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Slowest Build Ever- “The Boba Fett Versa-Tele” (Ideas? Advice?)

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Ragged Tweed, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

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    It took me most of last year to save up for and build a Mission 5e3 amp. It sounds sweet with my Danelectro, but now I want a Tele. Actually, I want a LP Junior Special too. Last fall I even went to my local shop with a friend to look at a used Reverend Roundhouse. I brought my amp along because I was ready to buy that day, but something wasn’t quite right and I got cold feet. A few days later I knew it was because I wanted another project. I realize that this partscaster will end up costing me more money over time, but I hope the whole process will be more satisfying.

    I’m trying to combine my favorite parts of the Telecaster with my favorite parts of the LP Jr. Special. Fano’s Alt De Facto SP6 makes me believe it’s not a terrible idea:



    Decisions I’ve made:

    1. One-piece solid mahogany body from Renegade
    2. Black matte pickguard from Warmoth
    3. 542 bridge from Budz with a cream colored P-90 in the neck (I love Neil Young’s wooly sound)

    I’m leaning toward:

    1. Brass “Keef” Micawber bridge from Armadillo or Gotoh brass bridge. (I want to be able to intonate.)
    2. Stainless steel control plate and stainless knobs from Armadillo. (I don’t mind if the brass bridge doesn’t match the stainless control plate, and I like the rugged look.)

    Undecided about:
    1. A 4-way switch for series/parallel wiring?
    2. Cherry red stain with Tru-oil finish? http://www.tdpri.com/forum/finely-finished/444749-mahogany-tele-how-get-finish.html#post5419082
    3. No stain and just Tru-oil satin finish? http://www.tdpri.com/forum/finely-finished/201944-oil-finish-red-blue-2.html#post2373201
    4. Fat neck with maple fretboard?
    5. Fat neck with rosewood fretboard?

    Any ideas or advice?

    Thanks!
     

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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  2. JCBurke59

    JCBurke59 Tele-Holic

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    The body looks great!

    If I were building for myself, I'd go with a rosewood board. I also find fat necks most comfortable, but these things are personal preference - be sure to build the instrument that pleases you.

    Outstanding project.
     
  3. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

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    Update: I got some hardware from Armadillo and my pickups from David at Budz Guitars. He was very patient with all my newbie questions.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

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    Just seeing this thread for the first time- can I ask why you titled it "Boba Fett Versa-Tele"? As a Star Wars Fan, you got my attention. The Telecaster in my avatar is named Slave-1.
     
  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've built two tele-les Paul jr hybrids, although I went with a les paul jr body shape and a tele neck.

    The biggest problem with the p90 neck-tele bridge thing is that the p90 is generally a lot bigger sounding.but I really like it. In my most recent effort I've put a fralin steel pole in the bridge position and I'm liking it a lot. I posted a review of the fralin pickup with some bone-dry sound clips in the pickup forum
     
  6. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

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    Cool! Boba Fett has always been one of my favorite characters. He seems like a "Jack of all trades" and I want this guitar to cover a lot of territory. I've always liked how Boba Fett's armor looks like it was pieced together from stuff that he'd found, and it's clearly been through hell. I guess I want my guitar to have a similar "pieced-together" kind of vibe. There's beauty and credibility in things that are imperfect... I hope!
     
  7. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

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    Thank you! I'm so glad I saw your post. It lead me to a thread you started on grounding issues with a P90. This is on my list of things to figure out.
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/help-me-solve-this-grounding-issue.555457/
     
  8. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice! I can get behind that. It's the same line of thinking I have on my partscasters. I'll be watching this thread!
     
  9. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

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    Over the winter I experimented with different combinations of Stew Mac cherry red, walnut Timbermate, Birchwood-Casey sealer/grain filler, and Tru-oil. Initially I wanted a cherry red guitar because I've always liked image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg Gibson Les Paul Junior Specials, but I think I've decided not to use the red dye at all. The red looks good in the photos but up close and in person the natural finish brings out the beauty of the wood.
     
  10. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

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    Summer progress!

    Finished the body with Birchwood-Casey Sealer and Grain Filler, Walnut Timbermate wood filler, and then Tru-Oil (5 or 6 coats). I didn't bother with the Timbermate on the neck b/c it didn't seem to make much of a difference. Maybe I was overzealous with my sanding... Anyway the neck feels good to the touch. image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  11. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

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    The tuner holes were a bit small (probably from Tru-Oil build up-- the craftsmanship of the Warmoth neck is excellent) so after reading a bunch of threads and watching this video I had a better idea of how to approach increasing the diameter.

    I was too cheap/impatient to buy a reamer, so I ended up taping a piece of 220 sandpaper around a tapered metal punch. I used small C-clamps to provide even pressure when pushing them in. It feels great when stuff fits the way it's supposed to.
    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  12. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

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    I'm thinking this Tele needs a chipped green paint job, a jet pack and flame-thrower. [emoji4]
     
    hellopike, Blue Bill and Ragged Tweed like this.
  13. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh a chipped army green paint job revealing a trans-green under finish
     
  14. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

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    10 months later I'm pretty satisfied with what I've pieced together with parts from all over the States:

    *Quarter-sawn one-piece mahogany body from Renegade in Sacramento,CA.

    *Stainless steel control plate, knobs, back plate and brass "Keefer" bridge from Armadillo Machine Works in Austin, TX.

    *Neck P90 and 542 tele bridge pickups from Dave at Budz pickups in Michigan. These sound so sweet!

    *Gibson scale/fat back mahogany neck from Warmoth in Oregon.

    Thanks to everybody who PM'd or commented with advice or encouragement!

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  15. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    Lovely guitar, lovely job. Congratulations!
     
  16. richa

    richa Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Just saw this. Sweet guitar!
     
  17. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Did you use a 4-way switch?
     
  18. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

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    image.jpeg
    I did. I used this wiring diagram. Each position has a distinct sound. All are useful and the tone knob is particulary effective.
     
  19. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    Wow! That's one beautiful guitar!
     
  20. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I really like the 4-way switch with single coil pups for that extra umph. Used one on a set of PBass pups in a CBG, works great.
     
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