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"Gretschy" Telecaster Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by h2odog, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    I'm fairly new to building guitars. As I've been searching for information about how to go about certain things, I found this forum coming up again and again in the searches, and found some great information. I joined up just a few weeks ago, but really like the friendly atmosphere here. So different from a lot of the forums!

    Anyway, I wanted to share a project I'm currently working on. This is my third guitar "build". The first two were eBay kits. With those first two, the idea was to get my feet wet in the diy guitar world and give my youngest daughter an opportunity to decorate them for me. With this current project, I started with a better body purchased from StewMac.

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    Here's the body. Golden Age '52 Tele, Swamp Ash. The body I purchased was "paint grade". If you look closely you can see some spots that have filler in them. I decided to go with stain rather than paint. I'd already done the previous two with paint and really wanted to try stain.

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    I used Orange Colortone stain, mixed with alcohol. A couple of test pieces of scrap to get an idea what the stain would look like.

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    Here's what I ended up with after staining. I put the pick guard on after the stain dried just to get a feel for what it would look like. :)
     
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  2. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    Test fitting the parts. The neck is a MIM Fender Tele neck. Bigsby B5 Vibrato. It's a bit darker than my Gretsch 5120, but I'm ok with that, wasn't trying for a perfect match.
     
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  3. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    First of all, paint grade never looked so good. Second, I REALLY like that bright yellow Strat.
     
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  4. BoiseTelecaster

    BoiseTelecaster Tele-Meister

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    I like it! Thanks for sharing your pics.
     
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  5. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    With the Gretsch/ Bigsby vibe, I thought vintage style tuners would be appropriate. Fender Pure Vintage Tuning Machines. I had to also buy conversion bushings. The MIM neck has 10.5mm holes and they need to be 1/4" to fit snug. the bushing worked perfectly.
     
  6. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    Spraying the clear coats has been the longest part. I have to spray outdoors and wind is always an issue around here. I would wait for the right conditions on a Saturday or Sunday and get one or two coats on. Using Nitrocellulose Lacquer in a can. I'm really happy with the way nitro goes on. It merged right in with the earlier coats.

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    Some level sanding between coats wit 320 grit sandpaper. While I did use grain filler, I didn't use enough and there are some obvious dips in the grain. Not perfectly smooth. Level sanding has helped minimize that, but the final finish won't be perfectly smooth. Final coats went on this past weekend. I ended up using four cans of Nitro. Now comes the hard part. Waiting for it to fully harden.
     
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  7. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    Pickups and parts. I'm going with TV Jones Starwood Tele pups for this one.
     
  8. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! The yellow Strat is another project. It's an Affinity Strat I found on Ebay. I sanded it down and sprayed it with rattle cans. Mighty Mite neck and EMG David Gilmour Pickups.
     
  9. CyrusF

    CyrusF Tele-Meister

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    That is one of the coolest looking Teles I've seen! I'm a sucker for orange guitars though.
     
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  10. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looking really good, welcome to the club!

    That a sweet looking axe you're building. Love a Tele with a Bigsby!
     
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  11. HairyChapter

    HairyChapter TDPRI Member

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    Beautiful guitar.. I gotta say I am having a hard time finding the spots on the body.. Looks close to flawless.. Oh and welcome
     
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  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Looking good, nice work on getting that Gretsch orange down!
     
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  13. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I love telegretschcasters! Nice work!
     
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  14. guitaradelic

    guitaradelic Tele-Meister

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    Nice work!
     
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  15. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    Thanks all for the kind words! I'll post more when I can. For now, I'm patiently waiting for the nitro to harden. I'm going to make myself wait until the end of April before wet sanding and buffing.
     
  16. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    You're a better man than I Gunga Din!!! Can't wait to see how it turns out!
     
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  17. S00NERMAN

    S00NERMAN Tele-Meister

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    Looking good! Liked the idea so much I had built my own, it's the one in my avatar. Used TV Jones Supertrons for the pickups and its a thinline without the 'f' hole.
     
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  18. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    How do you like those Supertrons? I was thinking about doing something with some sort of Filtertron pickup with a future build.
     
  19. S00NERMAN

    S00NERMAN Tele-Meister

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    I like the bridge pickup better than the neck. I think the neck might be better if it used the curved blades (like the bridge) instead of flat ones to boost the mid-range a bit. I have to wonder if the TV Classic plus might've been a better choice. Don't get me wrong though, It's not BAD, it just lacks something.
     
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  20. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

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    Finished the guitar this past weekend. I got into the work and forgot to take pictures of the rest of the process. Basically, after letting the finish cure, I wet sanded, polished and installed hardware and electronics. I've been tweaking intonation, string height, filing grooves in the nut all week and have it set up properly.

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