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How hard is it for an average idiot (like me) to build a partscaster?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by SurfaceNoises, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    I completely agree. I find it isn't worth the trouble to build a partscaster. It's much easier to fix up a cheap guitar.
     
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  2. SDFD18

    SDFD18 TDPRI Member

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    Never discount yourself. Instead assure yourself, you can accomplish anything.
     
  3. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, its a partscaster so its right there in the name. If you buy good parts you are just assembling it it will be just fine. A pre-drilled body made to Fender specs, a neck made to Fender specs (I like Allparts), some good pickups and a control panel (either in parts or pre-assembled) will go together really easily. A Brand X neck might not fit a Brand Y body, so do your homework before buying, but generally Fender related products all intermingle just fine.

    Soldering, especially guitar level soldering, you can get pretty decent at in an afternoon. Just buy some electronics parts (at the UK equivalent of Radio Shak) and solder away till you feel like you've got the hang of it.

    It's very easy stuff. Don't skimp on the neck and don't skimp on the pickups. The feel of the neck, the quality of the pickups and the precision of the nut are the biggest things to me. If cutting your own nut is beyond you, you can get a pre-made one or you could take your finished guitar to a tech to have them fit a nut on it and do a setup.

    You can slap together a good partscaster in an afternoon.

    A great partscaster may take some more experience and time. But even that is doable if you're patient and well researched. Pretty much every step of building a guitar or amp has been well covered in TDPRI threads somewhere so if you get stuck on anything, chances are there is an answer for you.

    I built a Quarantine Strat a few months ago and was particularly adventurous so I painted it and did the nut myself. It is the best playing guitar I have, but it was a lot of work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
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  4. Fuelish

    Fuelish Tele-Holic

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    Can you? Sure, depending on you idea of a partscaster....soldering isn't hard, and the rest of it, unless you're talking about buying a rsndom body and a random neck, is pretty straightforward, usually. Just take your time, as hard as it may be, and be precise. I've yet to attempt this so far, so, guess it's easy for me to say. Have fun!!!
     
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  5. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    I picked up a pine body from this ebayer and am super impressed. Delivered for $59.

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=114628848262

    Pine is soft and doesn't take stain all that well. All I did was rattle can shellac it, very easy. These pics were taken during the process, the finished product looks better but not perfect. I wasn't going for perfect. The neck is a WD licensed by fender. I got it from stratosphere on ebay for around $110. The routes and everything on this body are very good, everything lined up correctly and the neck fit good and the neck angle was correct. Sometimes cheap bodies are all messed up and nothing lines up right. Not the case with this pine body. I highly recommend it.
    image (22).jpg image (21).jpg image (23).jpg image (20).jpg IMG_2238.jpg
     
  6. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    I put the shellac on heavy that last coat, let dry, wet sanded the orange peel out, then 0000 steel wool with wax to shine it up.
     
  7. SurfaceNoises

    SurfaceNoises TDPRI Member

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    Right on! I like this attitude. Nice one.
     
  8. SurfaceNoises

    SurfaceNoises TDPRI Member

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    This is a great strategy. Good idea! Thanks.
     
  9. SurfaceNoises

    SurfaceNoises TDPRI Member

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    T
    Your Strat is ace! Reminds me of That Pedal Show. Seriously impressive. And thanks for the generous response. I’ve bookmarked your links. I’m starting to feel excited! Have had loads of teles over the years but always wanted to have my own. I’m gonna give it a go.
     
    JuneauMike likes this.
  10. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've built several guitars, mostly from Warmoth parts. As others have said, Warmoth parts fit together perfectly, and you can usually get away without having to do any fret or nut work (although it probably won't be perfect, it should be close enough).

    One problem though is that Warmoth pushes their compound radius, and that's what's on the vast majority of their 'showcase' necks (already built, ready to ship). It's something to think about before you just jump on board with the idea. A compound radius will require a flatter radius at the bridge. The string height relative to the pickup pole peices will be different, and you may have to swap out the saddle adjustment screws.
     
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  11. Dereksys38

    Dereksys38 Tele-Meister

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    I've built two, the second being MUCH better than the first, you can see an improvement with each one. It's a very fun(and expensive) process, but it has its ups and downs. Some small stuff can get very nerve racking, and being careless about another small part might lead to a whole different mess. I HIGHLY recommend a pre-made neck, and if you could afford it, a body too. Especially for your first one. Building an Esquire is easier but if you really want a Tele, go for it! Just keep your expectations grounded, that makes it a lot more fun.:)
     
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  12. Despres

    Despres Tele-Afflicted

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    I got two bodies from the same seller recently and they both look pretty good - given the item description, I was expecting more sanding than I am now planning to do.
     
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  13. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    One thing you have going for you is this place. You have access to many experienced builders to help answer questions and solve problems. Go for it.
     
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  14. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    I bought the parts for the Strat in 2008-2010. They sat around for a couple of years until I had the courage to put it together. It has a new MIM Fender neck bought from one of the US eBay sellers who dissemble new guitars and sell the parts. Fender tuners, Lace Alumitone pickups, Pots and switch were taken from a Squier standard, I think it is a Gotoh bridge, not sure what the body is I bought it in a job lot of components from the States. All in it cost me under £250. I just bolted it together, made a handful of solder joints, set the intonation and played it. it was not perfect, but workable. A year or so later having spent many hours reading threads on here and watchin YouTube videos I gave it a better set up and now it really plays well.

    A couple of years later I bought the loaded engraved body. This time all I had to do was buy and fit the neck and a set of Wilkinson tuners. This one cost me about £300 in all, and by now I knew how to do a set up.

    The following year a loaded Fender American Deluxe body came my way, It did not have the S-1 switching or noiseless pickups, but was fitted with a set of Toneriders. I bought a Mighty Mite V profiled neck and Wilkinson locking tuners, and again for under £300 have a really nice guitar.

    The black Fender 80's MIJ was bought as a partscaster, though I did fit the scratchplate and a set of Toneriders to replace the faulty Fender Japan pickups it came with.

    I have not had to apply finish to the bodies or necks. Maybe one day I will give it a go, but not yet.

    I did have the advantage of having dissembled lots of guitars. About twenty years ago when my daughters were teenagers they bought used Squier Strats, stripped them and sold the parts on eBay. One guitar a month would earn about the same as working every Saturday in the local supermarket, and they learned a handful of technical and business skills along the way. I have bought a set of nut files (~£80) but so far have not needed to use them.

    It is not difficult to put together a playable partscaster. A bit trickier to get a well playing guitar out of it, but if you are careful you can strt with something playable and improve it step by step as your skills improve. There is no shortage of advice here to help you achieve it.

    upload_2021-2-10_23-9-48.jpeg
     
  15. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 Tele-Meister

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  16. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    I am building one as we speak. See the parts list below. I'll keep you posted as the neck is 3 months out. I don't think it will be too difficult but I do have my guitar tech as a lifeline. Wish me luck.

    Body Warmoth One Piece Swamp Ash 475.00
    Neck Warmoth Quartersawn Maple 359.00
    Pickups TV Jones T-Armond Soapbar 340.00
    Bridge Schaller 3D-6 96.80
    Potentiometers Bourn 300K Long Bushing 51.14
    Tuning Machines Schaller M6 39.99
    Three Way Switch CRL EP-0075-000 25.65
    Strap Buttons Schaller S-Locks 24.78
    Control Knobs Schaller Volume/Tone 22.03
    Neck Mounting Plate Stew-Mac Standard Tele 15.37
    Strings D'Addario .011-.049 Medium 12.99
    String Tree Graph Tech PT700400 11.60
    Jack Mount Stew-Mac Electro-Socket 9.80
    Capacitors Orange Drop .047uF, .001uF 7.00
    Output Jack Switchcraft Long Thread 5.01
    Copper Tape Stew-Mac # 0028 4.51
    Misc Screws Stew-Mac # 0035-B 3.85
    Treble Bleed Resistor Stew-Mac 150K 1.00
    Wire Belden WIR-HRNES 0.75
     
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  17. NC E30

    NC E30 TDPRI Member

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    It depends on your reason for wanting to build. If it is to learn to work on guitars and have something cool that you put together, go for it. Be prepared to make some mistakes along the way. The idea of getting a cheap tele copy to take apart and learn on is a great idea before you start putting one together from parts.

    If you are doing it to save money, don't bother. It will cost you way more than you expect.

    There are some great resources on this site to help you build, read some of Ron Kirn's posts, he has shared a ton of useful information here about guitar setup. Get a soldering iron and practice on some throwaway electronics. The key to soldering is keeping the tip of your iron clean. One of the brass cleaning sponges will help with that. Also, don't waste your time with lead free solder, it will lead to frustration.

    Having said all of this, it only applies if you know which end of a screwdriver (or soldering iron) to hold. If you truly are a wally (whatever that is) as you say, you may want to buy a partscaster that someone else has put together and taken the financial hit on.
     
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  18. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    the right aptitude and realizing there are no short cuts will give you the end result required.
     
  19. clayfeat

    clayfeat Tele-Afflicted

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    At only 14 posts I can tell right now you aren't ready for this. Ask again when you are mid-triple digits. Buy a soldering iron. Practice on a toaster or George Foreman Grill. Once you have perfected those skills, then and only then is it even conceivable that you should consider a Partscaster build. We are here to help. Don't be discouraged. You are the brave...the few...the one who dares to build a dream machine. Piece by piece....solder joint by dripping solder joint......we salute you.....and honestly ENVY you.
    Dare to dream! Do IT!!!!
     
  20. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Holic

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    I taught myself how to solder putting Lace Sensors into my first Strat. If 17 year old dumbass me could figure it out, you'll be fine.
     
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