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#1
Hi gang, this will be my first build from scratch, something I've wanted to do for a while.

In the last few years I've refinished a couple of guitars, built a 2x12 cabinet and re-housed my Bugera 6262 combo amp into a custom head that matches the 2x12, so building a guitar from scratch feels like natural progression.

On to the build, its essentially going to be a 6 string Telecaster style axe with a thinner than usual body, highly figured top, 5/7 piece neck and a hard tail bridge.

Finish wise, very simple. No binding, no abalone, no sticky shiny finishes. I want it to be a very organic feeling guitar (much like my Siggery).

Pickup wise, I will be going balls to the wall metal with the bridge pickup but (probably) keeping it standard at the neck for that Tele twang.

Probable materials at this point (all subject to change, as is my whim):

Body - Ash
Top - Macassar Ebony/Zebrano (not 100% sure yet)
Neck - Maple+Wenge+Sapelle (probably)
Fretboard - Ovangkol

Hardware:

Bridge - Schaller 3D-6
Tuners - Schaller M6
Pickups - Undecided specifics (bridge humbucker, hot Tele neck)

Here's a mock up, with a macassar ebony top, showing the overall config.



Mockup with zebrano top + scratchplate.



I expect to start this project proper after Christmas, but will be stockpiling bits and bobs on the run up.

Heres what I have so far:

Fretboard - Lovely figured piece of Ovangkol


Bridge


I hope to have the body and neck wood sourced within the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading
Last edited by Wesbanez at Apr 27, 2013,
#5
Lookin' sweet, best of luck to you
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#6
Headstock ala Parker looks nice on it. Just need to be sure about the measurements on it so it wont snap off from string tension.
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#7
Quote by Heilz
Headstock ala Parker looks nice on it. Just need to be sure about the measurements on it so it wont snap off from string tension.

More like a clone of blackmachine.

I would go for not having a pickguard.
What's the point of a nice figure if you cover it up?
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#9
Thanks for the input fellas.

Quote by Heilz
Headstock ala Parker looks nice on it. Just need to be sure about the measurements on it so it wont snap off from string tension.


Thanks, Im growing more attached to the design each day. I shouldn't think a 5 piece neck will need to worry about string tension snapping anything.

Quote by Kyleisthename
More like a clone of blackmachine.

I would go for not having a pickguard.
What's the point of a nice figure if you cover it up?


Its actually based on a design used by Black Water guitars, look them up. Blackmachine were not the first and are not the only builder to use a minimalist headstock design so saying anything similar is a clone is a bit daft.

The pickguard will cover roughly 25% of the top at most and is by no means decided on at this point.

Quote by Explorerbuilder
Where do you plan on finding maccassar that wide?


Here, here or here.
#10
I wasn't trying to insult you and I used Blackmachine because they are usually associated with that headstock style.......plus they are well-known.
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#11
Got my new old stock Schaller M6 Minis in the post this morning.



The bridge and the tuners (both NOS Schaller) together have only cost me £55. More money for a top quality drop top

Hope to have wood sourced by next week.
#12
Quote by Explorerbuilder
Where do you plan on finding maccassar that wide?


I was thinking this, but I saw your link. It's also going to be expensive, reallllly expensive. If this is your first guitar I would do the zebrawood first, so you don't want to throw yourself off a balcony if you mess something up with 150$/bf (thats the price I would have to pay to get it) lumber.

Not trying to be a stick in the mud, but you know.
#13
That's a fair point, which I would definitely be taking on board were it for the fact that my uncle will be throwing his considerable knowledge behind me and this project, so there's really very little risk.

Plus, this is purely relative of course, but I don't consider 100 quid for a pretty top a great deal of money.
#14
Quote by Wesbanez
That's a fair point, which I would definitely be taking on board were it for the fact that my uncle will be throwing his considerable knowledge behind me and this project, so there's really very little risk.

Plus, this is purely relative of course, but I don't consider 100 quid for a pretty top a great deal of money.


Then I am very excited for this, seeing as how only about 1 out of 10 builds I look at are people that realize building your own guitar is expensive and shouldn't be done "on a budget".
#16
Took a trip to see my uncle today to raid his wood yard.




Lots of lovely wood.

Came home with the following



From left to right, English walnut (not for anything specific, just liked it), ovangkol (fretboard, already had this), two pieces of wenge (larger piece for neck), mahogany (neck), plum (no particular reason, I just liked it.)

So just the body wood and top to source now

Moah wood pics.









#17
Quick update, I now have all the wood for this build and most of the hardware (everything except the neck ferrules, pickups and pick guard, which I have decided I want for the authentic Tele look).

Body will be composed of 2 nice pieces of poplar (aka tulipwood) which I got for the bargain price of £20.

Drop top will be a thin (3.5mm) zebrano (zebrawood) bookmatched set with a lovely figure. Should be enough to veneer the headstock with this piece too.

Also picked up some purpleheart dowel to make inlays with (decided I do in fact prefer inlays over the plain fretboard look).

So, looks like it'll be:

3 piece mahagony/wenge neck (wenge centre strip)
2 piece poplar body
Bookmatched zebrano top and headstock veneer
Ovangkol fretboard with purpleheart dot inlays

Wood pics to follow in the next week or so...
#18
Damn dude, I love Tele's this is shaping up to be a damn sexy guitar.

I'll be watching this closely.

Good luck!
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#20
Quote by Wesbanez
Body will be composed of 2 nice pieces of poplar (aka tulipwood) which I got for the bargain price of £20.

Ok, you've got my attention now. Post pics plz
#22
Quote by W4RP1G
Ok, you've got my attention now. Post pics plz


glad you could hop in dude, I really enjoyed your Telecaster build thread, was very impressed at how much awesome you crammed into it! So as requested, pic of the poplar:




Template drawn on it reverse to show how the figure will look on the back. Not the prettiest piece of wood in the world, so I may stain it darker to hide the greenish heartwood that you can see in the piece on the left.

That ugly heartwood is also why the join isn't the center line, didn't want to include that into the body too much.

Moving onto the pretty top, I got screwed on the piece of zebrawood I bought. Never turned up and the seller has gone awol...

Sooooooooo, not to worry as I just scored these beauties for £58 in total. Absolute bargains:

Marbled English Walnut



Redwood Lace Burl



Im planning to use the redwood burl for this build now, keeping the marbled walnut for a bass I plan to build in the future.

Would appreciate some opinions on the mockups below, at the moment im swinging towards the 2nd or 3rd.









Last edited by Wesbanez at Jan 6, 2013,
#23
yeah, second or third. Keep all the hardware black, personally... id go no scratch plate, depending on how the wood looks. Keep at it dude
#25
You really need the pickguard. Telecasters look naked without one unless they have a carved top.
#26
Carve the top and dont add a pick guard. Honestly, it would look good flat top with no pickguard. regardless,

stickied!
#27
The third one looks pretty great. Or change all the hardware to chrome and have a chrome-covered bridge and neck pickups
#28
Quote by earthwormjim
You really need the pickguard. Telecasters look naked without one unless they have a carved top.


This is kind of what I've been thinking. I don't want a carved top, I want this thing to be a big fat slab of solid Tele.

I may look into clear pickguards, just to add a bit of protection to the picking area, but in all honestly I'll probably be going with the black option.

I bought a Giovanni GVT-1 for the neck position of this guitar, so now all I need is the pickguard and bridge humbucker (probably going for a Bareknuckle Nailbomb if the price is right).

#29
Progress! Finally made it to the workshop over the weekend and spent a few hours planeing and glueing the body then slicing up the neck material to make the laminate blank.

To recap: two piece poplar body and five piece mahogany and wenge neck. Well worth the umpteen wenge splinters I received for my trouble. Neck has a mahogany center surrounded by two wenge strips that were split from the same piece, shame to glue them up really as the figure is beautiful.

This guitar also now has a name. She will bear the name Valerie, in loving memory of my amazing aunt who passed away just before Christmas.













More next weekend hopefully
#30
Tad more progress... got the neck blank planed and ready for rough cutting before the fretboard goes on.



Got my redwood top glued up too, hope to have this glued to the body soon then the fun really starts

#32
Quote by -MintSauce-
Looking good, man.

My only piece of advice would be to buy some Titebond Original.


Done, my good man. Somebody else suggested this brand too so I picked some up. Will be used going forward for all remaining tasks (gluing fretboard to neck, body top to body etc).

Only two parts left to buy now, the control plate assembly and the bridge pickup (currently looking at Rio Grande humbuckers).

More action next w/e
#33
Redwood top glued to body, fun starts soon



On a side note, I really need to take my DSLR to the workshop instead of using my shitty camera phone...
#35
Good stuff so far. If you don't mind I ask, what made you decide on a five piece neck for the first build? I am starting a build soon, and just doing a one piece Sapele neck for a 7-string.
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#36
Quote by bobafettacheese
what made you decide on a five piece neck for the first build?


if you can glue 5 bits of wood together and chuck it through a thicknesser, it's no different to a one piece or a 20 piece neck.
#37
Holy shit, I'm eager to see this one. Tele hybrids give me a boner.
#38
Quote by W4RP1G
Holy shit, I'm eager to see this one. Tele hybrids give me a boner.


As I'm sure I've mentioned, the boner I got looking at your shredcaster is what inspired me to knock one together myself!

On a side note, May is going to be a month of very little progress on this build. Work is mega busy and I can't see a free weekend in my diary until at least the 3rd weekend of the month
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