J-Caster: Father-son parts build

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by mo62987, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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    Lurked around here for a while now... just recently actually joined the forum. This has been complete since ~mid January but just now taking the time for a build report!

    Back in summer last year I finally managed to muster up the courage (and the $$$) to tackle a tele parts build. Was able to include my son on most things, which was both awesome and frustrating (he is only 3!). The goal is to one day give him this guitar when he starts to learn to play! His name is James… I’ve been affectionately referring to this as the J-caster.

    Wanted to do the majority of the work myself minus actually cutting the body and building the neck from scratch - don't have the tools or experience base for that. Didn't want to end up with an un-playable hunk of wood after investing all that time and effort.

    Pre-cut body from ebay seller taurowoodworks. I have no affiliation with tauro, but fully recommend his guitar bodies. I bought a pre-routed, 2-piece ash tele for like 50 bucks +shipping... a little fine sanding in the neck pocket and the Allparts neck fit like a glove. Also had to cut the channel for the heel truss rod adjustment. No big deal, just some careful dremel work.
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    Grain filling is kinda nasty work
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    Neck is finished with a few coats of vintage amber ColorTone stain and Tru oil. Then #0000 steel wool for a nice satin feel. Man it feels like buttah.

    First lesson learned: VINTAGE amber, and plain ol' Amber are two VERY different colors. That junk is downright yellow. Pics below are the correct color.
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    Initial bridge and neck alignment before paint (pay no attention to the pink yarn i used to line it up [​IMG]) and vintage tuners.
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    Second lesson learned: Buy a pre-finished body :D! Or at least have the right equipment for a proper spray.
    After all the level sanding, grain-filling, sealer coats, more sanding, etc. I got the first couple color coats on and realized I did a poor job of filling the grain. Oh it was bad.
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    Sanded the body down and re-filled. Took this one for the team and did it by myself during naptime... i think J had had enough sanding for a 3 yr old's attention span.
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    Actually kinda like the way it looked after sanding the black down cause it left the grain a bit darker and more pronounced where the paint sunk in. If I didn’t already own a natural tele, I prob would have lightly stained it, shot some clear, and called it a day. But it just HAD to be black!
    Used the StewMac rattle can nitro. After that experience, if I don’t buy a finished body next time, I’ll prob just go with the Dupli-color, stain, or something else less finicky. The can spits a lot (even following all the “pro tips” from StewMac) and takes way too much babying at each step. Took about 2 months after this to get color coats on again. Day job got super busy and it was hot as blue blazes with 100% humidity in Alabama… makes it tough to get paint on and cured. (No pics of the 2nd paint process)


    Finish is still FAR from perfect, ended up with some imperfections from the spitting and still didn't completely cover the grain. Probably could have used a few more coats of color, but that canned nitro is expensive, and i used up a good bit on the first failed attempt. But from a few feet away, it passes as decent. It’s a really thin coat of nitro, so I’m sure it will “relic” pretty quickly. But it might just end up as a total refin job in the not-too-distant future. Also gashed the back pretty bad when installing the ferrules… soldering iron got away from me. But it's around where you’d normally see buckle rash, so I’m letting it slide in hopes that it will blend in with the normal wear over time. Also didn't buff it or anything, wanted more of a satin finish than super glossy
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    Final fitup of all hardware and pups. I might regret mounting the neck pup to the body instead of the guard, but I like the clean look with no screws showing through the guard. Once i get the initial height set up, it shouldn't be a deal at all.
    The Porter 9T set, F-hole style tort guard, and black body are just really doing it for me!
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    Oh, and somewhere in there I wired the thing up… 4-way switching on this one. Had to open it back up and fix a wiring mistake I made. Also just noticed as i was posting this that i installed the control plate backwards for the fitup. I'm not a huge fan of the reversed plates on teles... i think the controls make more sense where Leo put 'em in the first place (just my opinion).

    After this was just some tedious non pic-worthy type stuff... Got it set up pretty close to how i wanted it, but still took it to a real tech to get the final setup.

    Here's the goods (terrible lighting):
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    PixMix, RodeoTex, santiago53 and 10 others like this.
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    That's a nice Northern Ash body ( I'm assuming it's not swamp ash). I'm glad to hear you are a satisfied Tauro customer. He took a beating here a while ago for some poor customer service on a couple sales. He is local to me and I guess I'm an advocate for him even though we've never met. I get tempted to buy one of his bodies every once in a while as they are so cheap, and he gets the wood at the same place I do. LOL.
     
  3. Billnchristy

    Billnchristy Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks great! Cool project.
     
  4. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

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    Awesome! I have been very slowly building one for my son as well. He is 8 and is also a J.

    Stalled out at drilling the bridge screw holes, so if you have any tips for getting them positioned, I am all ears.

    Love the hybrid guard. I think it looks great. And I love the visible grain.
     
  5. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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    You would be correct! Yeah I'm not aware of the tauro issues, but it was a quick turnaround, great price, and everything fit great! His eBay site has been empty now for a while though. Says he's filling back orders, so maybe i just happened to catch him during a slow time.

    It's really a rewarding thing since he gets to call it the guitar WE built. The grain showing was more of a disappointment until i started seeing things like Novo guitars around. Now it has grown on me.
    Honestly don't have any actual experience since this body was pre-routed and had bridge pilot holes drilled. But i feel like a good approach would be to find the centerline, fit the neck, measure scale length and place the bridge saddles at 25.5". Attach hi an lo E strings from saddle to nut and square up the string spacing. Then mark the bridge holes and drill away! Drill press is a good idea if you have one for nice straight drills
     
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  6. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

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    I do have a drill press. The holes for the string through are there, just not the attachment screws.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  7. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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    Ah I misunderstood... same basic process though. Gotta make sure the string spacing is equal to the fretboard edges. I ran the two E strings thru the body and over the nut. Then just marked the bridge mounting holes. My drill press isnt large enough to get the those, so i (very carefully) free handed those with a cordless drill.
    I think normal bridge mounting screws are 1" #8 (going from memory here, could be off).
     
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  8. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks! That is super helpful!

    Seriously, I love the look of the grain. The body I have for my son is plain black and it is a little dull. Thinking about hitting it with some Duplicolor Effex Clear to make it more interesting.
     
  9. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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    o_Ooooo sparkles!!
     
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  10. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Meister

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    Good work:)
     
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