One Piece Plus Wing - Two Piece Ash Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Mark-00255, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Wow, thanks Jay! go for it, man!

    Thanks, man - I'm lovin this wood too! If the tone on this one is up to what I'm getting from the Ketchupcaster, then this 8 ft. board was quite a score. This one is heavier - 6lbs 11 oz, with the paint stick attached. So make it 6.5 -ish. Probably going to be a 9 lb guitar.

    Thanks Murray! Yeah, I'm pretty confident in the Fender Tex-Mex bridge pickup - I've got several other GFS pickups that I like, the best being a neck position Dream 90 that is fantastic. I'm anxious to hear the combinations I get with a five-way switch and all these pickups!
     
  2. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Getting down to details now. While the poly is drying, I'm working on the neck and other stuff. I drilled the neck holes out to 3/16, and filled those with dowels tonight:
    [​IMG]

    There's more of that cool birdseye! I got my tuners and neck plate in the mail today, and picked up new Allparts control plate, electrosocket, 5-way strat switch and Top Hat knob. This time the electrosocket was only $10.50! Much better - I went to a little store in Tumwater WA called The Music Stan'd (dude's name is Stan - real nice guy!) for all the hardware this time. Tomorrow I've got to get some 11/32 to 3/8 brass tubing shims for the tuners. The Squier neck has 3/8 holes ... the Wilky Klusons have 11/32 bushings.

    But I've got a decision to make about the body. My plan to not use grain-filler because, at first I was going with black, and then finally because I wanted it all natural, is biting me. The one coat of shellac sealer just ain't enough to come close to filling the dark grain areas. And as the poly is curing, it's settling in more and more. This is going to have a real organic, woody feel to it. I don't know if I can live with this. I wanted no compromises on this build .... But I love the look of this shimmery grain and think I might loose that if I sand this down and fill it.

    I think I'll bolt it all up Monday, as planned. If it sounds great - woody, toneful, rockin' - then it stays as is. If it's ordinary, then I start over. Opinions?
     
  3. SULTAN

    SULTAN TDPRI Member

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    Hi there Mark.Looks like you have nailed the wood prep stage,which obviously gives you the advantage to consider changing the finish.However, i think that you are so close to finishing(regardless of the final result which seems to be great), that starting all over might enhance your second thoughts.
    This project looks super cool and IMO you should continue what you are doing.Besides, you still have a lot of that beautifull ash to work with.Why not making an extra glossy, rich, see-through, stained, grain filled finish on another build and then do an A/B sound comparison while using the same neck and hardware on both guitars?How great would that be?Just make sure you take a lot of pictures through building though!;)
     
  4. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks Sultan - I think you're right. I've got enough ash for at least two more two-piece, and possibly a three piece bodies. Next project will be vintage white translucent, grain-filled, traditional Tele.

    Tonight I painted the bridge pickup rout black, and wired up the control plate. Here's a tidy little set of Allparts packages - that's a strat 5-way switch ... and an NOS To Hat knob! They fit like they were made for each other!
    [​IMG]

    I found that I didn't have a lot of wire ... but that kept everything straight and tidy. Also, nobody had any orange-drops, so I went with rat shack green chicklet .022 tone and .001 treble bleed. Plus I've got a CTS 500K volume and CTS 250K tone. Remember, my pickups are an 8.05K Fender Tex-Mex bridge; approx 9K strat middle, and 7.6K mini HB neck. I've used this combo of pot and cap values before, and like it - no mud when turning down the volume, and usable tone for most of the sweep of the pot. Here's the finished effort:
    [​IMG]

    It all seems to fit - horribly unflattering flash shot of the body:
    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow I shield the swimming pool and control cavity, drill the neck; mount the neck, bridge and bridge pickup. Sunday's a busy day in Seattle at my folks for Easter brunch ... but I'll be ready for Monday's brown truck delivery!
     
  5. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Got my shims together today for the tuners - this is a trick I saw Bubbanov use over on the Squier 51 forum. You can buy oversized bushings from GFS that work fine, but if you want the vintage tuner look, you can shim the standard 11/32 OD bushings with brass tube.

    I found that even though everyone says the Squier tuner holes are 3/8, a 13/32 tube actually fits just right:
    [​IMG]

    A little trip to the hacksaw and I've got what looks like some shell casings - one in place and the other five ready to go:
    [​IMG]

    Here's a close-up of the tube label, and a look at the snug fit of the B string tuner shim:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    The inside diameter of the tube is just a hair bigger than the stock bushings, so I thought about it for a few minutes, and then had the bright idea that I could tape it with copper foil tape:
    [​IMG]

    It fits really nicely, but I added a little drop of gel CA as well:
    [​IMG]

    I got the other bushings all taped and ready, and decided I needed one more coat of poly on the headstock before proceeding with the rest. So they'll get done tomorrow night.

    I also drilled the final neck mounting holes, bridge pickup mounting holes, jack cup screw holes, polished the frets with some 0000 steel wool, and lemon oiled the fretboard. Oh, and I foil taped the swimming pool and control cavity. Plus I made a new speaker baffle board for the Celestion V30 in my amp - my wife is re-covering the cabinet for me! It'll be ready for Monday, I hope!
     
  7. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Can't sleep ... thought I'd check on the forum for the first time tonight - I was too busy drilling holes. It's amazing how many holes you gotta drill to put one of these things together! Here's the beast, in repose on my stand, next to the Peet Boot Dryer ... waiting for parts to come tomorrow ... kinda like the night before Christmas!:
    [​IMG]

    This flash shot shows you some of the shimmer in this grain that I'm completely gagga over! Screw grain filler - this thing is pretty!

    So far the couple people who've seen it, outside of my family, have stepped right up and TOUCHED the grain. It has that effect. Organic beyond belief. But I'm biased and in part rationalizing my choice to not grain fill! :twisted:
     
  8. mkhhunt

    mkhhunt Tele-Meister

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    Hey Mark,

    That's some fabulous grain! It looks great - really glows. I bet it's even better in real life.

    Cheers,

    Murray
     
  9. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    I didn't take many shots the last couple days - but here's a few.

    I found I needed more space for a strat pickup to fit in the pool. Rigged up my template upside, and one side, then the next, to get nice little roundness holes on the sides:
    [​IMG]

    Here some very cool NOS string trees that I found. 'Course, silly Squier necks have two string trees for some reason, so I needed two of these at $8.50 each. Yikes!
    [​IMG]

    Neck is all assembled, with tuners and string trees in. And the copper foil is all tidied up and soldered. You can see the side round cutouts for the strat pickup:
    [​IMG]

    And finally, here's one action shot of lining up the bridge - I did this once and set the neck position; drilled and bolted the neck, then lined up the bridge one more time. Made little sharpie dots in the bridge screw holes and they were perfect after the neck went on!
    [​IMG]

    Wish me luck with the brown truck finding my house tomorrow - last time here they couldn't!
     
  10. Robbied_216

    Robbied_216 Tele-Afflicted

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    I noticed you don't drill your bridge mounting holes until later in the process. Whereas I have seen some other guys drill them from the template? Do you find that your template string through and bridge mounting holes would line up with the "calculated" position?

    I'm curious as I want to take on a build and would like to know the viewpoint on whether I should rely on my template, or drill them like the way you have.

    Great build by the way. Can't wait to see it finished.
     
  11. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks Robbied! Sorry I haven't responded in a couple days - I've been busy with the hundred details there were assembling this thing. Last night was a bit of a marathon - but to answer, yes, I wait to set the bridge last. I'm just copying the skilled builders, like martyb1, on making that step last. The deal is that instruments vary when built by hand (definitely by my hands!), and components can be slightly different as well.

    So relying on the template - like I did on my first build and the Ketchupcaster, may result in having to move the bridge holes later if things don't line up. Better to carefully set and line up everything as you go. Plus, I've found my templates just aren't lined up right. My first task, after playing guitars for a few weeks :D, will be to build or buy new templates.
     
  12. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Looky here!

    [​IMG]

    And ...
    [​IMG]

    One more ...
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Some Details on the Completion

    This was an exercise the last two days in a dealing with a hundred details, and having to be resourceful to make things work correctly - or at least as close to correctly as I can get!

    The mini HB was a tad to big side-to-side for the hole in the pickguard. The middle strat pickup from the GFS blow-out set had no mounting hardware, which I knew when I bought it, however, it had no threaded inserts in the pickup base. How to mount in the pickguard? I ended up drilling holes in the body, tapping them with mounting machine screws, and shimming between the pickup and pickguard, and between the body and the bottom of the pickup with surgical tubing. Worked! But, no height adjustment for now!

    But, the big thing was the neck and bridge setup. First strings on and string height was perfect for a dobro! Or a slide setup. I dropped the saddles to the bottom of their travel, and it was okay, but really almost unplayable (you can see that in the picture below - this was shot before I did the final work tonight, while I had decent light). Thought about it all night and today at work. Solution was twofold:
    • Drop the saddles holes down in the bridge backstop
    • Shim the front of the neck with half a business card
    Now I got it! I can't even remember all the other details, but I was at it until 11:30 last night, and then finished up at 10:00 tonight. I'm sure I'll be tweaking the neck and bridge tomorrow, and in fact will probably build another bridge ... in a few weeks maybe!

    Tonewise, I've just gotten a taste. Rockin' bridge tone, great strat quack in bridge/middle position, strong middle, decent middle/neck, and smooth, warm neck. Tomorrow night I've got the house to myself for a while and will crank it up! And shoot a video.

    One last shot - this is some cool wood! Oh, I'm calling it The Beast 'cause it weighs .... no kidding ... 9lbs 9.8 ounces. Holy Hernias Batman!
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Didn't get a video done tonight, although I did get to play for a while before the evening's activities got the better of me! My impressions:

    - Fender Tex-Mex bridge pickup has some righteous twang, also good with a Bad Monkey, but not so good with a modded DS-1;
    - GFS Strat RW/RP ceramic overwound middle pickup is PUNCHY, clear, and did I mention punchy! Fantastic rock rhythm tone clean or with overdrive;
    - GFS Little Crunchy Mini-HB - not so crunchy. But, excellent smooth warm jazz-flavored tones. Lots of bottom end, but not boomy.
    - Bridge/Middle mix - great strat quack. Entirely musical and fun!
    - Neck/middle mix - not as quacky, but still very nice and good for blues rhythm.

    The shielding seems to have worked - it's very quiet overall. The neck is settling in nicely.

    Any comments - I know there's tons of builds going on out there, but somebody let me know what they think! Thanks!
     
  15. BadHorsie

    BadHorsie Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    There is still one other solution you might explore. You could recess the bridge into the body enough to make it work. Sort of like the Ron Kirn Neck Plate treatment. That way you don't lose any mass in the bridge and you can increase your adjustment.
     
  16. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a really great looking guitar Mark.

    What about strap buttons?
     
  17. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, you hit the nail on the head. The aluminum bridge is thick and raises the saddles up. The current angle is working pretty well - I've still got some adjustment room left and the string height has settled in well. I like the recess idea, but don't know how I would rout the funny shape of this bridge!
     
  18. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks John! At least one of the TDPRI crowd likes the final result!

    Yeah, I've got a nice set of strap buttons, along with black felt pads. Just gotta do it. Maybe I'm avoiding the idea of strapping this 9lb beast onto my back!
     
  19. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Here's one last set of pics - I never did post any final shot of the back, after setting the ferrules:
    [​IMG]
    A little vintage on the ferrule holes, that's for sure! If that B-string hole had been more inline, they'd actually be pretty good - especially for hand-held.

    And one last shot of the headstock - I sure like the way Kluson style tuners let you tuck the string end into the top hole!
    [​IMG]

    I think that's it for this build. I learned quite a bit - including that I have a lot more to learn and a lot more just plain experience to get! I'm very happy with the woodwork on this one, and will just have to keep working at finishing.

    I'll still work on a video, if anyone is really curious about these pickups.
     
  20. BadHorsie

    BadHorsie Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Hey mark. Can you list your finishing process for the body. What grain filler did you use. etc.
     
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