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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    I gave the neck a buff today. Sadly though it lifted a section of lacquer near the high E tuner hole. I think I'll sand back that end of the headstock and try to spray it back in. The guitar is meant to be aged, but it just looks like a poor attempt at a relicing job to me. Shame because the rest of the neck has turned out really well, slightly odd darker section above the nut notwithstanding, but I actually don't mind that bit.

    I'll probably already have sanded it back by the time anyone responds, but here it is just for the heck of it:
    Chipped headstock.jpg
     
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  2. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    After my buffing disaster this is attempt number 2. I just sanded the damaged end, then thin coats of tinted lacquer on the end, then a few across the whole front headstock to even out the colour. Gave it a gentle polish by hand this time and it's come out pretty good I think. Has an almost 3D effect on the wood, especially to the left of the 'Fender' decal:

    Neck 1.jpg

    It's hard to capture the shine for some reason, but it's like glass now. The back is really smooth too, so I hope that it will continue to harden and not feel sticky at all. I'm going to leave it in the sun for as a long as I can manage, despite being keen to finish it (again) and play it.

    Trying to capture the gloss, the frets are lovely and smooth too as I had to polish the lacquer off them, then gave the whole fretboard a buff with the machine:
    Neck 3.jpg
     
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  3. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Gorgeous,man. I’d be proud of that!
     
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  4. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Gave it all another buff today and refitted the tuner bushings. I got my DSLR camera out too, as I know we all like pictures. :)

    I need to find the string tree and get that back on as well, plus find the bone nut I bought ready to fit after the refinish:

    Bushes fitted.jpg

    The back is so smooth. Silverface might be proud of me as it only needed buffing and not wet sanding to get it that shiney:

    Back of neck.jpg

    It's only got a few thin coats on the fretboard, so I'm not sure how it's going to wear. It might end up a bit of a 'reverse' relic with lighter bits where the tinted nitro eventually wears away. The main thing is that it looks more in keeping with the lightly aged body:

    Top frets.jpg
     
  5. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Got it put back together last night, fitted a new bone nut, cut the slots and set it up. Gave it a little tweak this morning and had a long play with it. :)

    Since it's a nice day here in the UK, I took some photos with my Champ clone that I sprayed with the same tinted clear as the Esquire neck...they make a great pair and both cost less than just a Fender '57 Champ.
    Esquire & Champ 1.jpg

    The reverse angle:
    Esquire & Champ 3.jpg

    An attempt to be 'arty'. I've been to Memphis since the last time I played this guitar. :)

    Thats all right Esquire.jpg

    Next job will be to fit the Eric Clapton mid boost PCB under the pickguard and work out the steathiest way to wire it up: I'm thinking maybe use the 'neck position' of the switch to turn on the mid boost instead of the 'cocked wah' and have the 'bridge' position as a bypass incase of battery failure mid gig. I don't want to add a third knob, so the existing tone will be the mid boost gain and maybe just chose two tone settings I use by making the volume control a pull switch.

    Either that, or just leave it as it is. :)
     
  6. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    There was a patch of slightly 'lumpy' clear just in front of the nut on the top edge of the headstock. I thought I could gently wet sand it then buff it up. Of course I rubbed clean through to the bare wood below. :cry:

    So last night, off came the neck and tuners and I sanded the edges of the headstock and the entire back of the headstock, so that I could refinish it all evenly. It was a really hot day here in the UK today, so I was able to get it done and I mixed a bit of tobacco clear in the final coats to give that darker at the ends look that I've seen on a few genuine 1950s Teles and Esquires. I also micromeshed the main area of the back of the neck to take the gloss off. It feels silky smooth now and not a trace of grab to it (though it was fine on Monday night's jam anyway to be fair).

    I will have to be patient to let it harden fully before I refit the tuners and put the guitar back together, but in a way I'm glad that I had to redo it as I prefer how it's come out this time. The photo makes it look a bit more sunburst/orange than it does in person, but I expect it will dull and darken down as the light gets on it over the next few months.

    Redone neck.jpg

    As my friend told me on Sunday when he saw the guitar: Art is knowing when to stop. Obviously I'm no artist. :oops::D
     
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  7. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I routed a space to fit the Eric Clapton mid boost kit today and then got it all wired in and back together.

    Marking it out. I deliberately made the hole larger than needed just to help with the weight a little bit as it's a heavy body:
    Marking out.jpg

    Test fit to check wiring clearance:
    Test fit.jpg

    Fully wired in:
    Wired in.jpg

    Then restrung (this time with Ernie Ball 10s instead of Gibson 10s):
    Restrung.jpg

    It now has the following sound options:

    3 way switch:
    'Neck' position: Modified Eldred mod 3300pf capacitor.
    Middle position: 220K resisitor and 0.022uF capacitor to simulate the original tone control rolled off a little bit.
    'Bridge' position: Tone bypassed, brighter tone.

    Pull up on the tone control cuts the winding on the pickup to approx 6K for a brighter tone, push down for the full 10K windings for a warmer tone.

    Tone control is now an active mid boost which tends towards sounding more like a humbucker and obviously a higher output.

    Pretty wide range of tones for an Esquire. :)

    I just need to find a way to bypass the pcb incase of battery failure, though judging by my Strat that I've fitted the same pcb to, the battery lasts for over a year. The battery is a tight fit at the bottom of the control panel route.
     
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  8. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    Epic build IMO.
     
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  9. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I took some photos today along with my Classic 50s Lacquer Tele to show the colour difference before and after my neck refinish.

    This is before with the pale original poly finish and Telecaster on the (MIM) headstock. The CS50 neck looks a lot more orange than the Esquire here:
    Tele & Esq 3.jpg

    Similar photo taken this morning:
    Esquire & Tele.jpg

    The back of the necks, both have been flatenned off with 3M pads to remove the gloss on the main playing areas:
    Both necks rear.jpg

    Back of the headstocks (I had to sand off the MIM serial number in the end):
    Both headstocks rear.jpg

    Front view:
    Both headstocks.jpg

    I've found a 4 way switch so I'm going to rewire so that the 'neck' position is a bypass of the mid boost PCB incase of battery failure. I'll probably put a 250K resistor and 0.015uF cap so that it's slightly brighter than the standard vol/tone circuit I built originally, but not as bright as volume only. I also got some multi-stranded cable to extend the connections from the PCB to the control panel to make things a bit neater and less tight.
     
  10. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Would be nice if I could rename this thread, because I think I can now officially say 'Esquire partscaster project completed' :) after a few little tidying jobs this weekend.

    I extended the Mid boost PCB with some multi-core wire I bought (security alarm wiring, just happened to have the required 6 wires I needed):

    Esquire 4.jpg

    My wife found some black elastic 'string' that I used to lace up the wiring under the control panel to make it easier to dress the wires out of harm's way when replacing the battery:

    Esquire 5.jpg

    I took the bridge and pickup off so I could remove a bit of wood that the pickup was touching against and I painted the pickup 'string' black rather than the stark white it came with. Also filled a screw hole for the 'guard that wasn't lined up properly and made the screw crooked (the one just below the control panel). Restrung it and gave the set up another little tweak and job done.

    I like how the bakelite 'guard is showing wear already and a 'shadow' of where the strings go:

    Esquire 2.jpg

    One from behind:
    Esquire 6.jpg

    Final shot of the headstock after being left in the sun as often as possible for the last few weeks. Tuning stability is superb, with no need for 'nut sauce', just a carefully cut bone nut and properly strung/stretched strings:
    Esquire 3.jpg

    That's pretty much it then I guess. Maybe add some sound samples to show the tone options and I have a black wide strap arriving next week, so it's just about playing the heck out of it. :cool:
     
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  11. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    Epic. That is an absolutely beautiful guitar, and I'm very curious to hear how you like the MDX in it.
     
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  12. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Sorry, been meaning to come back to you after your post: That mid boost gives a huge range of control over the sound. I can dial in my Plexi (SV20H) with a slightly brighter setting, then dial up the mid boost to fatten the sound for a nice crunch. Or pull back the volume and go clean, using the 3 way in the 'bridge' position to bring up the top end even more (or pull up on the tone for the 6K winding which is a little lower output and a bit brighter again).

    I will try to get some recordings done to demo the sounds and post back on here.

    I'm currently away on business, but I brought it with me to play acoustically in the hotel room. :cool:

    I've also done an MS Paint mock up of a potential future project that is in a similar vein, but a short scale and humbucker pickup to make it different enough to the Esquire. See what you think:

    Jagsquire Mockup.jpg

    I will probably change the cream pickup for a Nickel covered DiMarzio 36th Anniversary that I previously had in a Tele. I'll almost certainly refinish the neck in tinted nitro too and maybe fit chrome Tele knobs on it too. Might even take the Mid boost PCB out of my Strat and put it in this instead...Should be a fun project. :)
     
  13. shallbe

    shallbe TDPRI Member

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    Awesome build! I have an Esquire put together from a Musikraft neck and a Guitar Mill body. They finished the body in nitro. The neck has an oil finish. Fat C shape nearly all the way down. I couldn't put Fender decal on it so I had fun with a custom one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Nice job. I like the headstock logos too. :cool:
     
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  15. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    This is one of the most interesting builds I've seen in while. And that neck is beautiful. All your refin attempts reminded me of my last finishing project (refinishing a tele body). I made at least as many attempts...and it's still not perfect (but done for now).
     
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  16. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I like this one too...especially your headstock logo!
     
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  17. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    [​IMG]

    When people ask "Tele or Esquire?" I always reply "Tele AND Esquire!"
     
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