From the Parts Bin...

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Unionjack515, Mar 25, 2020 at 8:34 AM.

  1. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    I had ordered a body from Guitar Mill to start my Esquire project a few months back. It showed up and it looked gorgeous—ultralight swamp ash, one piece, impeccable finish sanding, etc. But I failed to realize that I hadn’t specified “standard Tele thickness” and ended up with a prototype thickness (1.5”) body. I wanted a standard thickness body for that Esquire project, so I ordered that, but I figured this extra body would be a cool thing to experiment. I’ll end up with a guitar that is completely not historic spec (wasn’t going to be anyway, as I’ve learned here that the prototype bodies were pine sandwich construction and all painted red or white) but it will make for a cool platform and what should be a nice lightweight instrument.

    I took some time last night thinking about an outside the box finish. Though it crossed my mind to try something bold like Blaze Gold, Candy Tangerine or Lake Placid Blue, the grain on the body is too pretty to cover, especially considering it’s a one-piece. With that fact in mind, I’ve decided to go with a black dog hair (“cerused”) finish. I got a Collings 290 in this finish last year and it’s just stunning. That’s a mahogany guitar but the grain on swamp ash finished in this way might be even more stunning. I think I’ll use a BWB pickguard and nickel hardware.

    I ordered a neck last night too...got a “Screamin’ Deal” on the Warmoth site. They had a beautiful vintage modern construction high grade flame maple neck with an Indian rosewood fretboard priced at only $220. It has a dark “beauty mark” in the maple, so I think people must have shyed (shied?) away from it. Typically I’d finish the neck myself but figured I’d just have them shoot it with clear gloss. Cream face dots and white side dots, a straight 9.5” radius, 22 frets, their standard thin profile and a 1 11/16” nut width. I had them install 6105 nickel silver fretwire and cut for a nut but have none installed.

    Haven’t thought about which pickup I’ll use...so that’s probably next on the list. Maybe I’ll try a Fralin in this one. I’ve loved all of the Cavaliers that I’ve installed in a couple, Lollar Special T would be a contender, Duncan Antiquity, kind of the standard list I suppose.

    I am thinking about some nickel vintage style tuners with white buttons...but I really like the Kluson Supremes and they don’t offer the white button option. I’d assume that hardware will come from Callaham—I typically go with their Vintage bridge with enhanced compensated saddles...B/E, D/G in brass and E/A in stainless.

    The flame/doghair combination should look especially nice, I think. Really the complete opposite of what this thin body should be—instead of a super-utilitarian guitar, it will get the royal treatment of high end finishes and materials!

    And off we go! (Inspiration images attached)
     

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  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Subbed. I have a tele with a similar finish as your inspo pics and I'm really curious how to replicate it (bought it already finished). Sounds like a great project.
     
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  3. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    From what I’ve read...theoretically it’s easy. In practice, I’m curious to say the least. As far as I can tell...I prep the wood by working over with a wire brush with the grain (deepens the grain to accept filler after color is applied), I can choose a finish type for the color (most have used a black stain, but depending on the filler, could spray nitro too I suppose), let that dry and then apply the contrast filler. Level/remove excess with a putty knife, let dry, remove excess with 000 steel wool. Then clear, wet sand and polish as normal.

    Also, added a few pics of my ash body.
     

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  4. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great looker, congratulations.
     
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  5. tah1962

    tah1962 Tele-Afflicted

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    That looks awesome!
     
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  6. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    great grain
     
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  7. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    The first Telecasters were 1.5” + or - thick because they were supposedly made from two pieces of the same 3/4” thick pine that the amp cabinets were made from. I actually like the thin 1.4” body I made. The only issue is the bottom of the control route is thin and you may need to bend the lugs of the standard Tele switch up a little or use a Gibson switch like the Cabronita. I prefer clear over dark grain filler on ash.
     
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  8. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    Ah this is a point I’ll need to consider, I can see how that might be a problem. Thanks for pointing it out, especially before I’ve ordered any hardware!
     
  9. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Since you have the body already you can measure the control route depth and compare to the switch depth. A CRL switch is 1 5/16” deep without wires on it leaving less than 3/16 for the bottom of the control route on a 1.5” body.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020 at 2:19 PM
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  10. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    Perhaps I’ll just use a two-hole set-up without a switch. Looks like a couple companies online make them.
     
  11. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    So...if I go this route, anyone have a pickup suggestion for me? I’d probably lean toward the Lollar Special T because my Nash has it and that’s my favorite sounding bridge position in a Tele I own.
     
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  12. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice grain @Unionjack515
    I built a Telecaster for a genius maestro a few years back with almost the exact grain , look at Springsteen's " Esquire " neck on the Born to Run cover. Similar grain. Similar ash grain. Guy loved the guitar. Yours is looking good too.
     
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  13. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    Special ordered a control plate with no switch slot from Callaham today. So if I can’t get a switch that I like to work in a standard control plate with the shallow cavity, I’ll just go with the custom one and no switch. Downside was this is polished stainless and I like the color of nickel...first world problems though. I’ll live :D
     
  14. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Did you measure the control cavity depth on the body?
     
  15. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    That would be 1.25”. Toooo shallow.
     
  16. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Wow man. That Tele in the OP is stunning!
     
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  17. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    Almost made a big mistake tonight! I prepped the body with the wire brush...definitely can feel the pores opening up and especially after I ran a tack cloth over it and got dust fully cleared. After prep, I shook my stain and it sounded a bit funny. Took a look at the label and noticed it was gel. Whoops! That would have filled the pores right up and the dog hair finish goes out the window. So back to the store tomorrow to get some normal stain!
     
  18. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    First coat on the back and sides done tonight...should get the first on the front before I head to bed. Will probably need a second coat for nice uniform coverage.
     

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  19. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    Done for the night. Things seem to be going according to plan so far.
     

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  20. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Me too.

    I posted a thread asking how to do this years ago, so I'm watching this one with interest. :)
     
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