1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Longest Tele Partscaster Build?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by dimmy, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    The last thread I started had to do with me joining TDPRI back in 2009 and posting my first post in Nov 2020 (https://www.tdpri.com/threads/am-i-the-longest-registered-member-before-a-post.1055280/).

    I wonder if this thread can qualify for the longest time required to complete a partsocaster?

    Before I start, a forewarning. I need to confess that I am not technical or handy in any way. I only have primary school grade home maintenance skills. The only electric tools I had when I started this was a corded drill and a circular saw (I now also have a cordless drill and a router). Also, I didn’t know what I was doing on this journey, so I made did what I thought was the way to do it. Many mistakes were made along the way and I tried to correct them after cussing myself. So join along and let me know what I could improve upon.

    I can’t recall the website, but I used to spend hours on a site where you could build your dream guitar by choosing parts and it renders the image of what it’ll look like. Over the course of many months, I dreamt up so many options and finally settled for a TeleGrestch with Bigsby.

    I started by purchasing a double ‘f’ hole tele body off eBay back in 2008. It was an ash body with a quilted maple top and binding on the top.
    Tele 7.JPG Tele back 2.JPG

    I also picked up a 21 fret USACG tele neck, compound neck radius, stainless steel frets.
    Neck Front.jpg

    Other hardware and electronics were as follows:
    • 500K CTS pots
    • Switchcraft 3 way switch
    • SD Prails (neck)
    • SD Triple shot mounting ring
    • SD JD (bridge)
    • Wilkinson string thru bridge with brass saddles
    • Bigsby B5
    • Sperzel locking tuners
    I started off with enthusiasm, enlisting the help of a very knowledgeable and capable friend who had all the know-how and a drill press! We started off by routing a neck HB, drilling for a string thru bridge, a 3 way switch, 2 volume controls and a tone control.

    First thing I realised was drilling holes into body was a scary exercise: ensuring the bridge is positioned correctly, neck doesn’t move when drilling the mounting holes, and alignment of the string thru holes. The easiest ones were the holes for the controls!
    20141206_110430.jpg 20141206_110435.jpg

    After this was done, I sat back and admired the progress. Shouldn’t take too much longer as I have all the parts…
     
  2. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    oh, forgot to mention that my desired finish would be similar to
    PaintJob.jpg :
     
  3. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    From that point on, until late 2019, the parts sat in my cupboard.

    My son had been playing acoustic the church band and the youth group band. In late 2019 he mentions he's requested to be rostered to play electric. He auditions and is accepted. I bring up the possibility of finishing the Tele together and he is keen.

    Time for thinking about how to finish the body.

    Sanding was all done by hand, For the body, I started with 120 to remove scratches, then 180, 240, and finishing at 320. The neck just needed 240, then 320.
    Tele Build_20200223_110106.jpg
    Tele Build_20200223_110252.jpg

    Tele Build_20200223_110223.jpg

    During my sanding and trips to hardware store, I found out about Tack Cloth. Great invention as is the dust masks...

    For the next project, I think I'll invest in an orbital sander. Guys on Youtube make it look so easy with the orbital.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    In Australia, we don’t have access to all the nice colours (and brands) I see in the US. If we do, it’s kind of expensive so I had to look for alternatives. I used some Australian made dyes called U-Beaut. I’m not sure whether you know, but Aussies like to say “U-Beauty” loosely meaning “that’s awesome” or “that’s great”.

    These dyes were wood working dyes, not specifically designed with guitar colours in mind. I had to mix my own colours. Not am I no good with handywork, I’m even worse with colour matching!

    View attachment 810853

    My aim here is to apply a dark stain and sand it back to make the grain pop. Colour scheme was similar to the PRS top in the post above.

    First coat not dark enough.
    Tele Build_20200223_125836.jpg

    Applied more…
    Tele Build_20200223_163458.jpg
    Tele Build_20200223_172749.jpg

    Hmmm… looks awful, like a very bad application of suntan bronzer lotion!

    Needless to say, I wasn't happy and sanded it all back and started again. It was so frustrating, I probably applied the stain and sanded back to bare wood 5 times. Not happy...
     
    TeleUpNorth and Jim_in_PA like this.
  5. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    After all the staining, I couldn't remove all the dye as it had soaked into the wood. I was left with a reddish/purplish tinge to the body.

    Tele Build_20200229_101011.jpg
     
    Jim_in_PA likes this.
  6. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,520
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    Just measured...all my Tele buids are the same length.

    I'll show myself out. :lol::lol:
     
    TwoBear likes this.
  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,061
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    Before you start, wipe down the entire surface with thinner/DA/etc. (see note below) to wet the wood. Rubbing on a stain 'burst is a whole lot easier this way because the thinner prevents the wood from soaking too much stain into the surface. Wet the wood, rub on some stain, and then rub it off as you blend from darker areas to lighter areas. This allows you to create a much smoother transition from dark to light areas. Rotate the towel to a clean portion often as you work.

    Practice first on scrap to get the technique under your fingers.

    Note: the stuff you use to dampen the wood depends on the type of stain you're using. If it's an oil stain, use mineral spirits, naphtha, or white spirit. If it's an alcohol stain, use DA (denatured alcohol). You'll notice DA evaporates pretty fast, so have several ounces in a little spray bottle to keep the surface wet as you work. DO NOT be smoking while doing this if you love your eyebrows.
     
    RobRiggs, TwoBear and dimmy like this.
  8. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    Thanks Peegoo. I wanted to practice first, but I had no scraps of quite maple. For some reason, I struggled with blotching in the last few attempts. I'm wondering if it was due to the wood being too saturated already?
     
  9. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    Anyway, I was close to giving up and just applying a clear coat. Instead, I convinced my son to have a go at applying the burst. Unsurprisingly, he did a better job than me. He got a nice burst on the top.
    Tele Build_20200307_201559.jpg
    Looking closely to the left of the bottom f hole, you can see we could not seem to get the wood to absorb any more stain. I'm not sure why that was, but it just seems to appear 'dull' for some reason.

    A little bit of grain showing on the neck as well.
    Tele Build_20200308_203326.jpg

    I like a nice dark stain on the back, grain looks nice.
    Tele Build_20200307_201349.jpg

    Feeling better after this. Thanks son!
     
    Jim_in_PA, Matthias and P Thought like this.
  10. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    Stain all over the binding. I thought I was going to sand it clean, but figured I'll try scraping it clean. Much easier.
    Tele Build_20200309_162638.jpg

    Now ready for the finish
     
    Jim_in_PA likes this.
  11. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    411
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2020
    Location:
    oc. CA.
    Really looks great I hope I’m not insulting and just adding that random orbital is the way to go with less swirling , and as for the tack cloth if you do use it just don’t press too hard it’ll wax up your project you just want to whisk it over without pressing. I’m sure you already know these things I’m just throwing it on As it may help other folks checking this out. You’re not in Utah are you we were up there and found out about all the basements-all the houses have basements and someone told me you don’t have to pay full tax on the house until that’s finished. I don’t know if that’s true or not but it would Account for all the half finished basements I saw.
     
    dimmy likes this.
  12. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    TwoBear, not insulted in the slightest. The few responses from you guys here already have highlighted things I did not know. I wish I had posted as I was progressing with this build as opposed to posting now. I'm taking on board all the advice here.

    As strange as it sounds, I never knew about tack cloth before this. I thought it was awesome that it grabbed all the dust, but I admit that it left a waxy feeling on my hands that had me a little concerned.

    Hand sanding in the garage on a hot day is not fun! An orbital sander is my next tool purchase.

    That story about unfinished houses and reduced taxes sounds like a silly law, but I'm guessing it's true :)
     
  13. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    For the finishing, I chose to use TruOil. I wasn't sure if the finish would be hard enough, so I also picked up a couple of cans of spray on poly.

    I picked up a small prevail sprayer and mixed some TruOil with Meth Spirits to spray a light mist to seal the dye. Here is the body sitting in my high tech spray booth after the mist.
    Tele Build_20200315_143612.jpg

    It was summer time here, so I managed to rub 2 light coats on per day, body and neck.

    Neck is really starting to look nice even after a couple of coats.
    Tele Build_20200309_162740.jpg

    10 or more coats, it's really feeling smooth:
    Tele Build_20200320_162128.jpg

    Body is now starting to look like I hoped for as well. Once again, I draw your attention to my high tech hanging device
    Tele Build_20200319_181452.jpg
    Tele Build_20200319_181531.jpg
     
    Jim_in_PA, Matthias and 87Lion like this.
  14. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    411
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2020
    Location:
    oc. CA.
    Sometimes it helps do use a fine sandpaper on an area that’s not accepting stain as well. You wipe on the stain regular and when you come to a spot that won’t except it as well, you wipe that stain on with sandpaperSort of opening the grain and pushing it in. There used to be products for problem areas and I Imagine they’ve probably gotten better over the years. What are those pick ups going to be is the JD a Jerry Donahue and the p-rails is obviously some kind of humbucker, Are they going to mate well. I have a telly with Seymore vintage staggered, and a PAF copy from Japanese heydays, either from Tokai or Epiphone, Like a super 70 I guess a real nice PAF sound but only two conductors and Not splittable and it’s too hot for the rear pick up. One thought also if you haven’t fully drilled out the holes for the machine heads you may want to give it some thought as your body is hollow and probably lighter and you don’t want it to be head heavy. I wanted to add again that it is really looking beautiful and I bet you were bummed when you stained it and it came out dark-and blotchy. Watch out that you don’t sand off too much of the headstock face, going dark and then having to get down to the grain.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
    dimmy likes this.
  15. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    Thanks TwoBear. I'll keep this nugget of information if it happens again


    The P-Rails is a pickup that has multiple options. It's a humbucker sized pickup that has a P90 coil, a hot rails type single coil and then both coils can be combined in either series or parallel. I picked up the 'triple shot' mount that enables any of these sounds to be selected.

    It actually sounds really good together. Not perfect, but close enough (I've set the P-Rails lower than usual). It also helps that the JD is slightly hotter than normal. The P-Rails single coil is the quietest, the series mode is a bit hotter, but the other 3 are pretty close. I'm quite happy with this combination.


    Good point. The Sperzel locking tuners are are slightly heavier, but I didn't think about the weight imbalance.
     
  16. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    Hmmm... I didn't like this look, it's missing a logo...
    Tele Build_20200402_185624.jpg

    Out came the creative juices, a conversation with person familiar with graphic design software and a few hours of frustration, the following was the result:
    Tele Build_20200403_085128.jpg

    After a few more coats of TruOil:
    Tele Build_20200407_182419.jpg

    And just being cheeky...
    Tele Build_20200407_181745.jpg
     
    El Tele Lobo, Jim_in_PA and Matthias like this.
  17. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    I didn't think the TruOil would be hard enough to withstand slight knocks etc, so I had my bro-in-law help spray a single coat of 2 pack. In hindsight, I should have done a double coat, but I was impatient.

    Needless to say, I'm absolutely stoked with the outcome of the finish. The figure pops differently at different angles and the intensity of the colour changes depending on the angle of the reflection.
    Tele Build_20200409_211236 copy.jpg

    Tele Build_20200409_211308.jpg

    Tele Build_20200411_172115 body.jpg
     
    Jim_in_PA and Matthias like this.
  18. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    3,325
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    That burst looks great!
     
  19. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    1,745
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Buffalo
    Your build is looking great! Looking forward to soundbites.
     
  20. dimmy

    dimmy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    melb.AU
    Hmmm... is this what it could look like?
    Tele Build_20200412_132755 copy.jpg

    After notching the bridge, I realised the string spacing at the saddles was wider than the width of the rollers on the Bigsby. I wasn't sure I wanted to have tuning issues after using the Bigsby and spent ages trying to find a solution. I found the Callaham notched rollers, but they were also narrower than my saddles and were quite expensive as well.
     
    Jim_in_PA likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.