I present….the Bellacaster

joeismyname

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 5, 2009
Posts
162
Age
33
Location
Lexington, KY
This beauty (below) was painted by my amazingly talented daughter, Isabella and dubbed the “Bellacaster”, even with a custom water slide decal. I told her, “just paint whatever comes to mind”.

Finish is 4 coats of zinnser BIN primer, and my daughter used high quality POSCA paint pens for the artwork. I sealed it up with 4 pretty decent coats of minwax semi-gloss laquer. By no means at all am I an expert on finishes, but this seemed to get the job done.

I assembled this beauty out of a cheap kit from Amazon; the Leo Jaymz T-style kit, $95.00 and free shipping. Only used the neck and body though (planned from the beginning to do this, I can’t speak to the parts and hardware, bridge actually looked pretty solid though, just not ashtray or brass saddles).

Neck needed some nut work and unfortunately had the slightest twist which I compensated at the heel joint. Neck actually plays rather well in spite of it and has very light oil finish to my liking, but obviously with the slight twist you get what you pay for, I will see how it holds up. Frets seems fine for the most part, just not polished and a little gritty on the first bends.

I shaped the headstock from some kind of 80’s inspiration just to be different, and the bottom is grooved out for extra texture and dimension. I realized it looks kind of like an old Peavy headstock, but I like the vibe.

Body was a very nice 3 piece mahogany, and guitar has good balance. It even came humbucker routed, however the bridge route was slightly small for a true tele bridge pickup and I had to take a little more out with my Makita. Control plate was also only routed for the dime sized pots the guitar kit came with, had to widen that as well to fit fender sized pots.

Have a musiclilly bone nut that is great, Guyker locking tuners seem decent, not quite Gotoh, but good enough for, say, decent MIM quality of tuner, and Wilkenson ashtray bridge with brass compensated saddles seems solid (but again, not quite the Joe Barden ashtray bridge I used to have, but still gets the job done). I kept the knobs and control plate from the kit.

Pickups are GFS Gold Foil single coil alnico 5 for tele bridge, and humbucker encased single coil gold foil in the neck, and they actually sounds pretty amazing and unique to my ears with GFS 500k pots and 3 way switch. Very spanky, jangly, and clear. No shortage of tele twang in bridge, jangle in the middle position, or blues/jazz in the neck, and they have a certain warmth as well. 500k Pots are also very smooth with great sweep on both tone and volume. I like them the overall more than my MIM pots on my 60th anniversary Nashville tele.

Still in need of set up for action/relief, and a couple things like string trees and strap buttons still need to go on. However, even with high action and a little more than desired relief, this guitar plays well and has great tone.

Check it out!

D1828A67-F5BE-4182-BA2F-C9095454B148.jpeg


With the rest of the family:

444C6907-D2E8-4A8D-8DC5-21494176C60E.jpeg

(Missing is my heavily modded Squire Affinity I gave to my son)
 

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joeismyname

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 5, 2009
Posts
162
Age
33
Location
Lexington, KY
Your daughter outdid herself. That’s beautiful and completely unique.
I knew she would, she is ridiculously talented, incredible at drawing Anime and is a DEEP feeler and thinker. I’ve always wanted to start building and I thought, “what better way for a first kit bulld than to have Isabella paint the guitar”. I had full faith in her, she is special.
 

ThatTele335Guy

TDPRI Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2022
Posts
13
Age
42
Location
California
This beauty (below) was painted by my amazingly talented daughter, Isabella and dubbed the “Bellacaster”, even with a custom water slide decal. I told her, “just paint whatever comes to mind”.

Finish is 4 coats of zinnser BIN primer, and my daughter used high quality POSCA paint pens for the artwork. I sealed it up with 4 pretty decent coats of minwax semi-gloss laquer. By no means at all am I an expert on finishes, but this seemed to get the job done.

I assembled this beauty out of a cheap kit from Amazon; the Leo Jaymz T-style kit, $95.00 and free shipping. Only used the neck and body though (planned from the beginning to do this, I can’t speak to the parts and hardware, bridge actually looked pretty solid though, just not ashtray or brass saddles).

Neck needed some nut work and unfortunately had the slightest twist which I compensated at the heel joint. Neck actually plays rather well in spite of it and has very light oil finish to my liking, but obviously with the slight twist you get what you pay for, I will see how it holds up. Frets seems fine for the most part, just not polished and a little gritty on the first bends.

I shaped the headstock from some kind of 80’s inspiration just to be different, and the bottom is grooved out for extra texture and dimension. I realized it looks kind of like an old Peavy headstock, but I like the vibe.

Body was a very nice 3 piece mahogany, and guitar has good balance. It even came humbucker routed, however the bridge route was slightly small for a true tele bridge pickup and I had to take a little more out with my Makita. Control plate was also only routed for the dime sized pots the guitar kit came with, had to widen that as well to fit fender sized pots.

Have a musiclilly bone nut that is great, Guyker locking tuners seem decent, not quite Gotoh, but good enough for, say, decent MIM quality of tuner, and Wilkenson ashtray bridge with brass compensated saddles seems solid (but again, not quite the Joe Barden ashtray bridge I used to have, but still gets the job done). I kept the knobs and control plate from the kit.

Pickups are GFS Gold Foil single coil alnico 5 for tele bridge, and humbucker encased single coil gold foil in the neck, and they actually sounds pretty amazing and unique to my ears with GFS 500k pots and 3 way switch. Very spanky, jangly, and clear. No shortage of tele twang in bridge, jangle in the middle position, or blues/jazz in the neck, and they have a certain warmth as well. 500k Pots are also very smooth with great sweep on both tone and volume. I like them the overall more than my MIM pots on my 60th anniversary Nashville tele.

Still in need of set up for action/relief, and a couple things like string trees and strap buttons still need to go on. However, even with high action and a little more than desired relief, this guitar plays well and has great tone.

Check it out!

View attachment 1023338

With the rest of the family:

View attachment 1023340
(Missing is my heavily modded Squire Affinity I gave to my son)
 

ThatTele335Guy

TDPRI Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2022
Posts
13
Age
42
Location
California
This is awesome and such a brilliant idea! Both of my daughters hate the color pink and I almost got a shell pink tele as a nod to them until they said otherwise.
Perhaps letting my 7 and 9 year old go crazy on a partcaster build would be a way cooler alternative .. either way that bellacaster rules!
 

4pickupguy

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 12, 2013
Posts
12,815
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Very cool! I love the hand painted thing in general because they are all unique and convey something about the players personality.
 




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