Telecaster build thread!

Telecaster582

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So I'm building a Telecaster, and I already have cut the body out, but here's what I want the specs to be:
Pickups: Fender WRHB in the neck position, I want suggestions for a (cheap) single coil bridge pickup.

Pickguard: black

Color: Silver

I want it to layout to be like a regular Telecaster, not like the usual Telecaster Custom.

Hopefully this all goes well, and please give me suggestions for what might look good, or anything else. Here's how far I've gotten:
IMG_20220629_160536443.jpg
 

1 21 gigawatts

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Silver you say? Not gonna lie, I think it looks great the way it is.
I agree 100%. Slap some parts on it and play that thing!

Bridge pickup- If I ever get around to building a tele, I'm going to purchase the Fender vintage bridge assembly with pickup. It is only $53 on Amazon. Fender Tex Mex pickups are also inexpensive, and I like the sound of them.
 

Steve Holt

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No. This is my first time making a body to.

How are you set on tools? If you've got a router you're 3/4 of the way there. You need a way to route the truss rod cavity straight. That can be done with either a router table with a fence, or you could make a jig.

I always buy my fretboards slotted and radiused from lmii.com because the peace of mind knowing that the fret slots are cut PERFECTLY is worth the $7.00 they charge. Then you need to be able to do the headstock transition, which I do with a spindle sander and a fence, but there are surely other ways and other forum members who can share their tricks.

Then shaping the back of the neck. Definitely not rocket science. I did all the shaping of my first neck by hand with rasps and files. Now I use a right angle sander to carve out some material and do the rest by hand.

The only downside of using an LMII fretboard is they don't cut the nut slot for you, which can definitely be tricky to cut.

Food for thought! My very first build I went ahead and built the neck and body and I'm glad I did.
 

Telecaster582

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How are you set on tools? If you've got a router you're 3/4 of the way there. You need a way to route the truss rod cavity straight. That can be done with either a router table with a fence, or you could make a jig.

I always buy my fretboards slotted and radiused from lmii.com because the peace of mind knowing that the fret slots are cut PERFECTLY is worth the $7.00 they charge. Then you need to be able to do the headstock transition, which I do with a spindle sander and a fence, but there are surely other ways and other forum members who can share their tricks.

Then shaping the back of the neck. Definitely not rocket science. I did all the shaping of my first neck by hand with rasps and files. Now I use a right angle sander to carve out some material and do the rest by hand.

The only downside of using an LMII fretboard is they don't cut the nut slot for you, which can definitely be tricky to cut.

Food for thought! My very first build I went ahead and built the neck and body and I'm glad I did.
Yeah, I've considered it, because necks are really expensive, but I don't have any solid wood to make one out of , and the body is just plywood. (Yeah, I know, it's what I had, so I can just use the experience)
 

Telecaster582

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Nothing wrong with plywood! Good place to learn.

So do you have multiple sheets you've glued together?
I had one long board that I cut in half and glued together to get a proper thickness, then I cut it, and after I'm done sanding that cutaway to the line, I'll take it apart and use better and more glue for a permanent stay.
 

Telecaster582

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Maybe I could find an all-rosewood neck that might look nice on there? I at least want a rosewood fingerboard and if possible a V neck profile.
 

Steve Holt

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Let me check ....

Reason I ask is because in a telecaster you need a full 1-3/8" control cavity to fit most switches. If you're at 1.5" that doesn't leave a lot of room, but it is possible, leaving 1/8" below the cavity.

Otherwise you might look for an import switch like you'd see on a Squier or the like. Everything else should be fine if you only have 1.5" to work with.
 

Telecaster582

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Reason I ask is because in a telecaster you need a full 1-3/8" control cavity to fit most switches. If you're at 1.5" that doesn't leave a lot of room, but it is possible, leaving 1/8" below the cavity.

Otherwise you might look for an import switch like you'd see on a Squier or the like. Everything else should be fine if you only have 1.5" to work with.
Yeah, it's exactly 1.5"
 

Telecaster582

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Ill have to figure out a way to mark the depth of the control cavity so I know how deep to go. I'd really like to have a full sized switch in there. I planned on using a 6 position freeway switch.
 

Steve Holt

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Ill have to figure out a way to mark the depth of the control cavity so I know how deep to go. I'd really like to have a full sized switch in there. I planned on using a 6 position freeway switch.

Easiest way is to draw a line on the outside of your guitar body to the depth that you're trying to hit, then set the router next to it and adjust it to that depth.

That's also a good trick to use to double check yourself and make sure you don't route too deep. If the router bit goes past the bottom of the body, you've gone too deep 😅
 




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