Considerations when building a Telecaster

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by AJ Ray, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. AJ Ray

    AJ Ray Tele-Meister

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    I have zero experience but considering a DIY build in the future. Can anyone offer recommendations about where in the UK would be a good place to buy parts? I would like to build something of good quality regardless whether it takes time. I think I would use Nitrocellulose. I'm thinking this could take me years and be a very gradual process indeed.
     
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  2. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

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    I assemble rather than make from scratch these days so I've got no timber suppliers, though 20+ years ago I used to use David Dyke in Sussex and Timberline in Kent. Bit of a step from you.

    http://www.luthierssupplies.co.uk
    David Dyke
    http://www.exotichardwoods.co.uk
    Timberline when I knew them.

    Some UK sources I've used for pre made bodies and necks

    https://www.guitarbuild.co.uk
    Had a very nice Tele body from them.

    https://rexterguitars.co.uk
    New project currently with him and so far a good supplier to deal with.

    https://www.guitarandbassbuild.co.uk
    I plan to try them - recommended by a chum whose opinions I trust.

    For hardware I use Axecaster or Axerus - good experiences with them.

    For pickups and other electrical bits I use James Home of Tone in the West Midlands (for McNelly p/us and wiring harnesses) or Bare Knuckle pickups from Cornwall.

    I'm happy to spend money with all these people.

    Good luck with the project. Pics as you go!
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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  3. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    The 1st thing you need to take into consideration is what tools you are going to need if building one from scratch the list is big
    Even building one from finished parts there will be no guarantees that you won't have to do some fret leveling nut slotting etc
    good luck with it
     
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  4. Mr_Q

    Mr_Q Tele-Meister

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    This may not be a popular suggestion, but if you have the means, consider popping down to Dorchester. Crimson guitars had a very good Luthiery school that will get you some hands on experience without buying a lot of expensive tools.

    Of course you can jump right in, Lord knows I did. But experience is a brutal teacher.

    https://crimsonguitars.com/product-category/guitar-building-course/

    Best of luck!
    Q

    Also: Read Ron's helpful documents, linked to above. They are super informative.


    Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Buy Melvn Hiscock's book and read it cover to cover. Then read it again.

    Then read build threads from inexperienced builders looking at the mistakes they made.
     
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  6. Mr_Q

    Mr_Q Tele-Meister

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    Yup Then read Oakham and Lospenato (2 books).

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  7. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted

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    I will say that once you build one, will consider building so so many more.


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  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    that IS ssOOOOOooooOOooooo true....

    the worst thought you can harbor as you begin is, "Cool, I'll build me a great guitar far cheeper than I can buy one.." :D

    Tools are expensive.. good ones are very expensive... and in a few years you WILL have a garage full.. and a store room full of the cheep ones you thought would do... :lol:

    For that reason.. do yourself a favor DO NOT try to make your first your interpretation a dream guitar... because. halfway into the project and a good way up the learning curve your idea of a "dream guitar" will shift... Uh Oh . .

    So keep it basic. the classic blackguard is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of guitar makin'.. take it one step at a time. with SHARP tools..

    r
     
  9. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    Just to give you an idea I have over £90 worth of wood clamps & still need more. :eek: That's just one type of tool of many needed. Plus importantly power tools are expensive & dangerous to use. Most decent quality hand tools are not cheap either.

    Find a friend or someone who has wood making experience & a good tool kit. Or join one of those woodworking clubs or take some courses. They will train you up to use hand & power tools.

    You can usually assemble a guitar from an all complete kit or separately yourself from bodies, necks & parts, with more basic DIY tools.
     
  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Its a bit ironic that solid body electric guitars are much simpler than hollow acoustics, but they take much more in the way of big power tools to make them. I made several acoustics with almost exclusively hand tools (a small laminate router was about all I had to buy) but to make a tele type guitar out of a solid hunk of something I need a band saw, big router, drill press and a box full of templates.

    Building any guitar will require a bunch of specialized hand tools - fret and nut files, special reamers and all sorts of expensive little gizmos. An electric guitar requires a soldering iron and some other wiring stuff, and of course finishing is another dilemma.

    You will hear over and over again to not build a guitar thinking you will get a cheap guitar - I can buy a better PacRim guitar for less that the cost of my materials. Heck, in most cases I will spend more for pickups than a good imported guitar.

    But, all of that said, building your own guitar is an incredibly satisfying experience and in my opinion, worth whatever it costs.
     
  11. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I resemble that remark... :lol:
     
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  12. coonhollow greg

    coonhollow greg Tele-Meister

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    I started out by reading all of the build challenge contests. You will find soooooo many different ways the folks here approach building. You can also learn a lot from mistakes that were made along the way. I also read through all of the posts going back to almost the beginning. I found a lot of threads written by the best of the builders on TDPRI. It was very good for me to learn that they to had to go through a learning period. (nobody is born with the knowledge) Most of all just dive in and if you need help, ask for it. Plenty of great people here able and willing. Good luck and enjoy yourself.
     
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  13. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    all i can say is if you are going to do it do it properly, and don't buy any GFS cheap stuff. as for necks without a doubt in my mind go with northwest guitars and if you got the budget get a body from them too, they are the best in the uk! problem is i am building a guitar for a friend and all their damn necks are out of stock, i have been waiting ages! https://www.northwestguitars.co.uk/...fqjeeUfMRaOc9oXgCQS51fJNlqG6BgN4aAjHcEALw_wcB
     
  14. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    hear! hear!
     
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  15. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    if i wasn't about to be a dad i would have two more projects on the go, at least! damn you desirable women!
     
  16. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

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    Considerations when building a Telecaster?

    1. How are you going to take a 2" thick x 20" long x 14" wide chunk of wood
    and thickness it to 1 and 3/4 "thick for the body?

    2. Then cut it out so it looks like a Telecaster.

    How would you do that?
     
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  17. coonhollow greg

    coonhollow greg Tele-Meister

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    Easy L3...remove all of the wood that doesn't look like a guitar.
     
  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    let me "seduce" ya little more... ya know m.. just a little "rationale" to push ya over the edge...

    guys often sweat the economics of a project... wondering if they can get the $$ spent back when they sell it, or some other nonsense...

    First.. SELL IT?? are you "blanking" nuts?? :eek: I have spent almost 60 years looking for the first one I built... I'm sure it completely sux, but I'd spend about anything to have it back...

    I have no photos, no splinters, no nothing except fond memories of being a 16 year old, spread out over the garage, listening to the Ventures latest on the radio... removing wood from what doesn't look like a guitar... it actually looked more like an Ibanez Jem than anything else.. and it's probably stashed in some forgotten attic today, completely lost to time... Gawd I wannit...

    so that "logic" is warped.. forget about that bit of Guitar Economics 101.

    here's what ya really wanna "factor" . .

    as you build your first, you're gonna learn much you didn't know was out there TO LEARN... that's a good thing...

    as you build, your concept of what you think of as the "to die for" guitar, will change... that's a good thing too....

    But.. as you build your first... and you realize what you thought of as the perfect guitar is fading into reality... you begin imagining what your next will be like.... and you start accumulating "stuff" again... and buy the first couple of “real" wood workers tools... that a good thing too, except to the lil Lady... hey things aren't always perfect... :D

    so you begin number two . . this time choosing a little steeper "hill" . . and when you pick the first few notes, you realize that steeper learning curve wasn't so bad.... you get a little more aggressive.... adding things like the finer points of “guitar makin’ finesse" ..

    Now you begin eyeballing your herd... wondering if that 70’s era Aria ya got at the yard sale for 40.00 bucks in '98 can be given a new life.. and ya find out it can, and you did .. well daymmm .. ain’t dat some schidt .. you can .. and you DO, over and over… :)

    You bring that old Epiphone 335 back to life replacing pickups, electronics, even the bridge.... … then the 70’s 3 bolt Strat you always thought as an example that must be the reason the CBS era guitars had such a bad rep.. this thing sucked.. and after a little messin’ around.. you’re stunned… not too shabby…. don't ya love the Vintage Callaham?


    Then it all sinks in…. Every time you take one of your “marginal” guitars.. and give it what you have learned, you’re saving roughly the equivalent of 200 - 300 bux a pop… times your 15 guitars,, none of which were “exciting” .. and you’ve saved more than that first one cost to build… :cool::cool:

    so.. what more do ya need as a rationale.. get off your butt and just do it… Oh, other than your Grandson standing next to ya asking, "Papa... but won't Stainless steel frets mess up your tools and sound bright".. You just smile and say here, try it... :p

    And, warning… when ya get a few under your belt.. you’re gonna realize most of the “advice” given in these forums is pure knee deep Bull… including that crap about Stainless frets... and tell me, how much is THAT revelation worth? :lol:



    Rk
     
  19. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Ronkirn speaks the truth...
     
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