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First build, first post, first Tele. . .Classical?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Torres-caster, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Hi all. Thanks for having me.

    Never posted here before, in fact, I've barely even "lurked", but I thought this was the place to post details of my first ever guitar build. Or sort of a "build". . .I'd let you decide. Pull up a chair and a beer, because this is a long story with a lot of pictures.

    The story started ten years ago. I was a poor student and bought a cheap Brazilian classical guitar on Ebay. In short, it was a nice LOOKING guitar, but a piece of junk. Someone before me had filed the frets so flat, they were practically flush to the fretboard. After having the thing for a short period of time, the bridge completely lifted off the body, taking a nice chunk of the soundboard with it. . .which was now cracked. Apparently this had come off before, then been reglued. . .badly.

    Repairing this would have cost more than the guitar was worth, and i was ready to toss the whole thing in the trash, but for one thing. The rosewood on the neck was really nice. So I broke off the rest of the body from the neck, tossed the neck into my box with the idea that "some day" I would do something with it. The neck rattled around with me moving three times over the next ten years.

    Here it is, with a closeup of the fingerboard below:
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  2. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    What happened is my SON started taking guitar lessons, and he got a classical guitar. Like many cheapos, it had uneven frets, so I filed a few of them down. Also saw that he kept looking at the fingerboard, so I put in a few fret markers. His teacher saw what I did and asked me to fix the frets on one of her guitars. Then, after tweaking two guitars, I figured I was in a "groove" and it was the time to do something with that old neck I had. But what?

    Well, I'm not going to build a new classical guitar. That's WORK! Plus, I don't have the tools or skill do that. But I do like nylon string instruments. Maybe I could jam this thing onto a electric guitar body and make some sort of bastard hybrid solid-body electric classical.

    Crazy? Lets find out.

    Of course, with a 25.5" scale classical neck, the natural choice is a Fender guitar. I don't like Tremolos, so Tele it is. Bought this kit off Ebay, basically just for the body.

    Yup, its a 49' prototype "snakehead" kit. I only need one pickup, I want to see more wood, and its cool. .why not? I'll use the neck for something else some other time. Body is basswood, so its light as a feather. Now I just need a plan to get the 2" wide classical neck onto the Tele body. . .

    By the way, thread is open, so feel free to post comments (good, bad or indifferent!).

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  3. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    I came up with the idea of creating an "adapter" block to fit to the back of the classical guitar neck that would screw into the Tele body.

    I'm a bit of a pack-rat, and I had this chunk of mahogany I was going to carve, "some day". .that'll work.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the back of the neck, you can see where the fingerboard was glued down onto the classical guitar soundboard. Cleaned it up with some very sophisticated tools (razor blade and sandpaper). That's a piece of shoe-leather I'm using as a pad for the clamp. Before and after:

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  4. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    OK, here's a little "prototype" of the adapter block design, I knocked out of a piece of scrap wood. The idea is I'll glue it to the back of the fingerboard on the classical guitar neck to create a sort of classical-electric neck, then screw the whole thing into the neck pocket. I think this could work.

    [​IMG]

    Something like this:

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  5. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Now time to pull out the frets on the old neck using this end-nipper. The frets have been ground so flat, they're practically paper-thin, and there is almost nothing to grab onto!

    Taped board (and you can see some of that gorgeous rosewood), then started pulling. . .

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    Here's a picture of the blisters on my fingers from pulling that out. (Note the cool "table build" as screensaver on the computer in background!).

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  6. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    And now the (psychologically) hard part. . .time to chop the neck. Made a little "jig" to guide the cut, with the cigar box lid adding a tiny bit extra height.

    Before and after.

    Edit: fixed broken picture links:
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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  7. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Oh yeah, here's the "mockup" picture I did before pulling the frets. If I can pull this off, the final guitar should look something like this.

    [​IMG]


    To be continued. . . .
     
  8. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Is anyone reading this?
     
  9. Kinghat

    Kinghat Tele-Meister

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    I am. Keep up the good work
     
  10. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Uh huh. Very cool mash up!
     
  11. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Kinghat>>I am. Keep up the good work
    Barcaster>>Uh huh. Very cool mash up!

    Gentlemen, thank you.

    Continuing where I left off, here's the back of the thing with the neck in place and my "prototype" adapter in place. Those corners on the back of heel block just won't do. So marked it with a pencil to square it up, then cut off some more of the left over heel block on the miter box:

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  12. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Take a look at that. .. the original builder used dowels to hold the neck to the heel block. Hmm. . . .

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    Here it is cleaned up, again, with razor blade and sandpaper. Even the back of the fingerboard has a lot of character. Anyone know if this is Brazilian rosewood? I have no idea how to tell, but it does have a sweet rose-like scent when sanded, and it is from an older Brazilian guitar.

    [​IMG]

    Moving on. . .time to cut the "adapter" block from my scrap piece of mahogany. So I build this little jig to guide the cut. The little white MDF scraps turn out to be just slightly thicker than the guitar neck pocket. . .perfect:

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  13. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Now, cut. . .lots of saw marks present. So time for some sanding. Wrapped a piece of 100 grit sandpaper around a small marble scrap, sanded against that for flatness:

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    Some sanding here. . .pencil marks starting to come off. . .you can see my makeshift sanding block beneath:

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    More sanding yet. . .BTW, I learned the hard way that you need to wear a mask when sanding! (The mahogany dust inhalation cough did eventually do away! ;) ).

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  14. Lenny1716

    Lenny1716 Tele-Meister

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    Waiting for the next installment....keep up the good work...your being watched..:eek:
     
  15. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Sanded the neck a bit too:

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    And here is the "adapter" block in place, ready for final shaping/sanding:

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  16. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    >>Waiting for the next installment....keep up the good work...your being watched..

    If I do a good job, does someone teach me the "secret handshake"? :)
     
  17. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    OK, now to make the adapter block fit the Tele body neck pocket. First make a tracing of the neck pocket. . .then transfer it onto the piece of mahogany. Again, using sophisticated wood shaping tool (ie single edge razor blade!). Gotta say, that mahogany whittles beautifully!

    Fit is snug enough to hold up the guitar with the neck in place. . .that ought to be good enough, I think.

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  18. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Marking location for future screw holes with sophisticated transfer punch:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Checking for squareness. Close, but nope. Fixed with sanding block.

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  20. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    Now, I remember hearing how the ancient Egyptians got the stones of the pyramids to fit so closely together. . .they mated them by rubbing adjacent stone bricks against one another to make a perfect fit.

    So I folded a piece of sandpaper and pressed the block against the cut heel to sand both pieces together to make a good fit.

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