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 jmerullo. Good luck with your project. I went into this with the exact same thinking. Be patient and make sure your templates and jigs are as good as you can make them.

    If you haven't purchased wood yet for your project, I highly recommend Downes and Reader in Stoughton MA, it's about 1/2 hour from Natick. They sell all kinds of maple and walnut for necks, and they also stock "guitar ash" for the body. If you know of any good wood suppliers up your way I'd love to hear about them.
     
  2. jmerullo

    jmerullo TDPRI Member

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    I've been looking for suppliers but so far D&R looks to be the closest source.

    For my first and only build I ordered blanks from Stew Mac, which I might do again. I don't have a jointer or plainer and I don't much like using my tablesaw so it helps to start with wood of the right size and thickness. I do want to eventually branch out and hand pick some decent wood though.
     
  3. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Check out D&R website, they can plane the wood to your desired thickness for a small fee. It might still be cheaper than ordering blanks online, and you can hand pick the boards you want to use.
     
  4. jmerullo

    jmerullo TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, I saw that. It looks like it's at least a day turnaround for planing though so that would require two trips down, and it's about 45 minutes away. With time and gas I don't know if it would be worth it.

    But... I do like the idea of picking out my own wood.

    How are they? Friendly? I get intimidated when I walk into a place where I feel like I'm out of my element.
     
  5. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Just walk into the warehouse and poke around. They're great.
     
  6. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Neck jig and fret dressing

    I made a jig for supporting and straightening the neck, based on the Erlewine one that Stewmac sells. It turns out that I have a bit of back-bow in the neck, probably from the expansion of the fret slots after fretting. I remembered reading a while back in one of Gil Yaron's threads that he tensions the neck a bit before doing the fingerboard radius, so that the neck has a bit of relief in it at rest before fretting. I'll certainly remember this for the next neck.

    Anyway, I used the slotted straightedge to make sure the neck was perfectly flat, then used a 6" piece of marble with fine sandpaper stuck to it and gently went over the frets until the dry-erase marks came off evenly on all frets.

    This part of the process went fairly easily, but crowning just plain sucks. I bought a diamond crowning file from Stewmac, but I ended up just going back to a triangle file and just took my time with it. The frets definitely look like they were done by a first-timer...
     

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  7. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Pick guard, take 2.... And 3.....

    I'm glad I bought enough garolite from McMaster Carr to make 3 guards. I butchered the first one. Second one was all done, I was just countersinking the last screw hole and whoops, punched through. Anyway, 3rd time's a charm, it came out almost perfect.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  8. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Garolite is not a friend of mine.

    We are half way there, tho.
    I like garolite.
    It doesn't like me.

    Glad you found success with that stuff!
     
  9. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Ok, time to finally finish this thread.....

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  10. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Finish shaping the nut.

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  11. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    I used walnut pore filler because I wanted the grain to really pop under the finish. Sprayed a coat of vinyl sealer, filled pores, sanded smooth, then one more coat of sealer. Lightly sanded before spraying the nitro. IMG_0441.JPG
     
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  12. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Time for nitro. I wanted a true blonde with just a hint of butterscotch, but ended up going a little overboard on the yellow. I still think it looks nice, but I know it's not very vintage accurate....

    IMG_0443.JPG IMG_0444.JPG IMG_0446.JPG
     
  13. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    LOTS of wet-sanding
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  14. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Sprayed the bakelite pickguard as well. Wet sanded and then one more coat to get a nice sheen. And yes, I did spray it on top of a 5" can.:)


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  15. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Looks great!
     
  16. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    And it's finished! This is the first time I've ever done a complete setup on a guitar. Getting the nut filed correctly was definitely a challenge. Getting the bridge intonated correctly was fairly easy. The neck ended up having a very slight back bow with 10's on it, even with no tension in the rod. I took it apart and clamped the neck in a 3 point bend to try and induce some relief. It was somewhat successful, as the neck might have about .002 in relief, if any. It's basically dead flat. The neck is so beefy that the strings just can't pull much relief into it. That being said, I do love the the feel and how it plays. I had it out side by side with my SRV strat the other day, and as I worked on butchering Little Wing, I noticed that it was quite a bit easier to play cleanly on the tele. My fingers just seemed to find the right spots more easily with the big neck.

    The sound is awesome. I installed the 4 way switch so I get both pickups in series in the last position. There really is quite a range of sounds that can be coaxed out of this guitar. This being my first tele, it was quite a revelation for me, but I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir.

    This definitely will not be my last Telecaster!

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  17. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    I figured my new tele needed a suitable amp, so I built the 5e3 kit from TubeDepot. I was very pleased with the kit, the instructions are excellent. Since this is my first tube amp, I don't have much to compare to it, but to me the sound is sublime. The ability to push into distortion by just increasing the string attack is amazing.

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  18. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine Tele-Holic

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    Hey great thread! I'm making the same guitar, but macawber style. I'll be copying a number of things I've read in this thread. I'm about 1/2 way through the whole process.

    How thick is your garolite?
     
  19. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Beautiful work!
     
  20. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks Ricky D and greenmachine.

    The garolite is 1/16 inch (.062"). I think it's vintage correct.
     
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