Hardware and electronics on a budget

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Marn99, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

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    Hey everyone,
    So I recently went over budget on my senior year independent study project, the walnut telecaster, and I still have the bridge, tuners, pickups, nut, control plate, fret wire, strings, and knobs to buy. Because I went over the budget set by my parents, I now must pay for what is left. Coincidentally right now I am saving up for a 300 dollar slab of Cocobolo to make a carve top for my dream Les Paul, which I won't be making any time soon, I just want to get the rosewood before it disappears off the market, but I digress. Basically my approach right now is to get the remaining hardware for as little as possible and sacrifice as little quality as possible. Here's what I have on my spreadsheet, feel free to comment and make suggestions.

    Two 2 foot lengths of Stewmac medium fretwire: 7.72$
    Stewmac pre cut bone nut for fender: 4.22$
    Warmoth guitar 3 saddle bridge, chrome: 21.00$
    Tuning machines: I have two options here, Guitarfetish vs Dragonfire guitars
    Guitarfetish vintage style tuners: 24.95$
    Dragonfire vintage style tuners: 17.95$
    Should I be concerned about the quality of the Dragonfire tuners?
    Guitarfetish chrome control plate: 10.95$
    Warmoth Telecaster chrome jack cup: 4.00$
    Pickups, again I have two options here.
    guitarfetish economy Telecaster pickups: 32.00$
    Dragonfire Telecaster pickup set: 22.95$
    Warmoth Telecaster Knobs flat top chrome: 4.25$
     
  2. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think your inventory looks pretty good. You might check out Grizzly Industrial. They've downsized their stock of guitar parts quite a bit, but used to have a great deal on a 3-saddle Wilkinson Tele bridge. Maybe there's something here that will save you a bit of money. I've used Grizzly items from time to time and have not been disappointed. BTW, their fret wire comes pre-bent, which, if you don't have a bender, is a good feature.

    http://www.grizzly.com/luthier-supplies?page=1
     
  3. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    You can also look at eyguitar parts. I would stay away from the tuners, but things like the bridge and control plate and the like will probably be half of what you have quoted there. Also, I would buy the fret wire and nut somewhere else to save the $8 shipping from stewmac. Ebay holds many deals, but the trick is to know where you can compromise and where to not. If you just want to finish it up, eyguitar and ebay will get you set up for significantly cheaper than you have quoted above. Keep shipping in mind as well. Grizzly and Stewmac both have minimum shipping charges of $8, not sure what Warmoth charges. Buying from as few places as possible will save you more cash.
     
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  4. twocup

    twocup Tele-Meister

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    Is 4' of fretwire enough?
     
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  5. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

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    If I'm very careful with my cutting and radiusing it is enough.
     
  6. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    I never find 2-2' lengths from SM enough because going through my winder I always have to snip off about 2-3" on each end because the bender doesn't bend it consistently end to end. I like to get my wire from LMI because it comes in a continuous 4' coil. With one 4' coil I can easily get a guitar out of it. With 12' I can get about 4 instruments, typically.
     
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  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Don't skimp on the fretwire. Get yourself 6'. Sometimes stuff happens. In fact if you can swing it, get 1 lb. The unit cost is way less and you'll have it for a number of builds.
     
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  8. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

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    I would prefer to stay away from LMII because of they were implicated in Gibson's repeated violations and disregard of international environmental law (don't get me started on Gibson in its current state:twisted:) but if it's worth it being pre-radiused than I am willing to do so.
     
  9. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    There are other places you can get the wire in a coil. Jescar will probably sell it to you that way from their website. I also just bought 6' in 8" pieces from CB Gitty on ebay. Was cheap enough and will be plenty for my baritone build, though the 8" lengths will result in a fair amount of waste as well. I just bought from them because it was cheaper than going with either LMI or SM after factoring in shipping for the one build. I need to buy 12 or 16 feet here at some point so I don't have to worry about it for a while.
     
  10. falcon5romeo

    falcon5romeo Tele-Holic

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    You have no electronics in there. Cheapest I've found is the prewired plates and pickguards. Cost about comes out dead on if you bought them yourself, and they're perfectly soldered and ready to go. I like sigler music, and another guy on reverb does great stuff too, for around $50. Especially handy if you need some non-standard wiring setups.
     
  11. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Just my 2 cents from a beginner builder and player...

    A couple items that may be missing (assuming std. tele style build)...
    • pick guard and screws (is this no pickguard?)
    • 250 k pots ( 1 for volume and 1 for tone)
    • 1/4" output jack
    • 60-40 rosin core solder and wiring
    • shielding paint or copper foil
    • 4 way switch
    • neck plate and screws or ferrules and screws
    • string ferrules
    • strap buttons
    • capacitor
    If you remember to bundle some of these little items in with your orders, you can keep shipping costs down.

    One final thing. Make sure you get a good set of pickups. I'll assume you have opportunities to save since you have an eye on a pricey chunk of cocobolo. So, don't just get the cheapest pickups you can find. Ask for a recommendation on the pickups forum - good pickups don't need to be pricey. I have a guitar with high action, but I play it far more than the other guitars I own because the sound is so good. I attribute this mostly to the pickups I sourced.

    EDIT: Now I've thought of some other things. Do you have the tools for some of this assembly work?

    • fret saw - don't use any old saw that may have a thick blade
    • radius block
    • fret hammer
    • flush trim fret cutters (std. end cutters can be made to work)
    • fret leveling file to bevel the ends
    • fret file to crown after leveling
    • fret end dressing file to smooth the ends
    • fret sanding beam to level frets
    • soldering gun
    Necessity is the mother of invention. You probably don't need all of these tools, but you will need to accomplish all of the tasks that these tools are used for.

    Sorry, I hope I don't sound like I'm lecturing...just saw an opportunity where I might be able to help if everything has not yet been planned.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  12. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This is a YMMV item.

    Check ebay for Chinese made parts. At first I was against all of these but have come around for certain things. On ebay, sort by price low to high.... these Asian ones will be up first and most include shipping. You'll likely have the parts in under 30 days.

    I build a lot of experimental guitars that don't see a lot of use... I'd rather put on a 6 dollar set of tuners than 36 or 96.

    If cost is a concern, these can get you up and running for next to nothing. Everything can be upgraded if and when you want to.

    A chrome control and neck plate ,or bridge plate may not have as many layers of chrome...but they work and are dirt cheap.

    The pots and switches tend to be cheezy but everything else is serviceable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  13. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

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    I have a lot of what you listed. Pickguard? I have a white black white blank, you reminded me about the screws though, those have been on my mind but I have forgot to get them. Pots? I got CTS 250K pots that came with the stewmac premium traditional 3 way wiring kit, which has cloth insulated wires too! Output jack came with premium wiring kit too. I need to buy some lead free solder (unless leaded is important, I have no idea this is my first complete wiring, though I have done soldering before) but as for cavity shielding I have copper shielding with adhesive backing from LMII. I already have the neck screw plate and the screws that come with it, I also have string ferrules. Strap buttons and screws are also already checked. As for caps they also came with the wiring kit. As for leveling the frets I don't have a radius block, though my off campus advisor for this project is a professional luthier. If he is too busy to help me (which may well happen, he does a lot of custom and commission work) his apprentice may be able to help. I was planning on using standard nippers and grinding and honing those into fret end cutters. For the dressing file I was hoping to borrow from advisor or his apprentice. Fret hammer will likely be a rubber ended mallet. As for a fret saw my fingerboard is pre-radiused and slotted, so no problems there. Thanks for the list by the way, you actually did remind me of some things I need to get!
     
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  14. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    You won't need a radius block or fret saw since your board is radiused and slotted already.

    Sounds like you are well on your way. Enjoy!
     
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  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have always sanded my radiused fretboard with a radiused sanding block.... :) I suspect I'm not the only one....
     
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  16. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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  17. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Why do you sand a pre radiused board?
    Do they move a bit before install?
     
  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If I remember correctly, originally they were milled with a shaper cutter and came with mill marks. The wood can move and often does in different environments. When you glue it down to the neck material, often they have to be trued up again after it all acclimates.
     
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  19. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    List looks alright to me. My only comment will be that when I've cheaped out on pickups, I've ended up upgrading them again soon after. Now I just dive in and get the good ones from the get go.
     
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  20. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt TDPRI Member

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    I highly recommend buying off eBay from a seller named BezDez.

    A lot of other folks on this forum will agree with me.

    They've got just about everything you need, and it's all really cheap.

    Most of the parts are made in Korea, and are actually quite nice. He's based in Canada, and is super reasonable on shipping costs. If you order a bunch of stuff, and send him a message before hand, he will combine shipping, and only charge you for the shipping charges of one item.
     
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