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Tele Incognito Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by wadeeinkauf, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    2nd Coat of Lacquer

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    This is the 2nd day of spraying. I am warming to this finish. I am using Deft BRUSHING lacquer mixed 2/3 lacquer thinner 1/3 lacquer. Since it is bushing lacquer it has additives that slow the drying. You just have to be careful to avoid running AND it takes AT LEAST a full day of drying before you can do any sanding between coats if you need to. The finish is very slow to cure and will hold finger prints if touched even hours after sprayng until cured. This is very different from my experience with spray lacquer that can be worked between coats after a few minutes.
     
  2. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Final Lacquer Coats

    I am pleased with the way this turned out. I am certainly no expert spraying lacquer. I had some problems with gas out (small bubbles) in the finish on my last coat and had to redo the whole thing. It is very difficult to figure out how to stop this from happening. How I controlled it was to make sure the previous coat was dry and not to make the current coat too thick. To get a smooth finish the coat must be wet, too wet and you get bubbles in the conditions I was spraying in. Also I may have had a little less than 3 to 1 thinner to lacquer and this may also have been a problem with this brush-on lacquer. All I will need to do with this finish is to spend a little time with rubbing compound to get a glass like finish. Another lesson learned NEVER get water anywhere near the drilled holes in the finish. When I was trying to deal with the bubbles I tried wet sanding. A bit of water got into the wood under the finish and the wood swelled.
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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  3. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Frets cut 9.5 radius sanded in

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    I routed a 1/8th inch wide channel for the string guide. It is actually a standard Fender nut but will be used as a string guide for my zero fret neck. I decided to put the string guide straight across rather at the same angle as the first fret. Being at the end and that I used a black one I am hoping it will be less noticeable.
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    I printed out my fret layout that I created using FretFind2D at ekips.org. Using double sided tape I taped this securely to the fret board.
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    I carefully cut by hand the fret slots. I have tried other jigs but this works the best for me. It only takes about 20 minutes. I try to make the depth just a little deeper than the tangs on the fret wire knowing that a lot of the board will be sanded away doing the radius. After the board has be radiused and the neck is shaped I will do a final depth cut just before installing the frets.
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    I use this simple 9.5 inch radiused piece of redwood I made to radius the fretboard. I start with 80 grit and when the radius is cut in I sand with 240 grit. That's all I do for now. After the neck is shaped I will install the dot markers and then do finish sanding on the fretboard just before installing the frets.
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    You know it wouldn't be difficult to do a compound radius..maybe 15 after the 12th fret but I have no problems with string bending fretting out with this 9.5. I setup my guitars at the Fender recommended standard height and I am used to playing with this setup. If you wanted a lower action then it would be necessary. I also "cheat" a bit when leveling the frets. I take the frets after around the 15th fret down a bit lower that the rest as well.
     
  4. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Shaping the Neck

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    I routed down the back of the neck stock to the desired neck thickness of .87 inches.

    I mark a center section on the neck 10mm at the 1st fret widening to 20mm at the 12 fret. I mark a line just below the joint of fret board to the neck body. I then remove the stock from these two lines with a grinder.
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    I then sanded/rounded out the edges to get to this shape.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  5. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Dot Markers and Fret Wire

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    Since these multiscale frets are at an angle I just mark the center line and center the dot on this center line. I do this by hand with a 1/4" Forstner bit. I try to make the depth the same thickness as the dot. These are MOP and sand down very easily if a bit high. I just tap them in with a hammer. These are really nice looking MOP. I used abalone on my last build but they are actually a little hard to see in lower light when you're playing.

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    The side dots give me fits and are very difficult for me to get lined up uniformly. I have to figure out how to do this. StuMack had a video this week on how to make a regular bit into a brad point. That may be the answer as this small 3/32 bit roams. I even use a small punch to start the hole and mark the location.
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    This fretwire from Warmoth comes pre bent close enough for my 9.5 radius. I purchased a cheap nippers but they did not work. This regular medium size wire cutter works fine. I use a small piece of redwood with my 9.5 radius. I place the fretwire in the slot and tap gentle on the wire with my small block. I then put super glue #10 (water thickness) in the slot.

    I am trying to decide whether to put the cherry finish on the neck headstock or just go with a standard finish. If the frets do not take much work I will be ready to spray the finish on the neck tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  6. XxJoshxX

    XxJoshxX Tele-Holic

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    I normally prefer offest or no face dots on a multiscale, but those actually look really nice.
     
  7. Deegatron

    Deegatron Tele-Meister

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    you can buy a 3/32 brad point bit from LMII... it's really nice quality and does a good job. it's like 6 bucks plus shipping... no biggie...
     
  8. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Guys, I will definitely get the brad points. I am surprised this turns out to be such a pain for me. AND it drives me crazy.
     
  9. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Glued On Fretboard Lesson Learned

    After installing my frets I was checking for level and when I put the straight edge on the fretboard the thing was like an S. Was thinking after all this work the neck was gooched! In desperation I tried adjusting the truss rod. I had not put any tension on it since I installed it. After turning it about as tight as I could go the neck/fretbord came back straight with just enough left to get the proper bow adjustment.

    This neck is quite a bit thinner than the first neck I made. That U neck shape did not require the truss to be adjusted at all. On this one when the material was removed in the shaping of the neck it bowed a bit.

    Now I am thinking it may be best to level/radius the fretboard before gluing it on.
     
  10. kissTheApex

    kissTheApex Tele-Afflicted

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    Great progress Wade!
     
  11. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    You know Josh I looked at most of the layouts used by the few companies making these multiscales. A lot look really unusual and very good. After I made my test fixture and saw that there really was very little difference in playability with the angled frets I decided to keep the fret markers in the middle. I really don't notice much difference in playability. Just much fuller tones on the wound strings and I am able to get certain chords that I could not before due to the larger space for fingers.
     
  12. Deegatron

    Deegatron Tele-Meister

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    I gotta ask, did you check with a strait edge before fretting? I've always had issues getting a proper radius with a sandling block. i always wind up with a lump here or a dip there... on my last guitar i wound up going back and forth between a radius block and a long (known to be perfectly strait) level with sandpaper glued to it. the radius block set the radius, then the long level ensured it was even all the way down the neck. even then i wound up with a slightly uneven radius in places. on my next build i'll be building a router radius jig... just my 2 cents...
     
  13. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    I reworked it twice to get it straight and level. It was a little low after the 15th fret but I thought it would be ok. Then I cut the material away for the shape. At the point I was ready to the do the final cut of the fret slots for depth and put the frets in. I did not think to recheck it at that point since I had spent so much time getting it straight before. As I mention the neck came out of straight after removing material for the shape. It makes sense but I had not seen that in my limited experience. I have a very long (14 inches) radius sanding block. I do not have a problem with the radius. BUT if not really careful I have a problem with either end getting sanded down lower. It is hard to keep the same pressure while sanding. I switch hands, sand from each end alternatively but it is still very hard. Maybe you are right. Maybe the only way to insure consistency is the router jig. Another way would be be to build a simple sanding jig that would have the sanding block locked in a slot above the fretboard and only allowed to go down to a preset depth.
     
  14. Deegatron

    Deegatron Tele-Meister

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    I absolutely do beleive that yo must re-check your radius / flatness RIGHT before fretting... otherwise all of your carefull planning and sanding may be for nothing... another thing to consider... you may have installed the frets unevenly... im assuming you hammered the frets?? I also struggle getting them all down and level with this process... maybe build yourself a fret rocker and check the neck... it may be just one or two frets throwing your measurements off....
     
  15. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for your suggestions. I use my scraper as a fret rocker and it works great. On my first neck everything work out so well I think by accident. This one is OK now but my process diffidently needs improving. I did not pay enough attention in insuring that the neck blank was exactly trued up before I started. These came from Warmoth. I bought 3. I just checked the other two blanks and they look true sighting down the edge. I will stay with Warmoth. I did purchase 2 from another source and they were terrible. I had to take them to my local cabinet maker and have them run through the planer.
     
  16. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Finish Redo for the 3rd Time

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    On my last attempt I was forced to put on another coat and picked up what I thought was gas bubbles. To make a long story short I ended up in a local auto paint store looking for an additive that might help this after talking to tech support for DEFT. After talking to an old hand at the auto paint store who actually knew what he was talking about (lacquer is banned in California so an OLD hand is required) this is what I found out.

    1. I did not have gas off bubbles I had fish eyes caused by contamination. Probably dust particles or even oil from my hands touching the finish.
    2. The lacquer thinner that is for sale in Home Depot type stores in California (maybe everywhere) is not good quality for spraying.
    3. The additive Smoothie prevents fisheyes and improves flow-out and increases gloss.
    4. Only use a Scotch Brite or similar product for sanding between coats. I had been using steel wool.
    5. Use a tack cloth religiously.
    6. The ratio I used was 1/3rd thinner 2/3rds lacquer.

    I just finished my last coat on my 3rd attempt. The lacquer sprayed on so much better with a lot more control. The better thinner causes the lacquer to flash off (dry) quicker so it was so much easier to get a controlled wet coat without building up too much and the worry of runs or sags. No bubbles or fisheyes at all on this attempt. An added benefit was that I made the edges less dark which is closer to most finishes you see in the cherry burst. I like it better.
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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
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  17. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Completed

    Overall I am very pleased with way this came out. I will be putting a video up soon demonstrating the tone. I really do like the 89.3% size of the Jazz Master body. Since I have been working on this for a while I have gotten use to the body shape. I will have to get others opinion to see if the overall guitar looks in scale and balanced. I don’t have an accurate scale but the weight is a bit less than a standerd ash body telecaster. The balance is very good and the cutout sets nicely on the thigh when playing setting down.
    I had a bit of trouble initially getting the setup. I had two frets that were high causing the problem. Once I reworked these I have the action near spec. I will let it settle in and in a couple of weeks I will do a bit more adjusting.

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    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
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  18. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Zero Fret

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    I really like the zero fret. It is much easier to play barre chords on the first fret. This has been an ongoing problem for me with other guitars and getting the nut set just right has been a problem. I am using a standard fender style nut as a string guide and it worked really well. I have it just set in place for now with the string tension keeping it secure.
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    I have been unwilling to purchase a file set to adjust the nut. The price seems out of line to me. Another member suggested using a feeler gauge and cutting teeth into the appropriate gauges. I did this and it work perfectly for my needs. It does take a bit of time to cut to desired depth but only about 3 minutes or so for each string. I cut the “saw teeth” into the gauge using a small triangle file. It took no time at all to turn the gauges into the files. Less than 5 minutes for all. I used a file I had from a small set of files for the low E string and for the A string I needed to put two gauges together and add teeth to these with them together.
     
  19. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    Wiring

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    I used pots with push pull switches in order to switch between standard tone controls and a Wilde Q Filter tone control. And I used one for the SD pickup to switch between serial and parallel wiring. More on this pickup in lessons learned. The difference in the Q filter and standard tone control is very noticeable. For me, this switching is a requirement. While I really like the Q filter, it is clear, bell like on the high end and less muddy on the low end, it still cannot make the mid range tones of the standard circuit, at least with the pickups I am using.

    The two 3 way switches worked out really well for me. It is less confusing and very easy to set the desired combination of pickups. With this carved body without a pick guard I am unwilling to try to mount the standard tele or strat 3 or 5 way switches. A rotary 5 or 6 way switch is an option.
     
  20. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Very nice!
     
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