Where to find project guitars

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by mack2000heaton, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. mack2000heaton

    mack2000heaton NEW MEMBER!

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    I have been wanting to re-finish an american made fender telecaster for a few years now but I want to hear everyones thoughts on finding project guitars first. what i mean by a "project guitar" is one in horrible condition and/or sold as body only. Ebay usually has a few used american fender tele bodys in the $300-$400 range but most are in pretty good condition. I do not want to waste the extra money by re-finishing a guitar that does not need it. Any input is appreciated.
     
  2. bill hullett

    bill hullett NEW MEMBER!

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    Mack..... refinish requires a two step process......remove to bare wood (if its a poly finish extremely hard to do) and then refinish.....why don't you buy an all parts, warmoth musikraft usa custometc...etc..... new bare body and just add the finish same recommendations for the neck unless you find one already finished (very hard to refinish an all maple neck) I think you could get both neck and body for what your budgeting for a used body
    YMMV
    Bill Hullett
     
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  3. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    finding project guitars?

    almost half of those offered on my craigslist feed qualify - then it's down to the deeper screening you wanna do - mim, korea, china, indonesia, brother carl, etc

    if this would be your first, maybe Not a usa model, but something more affordable to "learn" on, like I did when brushing up my soldering "skills"
    ;)

    Peace - Deeve
     
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  4. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Deeve got it right.
     
  5. dogmeat

    dogmeat Tele-Afflicted

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    pawn shops too
     
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  6. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    I've heard rumors of finding intentionally-damaged guitars in the dumpster behind Guitar Center.
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ebay is a good source of project guitars. You have to check daily and you have to check early in your timezone if you want to catch the best deals. Usually the sellers ask asinine prices for these damaged goods though and it may be wiser just to build up a partscaster.
     
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  8. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    Both comments are exactly on point. By the way, welcome back, @bill hullett
     
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  9. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook garage sales, estate sales, garage sales, storage unit auctions, thrift stores, antique/vintage stores. I've not had any luck with the pawn shops around here. Most of them list their guitars at the highest price for a similar one they find on EBay, plus 15% or more, and won't negotiate on the price. YMMV.

    Hint: the best listings will feature trash or dirty laundry in the background and the guitar will be missing a few strings. Unknowledgeable people will assume a guitar missing strings is "broken" and discount it accordingly. However, hidden damage can be severe. I bought a Squier Standard Strat that a cat had peed on. Fortunately, it cleaned up OK and I only paid $27 for it.

    Another learning option is to buy inexpensive bodies on EBay for about $35 or so. You could also buy kits, typically around $80. Quality is low on these kits so it can be challenging to get something halfway decent from them. But, you will learn a lot.

    I bought a clearance body from GFS and combined it with an old Epiphone neck to put together this creature. Total cost was about $120 and would have been less if I hadn't added in the boost circuit.

    pigaphone before and after.png

    One more option is to build cigar box style and other improvised guitars and stringed instruments. Here are some of mine that I built.

    cbg3.png
     
  10. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You will more likely find cheap guitars than expensive ones that need work, simply because people fix up the more expensive ones so they can sell them for more.

    Sometimes you can find cheap guitars with a horrible finish/relic job for insane prices. They would make good project guitars, but it's too hard to make their owners part with their "gold mines" without getting ripped off.
     
  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    just get up any Saturday morning. hit the Garage Sale route. you'll find a world class beater somewhere for a few bux.. practice on that... and practice fret leveling on the worthless neck too..

    rk
     
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  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Glarry Strat $65 shipped
    Harley Benton (new finished guitar $150, or an unfinished kit guitar $75)

    Watch your local Craigslist and filter for everything under $50.
    You need to check often and be fast on a response.
    And by checking often that means every time you surf on the browser you have pre-set CL search terms.

    These are often pretty good finds, though sometimes sellers want more than new prices for them...
    Epiphone Special
    First Act
    Spectrum
    Starcaster by Fender
    While you can find Squiers from time to time, I stopped getting them because the necks are too skinny.
    Just get a general guitar-shaped-object.

    These were Craigslist
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/ngd-double-tapped-and-left-for-dead-makes-music-again.542306/
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/the-t...cheap-and-broken-guitar-into-a-player.565044/
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/black-cherry-telecaster-she-is-a-sweet-sixteen.661260/
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/fretb...amaged-trapezoids-on-a-les-paul-style.870608/
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/tulip-mania-a-neck-resurrection-from-back-bow.950816/

    A Reverb project
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/steamed-repairing-a-broken-neck-prs.762673/


    .
     
  13. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I see lots of cheap guitars in the Facebook Marketplace that would be good candidates to practice refinishing and repair.

    Several years ago I was driving through town on the night before garbage day and saw a guitar neck sticking out of a box. I stopped to take a look and it was a Danelectro Hodad all taken apart. It was in my car pretty quick. Turns out there were a few parts missing, but I put it all back together, got it wired up and gave it to my son-in-law. That was a nice lucky find. :)
     
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  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Flea Markets are also a wonderful source of cheap guitars. Don't expect many Gibsons but you can find lots of Asian made stuff these days.
     
  15. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    you are looking for a nice guitar, like an american standard tele or strat that's beat up an needs refinished, and you'd like to get it for cheap right?

    yeah...
     
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    For what it is worth, I'm an amateur repair person and my local music store will frequently forward instruments to me. I do a lot of pro bono work for the music program in our high school and I have an agreement with our HS shop program that if a kid builds a guitar I will help him with setup and other details that might not fit the shop program. Its a great way for me to improve my building/repair chops and its a great way to give something back.
     
  17. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    My local Pawnshops are full of Stypes and Epiphone LP types from $40 to $100 dollars.
     
  18. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

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    I just look under my workbench at all the half finished crap under there:rolleyes:
     
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  19. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I've got about a dozen 2 to 4 string cigar box guitar necks waiting for me out in the garage. I just have to get motivated to finish them.
     
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  20. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'll see your CBG necks and raise you 3 Cigar Boxes, 2 Tins, 2 tennis rackets and 3 Reso Cones.
     
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