1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

First assembly: Inspired by Jimmy Page

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by NeverStock, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. NeverStock

    NeverStock TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    There's not a lot of info out there on Jimmy Page's tele, but I understand he had a 1965 maple/rosewood neck and a 1959 toploader bridge with a string-thru 1959 ash body. He probably used a light gauge of strings. And he possibly modded the Dark Circuit of the time to something more useful for him, or in any event did not use the dark circuit's position 3. I came to the idea of trying to assemble a tele because I couldn't find one like his.

    I used a Mark Jenny 3 3/4 lb swamp ash relic'd blonde body and a 2002 CIJ 62RI neck, which I tried to relic. I also used 5/6ths of a set of 1965 Telecaster tuners and bushings, and set of saddles/screws from a 1959 Telecaster, in an attempt to get the string contacts "vintage correct."

    [​IMG]

    Page presumably used a set of 1959 pickups. Yay for Don Mare! I went with his Zep-0s. The rest of the hardware is Callaham, and Bill was kind enough to dril toploader holes in his stringthrough bridge plate. Yay for Bill Callaham!

    [​IMG]

    Page had a dragon on his - I figured I won't even attempt to match that, white blonde will do. Hurdles were getting the neck to fit in the body (Sanding was the cure), getting the vintage bushings to fit in the holes (super tight fit needed sanding, still have bruises on my palms from the pushing on the mallet), figuring out how to mount the neck pickup. Drilling - the drilling turned out easy and fun thanks to tips here on TDPRI. Yay for hinge bits! Soldering was not too hard - before I knew it I was done, though I had trouble soldering to the casing of the pots, and am still not confident there. The circuit is modern 3 position, with no treble bleed cap. It weighs 6 pounds 12 ounces, and is toploaded with 9s. The neck was glossy, but I took that down to a duller, more matte finish with sandpapers and finally micro-finishing paper frin Stew Mac. This is evident on the headstock in this first pic in the bright sun. The rosewood fretboard was also already rather dark - I treated it over several days with Fret Doctor - until it stopped absorbing the oil - and it quite a bit darker, also evident here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The guitar set up very easy, comletely shocking me. All in all, in fact, I'm in shock at how easy it was, with no prior experience, to put together a tele that sounds as good in terms of complexity of tone and sustain and playability as a Masterbuilt for 25% or so of the cost. I figure it was the quality of the components, because I don't have any natural talent or developed skills here. I also think I got extremely lucky.

    For reference, I have a Fender Masterbuilt Nocaster and a Rice Blackguard esquire, both sweet quitars with big necks, brass saddles, string-thru with nickel 10s. The features of this guitar are very different, making it sound bouncier and play slinkier, but as pleasingly complex in tone as the other. I love it and IMO it nails the tone I wanted to achieve. I tried 10s and I tried string-thru, both of which add some heft , but that takes the guitar away from the Page tone.

    I feel like so much of this first build was luck, and I bet the next one I'll be wondering how it all ever came together so easily on this one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  2. Gijins

    Gijins NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Location:
    Morrisburg
    looks great. pretty close to what jimmy had.could use a pearloid pickgaurd and some circular mirrors :) Did jimmy not have a stringthru body??
     
  3. Zmatko

    Zmatko Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    489
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden, now where's me rattle-can?
    Welcome onboard, son.
    No i don't think Jimmy had a string-through as his tele sounded more dense than a natural tele, still a tele altogether.
    I've read something that Jimmy recorded "Stairway to heaven" with his tele and if so, would it be true?
    I could imagine the Les Paul's scale being too short for some epic fingerpicking.

    And that's some fine tele neverstock, as opposed to masterbuilt tele's? dang me.
     
  4. tschommer

    tschommer Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,805
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I think Jimmy's Tele was a string through, the bridge was just modded to make it a top loader, and it was strung that way. So it would still have the holes and ferrules they just were not used.

    As far as I know, only the solo on Stairway was recorder on a Telecaster.
     
  5. martino

    martino Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    654
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    LA CA US
    I wholeheartedly disagree !
    A. You had a plan!{ jimmy-page-ish}
    and #2 you used all Top shelf parts as far as I can see.

    Vary inspiring ! ! !:D
     
  6. Tim73

    Tim73 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,381
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Location:
    Wiltshire, England
    Looks great. I am planning a similar looking guitar myself. I was thinking more Steve Cropper or Flying Burrito Brothers with mine. Interesting on the toploader bridge. I have a Squier with a rubbish toploader bridge and I wanted to upgrade to a better toploader.

    Some fine parts on your guitar.
     
  7. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    18,974
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Garland, Maine
    Thats some good guitar assembling brother. Looks great. Did Jimi's guitar have the bridge with the cut away and the six mounting holes?

    Also, great job making the tuners all match up. Which one doesn't belong to the set, and where did you get it?
     
  8. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

    Posts:
    12,436
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    That's a fine looking guitar. Just a couple of things I'd have done differently - I'd have body mounted the neck pickup (mounting it like that makes it look much more modern) and a either a Fender or a Glendale bridge plate as they would look more period correct. That Callaham one just looks out of place to me. But as I said - that's just what I'd do. I'll bet it plays and sounds great just as it is.

    Congrats on a job well done.
     
  9. NeverStock

    NeverStock TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Thanks all for the comments!

    The high E tuner is the one that is not vintage - it comes from Callaham. Surprisingly good match.

    I hear you on the Callaham look, but Glendale doesn't drill out the toploader holes. Those two extra screws on the bridge plate with the Callahahm did give me pause, and I considered drilling my own toploader holes in the Glendale plate, but I thought I'd be lucky to get the wood drilled right, let alone metal.

    Some other cosmetic aspects are not right -the 5 hole pickguard, the hodgepodge of philips and flathead screws, and a few other things, but there's only one first time and I figure there's character in some of the errors.

    That said, the neck pickup mounting is one of the parts I immediately wished I could do over again -it just isn't right. Yesterday I ordered another pickguard to try doing it the "right way" now that I think I know what that is.
     
  10. moparmutt

    moparmutt Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    817
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Location:
    honolulu
    nice lookngh Tele
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.