Alright, you guitar-building vets, I'm looking to you in my time of need. I've got to be honest, when I started my guitar building journey by switching out a couple pickups in a Stratocaster, I had no idea what I was getting into. I'm still totally intimidated by this big wide world I've discovered, but I'm learning a whole lot and I need a challenge. I've been doing some research and I've found that my love for the look of an unfinished mesquite-top telecaster is growing too strong to just sit on my butt and not do anything about it. I really love the rustic look of some of the guitars I've seen and I want to try to make it my own. Now, I'm not a woodworker in the most general sense; I'm pretty young yet and most of my knowledge about this topic has come from forums and YouTube videos. However, I had some mesquite lying around, and I wanted to see how deep my newfound passion could take me (in short: WAY TOO DEEP). At any rate, my research has led me to these photos, which is kind of the look I'm going for here: As you can clearly see, I dig the old license plate pickguard thing. I'm pretty sure I want to go with a standard tele pickup setup though, unlike in these photos. I included this one because this guitar has a similar finish to the one I'm going for. This particular guitar is an ash body with a mesquite cap, and was built by TDPRI user garymaddox. I included this photo because although I would like my mesquite to be all one piece and clean and beautiful like the one above, it probably won't be, and it will have holes and knots and stuff like this PRS style guitar built by TDPRI user AZkoaMan a while back (this one has an African Mahogany body). I might use his build for reference on fitting the mesquite cap, if I end up doing one, because he goes into great detail about the way he formed/capped his guitars. So, to pull this off, I have options for the body: Make the body all mesquite. I certainly have enough stock to do so, it would just be a matter of glueing several pieces together. One of the big downsides of this that I can see is that the guitar would be heavy--weighing upwards of 12-13 lbs, put together. However, it would look really stinking cool to have a guitar carved out of a chunk of mesquite. Use some other wood for the back, and put a mesquite cap on top. This, to me, seems like the easier option with more pros than cons. It certainly would be lighter, and (correct me if i'm wrong) it would be easier to work with Alder, Ash, or some other less dense wood, than with 100% mesquite. This way, I'd still get the look and the tone without compromising weight or workability. As for the neck, I'm way too afraid to try and make one by myself with zero experience and very little knowledge--maybe someday when I have an actual shop to work out of and more woodworking under my belt I will get the guts to. So for now, I think I will order one from Warmoth or another online dealer, something along those lines. If I do that, I'll need to make sure my diagram is dead-on accurate to fit the neck, which is a little risky... Hardware shouldn't be too hard to find, although I've been wrong before. I'm thinking I want a 3-Saddle, for the mojo, ya' know? I at least want to try it out. Like I said before, I think I want to keep the traditional Tele pickup routing, although I could probably be convinced otherwise... Aaaaand I think that's all I have to say for right now. So, Pros, vets, noobs like myself, what should I do, in your opinions? Tear my idea apart, rip it to shreds, tell me I'm a genius, tell me I'm an idiot--Whatever you like! Is this even possible, or is it just a pipe dream? Thanks y'all. Happy playing!