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Introduction & first DIY guitar

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by tklaavo, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    503
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Location:
    Finland
    Hello all good people,

    I've been reading this forum since last summer and been really impressed by the incredible skills and good spirit people show here.

    I wanted to build myself a tele. My grandfather passed away last summer and left a woodworking shop, where he spent most of his time while retired doing all kinds of things, mostly furniture and other useful stuff. I started learning to build a guitar, and it was also a nice reason to visit my grandmother, who is 85 and lives alone.

    Some good tools in grandad's shop include an excellent handheld Festo router, a Scheppach jointer/planer (not wide enough for one-piece bodies though). There's also a small table saw, a bandsaw and a drill press, they're not in so good condition though. But more than enough to get started. And a ton of hand tools as well.

    I read a couple of books and a hundred build threads here, then started to build templates and jigs and gather special tools and parts. My dad had some old pine and I got it for free, so a pinecaster was my first goal. It took three attempts to get a body that was good enough. I got a cheap neck from eBay, and had good luck - it was nice and fat just the way I like. Other parts I got from here and there. The two bodies that didn't quite make it, are probably going to be transformed to some other shaped guitars sometime.

    I only learn by making mistakes… But now I have this:

    [​IMG]

    This iPhone photo is bad, but the guitar isn't really good for close ups.. It has dozens of cosmetic faults, but plays perfectly. For the first time I have a guitar I really want to play. And I love the colour. The finish is uneven, the pickguard does not fit too well, the jack plate is really not tele-style.. I don't mind.

    So far I have learned how to put a guitar together, dress frets, make a bone nut with individual string compensation, do the wiring etc. As you can guess, I have other builds going on, and will post them when I know they will turn out as useful guitars.

    I'm also planning to join the 2012 challenge, if I have the time. Already have an idea.

    I really want to learn this, and this forum is the best resource I've found. Big thanks to everyone who have shared their builds!
     
  2. Henry

    Henry Tele-Holic

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    Australia
    Sweet. Your Grandad would be proud.
     
  3. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    8,900
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    Location:
    Long Island NY
    Welcome aboard tk , nice looking guitar you made yourself there. Looking forward to seeing more from you.
     
  4. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

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    London, England
    That looks nice - lovely colour.
     
  5. HOBBSTER01

    HOBBSTER01 Friend of Leo's

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    Ringgold, Ga.
    Welcome
    Nice Tele
     
  6. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks, he probably would. When grandmother saw the guitar she said "well that's looks just like a guitar from a store".. I doubt she's ever seen an electric guitar before. But I take it as a compliment anyway.

    Grandad was a real DIY man. He started with nothing in the 40's - after the war Finland lost some territories to Soviet Union, and he had to move away from his home village with nothing. He worked as a mason for his whole life, and made a good living for the family.

    His workshop / garage building has played a part in my guitar hobby in the past as well: When he was building it, I was helping him as my first "summer job" in the late 80's. He paid me generously, and I bought my first guitar.
     
  7. whodatpat

    whodatpat Friend of Leo's

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    Jul 21, 2007
    Location:
    College Park MD
    It is a great feeling to use something you made from scratch. But it is the process of building guitars that I have fallen in love with because it reminds me of helping dad in his workshop.
    By the way a LOT of the builds posted here are loaded with flaws the builder could point out and a guitarist would never see.
     
  8. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    503
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks, I will post more when there is something to show. Projects I have:

    - a Les Paul JR double cut -style thing, made entirely of thermo-treated ash. It has some modifications, such as shorter neck, probably two different pickups, a thinner body etc. This one is really shaped by my mistakes, but will be unique at least. It seems a never-ending project at the moment - already trashed one neck
    - a basswood tele from scratch (actually Tilia Cordata to be accurate)
    - (in the future) a Duo-Sonic shaped after my brother's '71 Music Master - the neck is in the works already
    - (in the future) a self-designed offset body guitar modified from one of my faulty tele bodies inspired by THIS mod.
    - something special for the 2012 challenge is brewing in my mind as well

    It really is the process that causes addiction..
     
  9. tnt423

    tnt423 Tele-Meister

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    489
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    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    StLouis area
    Very nice, you have no idea how advanced that looks. Way beyond my first attempt.
    Welcome to the addiction.:p
     
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