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The Quadruple Crown - Or Building the Big Four

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Steve Holt, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    The Big Four Fender styles that is. Tele, Strat, Jazzmaster, Jaguar. So far I've built 3 teles, 4 Strats, and a jazzmaster. The time has come to complete the set and build a jag. The Jaguar is definitely my favorite fender guitar, though unfortunately least favorite to play. Maybe it's just not owning good ones or great ones. I do have a pretty good Japanese made jag that was my very first fender. That one is pretty good. But nothing plays like a Strat for me. Anyway...

    So here are my submissions for my quadruple crown so far

    My first build - the walnut telecaater

    20190722_074002.jpg

    My second build - the Monterey strat

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    Third, fourth, and fifth build was a triple Strat project. Biting off more than I could chew. Two of them became thinlines later in life.

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    20191214_225958.jpg


    Thinline jazzmaster - this one actually began as a thinline instead of being hacked apart and remade as a thinline like my Strats were

    20190712_210802.jpg

    Then a pair of identical though not identical teles to finish it off

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    Bonus round! A tiny Tele for my unborn son. Though it isn't quite finished yet.

    20210112_210301_06.jpg



    I have to say I'm pretty proud of my work. I built my first guitar before joining TDPRI, though googling questions about how to do a step almost always lead me here. I've come a long way in 5 years of building with a lot of help and advice from the fine folks here, as well as plenty of trial and error on my own

    Follow along for the jaguar build!
     
  2. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Cool. Never played one but love the shape.
     
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  3. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Beautiful guitars....nice work!
    I think if I were to challenge myself like you obviously have, I would try to build many different iterations of ONE model.....the Telecaster. I have an affinity (pun acknowledged) for the Telecaster shape, so I would build "Tele-shaped" guitars with assorted features, like pickups and bridges.
    But, I salute your results.....and thanks for posting. ;)
     
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Steve, I have a friend who is a big Kurt Cobain fan and he has had me help him assemble three different Jag/stang style guitars (we got the first one done and it promptly was stolen so we made a couple more). They weren't stricktly Jaguars or replicas of Cobain's but interesting challenges for me. He chose to use Kahler bridges instead of the apparently problematic Jag style and the pickup choices were anything but Fender. He also wanted some low tuning options which was interesting with the short scale.

    Anyway, I'll be watching what you do
     
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  5. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    The trouble I have there is I tend to only like vintage spec guitars. I like the vintage oval tuners with the slot, I like single coils, I like traditional switching. If I build too many of one style I end up with the same guitar over and over again with only the color different. The two yellow teles I built, one was for me, and a friend liked it so much he wanted one just like it. But I get the sentiment! Because I currently have 4 strats, 3 jags, and 2 teles!
     
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  6. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    I think the general rule is that if you have a guitar stolen you must replace it with two. So bravo for helping your friend follow the rule. I haven't heard of Kahler bridges but I'll give them a look. I actually have a Mastery bridge for this build (stolen out of a different guitar) to replace the definitely problematic jag style bridge. Pickups are Fender Vintage 62s also stolen out of a different guitar. Come to think of it all of this build will be stolen from a different guitar. Thanks for keeping an eye out on my build! Hopefully you'll enjoy it.
     
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  7. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I guess you don't get along with short scales huh? May I suggest a compromise? Do a 25" scale instead of 24". I often do this a compromise between Fender and Gibson :). I play everything from 23" to 27" but somehow the Fender scale doesn't suit me day in and day out the way it seems to suit you. I guarantee a snappier response though I tend to use D'addario XL110+ on a 25". A 10.5 high E and a 48 low E. Barely noticeable but definitely snappier :lol:. As always YMMV

    Dave
     
  8. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    I thought about a 25.5" scale but I decided against it because I'm too much of a purist. Haha. If it's a jag, it needs to be 24" says my brain. I finally stopped putting 1 Meg pots in my jags and jazzmasters because "that's what they're supposed to be" and have been switching them out for 250k because I just don't like the brightness. I tend to play on the neck pickup anyway so if I switch to a 1meg on a bridge pickup, it's horrible to me. The 250k pots on my jazzmaster are much better.
     
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  9. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    So here's where we're starting. I happened to buy an Alder blank on sale a while back so this was already glued up and waiting for me. Too wide for my planer, but I made a router sled for thicknessing bodies a while back so I used that. Other than the time it takes to slowly run a router across a board this size over and over and over, it worked great! I got it to just a hair over 1-5/8 thick and sanded out the wavy router lines left. Easy enough

    20210115_174220.jpg
     
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  10. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    More body pics! I got a little bit done Friday night (Planing was Thursday) but while I was trying to cut out the body on the Bandsaw I ran into a little snag. The blade quit turning. I figured out that it was the belt coming from the motor. It's old and it was stretched out. I took it in to my favorite auto parts store and they measured it and it had stretched over half an inch.

    20210115_194132.jpg

    New belt, New blade (don't even get me started on blade shopping) and I was back at it!

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  11. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    I'll keep up with body updates before I post neck updates.

    Tonight I went out and got the body and arm contours done. Right angle grinder to start, rasp to finish. I really like doing the work by hand, though it is exhausting. I'm also a fan of deep contours so I tried to get some deep curvy contours going. 20210119_173215.jpg 20210119_182201.jpg 20210119_182208.jpg 20210119_203430.jpg
     
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  12. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    Neck time! So Sunday morning I went out to the wood pile and found a nice piece of maple I'd set back for necks. I've made several great necks out of it already and I cut it down so I have one more future neck in waiting.

    20210117_101841.jpg
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    I'm going with an African blackwood fretboard again. I used it on my jazzmaster build and it's possibly my favorite wood. It's just so dense and great to work with. The weight of the fretboard alone seems twice as heavy as an Indian rosewood board. But I've never had both at the same time to compare.

    20210116_185409.jpg

    Originally this was going to be the classic 60s three color sunburst and I thought I'd class it up with gold pearl dots. Then I changed my mind and decided on surf green. Having already ordered the gold side dots I decided on abalone pearl dots to work with the surf green. I think it's going to look awesome on the black board to have gold side dots.

    20210116_185409.jpg 20210118_212442.jpg 20210118_213414.jpg
     
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  13. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    20210118_121242.jpg 20210118_213338.jpg 20210119_203403.jpg 20210119_203350.jpg 20210119_203353_capture.jpg
     
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  14. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Afflicted

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    walnut tele would be my fav of the bunch fwiw. tell me friend... do I recognize that blue strat from over at strat talk? think I vaguely remember chatting about it over there if I'm not mistaken. anywho... so many to build and so little time!
     
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  15. Cadillac_Mike

    Cadillac_Mike Tele-Meister

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    So, how much for the Tele hehe? God I love that with the gold hardware, walnut body, and birdseye neck. Looks like something Merle Hagard would approve of!
     
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  16. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks! It's not a bad guitar for my first attempt. Although that is the second neck. I'm not sure if I ever posted that guitar on strat-talk. I was on strat-talk for awhile but can't remember if I ever posted any builds. But it's possible!
     
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  17. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    Eh...I don't think I could sell it. Being the first guitar I ever built I've been hanging on to it for sentimental reasons. Maybe pass it down to my kids someday if they have any interest. Plus there are plenty of flaws that don't really affect playability, but I wouldn't have the heart to sell it to someone for what I think it's worth with those flaws. And then selling it for what someone might actually pay wouldn't be worth selling it for the sentimental value!

    It's funny though, that guitar is so not me. If you noticed a trend in all of my other builds, fender custom colors...standard wood...no gold hardware. Yeah I took a bite off the deep end for my first build. It started out as a George Harrison Rosewood tele, but I didn't want to buy a bunch of rosewood just to screw it up. So I went with walnut which I have an abundance of and went crazy with the gold. Thanks for looking!
     
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  18. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    Well I get to start over on the body.

    PSA: check the fit of all your parts, and the cavity locations, and measure everything before you start. And don't trust some shady fly-by-night reverb salesman whose pictures don't look that good just. :cry::cry::cry:

    Long story short we're looking at a dumpster fire. The neck should be fine though it's a bit narrow. The width at the nut is a hair over 1-5/8" so I'm not too worried there.
     
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  19. Rjelecaster

    Rjelecaster Tele-Meister

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    If its not worth doing twice its not worth doing at all
     
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  20. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Another vote for the walnut tele as my favourite, although those other teles (not sure what that colour is, faded olympic white?) are really beautiful, too.
     
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