Tele Trio - A Tribute to Buck and Don

Gary_M

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Wow! Looking forward to seeing the finished Tele's. A video of how they sound would be great:)

Thanks, I will try to post some sound clips although my playing sorta stinks.

This ain’t your first rodeo. Great looking so far

Thanks. Not my first rodeo, but I don't have a ton of building experience. I've built 7 guitars and basses to this point. So these will be number 8, 9 and 10 assuming that I get them finished. :)
 

Gary_M

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Time to attach the fretboards to the necks.

I made sure that I had good center lines marked as well as nut location on all the necks. I carefully aligned the fretboards and clamped them in place.
a3ZsLBO.jpg


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I drilled a 1/16" hole at the first and last fret location, then removed the clamps. I use 1/16" side dot marker rods as pins for alignment (not pictured). At this point, I also roughly taper the fretboards on the band saw.
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I preheat the necks and fretboards with a heat gun, then apply hot hide glue. The necks go into a vacuum bag for a couple of hours.
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After drying overnight, I chase the fret slots to ensure that they're full depth after being radiused.
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I use a Robosander to bring the boards down as close as possible to the neck itself.
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The fretboards are then flush trimmed at the router table (not pictured). A little cleanup will be needed, but these look pretty good.
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More soon, buckaroos. :D
 

Gary_M

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Not much to report this weekend, but I made a little bit of progress.

Drilled the holes for the tuners.
cq39Ajb.jpg


I marked out the material to be removed from the headstock face along with the transition.
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Made the cut on the face of the headstock on the bandsaw.
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Made the perpendicular cut on the bandsaw to remove the waste.
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Used the spindle sander to shape the transition.
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Sanded the face and cleaned up.
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More soon. :)
 

Gary_M

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Wow, it's been over a month since I've updated this thread. I haven't made as much progress I had hoped... Work has been insane, busy around the house, etc. And to be perfectly honest, I sorta knocked the wind out of my own sails with a boneheaded mistake. Read on, dear friends, for the details.

I took a few minutes to drill out some wire passages in the bodies.
Ec1gwGd.jpg


Next, I quickly laid out the fretboard dot positions, went to the drill press and got the depth stop set for my 1/4" forstner bit. Then started drilling away. I started into the second neck, and that's when I saw it.

:oops:

Of course it had to be on one of the figured maple boards that I had so carefully saved especially for these matching necks. Oh, and of course I had center punched all 3 necks in the wrong position. (I had laid them all next to each other and marked them at the same time.)

Yeah, boneheaded move. Something I never imagined I would do, but all it took was a few minutes of not paying enough attention. I spent a few days moping and trying to figure out a way to piece in some offcuts, but I knew the joints would show no matter well the patches would fit. I was able to steam out (for the most part) the bad punch marks, but that one board would have to go.
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I used my heating iron that I used to use to cover RC airplanes and an antique frosting knife to remove the board.
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Grabbed one of the freshly cut maple boards that I had made a few weeks back.
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Slotted it.
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Put a radius on it.
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Aligned and glued it.
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Let us never speak of it again. :D
 

Gary_M

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Moving on...

I trimmed up the replacement board, then marked the dots and finished drilling... This time in the correct locations. :D
Rg6isJo.jpg


Dots were glued in with Duco cement.
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Side dots were drilled with a brad point bit and rods glued in with Duco cement.
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Dots were sanded flush with a beam.
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Much better.
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And a little reminder to hang on the wall.
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More soon.
 

TN Tele

Tele-Meister
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Franklin, TN
Beautiful builds, I'd like to more about the router bit you used to rough radius your fretboards. Make and model etc, what your final fretboard radius is etc. Thanks.
 

Gary_M

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Next up is binding. I like to set my binding channels to be just slightly smaller than the binding itself. This is so I can scrape the binding flush to the body, and not the other way around. I always measure the binding channel size after I prep the binding.

I prep the binding by sanding one side and one edge flat against my bench top. This ensures that the binding will sit tight and square in the channel. But this also means that the binding is slightly undersized, hence the need to size the channel after the prep. Applying the binding with acetone will also make the binding swell a bit, so there is a little dance to be done with test fitting, etc. (maybe this dance should be called a binding jig? :D )

I don't have a picture of the router table setup, but I just use the StewMac binding cutter rabbet bit and bearings. To fine tune the cut, I test on scrap and sometimes use a wrap of vinyl tape around the router bearing to get the depth of cut that I need.

Here is the body that will go to my brother and will get the silver flake finish with black binding. I should mention that I tape small wood backers in the neck pocket to avoid tear-out.
KJuVGSy.jpg


And the back side.
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I use acetone in a pipette to attach the binding and apply tape as I go.
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The rubber sleeves from the spindle sander make great cauls for holding the binding in tight areas.
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And this is the body that will go to my dad with white binding and the red, silver and blue flake finish.
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I let everything set up overnight, then use card scrapers to bring the bindings flush to the body. This part is actually pretty fun.
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Thanks for looking! :)
 

Gary_M

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Beautiful builds, I'd like to more about the router bit you used to rough radius your fretboards. Make and model etc, what your final fretboard radius is etc. Thanks.

I use fretboard radius bits made by SJE tools. I bought mine on Amazon, but they aren't currently available. Yonico also has them and they are available on Amazon. (the SJE brand may have been made by Yonico to begin with) Here is a link:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0713X5NLW/?tag=tdpri-20

There are some videos that SJE has on YouTube. Highly recommend that you watch them to get an idea of the process. In essence, I use a squared up, rectangular fixture made of plywood. I attach the board along the centerline, and route in small increments, flipping the fixture after each pass to get both sides. I'll post pictures if you want.
 

Gary_M

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More binding fun. So, the third guitar (the one for me) will be the gold flake Tele. There were three of these made. One each for Buck and Don and the third for George Fullerton. These guitars featured black and white checkered binding or maybe more appropriately, purfling...?, in between strips of black binding.

Here is a photo of George's Tele.
asP8W2P.jpg


As I mentioned earlier, trying to source the checkered strips of plastic binding is nearly impossible right now. The only source that I could find was from Rothko & Frost. The kicker is that the only version they have right now is defective... they literally label it as "checker-ish wonky" binding. Only a small amount of each strip is usable. So, I ordered 10 strips of it, hoping to get enough usable material for double bindings on this guitar.

Here is a sample package from R&F
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Here is what the vast majority of it looks like...
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Basically, none of it is perfectly square, but here is some of the better stuff.
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So, I spent a little time, cutting the good parts from the bad. The pile on the left is the usable material out of 10 strips.
FxiDURT.jpg


The plan is to piece together enough for 2 strips... not sure if I will try to make those up in complete strips before assembly, or just piece them together as I assemble. It's going to be a pain, regardless.

Here is an idea of how the assembled binding will look. The checkered stuff (.060) is in between strips of .040 black binding.
RoljEp1.jpg


It's not going to be perfect, obviously. But, from a few feet away, I think it will be OK. If I were to do it over, I would have ordered 20 strips instead of 10 as there were a couple of entire pieces that were unusable. I'll definitely be cutting it close and may have to use some of the more questionable pieces... (probably on the back of the guitar)

By the way, I'm not trying to disparage Rothko & Frost at all. They are very upfront with their description and their service is fantastic. I just wish there was a good source for this style of binding somewhere.

I'm also still on the fence about how I will install/assemble this binding. My instinct tells me to leave the individual layers "loose" and fit small sections at a time. This will allow the layers to "slide" as they are fitted. If I glue up the entire assemble first, it may be too stiff and deform even more as it is installed.

I'll likely be working on this later today, so with me luck. :D
 




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