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Honey Locust Flamed Maple Tele

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Speedy454, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    In July 2012 I cut a huge honey locust out of my woods. It had been lightning struck several times and was just about done for. Most went to firewood, but I did cut some slabs to experiment with.

    Here is one of 2 guitars that I ended up with...

    I started with 2 slabs of locust, slide matched, about 1 7/8 thick.
     

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  2. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    Locust is hard, heavy and resonate. Far too heavy for a solid body. I shopped around and found a book matched 3/8 thick AA flamed maple top set for a decent price. I thought I might just try a semi hollow body.
     

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  3. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    Being a rank amateur beginner, I still use the band saw and a sanding drum in the drill press to shape the body. I routed to within 3/4 or so on the sides and left about 1/2" thickness on the back. In hindsight, I wish I had taken out more.
     

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  4. Bagman67

    Bagman67 Tele-Meister

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    That lumber is a lovely shade of yellow. Looking forward to seeing this come together.
     
  5. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    I cut the maple to match and used my pattern cutter to trim after gluing the top on. This is why a man can never have too many clamps!
     

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  6. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    Weight of the solid slab, cut to shape was 8# 12oz with no cutouts, 1 7/8 thick.
    I ran it through the planer until the combo of back and top would be 1 7/8. Weight of the routed slab was 4# 140z, much more acceptable. After gluing on the top, before routing for pickups and neck, it was back up to 5# 10oz. Like I said. I wish I had hogged out more.
     
  7. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    The flamed maple looks very nice for a AA grade. Honey locust grain has open pores, very similar to ash. It is very hard, but sands nicely with good power tools. Taking the body to 320 grit was a pleasure. It had an excellent feel when bare.
     

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  8. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    Being open grained, Z-Poxy finishing resin was applied to seal the pores. I applied to the maple as well just to even out the coloration. As can be seen, the Z-Poxy finishing resin really makes the grain POP! But that is just my personal preference. With all of the body routs done, the weight was almost exactly 5#. Did I mention I should have hogged out more? I put on a small tummy cut for my not so small tummy. I went with rear loaded controls, and planned on no pick guard.

    HH rout for "something completely different" as DiMarzio puts it. I have too many PAF clone guitars and too many conventional single coil guitars.
     

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  9. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    I selected a bare rosewood neck from OGC. I like their necks over Mighty Mite, and are only slightly higher in cost. I finished it in about a dozen coats of Tru Oil applied over a few weeks. I ended up polishing it to a nice gloss. I may de gloss it in the future.
     
  10. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    After letting the final Z-poxy cure for a few days, I laid on a coat of Behlen's vinyl sealer as a barrier. Then after a couple days 2 thin coats of Minwax lacquer. I nub sanded that and let it sit a couple days. Then came the tint. A mix of Transtint brown mahogany, red mahogany and amber, mixed in 25% Minwax lacquer 75% lacquer thinner. I sprayed until I liked the color and let it sit overnight. I checked it in the bright sunlight the next day for flaws or uneven spots. All looked good, so on to the clear coats.

    I have has some issues lately with operator error, so I went lighter and slower than the typical 3 coats per day for 3 days routine. I went 2 light coats per day for 4 days. But my light coats are probably your wet coats.

    28 days later, block with 800, 1200, 1500 then buff with Meguires Ultimate then Meguires Scratch X.

    I can see some of you cringe in your chairs. Yes, scratch X. Silicone and all.
     

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  11. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    In go the DiMarzio Bluesbuckers, 500K audio pots with pull switches, switchcraft Gibson style switch, switchcraft jack and electra socket jack holder. The bridge is a nice solid slab of chromed brass with stainless steel saddles. Unfortunately, the lacquer chipped as I inserted the string ferrules. I hate it when that happens. I tapered the holes to provide a lead in, but they chipped anyway.
     

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  12. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    Neck on, strings on, intonation set, string height set, intonation reset, time to play! I noticed as I tightened the neck that a small chip of lacquer popped off the neck pocket area. I love a tight joint, but I hate it when that happens!
     

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  13. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    Now for the important stuff. How does it sound?

    I have PAF humbucker guitars. I have telecasters. I have a strat. I have 2 P90 guitars.

    This doesn't really sound like any of them.

    These P90 type pickups in a 25 1/2" scale guitar really brighten up. The bridge is not as bright as a Tele, but far brighter than a P90 in a 24 3/4 scale. Clear, articulate, and a nice bit of growl with an overdrive pedal.

    Mid position is pretty. Similar to a Tele middle, but not quite.

    Neck is half between a Tele neck and a Strat neck. Excellent for bluesy riffs. Again clean, clear and very articulate. Neck overdrives nicely also. Since these are humbuckers, they are dead quiet. Being wax potted, again, dead quiet at high volume levels. I don'y find a huge difference in single coil mode. A little more treble, ever so slightly less volume. But that is the way these are designed. The screw coil does all the work, and very low winds on the slug coil are for the hum reduction only.

    That being said, DiMarzio says they are very position sensitive. I may flip the bridge pickup to place the screw coil towards the neck just to see how that sounds. They claim that position will yield the closest P90 tone from the bridge.
     
  14. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    So why did I post it all at one time?

    Simple. As a rank amateur, some of my projects end up as kindling.

    In this case, I built 2 at the same time. Both actually turned out. I was stunned!

    This one has similar design features but a shape of my own design.
    Locust back, semi hollowed, but a douglas fir top 9/16 thick and contoured similar to a LP.

    It has a Washburn neck I picked up cheap, Gibson Burstbucker 1 & 2 set and adjustable stop bar. The finishing was the same as the Tele, using the same tint, but slightly less for more of a burst.

    How does it sound?

    It has sustain for days. Like a LP. The 25" scale and the BB1 and BB2 go very well together. Ever so slightly more treble than a LP, ever so slightly less mud that a LP. Probably like a BB1 and BB2 in an import PRS, if you can imagine that.
     

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  15. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    Just a couple more...


    Unfortunately the reflections don't allow the grain on the back to show. The honey locust has a similar grain to ash, but a little tighter.

    Even though it is very hard and very heavy, I found the Honey Locust quite nice to work with. It planes slick as glass, joints to an edge that will cut your hand, sands dead flat (except the pores) and glues well. IF you are a tap tone guy, it has a very lively and bright sound when struck or dropped during handling.

    It does not splinter easily either. It routed very cleanly with inexpensive Grizzly carbide cutters. As hard as it is, I had no issues with accidental dents as I worked it. The only drawback is the weight.
     

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  16. midget bar

    midget bar Tele-Meister

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    those are some great looking guitars. I was thinking you were going to go with a more transparent finish to show off the maple top, but it looks great with the darker brown.
     
  17. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very nice finish speedy. I've subscribed to this thread as I'm about to do something very similar with my Affinity Tele.
     
  18. mcsmitty

    mcsmitty Tele-Meister

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    Those are gorgeous. The neck bolts on that second one are beautiful. The neck bolts, for chrissake.

    Also, most "custom shapes" I see are cringeworthy, but yours is something special. Echoes of Mosrite and Parker in the shape. Very nice.
     
  19. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the comments. Stew Mac sells those cup inserts for the neck bolts. The bolts themselves are hardware store 10-24 stainless machine screws cut to length. I chuck them in my drill and spin them, wiping the head with 220, 320, 400, 600, 800 then use the polishing felt pad on my dremel. I spin the head against the spinning felt. Shines it like a mirror. It sounds like a PITA, but I can do a set in under 5 min. total. And those hardware store bolts are cheap and easy to get. I put 10-24 thread brass inserts in the neck for a good solid tight fit.
     
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