#1
Once I start getting some money (still looking for a job :C), I want to mod a Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster to be a completely signature guitar.

I don't know too much about guitar building/modding, but I'm always willing to try (and look up guides on the internet).

This is what I want to do:

1. Take out the original 21-fret neck and replace it with a 24-fret neck, with a dark-rosewood fretboard. The profile would be similar to my Washburn X-30, as I don't really like the jumbo profile of most teles. Another reason to swap necks is that my X-30's intonation is ridiculously good. I might buy a used X-30 just to salvage the neck. I know the neck needs to be the same scale length, which can be measured (right?)

2. Replace the bridge with a Bigsby-styled tremelo, which I guess requires a new hard-tail bridge as well and a lot of drilling and body work. This also probably requires new routing for the bridge pup.

3. Given the amount of routing I'll have to do, the body/head piece will need to receive a new coat of paint.

4. Add abalone binding to the body and head piece, and maybe fret inlays as well.

I'm not entirely sure about the problems that will arise. Will the neck work? Would routing a new bridge/tremelo destory the guitar? Would the inlays wreck the fretboard? Could Will Lane actually ever know what he's doing?

Thank you for your commendations, condemnations, criticisms, and help.

If everything is resolved and okay, I'll start working to gather my resources immediately for this build.
#2
I'm no expert but I'm not sure the neck will work unless you have a massive overhang for the extra frets.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#3
You can't just throw a 24 fret guitar neck onto a body routed for 21 frets. You have to move the bridge position to keep the proper scale length. Unless you don't feel like playing in tune anymore. You'd have to move the neck pup too probably.


Why a Bigsby? Why not something like a Trem-King or a Super-V?


3. Easier said than done


4. Also a ton of work. Like a ton of work. New inlays? K remove all the frets, install, sand flush and then re-radius the board. Installing binding etc... you're gonna have to for sure refinish the areas around it. You won't be able to install them without damaging the finish.


The amount of money you'd put into this squier, you could probably just get a Warmoth guitar or something similar actually made to specs you want.
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Last edited by H4T3BR33D3R at Nov 27, 2014,
#4
if memory serves me right that telecaster he's talking about is 25.5. I have one and it's a great guitar. I mean taste and preference come into play and everyone assumes they need a fender but they really don't. Most just need lessons or a better amp lmao.

Oddly enough my tele has a rosewood fretboard and a 25.5 scale. The only thing I hate about it is it's not 24 frets or 10mm tuner holes so I could put grovers.

there is a tele bridge that has a whammy bar system. I forget what it's called stetsbar or kahler perhaps. There is one made specifically for telecasters. so you won't have to re-drill.

abalone binding and a new paint job is gonna cost serious money. In canada if i was to get a guitar tech to do it (im an electronics guy) you're talking 300-500$ canadian. The big reason is painting is very time consuming getting the wood finish perfectly hardened like guitars in shops.

my advice on the neck
10mm tuner holes you can upgrade to other parts much easier. 10mm is the industry standard
a good bone or graphtech tusq nut goes a long way. it'll bring the neck to life
make sure the frets are raidused so they will work with your neck

honestly if I was you I'd save up for what is called a custom shop. You approach a guitar building company to build that for you. You could even have your headstock logo of anything you want on it if they are nice enough. They could put their logo on the back of the neck or whatever.

warmoth builds custom necks - 200-ish american
the body would be another 300-500$-ish - haven't been on there in a while
plus parts you're looking at at least 1000$ total including the parts.

so this is why I say custom shop like carvin, strictly 7 , halo , ran to somewhere local where they build you something from scratch. It's a long wait but you'll be happy. My best advice you pay for what you get. I had at least 2 guys come in with really second rate custom shop guitars they found guys on craigslist or this canadian variant of gumtree called kijiji and they paid outragous amounts of money for garbage guitars they thought were custom shopped to their likings.

if you do though go neckthrough for the body. You'll never put it down. There is a lot of teles out there that may be to your likings. I can understand the chase wanting a guitar you love custom but no way say for example my bc rich warlock I warm up on that I'll never sell I'd spend say 500-1000$ on. The guitar was 400$-ish new.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Nov 27, 2014,
#5
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
1. You can't just throw a 24 fret guitar neck onto a body routed for 21 frets. You have to move the bridge position to keep the proper scale length. Unless you don't feel like playing in tune anymore. You'd have to move the neck pup too probably.

2. Why a Bigsby? Why not something like a Trem-King or a Super-V?

3. Easier said than done

4. Also a ton of work. Like a ton of work. New inlays? K remove all the frets, install, sand flush and then re-radius the board. Installing binding etc... you're gonna have to for sure refinish the areas around it. You won't be able to install them without damaging the finish.

5. The amount of money you'd put into this squier, you could probably just get a Warmoth guitar or something similar actually made to specs you want.


1. That's why I asked UG, people know more than me about this stuff c:

2. It doesn't have to be a Bigsby, just a light-tremolo bridge.

3. Yeah I know.

4. Then I probably won't add inlays. But the binding is happening.

5. I want to do the mods myself, it is a "rite of passage" kinda thing for me.

Quote by Tallwood13
there is a tele bridge that has a whammy bar system. I forget what it's called stetsbar or kahler perhaps. There is one made specifically for telecasters. so you won't have to re-drill.


Should I get a system that doesn't have a bridge pup plate built in? That way I can adjust the hard-tail piece to scale length. Also, stetsbar and alike tremolos do not require extra routing, right?
#6
Quote by Will Lane
1. That's why I asked UG, people know more than me about this stuff c:

2. It doesn't have to be a Bigsby, just a light-tremolo bridge.

3. Yeah I know.

4. Then I probably won't add inlays. But the binding is happening.

5. I want to do the mods myself, it is a "rite of passage" kinda thing for me.


Should I get a system that doesn't have a bridge pup plate built in? That way I can adjust the hard-tail piece to scale length. Also, stetsbar and alike tremolos do not require extra routing, right?



1. Good thing you did

2. Bigsbys aren't light. Plenty of trem options out there. Retro-fitted or drilled in.

3. If you have never painted before, prepare to be frustrated and unhappy with your end product.

4. Honestly binding isn't much easier. If you mess up the channels too you'll end up with more hassles

5. There's mods and then there's wrecking a guitar because you don't know what you're doing. From what I'm gathering, you're a beginner at this shit. Start with smaller stuff and then decide if you want to tackle bigger things. If you insist on doing it all then get some scrap woods and practice on that first. Even better, find a junk guitar and practice work on that.


How are you going to measure the scale length? How do you plan on moving the bridge? It's not something you can eyeball.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#7
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
5. There's mods and then there's wrecking a guitar because you don't know what you're doing. From what I'm gathering, you're a beginner at this shit. Start with smaller stuff and then decide if you want to tackle bigger things. If you insist on doing it all then get some scrap woods and practice on that first. Even better, find a junk guitar and practice work on that.

+3,1415

Sensible advice here, take it.


I just finished a rebuilding project on a guitar from the '90s that I bought for 40€, and if it wasn't for the help of a friend of mine who's a professional woodworker, all the money spent on the new parts and labour would've been wasted.

Not to put you down, but most custom work on a guitar is an extremely hard and detailed work. If you're not experienced, don't master the skills needed, don't have the proper tools and resources, you'll most probably butcher the guitar completely and end up with an expensive, ugly (and potentially unplayable) piece of firewood.


If you really want to work on a guitar, practice all the skills you'll need on scrap wood first until you're 100% sure that you'll be able to do things perfectly on the guitar you want to modify.
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#8
Quote by Linkerman
+3,1415

Sensible advice here, take it.


I just finished a rebuilding project on a guitar from the '90s that I bought for 40€, and if it wasn't for the help of a friend of mine who's a professional woodworker, all the money spent on the new parts and labour would've been wasted.

Not to put you down, but most custom work on a guitar is an extremely hard and detailed work. If you're not experienced, don't master the skills needed, don't have the proper tools and resources, you'll most probably butcher the guitar completely and end up with an expensive, ugly (and potentially unplayable) piece of firewood.


If you really want to work on a guitar, practice all the skills you'll need on scrap wood first until you're 100% sure that you'll be able to do things perfectly on the guitar you want to modify.



Yep.


Take it from a guy that's been down that road too many times.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#9
Quote by Linkerman

If you really want to work on a guitar, practice all the skills you'll need on scrap wood first until you're 100% sure that you'll be able to do things perfectly on the guitar you want to modify.


So I should:

Understand how to properly measure and cut/drill to scale length with the components given

Be able to paint something pretty, along with protective coats n' such

Be able to route for the components/the binding

Be able to apply the binding

Know how to rewire the mess back up (if needed) when it's all said and done

Anything else?

And yes, I am quite the noob to high-precision wood working like building/modding a guitar. I planned to take quite a long time with working on it.
#11
Quote by Will Lane
So I should:

Understand how to properly measure and cut/drill to scale length with the components given

Be able to paint something pretty, along with protective coats n' such

Be able to route for the components/the binding

Be able to apply the binding

Know how to rewire the mess back up (if needed) when it's all said and done

Anything else?

And yes, I am quite the noob to high-precision wood working like building/modding a guitar. I planned to take quite a long time with working on it.



Basically. Probably some work with a palm sander or heat gun too so you can remove the initial finish.


Good luck and remember 'measure twice, cut once'
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#12
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Good luck and remember 'measure twice, cut once'

Extremely important rule there. Good luck!
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#13
Thanks for the help guys C: It will be a while before I start, so I intend to make sure your advice does not come back empty.

Quote by Ippon
What kind of paint job/finish for the neck and body?


It will be some sort of white color, slightly offset. I plan on buying the tele vintage blonde stock.