First (potential) Partscaster Questions

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by CJT1775, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. CJT1775

    CJT1775 NEW MEMBER!

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    Greetings! First post. I’ve been playing guitar for 20 or so years, off and on. Recently recovering from an “off” phase of a few years, but getting back into playing and getting back into “gear.”

    I’ve always been interested in building partscasters, and am currently in a situation wherein I think I can start building the first out of 3 dream guitars I hope to build in my lifetime. I’m relatively handy, but no real extensive or professional experience with woodwork or wiring.

    Anyway, I found a Tele Thinline body for what I think is the right price. It’s listed as being Fender, though I suspect it’s a Squier CV Thinline - which I’m ok with. A few questions regarding the body before I pull the trigger:
    1. From looking at an eBay ad, how can I tell if it looks like a real Fender (or even Squier - specs all look right... seller has great feedback)?
    2. How difficulty would it be to route the body for a humbucker in the neck, using primarily hand tools? The body is finished, and is mahogany.
    3. Can you mount a Bigsby B5 to a Thinline body? I ask because looking at the Warmoth site, they offer two types of Thinline bodies - one wherein the center block runs from the neck all the way through, and one wherein the area behind the traditional bridge is hollowed out. Can anyone state what the case is with Fender/Squier Thinlines, or does it vary by model?

    Thanks for any anticipated responses!
     
  2. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Tele-Meister

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    Howdy and welcome! I can't really answer your specific questions but I can give you some encouragement around building your own guitars.

    I bought a Squier Tele Bullet and knew I wanted to put two humbuckers in it - but I was worried about butchering my new guitar, so I decided to build a partscaster out of stuff laying around in my garage as a "test". I wanted to make sure that I could route out cavities and solder up new connections.

    In the end, I was successful. I cut out a Tele-shaped body from some butcher block I had laying around, routed out the neck pocket, a pickup cavity and the control cavity. I cross drilled some conduits and the output jack socket. I then put in some hardware from an old guitar and soldered it all up. It looks terrible, but it actually plays!

    Some things I learned in doing this project:
    • GO SLOW - measure 5 times before you cut (as you can see from the pic below, my pickup isn't quite lined up properly with my pickguard).
    • For routing cavities, I much preferred using my router with a small straight bit - I initially used a 1/4" bit, but found I had a lot more control and did a better job with a 1/8" bit - even though it took a bit longer. I tried using a hammer and chisel initially, but it didn't look nice and was taking way too long.
    • Also if using a router (free hand), cut out some cardboard to put between the router and the guitar body - for me this was important when I had to route out the bridge cavity on my Tele Bullet - I didn't want to damage the finish!
    • For soldering, I watch a lot of YT videos (just search "guitar soldering") and using the techniques I saw, it was really easy for me to solder up my hardware.
    If you've never built a guitar before, you might not want to expect to build a dream guitar on your first shot. I plan on building another partscaster because it was so fun, and I do expect my next one to be better - but like anything else in life, you need practice in order to become really good at something.

    I hope that helps! Here's my partscaster that I did to practice my skills:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome to the fold! It's addictive, so be prepared not to stop at 3.

    I can't answer 1 or 3, but as for 2, what kind of hand tools are you talking? It can be done of course. If you have a power drill you could just drill it all out with a forstner bit. Might take some doing and it'll leave an ugly hole, but it'll be covered. Might not be a bad investment to get a cheap router now (maybe harbor freight) since you don't plan to use it much, but you might be looking at doing this again on other guitars.

    You might post some pictures of the body in a different thread and see if anyone can identify what you're looking at. Sometimes MIM bodies will have some indexing holes cut under the pickguard to identify that they're made in Mexico, but I don't know if they do that on all MIM guitars or if Squiers do it at all.
     
  4. CJT1775

    CJT1775 NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    32
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    Appreciate the responses!

    as far as hand tools, I found a tutorial with pictures wherein the guy used a router... may just go that route and grab one, or I’m sure a co-worker has one I can borrow.

    Thanks for the advice, I’ll post a thread with pictures and whatnot. I’m inclined to say if it is Fender/Squier, it’s most likely a Squier as it’s listed on eBay for only around $150...
     
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  5. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    my first attempt went well but still there were things i wish i had done differantly, think it through over and over again! there is no rush, masking tape where you drill and wax your screws before putting them in because they will snap off. SAM_0590.JPG
     
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  6. Andre Rock

    Andre Rock TDPRI Member

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    Beautiful guitar! Congrats, ben smith!
     
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  7. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    thanks man!
     
    Andre Rock likes this.
  8. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Meister

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    Sounds like you are on your way. If you want to learn to solder, hammer a bunch of small nails into a piece of wood. Solder a wire on each and give it a good tug each time to see if it sticks. By the time you are done you will know how to solder. Also, in regard to routing, you could carve the hole with a sharp chisel. Just make small cuts.
     
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