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Squier "nocaster" project.

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by bchaffin72, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    Greetings again, I've been away for a while. Had some local things take a lot of my time, but I still found a bit of time for my project: nocastering a Squier tele.

    I started with a 2013 Affinity tele and did the following so far: changed to a vintage style bridge, round switch tip, replaced the cheap jack plate with a proper metal jack cup, relocated the logo and string tree closer to the 50s position, and gave it a slightly modified version of the Broadcaster/nocaster wiring scheme. I have a new control plate and round string tree in the mail, to be installed as soon as they arrive. The last touch will be to replace the modern tuners with vintage style.

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  2. Slick64

    Slick64 TDPRI Member

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    Nice work.
     
  3. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks. I was always kind of taken by the idea of the nocaster, which was mostly nothing more than the Broadcaster, but without a model name on it due to Fender getting a Cease and Desist letter from Gretsch over the name, which they were already usinfg a variation of. Since I don't see myself finding or affording an original any time soon, I figured I'd build up my own version. :)

    Come the better weather, when I can work outside again, I may refin it to a blonde color as well as getting together the components to wind up my own set of pickups for it at some point.
     
  4. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    I'm a Nocaster baby (3/51) and a Tele lover so... a project like this really pleases me.
    I say, go for the re-finish.
    +1 Nice work!
     
  5. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

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    I was able to keep the tuners on my Affinity by shimming the machine heads with aluminum can shim stock curled around each machine head inside the bushing. They were wobbly machine heads and refused to stay in tune due to this. I used a postage stamp sized shim for each machine head. Now they are as sturdy as Grovers. This was easy to do. The Affinity tuners look great and all they need is shimming to work perfect.

    How did your new bridge saddles work as far as setting up the action?

    If you plan on replacing the cheap pickups beware. Many aftermarket pups won't fit the screw holes. I had to modify the base on the bridge pickup. I installed Texas Specials and this really turns this guitar into a worthy guitar to play. The Texas Specials cost almost as much as the guitar did so I needed to keep the original tuners to keep the cost down.

    I installed CTS pots which required redrilling the holes in the plate to 10mm. I had planned on keeping the original pots but the shaft on one pot literally fell out the body of the pot. Pots are cheap though.
    Oddly enough the cheap pots it comes with measured almost EXACTLY 500 ohms. I've never measured a pot that close to spec. Pity they fell apart. If yours don't fall apart just keep them. No need to replace them otherwise.
     
  6. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    Replacing the tuners will likely be the last thing I do and I'm in no hurry. There's nothing wrong with the stock tuners. Solid as a rock for now. When I do, I'll likely swap these tuners onto my old Squier strat, whos tuners are starting to show their age a bit.

    As far as action and intonation, the vintage bridge works great, with a couple caveats. It wasn't a direct replacement. The original Squier six saddle is longer at the back than the vintage and has its mounting holes(3 screws) farther back. Plus it was top loading, where the new is string through and has 4 screws, so I had to relocate the mounting holes and convert it. But with all that done, it works well.

    I did replace all the pots and switch with CTS and CRL components because it's simply what I prefer to do and because I was completely changing how the wiring works anyway, as opposed to a standard tele, so I just pulled all of it and started fresh. But I, too, had to ream out the pot holes for the CTS pots to fit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  7. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a pretty good idea I will be re-finning. Overall, this guitar was really good right off the shelf, an excellent modding platform. Except for the finish, which didn't take long to start relicing itself. It's starting to look older than it is and I did nothing to it in that respect. Compare that to my 2008 Affinity strat which has been drug around a fair bit in 7 years and has barely a mark on it. Of course, it's not stock either 'cause I can never leave my stuff alone. :)
     
  8. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

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    Take a string out and shake the machine heads. They wobble inside the hex head bushing. This is a no no for staying in tune. You can't see it happen but they slowly move when strung as well. Budweiser aluminum shims totally stabilize the machine heads. I think I'll use Coors shims on the next Affinity

    I thought you said you just replaced the saddles but I see now that you changed the entire bridge and redrilled new holes. Nice touch. (did you measure the two bridge widths?) The Affinity necks are 2mm narrower than Fender American necks. How does the high e and low e string location? Do you have enough fretboard underneath them? I'm thinking your new bridge is wider. Just guessing though.

    I was going to drill holes in the body to add ferrules so I could utilize the string-thru method. I even bought the ferrules. However I think the straight thru string method may be the best way to string a Tele. I decided against the string-thru. The truth may be six of one and a half dozen of another.

    All I did to my bridge was replace the zinc allen screws in the saddles because they were backing out as I played. Never seen that before. Really cheezy Chinese bridge on the Affinities. I have steel allen screws now. The zinc allen screws were the most serious issue on the entire guitar. The screws backed out every time I played it. The saddles would wobble like the machine heads.

    Also I used denatured alcohol to remove the squire logo(10 seconds). I left the Fender name there. I can't stand the word Squier.
     
  9. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    I'll look out for that on the tuners next time I change strings but I honestly haven't had any tuning issues with it, at least not yet. Whether or not they stand the test of time or wear out prematurely and start causing issues is another matter entirely. A bridge I guess I'll cross when I come to it.

    Yeah, I swapped the entire bridge. The string spacing at the bridge end stayed close to the same, so there's still plenty of neck under the strings. The bridge I used is still based on the import spacing. It might have put the string ferrules a bit closer together at the back than they would be on a genuine Fender, but not so close they didn't fit where they needed to.

    I actually sanded my logo off, did some tinting on the headstock, then printed a new spaghetti style logo on transparent window decal paper. After that, I just shot a couple coats of clear over it. It originally came with a heavier black and gold logo farther down the headstock and the string tree was closer to the nut. I made them change places. One added benefit about moving the tree farther down is that it makes behind the nut bends easier.

    And the knobs that are on it are replacements too. The originals were lighter in weight and flat top.
     
  10. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

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    I haven't tinkered with logo decals yet. I'm going to do that one day. If I had a big Fender logo on the head stock it would fool all but the Tele officionados

    WHERED YOU GET YOUR DECALS?
     
  11. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    I looked around for various images of Squier logos that fit the look I wanted and scaled well in a photo program. Once I got it to the right size, I just printed it out at the highest quality my printer will do on transparent window decal paper. Cut it out, trim it down, peel the back off and apply it.
     
  12. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm curious about this. I've considered some Affinitys but have always shied away because (as I understand it) the bodies are thinner therefore many pickups don't fit well due to shallow routes. This is the first I've heard about problems with the screwholes... maybe I'm not understanding - is that a problem with the screwholes in the bridge? Or in the body?

    Not trying to hijack but perhaps this will help others reading this thread with interest!
     
  13. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    The bodies on the Affinities are a bit thinner, but I haven't had any problem with the depth of the routes myself. I have 4, two guitars and two basses and I have put full size components in all of them, including a stacked TBX tone control in my P bass. I also converted the bridge pickup on the nocaster to an Alnico 5 bar magnet out of a humbucker. It's polarized edge to edge, so I had to put it in on edge and let it hang down. Plenty of room. I've had multiple pickups in the strat, including Duncans, with no issues. I personally don't know about the tele bridge pickup, becasue I haven't changed those, but to me, if even one person has had any particular problem, then it's something to be aware of.
     
  14. waldru

    waldru TDPRI Member

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    Nice work - I like the new bridge!
     
  15. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

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    I've bought two Affinity Tele's this year, and both stay in tune just fine. My motto is if it ain't broke etc., if I mod anything anytime soon it will be that toy-grade plastic output jack plate. I can't decide if I want the current type with a metal plate, or Electrosocket which would leave me screw holes to deal with (or not) lol.

    Yours is super nice...great work!
     
  16. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, it's been fun to do and now that's it's on there, I'm partial to the vintage bridge myself.
    With the Broadcaster wiring, I did sacrifice the tone control but, in the bridge position, the blend can be used in a similar way. I can temper the bridge with a bit of neck, roll it all the way back and get both on, or get various shades in between. My position 3 Leo's "Deep Rhythm" circuit with a .047 cap, but I made a Greasebucket inspired mod that keeps it from going to complete "woof tone". Middle position is just the neck, with no tone load. And I made the blender pot for the bridge position no load so that when it's wide open, there is no influence from the neck pickup at all until you actually start to roll back
     
  17. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

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    There are three holes in the bridge plate for the pickup screws. They are devilishly close to letting bridge PU swap be a drop-in but the 3-screw alighnment won't fit. I had to modify the base plate holes on my Fender Custom Shop Texas Specials. It's amazing how it can complicate a drop-in by moving a screw hole 2mm.

    Notice the OP in this thread had to drill new holes in the body for his new bridge plate. This is good he did that because if he had simply tried to swap saddles he may have found the aftermarket saddles wont work in the Squier bridge plate.

    The difference in thickness of the Squier body is miniscule and won't effect any PU choice.

    I think there are deliberate small dimentional differences between Fender Americam/MIM Teles and Strate when compared to Oriental made copies like the Squiers in order to encourage you to buy the more expensive Fenders if you want to add aftermarket parts.
     
  18. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    There's probably some truth to that. Fender doesn't really intend for people to be modding up the cheap guitars, since they are intended(at least by Fender) as affordable entry level instruments. Their hope is that a beginner buys one and then, when they're ready and/or have the cash, they buy themselves up to the next level, moving on to the genuine Fenders. Not everyone is inclined to do that. While a guitar that costs 5 or 10 times more SHOULD be better, it's not necessarily 5 or 10 times better! While the cheaper guitars can be hit or miss, if you get a good one as a base and put some extra time and money in it, you can get it to(or very close to) the next level in sound and playability and still not spend as much as you would for the big F on the headstock. Many people these days just find that more cost effective.
     
  19. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    The guitar originally had a modern, six saddle bridge,anyway, so swapping saddles(six for three, especially) wasn't an option to be considered. The main reason I had to drill relates to above mentioned Squier vs Fender differences. The Modern bridge, Fender or Squier, is a bit longer at the back than a vintage. Squier has three screw holes at the very back of the bridge and two at the front on that style of bridge. Fender has 4 screws that sit slightly ahead of where the strings come through the body. Had I been going modern to vintage on a Fender, it would be drop in. I went from Squier modern to Fender based vintage. I lined the new bridge up so the space between pickguard and plate stayed the same and the pickup cavity was properly aligned and redrilled new screw holes as well as the string-through and back ferrule holes.
     
  20. Dahill

    Dahill TDPRI Member

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    Is the drop-in part misfit issue limited to Affinities (due to different body dimensions) or is it just an overall Squier vs Fender issue? I have my eye on a Vintage Modified 72 thinline. I plan on upgrading just about everything that needs to be upgraded, including an eventual Fender branded neck, which I understand may need to be shimmed as it is.
     
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