a piepan for smackin', a bike horn for hootin',
    [​IMG]
    and a shovel handle with a dog-ball on the bottom (for poundin' on the floor). I'm gonna miss 'er, but the neck'll make a 23.75" short-scale Tele, so the pattern needs revision. We must be nutz!
     
  9. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Dude - you and I are in the same power-tool club, I see! I'll be watching to see how you get your shaping done. Good luck!
     
  10. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    " F i r s t . . C u t . . I s . . T h e . . D e e p e s t "

    I moved my cardboard pattern inward by 1.75" and retraced the butt-end :eek: . By twisting the pattern around as if it were a 'french curve' from drafting class, the new perimeter was established.

    The jigsaw didn't issue any smoke (a critical test), and the blank was cut in a single pass. The original butt-line is present on the excess stock; I hope it's visible here.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Safari, so good.
     
  12. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    My first router was a Black and Decker 3/4 Hp ... a green plastic one to match your green plastic drill. 14 dollars circa 1982.
     
  13. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    Rainy day mockup

    With only sawhorses in the back yard, I feel discouraged 'cuz it's really raining and I can't majorly wood-work on the body.

    To attempt a mockup (as in, is this even possible now that I've selected a short-scale neck), a 14" ruler was scotch-taped onto the neck. I matched up the 12th fret with the ruler's 11-7/8", for a total scale length of 23-3/4". This first mockup has Squier-51 parts (bridge, pickguard w/ plastic still on, and control plate). If I go with this pg, the horn wil be shaped elsewise.

    [​IMG]

    Guess I'll look around for other parts to put in the gallon-size ziplock. Rain, rain, go away!


    .
     
  14. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    I'm wondering - is there a maximum percentage of the body that has to be wood? ;) Geez, I used a lot of wood filler, and sanded most of it off. Then shot it with a can of Leo's original white (actually primer) and sanded most of that off as well.

    Tracing the pickguard and the hole for the neck pup was next. The lower horn shape will be very slightly different than my original outline. The upper horn (or if it's not really a horn, the area above the neck) actually does conform, to my surprise. It's cuttin' time again, and I hope the dry rot isn't extensive.

    [​IMG]

    Hooray! The dry rot is gone and the horns are roughed out. With so few tools, I decided to begin the neck pocket and the pickup area with drill bits. The bits remove wood quickly, and I feel that I have more control than just jumping in with a freehand router.

    [​IMG]

    .
     
  15. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    Jolly Chimp

    [​IMG]

    Jolly says,
    "Make sure there's room for this Lil Killer!"

    Where'd you get that? Bad chimp! Now go put it back where you got it! :eek:
     
  16. Parma_TeleMon

    Parma_TeleMon Friend of Leo's

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    What? No lava lamp parts? hehhehhehheh :D
    and we all shine on!
     
  17. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    California-Style Bike Race

    This morning Jolly and I went to a new type of sporting event, 'cuz all these sirens were blaring at the end of our street. I know that California does things a bit differently, but this takes the cake! Oh, there were a few folks celebrating the event by riding around on two wheels, but then came the racers.

    You see, they put a lot of bicycles on top of brightly painted cars. Then they drive like crazy idiots with all these bikes on top. Wow! :lol: No wonder the cops had their sirens on. I've seen a lot in my day, but this was all new to me.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    R E D - N E C K I N ' (mahogany, that is)

    The race was fun and the cars were pretty fast, and more interesting than Nascar, 'cuz the make both left and right turns.

    The back of the donor neck has a metallic sticker that reads "Steel Reinforced Neck", but lacks any sort of adjuster, so I'm guessing there's something fixed under the rosewood fingerboard. Long ago, it might have had a matching "Made In Japan" sticker. The two holes closest to the sticker are for the '60s equivalent of a string tree for import cheapies.
    [​IMG]

    Wood color shows where the headstock was pieced together. It will be 'Telecasterized' to a certain degree. I just learned that Phillipine Mahogany isn't really mahogany, but a dumb lie told to Americans; and here I thought all this time.... Oh, also please note the vintage zero-fret below the nut.

    Soooo sixties.:rolleyes: Whoa, I might be havin' a flashback.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

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  20. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the lead, Maricopa. I really had no clue as to its heritage. I searched and found this to use for valuation purposes:

    Completed eBay item: Decca guitar - 130286502153
    Correct shape, tuners, dot markers, 20 frets (21 if you count the zero-fret), stringtree bar, and square (not rectangular) 4-screw mount.
    Sold on 2-10-09 for $39 (about the same as it cost when new)

    Sad to put a knife to it, but it's all I've got for this challenge. At least I know that it isn't a totally junk neck. And, I'll respect her in the morning. :oops:
     
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