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Esquire partscaster project underway

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by KelvinS1965, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Sweet Esquire Joe. :cool: I did think about spraying mine LPB, but it seems a small change from the colour it is now (I could imagine my wife asking why I bothered changing it from blue to blue...:rolleyes:).

    I reamed out the headstock to 10mm and fitted some new tuner bushes (with the correct vintage size bore). I pre-aged them before fitting so they don't look odd against the rest of the tuners. The tuners are much smoother operating now and no issues with the guitar holding tune even after a 3 hour rehearsal last night.

    I bought some radius gauges and other tools as a kit (feeler gauges and a string action gauge) so I used these to fine tune the saddle height across the strings and on my other Teles too. This 9.5" radius neck seems to allow me to run 0.5mm lower action than the 7.25" radius necks on my Classic 50s Teles.

    I play this guitar so much that I'm not rushing to respray it, but I know that soon the weather will cool and I might miss my opportunity. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and do the respray soon...but let me play it one more week first. :D
     
  2. Jersey Joe

    Jersey Joe TDPRI Member

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    I get it, maybe if I had taken my pic in the sunshine you could convince your wife that there’s blue...... and Lake Placid Blue!! I’m a bit of a sucker for it, also love a strat with a rosewood board in LPB.
     
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  3. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I took my Esquire to a college class tonight; we usually practice unplugged before playing with the other musicians as a band. One of the other guitarists commented about how loud this guitar is unplugged: I wonder if it's because of that chunky neck/thin body (it's a Squier body)? Seems to translate to how it sounds plugged in as well.

    Must order my paint this week, so I can get it sprayed before the cold weather comes...
     
  4. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Oh well, had a change of plan and decided not to bother spraying the body as I found a nicely aged one done in Nitro. I must have changed my mind about the colour on a weekly basis too; it was only after seeing this body for sale and then doing a search for similar original 1950s Esquires that convinced me.

    So I've ordered this exact body:
    Axecaster Blonde Body 7.JPG

    Closer view showing the crazed finish:
    Axecaster Blonde Body 1.JPG

    I'm hoping it will turn out a little bit like this one:
    55 Blonde Esquire 2.jpg

    (The above example is now sold, but was advertised for nearly 18,000 Euros!!).

    I'm going for the white guard 1955 look so that the Esquire looks different to my Telecaster, which is a Classic 50s White blonde with a Bakelite guard (as shown in my avatar).

    The electrics will be very non standard for an Esquire: I will route out the neck pickup area so I can fit an Eric Clapton mid boost circuit that will hide under the guard. I will then use the 3 way switch to give me different options.

    Rear position will be a bypass for the mid boost (in case of flat battery mid gig), with the tone control bypassed and just volume (as per original Esquire).

    Mid position will be with a preset tone control set fairly bright and the 'tone' knob will be the mid boost knob.

    Forward position will be another preset tone control set less bright also with mid boost available via the tone knob.

    Will need to do some testing, but I already have a mid boost in my Strat and find I tend to just use two settings for the (TBX) tone control and mostly use the mid boost control to change the sound.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
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  5. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Didn't look right with the white guard on it during the build, so I've gone for a 1954 vibe instead.

    Maybe a more aged white might have looked better, but this looked odd to me:
    Esq white guard.jpg

    I haven't fitted the mid boost kit yet (was just too impatient to get it all together). Body just needed some slight work to get the neck to fit, so it's nice and tight. It plays really well and stays in tune nicely after I played it for about 2 hours last night.
    Esq 1.jpg
     
  6. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

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    Like em both. Well done Sir...
     
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  7. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Looks great. Love the black guard.
     
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  8. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Picked it up this morning and it was still perfectly in tune...considering it was only assembled yesterday and of course new strings, can't grumble at that at all.

    It's pretty much finished (bar the EC mid boost PCB if I end up fitting it). I've got a stamped neck plate on order with a number in the 1954 range that just happens to fit with my year/month of birth. I might sand off the serial number on the back of the neck and maybe a bit more off the back of the neck itself as I like the worn in feel.

    Some more photos...just because. :)

    This is 8lbs 7oz in imperial:

    Esq 4.jpg

    Close up:
    Esq 2.jpg
    I think I put that mark on the front (to the left of the light reflection) when I was fitting the string ferrules in the back, must have been something on my garage floor. I would have been annoyed if it had been one of my other guitars, but it's just one of many marks/cracks on the body already...
    Esq 3 body.jpg
     
  9. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Took some better photos with my SLR camera:
    Esq 1.jpg
    Esq 9.jpg
    Esq 3.jpg
    Esq 10.jpg
     
  10. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I changed it over to straight brass saddles and have a new standard bridge that I will lightly age and fit that in place of the cut down one. I also got an 'Esquire' waterslide, so I plan to rub off the existing 'Telecaster' one and replace it. I will leave the Mexican serial number on the back of the headstock though.

    The saddles are a bit bright looking, but will soon age down with use I'm sure. I played it for a 3 hour rehearsal this morning and was able to get all the sounds needed for quite a varied set, just playing with the controls/tone and gain (or not) on my amp.

    Took some photos this afternoon, alongside my Classic 50s Tele. Since the 'Esquire' is meant to be like a '54 I've changed a few details on the Classic 50s to make it more like a '56. They are both really different to play: The neck is slimmer and 7.25" radius on the 50s, plus it's much lighter and the pick ups (Fender OVs) give it a lower output and 'lighter' sound than the Esquire.

    Tele & Esq 3.jpg

    Esq 11.jpg

    Esq 12.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  11. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Some more group photos: I just re-wired my SG today (took out the PCB and 'plug in' wiring, replaced with proper metal braided wire and full sized pots/changed the pickups for DiMarzios):
    Nice pair 2.jpg

    Twin necks.jpg

    Nice pair.jpg
     
  12. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Second gig for the Esquire tonight; a punked up version of 'Blue Christmas' at a gig with lots of different performers. The perfect guitar to take as I'll have little time to get set on stage and won't have to worry about it getting knocked.

    I got my custom made neck plate with a serial number that reflects my year and month of birth and (near enough) fits into the range for a 1954 Esquire too. It still has the MIM serial number on the back of the headstock, so no danger of trying to fool anyone it is a genuine 1954. :rolleyes:;)

    It was aged (I hadn't realised this was included), but I preferred it polished up a bit more, with (now) just some light marks and it's already getting wear scuffs from all the playing:

    Esq 14.jpg
     
  13. RYAN1987M

    RYAN1987M Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Beautiful Esquire - well done!

    And Happy Birthday some time this month!
     
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  14. nopicknick

    nopicknick Tele-Meister

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    Really nice
     
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  15. ELET Henry

    ELET Henry Tele-Meister

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    I’ve got a couple of tapped Tele bridge pickups, a Creamery and an Iron Gear. Although the Iron Gear pickup is just an inexpensive factory made item it has a great sound and I actually prefer it. They’re certainly worth looking at.
     
  16. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I think the Oil City 'Diesel' pickup is what made this guitar so special in the end: I have it on the full winding most of the time for the higher output and it really works well with distortion. Pulling up the tone knob for the partial tap gives a lighter sound and slightly drops the output for a brighter/more twangy sound that can be further enhanced by using the tone bypass switch position.

    Last night I use the front (cocked wah) position for the start of the song and it was nicely mellow, then flicked back to the middle for when I kicked in the distortion, full back tone bypass for the solo. It worked really well; I'll see if I can cut the video for just the solo section and post it on here. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
  17. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Can't believe how long it has taken for me to get round to sanding off the poly from the neck so I could re-spray it in nitro and put an Esquire decal on it. I did a few coats of clear from a can and put the waterslide decal on last week. Today I got out all my spray gear and fired up my compressor so I could spray the neck with tinted lacquer. I also sprayed a Champ Tweed cab I had made a while ago to re-house my 'Fame' Champ clone.

    This was the back of the neck after a lot of sanding and a very thin coat of clear to seal it:

    Back of the neck.jpg

    Took a bit of wet sanding to hide the edges of the decal, but I'm pleased with how it's come out with the tinted lacquer over it. The frets will need cleaning up with some Scotchbrite and a buff to shine up the lacquer:

    Esquire headstock tinted.jpg

    With my Tweed cab drying in the sunshine (looks more orange than it does in person):
    Cab & neck tinted.jpg

    The hard part now is waiting for it to harden enough so that I can polish it and not have it 'sink back' afterwards (had this happen spraying cars with nitro years ago)...

    I've got a bone nut to fit afterwards too. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  18. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    I love it. I've been seriously thinking about building a Esquire, and threads like this don't help!
     
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  19. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    I'll add that I recently put the same MIM '51 U shaped neck on my partscaster, and while I love it, it definitely takes some getting used to!

    tele 51 neck.jpg
     
  20. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Yes it's a lot fatter than I was used to when I first got it: My 50s Classic Tele has a C shaped neck and it's considerably slimmer. Funny how I soon got used to the fat U and actually now like the change between the two guitars.

    Since getting this neck I've also bought a Gibson Les Paul Junior which has a really chunky 50s neck. My Gibson SG Standard has a 'slim taper' neck, so it is good having two Gibsons with contrasting neck specifications. I find that being able to swap between fat and slim necks helps my hands.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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