First build - '52 black guard-ish tele

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by 26and385, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks Mark. Yes, the fretting is all done. I can't remember what size wire I used, but it's fairly beefy. I made my own version of Dan Erliwine's neck jig, and I bought the stew Mac slotted straightedge to help with leveling. I'll cover that part pretty soon.

    Definitely digging the Birdseye, it's not so severe that it overwhelms the grain, but it still has a lot of character. I especially like how symmetrical it ended up being on the higher frets (unplanned, it was a very nice surprise!). I'll post better pictures of the finished neck pretty soon.
     
  2. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks Xtra! Went to school at Lehigh, I miss that area!
     
  3. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks netgear and tezuka!
     
  4. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Fret markers glued

    Used a plug cutter to cut Garolite dots from one of my "practice" pick guards. Glued in place. I tried in vain to find suitable side marker dot material, so I bit the bullet and got the appropriately sized black rod stock from Stewmac.
     

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  5. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Time for frets

    I had purchased an arbor press at Harbor Freight with the intention of using it for pressing frets, but I got impatient and just decided to hammer them in instead. I made sure the frets were pre-bent to a slightly tighter radius than the fingerboard, hammered them in on the ends, and then hammered the center until fully seated. One of the things I forgot to do was chamfer the slots with a triangular file, gotta remember to do that next time! I also skipped glue.... I know that is taboo for many of you, but I figured I'll see what happens down the road. Worst case is that I'll have to do a refret at some point. If that happens, I'll glue then.:lol:
     

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  6. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    I like how all the pics from northern areas are from basements now.

    Glad to see an update.

    The guitar is looking really good.
     
  7. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Unfortunately, this pic was from LAST winter.....

    I am not good with timely posting!
     
  8. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Shaping the neck

    This took a bit of time to figure out what worked for me. I have a nice rasp that I tried at the beginning, but got impatient and ended up doing much of the shaping with the ROSS. I used a 3 inch sanding belt the I went back and forth over the full radius by hand to smooth out the profile, and a small B&D corner sander (Mouse?) to work the transitions. The profile templates are from the Broadcaster plans on the sticky in this forum. Big beefy neck, U profile. 1" at the heel transition, just under .900" at first fret.
     

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  9. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Routing the neck pocket

    I had originally made a template that included the neck pocket, but I was paranoid about size and alignment, so I decided to use the actual neck to locate blocks, attaching them with 2 sided tape. Not the quickest process, but alignment is dead on.
     

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  10. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Neck, meet body!

    First time the neck was attached to the body, at this point it really feels like I might be able to make a real guitar! Neck fits like a glove, alignment is perfect.
     

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  11. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Routing body cavities

    No drama here. Used my cavity template, and drilled the neck screw holes.
     

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  12. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    It's looking good. Great job!!!
     
  13. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Curious, did you have a reason for choosing the thick neck and the 9.5" fret radius?

    The way you located the neck pocket route is how I plan on doing it for my next build - nice to see that process in use, successfully!

    Did you use a laser or a string to line up the centerline of body and neck before sticking the blocks on there?
     
  14. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks oldrebel!
     
  15. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    I guess I didn't have a great reason to go with the 9.5 radius, for some reason the 7.25 scared me. In retrospect, maybe it would have made more sense to go the traditional radius with the thick neck. I discovered once it was finished that having the larger radius means that there is even more material at the edge of the fingerboard, so the neck has even more mass than a vintage one. That being said, I have large hands, so it doesn't really cause me trouble. I've given it to some other players that have smaller hands, and they didn't have any issue with it either. They all commented on the heft of the neck at first glance, but then were surprsied at how playable it was once they tried it.

    I used the centerline of the body blank (2 piece body) as the reference point for all of my template work, so for the neck pocket blocks I just made sure that they were symetrical around that line.
     
  16. DannyJustQuit

    DannyJustQuit Tele-Meister

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    That neck looks awesome!
     
  17. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for feedback. I'm kinda curious if there are pros and cons to making these kind of selections.

    I made a similar neck on the build I just finished. It has a 7.25" fingerboard and a thick neck. I was thinking the thick neck might give me trouble, but not at all. In fact, I really like it.

    I had no worries about the 7.25" fret radius, but its messing with me a bit.
    Visually, not much different than 9.5", but my fingers can feel the difference when playing. I think you made good choices on the neck!
     
  18. jmerullo

    jmerullo TDPRI Member

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    I'm eagerly watching this thread as I'm hoping to do a similar Tele build pretty soon. I'm also in Red Sox Nation!

    My plan is to build a black guard Tele using a mix of vintage and modern parts and techniques in hopes of building something resembling a really nice playing and sounding Telecaster.

    Loving this so far, keep the updates coming!
     
  19. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks Danny, it looks even better finished. When I get to the end of this thread, I'll post some higher-res pics.
     
  20. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks MM. I'll definitely have to try a 7.25 neck in the future.
     
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