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Scratch & Dentcaster

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by cwzcwz, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    Trumbull, CT
    Thanks everyone for the kind words! Could not have done it without you.
     
  2. El Hefe

    El Hefe Tele-Meister

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    co
    Looks great!
     
  3. huckdeuceman

    huckdeuceman Tele-Meister

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    Feb 24, 2012
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    Homosassa fl
    I think it' comes from the 62 RI pups and the MJT swamp ash body?
     
  4. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity

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    Location:
    I-10 East onramp
    dentcaster?

    I want a dentcaster..........:cry:




    Nice build. You should be very proud. Play on.
     
  5. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    Feb 22, 2012
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Follow Up

    Just wanted to post a few follow up comments on this build:

    Frets
    I really had some difficulty getting this guitar dialed in to my liking. All the measurements were factory correct but it didn’t feel right. Somehow I missed the importance of fret leveling and after reading about it decided that was the problem.

    I made a notched straightedge out of a plastic drafting ruler and had a 16”X1½”X1¼” piece of granite countertop cut for the leveling tool. I tried using a single edge razor blade as a fret rocker and although it worked I didn’t like the way it felt so I bought a four sided rocker to use next time. After reading the pros and cons of steel vs diamond crowning files I bought the diamond file with the reversible 150 & 300 grit file. This file after shipping cost almost as much as the neck! Some companies have no shame.

    You can see in the picture below that I masked the fret board, the neck pickup and around the bouts with blue painters tape. It was a good thing I did this because the granite block has a lot of momentum and I am klutz capable. Also fret filing is dirty work and the tape kept a lot of gunk off the guitar.

    The granite fret leveler with 180 grit sandpaper worked great and leveling was much easier to do than I expected. Using the crowning file took some getting used to. How do you know when you’ve made enough passes with the file? I found the first few passes felt slippery because the file was not hitting all surfaces of the fret. When I felt a consistent resistance to the file I made a couple more passes then stopped. About 10 - 15 strokes with the 150 grit then another 5-6 with the 300 grit. I might have overdone it a bit, not sure.

    The whole job took me about 45 minutes and was very satisfying to do. I see how you can really get obsessed with making the frets perfect. I finished with some #000 steel wool but could still see some scratches in the frets. I’ll probably use a Dremel with a polishing wheel to finish the job next time.

    Playing the guitar after the fret job felt a little rough but it smoothed out quickly after the tops of the frets were burnished by the strings. Leveling the frets made a big difference in how well the guitar plays and I’m glad I learned how to do it. Determining whether you have high/low frets is now a must do for me.

    Tuners
    Well, the tuners were cutting my strings and I decided that was a big enough problem to return them. I wrote Sperzel and told them about the problem and actually received a phone call from them! They seemed very concerned and I was quite impressed they would take the time to do that. I received a new set and had a little trouble with one of the tuners. The plating on the starter thread broke off and jammed the insert. I had to file down the thread to get the insert to seat properly. The rest went in without a hitch. Time will tell if I got a bad set or if quality control is not what it used to be.

    Conclusion
    Guitar building is incredibly addictive. It’s a great hobby I can get completely absorbed in it. Selecting the parts is as much fun as the build and I’m acquiring pieces for the next one already! The problem is what to do with all the guitars I’m sure to accumulate. Play them?
     

    Attached Files:

  6. jlindseyjr

    jlindseyjr Tele-Holic

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    Pocono Mountains, PA
    Thank you for posting the pic of the tape job. One of my knockoffs has some pretty sharp fret ends that I need to file down.
     
  7. JDRNoPro

    JDRNoPro Friend of Leo's

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    ME
    Great job and thanks for sharing! Good that you recognized the fret issue and took on the fret levlelling task, too. Nice guitar to be proud of :).
     
  8. LeftyAl

    LeftyAl Friend of Leo's

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    Fl.
    Beautiful job.
     
  9. samsmithtele

    samsmithtele TDPRI Member

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    Jan 28, 2011
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    Founex
    Beautiful guitar.
    Love the look of a headstock with no logo!! Looks so clean!
     
  10. cwzcwz

    cwzcwz TDPRI Member

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    Feb 22, 2012
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    I'm far from an expert here but if you just need to dress the ends of the frets there's a file designed just for that. I bought one of them and dressed the fret ends before I installed the neck. The file is designed so it won't dig into the neck or fret board if used correctly so I found no need for masking. Worked fine, no unpleasant surprises.
     
  11. jlindseyjr

    jlindseyjr Tele-Holic

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    Pocono Mountains, PA
    Cool, thanks. Just ordered one off ebay from a guy called fretguru.
     
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