Interesting Discussion with Brian May for "Tele Home Depot" fans

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Jim_in_PA, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    This new video just posted is very interesting about how Brian May designed and built his "Red Special" back in the 1960s from what he had available and with hand tools. It's a nice ten minute filler while we all distance ourselves physically from others while the glue on our latest builds dry. :) It's amazing that his original guitar has had very little done to it over the years, too.

     
  2. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a good interview. I have the book about that guitar. It's a very cool instrument.
     
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  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    There was a build thread at OLF last summer where the author was trying to duplicate the Red Special. Unfortunately it petered out about half way thru - don't know if it never got finished or just didn't get documented. Jim, you would enjoy the cnc part

    http://luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10123&t=51733
     
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  4. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Holic

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    I know the guy who sold him the templates. I've been on the Brian May forums since the bbs days.

    Thos templates are a strange bird. They are very holistically and completely well designed. But also wholly inaccurate.

    It will look like Brian's guitar from a distance. But up close it will be off. Not as bad as a 50's hofner from a strat, but off.

    I've been away from thoee forums for almost V 10 years so catching up on the latest developments s in nce that book came out.

    Glad the quarantine came when it did.

    I'm free handing mine with the usual routers, drill press and band saw.

    But this time I'm taking the time to draw my plans from files of the x-rays I've had for years.

    What people also dont know is that John Page from FCS was tasked to build replicas at one point and drew up plans including the correct body shape. I have the result of those plans, later modified with the knowledge of the x-rays.

    Another forumite who came just days after me was friends with Page. I have him on FB. What a fount of wisdom when it comes to finishing...amazing.

    Meanwhile Those templates are off, mainly on the outer body shape. Not by much and Matt Wickham did do a fantastic job of getting all the lines so that only fellow forumite would know they are off.

    I have those templates and they are well made and well constructed.

    Once I'm done with my plans, correctly traced from bodies made with the xray-augmented Page plans, I will make them freely available here. Most of the cats there are in love with cnc. Cant really blame them.. it's the world they grew up in and tools arent really their thing. No shop class.

    I'm doing my build as closely as I can with hand tools and basic shop tools, so only a little more augmented than what Brian and Harold actually used.

    Rick Hubka's build thread is genius though. What a meticulous guy.

    I just feel bad. He's 90% of the way there, even with a completed build. His shape will be inaccurate though in places with few visual landmarks, so only an expert could tell.

    But for 1100 bux and all that hard work, it should be right. Perfect.

    Newb
     
  5. rexhunta

    rexhunta TDPRI Member

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    It's actually a snippet from an older Rig Rundown that they have just reuploaded. That's the full video there from 2015.
     
  6. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I actually have PDF plans for it that I scarfed from "somewhere" on the net last year. They were done by a guy named Peter Blix. The physical guitar should be relatively doable by most folks, but to setup the electrical stuff would be "fun". He has several instruments "build similarly" that he has for touring to supplement this one. The guitar with the f-hole in the video is just one of them. There's a whole longer gear review with his tech that was posted a while back.

    This one should be pretty doable with CNC, too.At least the body. There is a neck angle and the headstock is angled. I'm "not there yet" for those things and would probably have to do the neck "more traditionally".

    Interestingly, the one thing that made me mentally say "kewel" while watching this was the zero-fret...something I'm finding to be a very interesting thing for some reason as I plan some of my future fun and games.
     
  7. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Ah...that longer one is the one I referenced! It was also very interesting.
     
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  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    The thing that I found a bit ironic about the OLF thread was that, as I understand it, the original Red Special was built with some pretty simple tools and materials. The guy trying to duplicate it is using every bit of technology he can get.
     
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  9. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    "Only Brian sounds like Brian"
     
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  10. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    that was a very interesting summary of his rig. I love Brian's sound, and he's one of the reasons why I started building guitars a few years back. Mind you, I can't play like him, nor can I build like him!

    But I love the Red Special, it has a unique look and sound to it, immediately Brian May.

    I got around to building two RS inspired guitars, but none of that complexity. Still, switch off-phase and zero-fret, hell yes!

    Cheers,

    Alberto
     
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  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Thanks!
     
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  12. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Holic

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    The neck is 1.5 degrees. The headstock is 4 degrees
     
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  13. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Wow...he (Brian May) is such a smart and personable guy. I've done some things, but a PhD in Astrophysics (I believe) and the musical scope of this guy are beyond me...he's a superhero. Plainly it ran in the family as he spoke of his Dad helping with the guitar project...what a treat to have something so full of memories and working so well!
     
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  14. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Brian stated in the video that he only had hand tools and because there was little or no money available, most materials were scrounged. The neck blank came from a fireplace mantle. :) He points out the worm holes he filled with toothpicks on the back near the heel. :D It sounded like the body was also an interesting conglomeration in the original creation, too. So scrounging was a thing...kinda like the. current "Brotherhood Builds" here for many folks.
     
  15. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    great thread
     
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  16. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Super cool. That is kind of the ultimate father/son project. What a legacy!
     
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  17. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yea, Daddy May is undoubtedly looking down from "out there" and saying (in a British accent obviously) "Holy...{insert expletive here}" :) :D
     
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  18. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Scrounging is right. That’s all I got now with this lockdown! Managed to get a couple of last minute pieces for other projects.

    Re the Brotherhood and scrounging - I was cleaning my main shop area yesterday, and found some bits of wood which I think are perfect for my BH build. Woo hoo!
     
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  19. koen

    koen Friend of Leo's

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    Thank goodness!
     
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  20. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

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    Absolutely, but I had an early 60's Burns Sonic once, all mahogany body and neck, same pickups that Brian used, came bloody close through a cranked amp!

    upload_2020-3-25_21-8-10.png
     
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