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First Telecaster build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by SammyC, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    So time to try building a telecaster! Two previous guitars have both been Gibson style ones so time to do something different.

    Bought a slab of supposedly swamp ash:

    Order said 1.8kg, but my scales show closer to 3.3kg lol.

    I guess for £68 I shouldn't be too surprised :)

    First thing is to get some drawings downloaded and sketched out on the blank.
     
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  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    For your first, do not make the number one goof most guys fall into.. trying to make the first their dream guitar.. it just doesn't work.. as you get into the project you begin absorbing things you weren't aware of.. that causes you to rethink what would be the dream guitar...and.. that bubble bursts..

    If you keep it traditional, you learn much and by around your third, (there will be more). you will have a much better idea about what would be your number 1

    I have some "stuff" I wrote a few years back available free on my website... help yourself and I hope it helps ya.

    https://www.ronkirn.com/books-1



    Ron Kirn
     
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  3. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    This is terrific advice. My "dream guitar" has been so mercurial over the years I'm glad that I didn't immediately pull the trigger on it. Learn the standards/foundations of things cold and branch out from there. You'll be doing so from a much stronger place.
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    there's other considerations... some are on tight pursestrings.. also known as the Wife... and before starting number two, it becomes necessary to divest of number one.. If you've made a purple BassBoat glitter with 4 pups, coil splitting, phase reversal, and Posi-traction... you're gonna have a hard time moving that puppy.. but if it was a traditional black guard. *poof*. it's outta there like the Road Runner .. beep beeeeep . .

    r
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
  5. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Great advice, thank you. I think this could be considered my third guitar:

    First I built about 30 years ago as a teenager, SG copy, original SD Trembuckers, Floyd Rose floating bridge, and a 7-9 radius neck. I never could work out why the string height had to be so high and it is only now I see how badly teenage me selected parts! Still, that was pre-internet so very little information to go on.

    Second I've just about completed, its for my son, although he's only eight and I think the neck may be too chunky for his small hands. It is the one I've tried to make interesting probably at the cost of over complexity!

    This one, number three, I'm keeping simple in terms of choices. Top-loader hardtail bridge, twin P90s, standard front control panel, probably no pick guard, off the shelf neck from reputable source. Cut, route, sand and stain body, seal with a hardwax.

    Does that sound too ambitious or ok?
     
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  6. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    All my builds have started with "I'll sell it", and end with an emotional attachment and "It's not going anywhere, and I may need a new pedal and definitely a case..."
     
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  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    yep. I wish I had every one of 'em... memories..

    r
     
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  8. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Even as a newbie, I agree with this. My first was pretty much straight Tele-style with just a minor deviation in the headstock shape. I learned a lot from that build for sure. I cringe a little when I look at it closely because of the flaws. But it sounds really good so I was tickled nonetheless. It helped confirm that A) I wanted to continue doing this and B) that the Tele-geometry could go far for me as I got more creative visually.
     
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  9. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    Thanks everyone, great advice as always :D

    So, I've got the blank and I know what shape body I'm building (Telecaster), I think the next most important part after the neck is probably the bridge?

    I'm thinking of top loader hard tail, relatively modern, and fits a P90. Any suggestions?
     
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  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If your dream guitar is a basic tele...then go ahead and make your dream guitar....lol.

    A top loader/ hard tail bridge does not hold a pickup. The pickup sits in front of the bridge. The only tele bridges that fit real p90's that I've seen were kind of custom machined.

    https://reverb.com/item/2168884-gpg...l-bridge-plate-for-fender-tele-telecaster-p90
     
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  11. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    my first two builds were hard tail 2xP90 Teles.. still getting played, too..

    Warman UK P90's are what I use in a lot of builds... won't break the bank either,,:)

    Red tele1.JPG
     
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    a Soap bar P90, takes a rout that can be quite precise, so that a surround, be it as integral to the bridge or a single piece are not really required...

    here's an example, though it' DSC_7896.jpeg s at the neck position

    r
     
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  13. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    So any hard tail bridge, that doesn't include a hole for a specific pickup, will work?
     
  14. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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    @trev333 why did you rotate the bridge P90?
     
  15. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    The one that I built has 2 P90's and a Wilkinson string through half bridge. No pickguard. Any top load F style bridge will work.
     
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  16. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Tele-Holic

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    Will be watching for progress on this build. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  17. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Some bridges vary with width/string spacing and height. There are also intonation considerations if string-through comes into play. I had a problem with a recent build around that where the hardtail I bought was a quarter inch off for intonation as compared to a standard tele bridge when string through holes (which were already drilled by my CNC machine) were taken into consideration. I had to abandon that bridge for the project and get a different one.
     
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  18. Chuckboy

    Chuckboy Tele-Meister

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    Ron,
    Can you say where one can get the templates mentioned in the Tele Shaping Book?
     
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    nopt really. I discontinued making them over 10 years ago..

    r
     
  20. SammyC

    SammyC Tele-Meister

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