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Hey everybody, I've been planning to do a build for a 4-H project since last August, but never really got around to actually starting one. Instead I spent a little too much time planning and fantasizing about my ideal build, but I finally decided to get down to work and build a Telecaster Deluxe.

Originally I wanted to do a Les Paul, but my dad decided that might be a bit tricky once the carved top and angled neck were taken into consideration, so I decided to go with a similar beast.


Alder Body
Black Finish
22 fret Strat-shape neck, all maple
Pickups: GFS Fat PAT (Bridge), GFS Vintage 59/Classic II/Fat PAT (Undecided, Neck)- Coil Split
2 Volume, 2 Tone
Gotoh Hardtail Bridge
Gotoh Schaller-Style Tuners
Custom Warmoth Pickguard (Black)
Chrome Dome Knobs- 2 volume, 2 tone

Kisekae Mockup...

It was a struggle to find wood. Our local shop didn't have any, so we either had to order off the internet, or drive several hours to the next nearest place who had some alder. We ended up ordering off of Warmoth. So without further ado, heres some actual pictures...

Here's part of the maple I picked up to use for the neck. I didn't plan it, but it has some nice figure to it.

The rough neck shape. Cut out with a band saw, and I ended up shaping it with an oscillating spindle sander. I still haven't tackled the overhang/pocket yet... (Hints on that would be great )

I came home this one day... I wonder what's inside...

*GASP* It's gone!

Ah, there we go...

This is the best grain shot I could get before I cut the body out. Sorry about the poor lighting.

Here's the body after cutting and shaping. Again, sorry about the lighting.

That's all I have for now, I'll make sure to update it whenever I can. Thanks for reading!!!
I pride myself on my humility.
Looking good so far...
Quote by Pan-Tallica
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
But theres no reason why i cant be free like a raspberry stuck to the back of a horny elephants ass.

This is maybe the worst comparison in the history of comparisons.
Define "overhand/pocket" and I'll try to help
Congrats on building your first! Its always a great experience.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
Quote by nowa90
Define "overhand/pocket" and I'll try to help
Congrats on building your first! Its always a great experience.

Whoops, silly auto-spellcheck. I meant overhang as in the 22 fret overhang.
I pride myself on my humility.
Alright, it's been a while (due to finals, and my own personal laziness of not posting), but I now have an almost complete body. O.O Anyways, here's some pictures:

The cutout of the body

Cutting out the switch cavity

Here you can see the pilot holes for the pickup and control cavities (and FEET!!!!!)

My pickup routing wasn't very carefully planned, and ended up being a huge hassle and looking pretty ugly... (Here it is mid way)

Here's a body shot (there's still more...)

Here's the neck route after I did the rounding over. Again, this was another example of a lack of planning as it was somewhat of a struggle to do this once it was rounded over.

As you can see, I drilled one of my pilot holes about 1/8" too deep. Should I leave it alone, fill it with wood filler, or attempt to patch it?
I pride myself on my humility.
I can't belive I totally forgot neck pictures. The maple I picked up had some great natural curl. I wasn't even looking for it and hadn't really noticed it until I took it home.

Here's some more of the wood plus the rough neck cutout.

Headstock shot after shaping and drilling of holes.

I'm not quite sure of what truss rod to use... Should I go with the basic (2-way Hot Rod) hex nut, or the special cross Fender style nut. I'd like the one that will be easiest to install and adjust.
I pride myself on my humility.
Sorry in advance for the double (now triple post.) Well I have a dilemma. When planing the neck down I (and my friend with the planar who also set it) accidentally planed it down to a little over 15/16". (Fender necks are 1" exactly at the heel.) What should I do? How will this potentially effect intonation and action?

I have more maple, enough to make a new neck, but I'd rather not have to.
I pride myself on my humility.
thats not a whole lot. you have 2 options i can think of:

lower your bridge to match the lower neck
angle the neck back a little

of course i didnt think... is your neck route an inch deep or was it less so the "overhang" would normally not sit flush? if its an inch deep, you gots a problem!

because youre doing a solid color, you COULD make a shim to perfect fit in the neck route, and bring the neck up to height, then finish over it.

is the neck rounded before planing? because then it could also be too narrow for the fretboard...
i guess it matters what stage the necks at
I like the shim idea the best of all, and the neck pocket is the standard 5/8"- no worries.
I pride myself on my humility.
your bridge will have adjustable height saddles, so if you dont use a shim, and its less than 1/16th off, you shouldnt have an issue, you should just be able to lower the saddles a tiny bit and be fine
do a test fit if you can without a shim when you get the fretboard on. just continue like normal, and if you need to shim it, add it later. im guessing youll be fine
Mmk. As I was working today I noticed one other thing. I don't think the pickguard I ordered will let me move the bridge I have far enough up. Would it be best just to cut or sand the pickguard down to a point where the bridge is in the right spot?
I pride myself on my humility.
you mean towards the neck?
you can sand and shape the pickguard if youre careful. again, your saddles are adjustable, is it that far off? youll have to probably have the neck ready to go to measure scale length and make sure of placement
No, the saddles won't be able to extend far enough.
I pride myself on my humility.
then youll want to be careful with the pickguard, but you can modify it. i have never had to do it, but i know its possible. do a google search on how, youll find something i bet. but id wait until you know exactly where it needs to be to start doing it. probably when the neck is done and able to be bolted on to measure
I haven't updated things in a while, but the past 2 weeks things have been coming along at a steady pace.

The 22nd fret hangover

Truss rod channel cut. This was a royal pain to do. I actually had my dad do the actual cutting since my hands weren't steady enough (you can see that near the left there is some chatter. Most of that will be cut away when I shape the neck.)

Neck slotted and radiused. In this picture I haven't gone in yet and cut the slots a second time. But that's done now.

I'm about ready to put the truss rod in. I've got a skunk stripe almost ready, I just have to finish that up, and then look for the best way to get my 2-way truss rod in a one piece neck. (Probably epoxy.)
I pride myself on my humility.
I just finished up putting the truss rod in with silicone caulk. In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm using a 2 way rod, which is pretty much a no-no when it comes to one piece necks apparently, but I plan on using liberal amounts of epoxy. We'll see how it comes out soon once I put the filler strip in.

I've also hammered the frets in. No big issues there, but by the looks of it, I think my neck may be thinner near the heel than the nut end. Other than that, and a ever-so-slightly over hammered fret (21st) I didn't have any issues.
I pride myself on my humility.
This is looking awesome - I plan to do a TeleDeluxe sometime in the future.
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Wow, it's been a LONG time since I've updated this. The neck has been shaped, and all that's left is to shape the nut, install it and get some professional fretwork done before oiling it. As for the body, all that's left there is some minor transitional sanding, plus maybe making the gap between the neck and the pocket on one side a bit smaller. Unfortunately I haven't painted it yet, but I will be once the weather becomes appropriate. Until then, here's some pictures.

All put together.

EDIT: Sorry that the pictures have been huge and that the last two were a bit blurry.
I pride myself on my humility.
Last edited by mtshark at Feb 21, 2012,
Looking good!

I personally would keep it like this. No paint, just a hand rub finish. But that's just a matter of personal taste.
You who build these altars now

To sacrifice these children
You must not do it anymore
Unfortunately (for you guys) I'll probably be painting it a solid black or white. I'm not a big fan of the natural finishes on the Tele Deluxes, and to me the bursts only look good with a white pickguard.
I pride myself on my humility.
Quote by mtshark
Unfortunately (for you guys) I'll probably be painting it a solid black or white. I'm not a big fan of the natural finishes on the Tele Deluxes, and to me the bursts only look good with a white pickguard.

make it white D:
i say black if its chrome/gold hardware, white for black hardware.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
Well I strung this baby up this morning, and much to my dissapointment, I found out I'm going to need some major fretwork done. D: (A lot of stuff past the fifth fret just frets out or doesn't even sound out at all.) I'll probably end up getting this professionally looked at because this isn't anything that I want to mess with.
I pride myself on my humility.
Fretwork is really easy though! Make your neck straight (notched straitedge), then sand the frets level with a radius block. After that, re-crown them with the file from stewmac, and roundover the ends with the 3 sided file.
Tons of video's on youtube. IF you can wait a few weeks, i could make a vid.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
well if its one time I guess not, but I knew I'd build more so I bought them.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
I'm still not quite sure about doing it myself. I could probably borrow some tools to do it, but I'll have to watch some tutorials before determining if I want to do it myself.
I pride myself on my humility.
First coat of primer is on! I'll be putting another one on soon since this one is light in a few areas, but it's been a bit chilly and windly lately. :

I pride myself on my humility.
Last edited by mtshark at Apr 10, 2012,
Not a tele fan myself but I'm liking this. If you got this far, I guarantee you can handle fretwork. Just takes some patience.
Custom Built Soloist w/ Invader & Sustainiac - Douglas Scope 725 - Douglas Grendle 727 - Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Dean Vendetta XM
Bugera 333 Infinium - Kustom 120 Watt Cab - POD HD500 - Ibanez V70 Acoustic
Update time! First coat of paint went on just a few hours ago, and with any luck more will go on in a day or two. Enjoy!

I pride myself on my humility.
Quote by Boysie8
Very nice build man (looks very similar to one I saw on TDPRI).

This thread is on TDPRI as well, so there's a good chance you may have seen it.

And yes, I am using standard sized humbuckers, there are waaaaay more options. To do so I got a custom pickguard from Warmoth.
I pride myself on my humility.
Looking real nice so far. Have a go at the fret work as others have said its not that difficult. All you need a a true straight edge. Dont go mad though and spend a fortune on one from S Mac's. Just buy a steell rule from your local hardware store. The files on the other hand are a good investment.
Sharp tools to ya.

My Tele build
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