This is my 1st build from scratch. I decided I wanted the Tele sound, but didn't want to build a Tele. I figure if I'm going through all the trouble of making it, it should have it's own unique shape. What I came up with looks like a cross between a Tele and a Jazzmaster. I'm using walnut for the body, maple for the neck, Macassar ebony for the fret board and Amboyna Burl for the veneer.

Here's the walnut for the body, the ebony fretboard blank and the Amboyna Burl veneer.

In this pic I've glued up the walnut for the body and the maple for the neck. I used a tele neck template to mark the wood.

A rough cut of the shape on the band saw

I used a spindle sander to finish the shape
I've routed the neck for a two way truss rod and cut the fret slots.

Here I've glued the veneer to the body. I used a cardboard cutout of the body shape and a bunch of text books to glue it up. In hind sight I should have glued up the veneer once I had the body blank glued and planed to thickness. I had some difficulty trimming the veneer and have a couple small chips that I had to glue in.
Last edited by Hadalet at Nov 20, 2011,
I routed the pickup cavities using a tele template.

Here I've used a forstner bit to clear the neck pocket.

Here it is cleaned up with the router.

Rough cut of the neck.

I've glued the fretboard to the roughed out neck

You can see one of two nails I used to hold the fretboard to the neck during the glue up. Its in a fret slot. Once the glue dried, I sunk the nails. The frets will cover them up.
I used a jig on a spindle sander to get headstock thickness and to taper the fretboard.

This is the jig I used. That's a friend doing the same thing to his neck.

The neck fits the pocket nicely
Last edited by Hadalet at Nov 20, 2011,
I routed the edge of the body for binding.

I ordered some cream binding from Allparts, but it was 4" too short! I emailed them explaining the problem, but they said it's pre-cut and couldn't get longer pieces. I got some in the correct length from stewmac and finally got started gluing binding.

Planing down the binding

I marked the fretboard with chalk before sanding on the radius block.

Sanding on an aluminum radius block

Drilling the holes for the inlay dots

Nice fit

Thanks for the replys guys! I'm definitely happy with where it's going so far. If this one turns out well, I have plans for something pretty crazy looking for the next build.
Wow, I've never seen that wood for the neck! I like it, though.

281-330-8004, that's my cell phone number, hit me up on the low
The veneer and the ebony fretboard are beautiful. I think they suit each other nicely.
I appreciate the craftsmanship, everything looks well planned and executed.
Can't say I love the shape personally, but thats ok, it still looks teh sex.
Quote by Hadalet
What I came up with looks like a cross between a Tele and a Jazzmaster.

Surely it should be called a Telemaster then, to be unambiguous?

Anyway, looking good.
Im diggin the shape man, la tad voluptuous for my own tastes but it's definitely gorgeous. cant wait to see the final product!
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

Quote by Boysie8
That is one unusual looking jazzcaster... but I like it. I'm wondering about using a veneer myself - did you have any issues with it other than the chips?

No other issues with the veneer yet. I did learn a better way to book match the veneer by lining the two book matched ends next to eachother, taking a scraper and scraping them down even.
Quote by divinorum69
that fretboard is sex,

why did you put the dots after the radius?

Good question. Normally I'd do it before, but Im using tools at school and have very limited access to tools. So I partially radiused the board, put in the dots when i had access to the right tools, then finished the radius afterward. It worked out fine.
Routed the rear control cavity

Drilled the holes for the volume and blend pots. Part of the binding by the neck pocket didn't want to stick, so I had to reglue it.

Cutting the fretwire

The wire is pressed in and ready to trim

While waiting for access the radius block I decided to see how my graphite nut (ordered from AllParts) fit. It didn't...

I have a bone nut blank, but I think I'm set on black. I'll get a blank next time instead of precut.

I nipped the ends of the fret wire and used a file glued to a block of wood to get them flush.

I had planned on trimming the ends of the tang on the fret wire so I could hide it on the sides. In my haste to get on the fret press I totally forgot. So here's my tangs!

Time to shape the neck

Last edited by Hadalet at Dec 4, 2011,
OK update time. Had to put this one down for a couple months, but I've been back at it long enough to post some progress.

After finishing most of the shape with rasp and file I switched to this hightech duct tape/sandpaper shoeshine method up to 150 grit. Then hand sanded to 220.

Nice build, just be careful about bridge location and measure up all 5 times before placing bridge.
Time to file the frets!

I started by taping the fretboard to protect it from the fret file.

I colored all the frets with a red sharpy, then used the radius block with 320 grit sandpaper to get a rough level. The red from the sharpy shows me the lowest spots.

Then I recolored the frets and got to work with the file. I file the frets until there is a thin red line across the top of each fret.

Once every fret was leveled and shaped I used steel wool to buff them out.
Don't know how I missed seeing this build before, but it looks sweet so far!

Next up was the belly cut. I wasn't sure how well this would turn out given the very narrow waist.

Once the rough cut was done I could see it was going to feel good up against me.

Part of the binding next to the neck pocket kept ungluing and it was clear that tape was not going to be enough to hold it down while it dried. The inside of the horn is a hard place to brace. I was going to trace the profile on a block of wood and cut it out with a bandsaw. But i found one of my lathe turning projects fit in perfectly!

When I glued the veneer on, I didn't get the seam perfect. The veneer was very thin and brittle and not knowing any better I cut it with an exacto blade. This caused a little blowout in parts. It wasn't major, but every time I would work on the guitar I noticed it. Mostly behind the bridge and on the back edge.

I had plenty of veneer left, so I started cutting tiny pieces to match the edge parts. For the center line I tucked pieces in vertically and sanded them smooth.

I used Crystalac clear grain filler to fill the burl. This stuff is awesome! The burl is so porous and open it would have taken me a week to fill it with poly or shellac. It took me 7 coats of rubbing it in, letting it dry and sanding it level to get all the holes. Now it's ready for finish. I was going to spray nitro as I've never used it before. Unfortunately I can only spray this Thursday and it's supposed to rain here that day. Rather than risk probable blushing in such high humidity I think I'm going with a water based poly.

Quote by cemges
Nice build, just be careful about bridge location and measure up all 5 times before placing bridge.

Yes this was probably the part I was most nervous about. I had help from someone who's been doing it for almost 20 years. Now I feel confident enough to do it on my own (which I'll be doing again 2 weeks on a different build).
Are you going with a Tele style bridge?
My gear:
Yamaha f335 acoustic
Ibanezs ex 270
2003 mim strat
peavey xxl head through Marshall cab
Tama rockstar drum kit
Thanks for the replys guys! I'm definitely happy with where it's going so far.
Quote by iihaa
Are you going with a Tele style bridge?

Yeah, this is sort of a walnut tele with my own shape and a different approach to wiring. 1 volume pot, 1 blend pot.
I got a little more done today and the body is now ready for the 1st coat.

Drilled 1/8" holes for the neck pocket.

Getting the neck lined up with the center line of the body. To do this I lightly clamped the neck in place. Running a straight edge along each side of the neck to get a reading of how far away each was from the center. After nudging it left and right I got it lined up. *

I tightened the clamp to lock in the position. Then took the 1/8" bit and drilled through the body and into the neck. Then I removed the neck and drilled the body holes to 3/16" for clearance. That done I put the neck back on and screwed it down with the neck plate on. Then double checked that it still lined up with the center line.

I'm finally ready to start spraying a finish on the body. I still need to make a nut for the neck and come up with a logo for the headstock, but otherwise it's ready for finish too.