Leo made the early Esquires using the 3/4 inch pine he was already using for amp cabinets. The pine boards were sandwiched together to make a 1 1/2 inch thick body. That approach didn't last long at all.The advantage for leo was that it was cheap to source.
Pine guitars sound awesome. Very resonant and lightweight. However Leo Fender stopped using pine early on because pine is a soft wood and would dent and ding too easily. Also screw holes would strip out after awhile. I prefer swamp ash and alder.I see some builders like Ron Kirn offering a pine Tele. I think that Leo started with pine before switching to Ash / Alder. How do they sound?
Nice looking neck on that.pros- lightweight, good feel, good sound, looks nice
cons- soft wood can be difficult to work with, more prone to tear outs, and the surface can burr up if you overwork it while sanding or buffing.
after it is finished, it will get dents, dings, and scratches very easily. surface wear even from careful handling. but that is just part of the experience, and enjoyable when you get it comfortably broken in.
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my home built pine telecaster is very light, and I can balance it in the palm of my hand right at the neck plate. The feel you get when playing it is good, very strong responsive vibrations give you good tactile feedback.
It looks pretty cool. A construction worker salvaged some beams from an old barn and log cabin, and made this body on a cnc. He made at least 4 other bodies from this particular beam, most of them were 2 piece.
Mine is a single piece from the center of a big old ceiling beam. I count 24 growth rings. It's a little bit rough from the cnc process but I like it; it's a humble guitar. I only have $300 in it.
I used an amish furniture beeswax finish from indiana amish country. Just clear wax polish built up to a slick gloss finish. It aged nicely and developed a nice rich color. Feels great in your hands. Similar to mylands clear wax finish.
It sounds really nice with the duncan 59 blues humbucker in the neck position.
It had a crappy fake p90 in the bridge, but I'll let you know what it sounds like as a real telecaster soon. It's getting a seymour duncan antiquity 1950 fender champion lap steel pickup, similar to a broadcaster.
I'm currently taking it apart for the first time since I built it 11 years ago.
I had to ship it a while ago, and it took some damage from aggressively careless handling. The SKB case was destroyed, the electronics were rattled to death, but somehow the guitar survived. I'm taking the opportunity to invest in some upgrades, make a few alterations, and correct a few errors I made the first time around.
Great reference work, but well past due for an update.Pine guitars sound awesome. Very resonant and lightweight. However Leo Fender stopped using pine early on because pine is a soft wood and would dent and ding too easily. Also screw holes would strip out after awhile. I prefer swamp ash and alder.
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Hmmmm. I dunno. I mean, it's soft and all, but if you're a relic kinda guy, you'd like that. From working with white pine a bit, I can say it feels fragile compared to heavy ash, for sure. It'll dent if you look at it too hard. But it's lighter overall, and that can be an advantage to some. I've heard you can harden pine with, well, a hardener. I don't know what that would do to the wood's other qualities.There IS no advantage to a pine bodied Tele. Leo tried pine and ended up rejecting it. That says it all, IMO.