#1
Hey guys, A year ago, I decided that I would like to make my own guitar. Although i'm not that great of a guitarist, I decided that for my school project, making a guitar would be something I would enjoy building. Also I decided that I would like to show everyone how I built this guitar so that people could get a better understanding of how to build a guitar and how fun and promising this project can be. And by making this thread, I hope people would be able to use this as a reference, and learn from the mistakes that I may make.

The Guitar

The guitar im planning to build is a Nashville-style Telecaster, for those who don't know, it's a normal standard Telecaster, except it has 3 pickups instead of 2. I decided to go the Nashville route because with 3 pickups, i'll probably get a more versatile tone. Its going to have a flamed-maple top and back which sandwiches a piece of 1" thick swamp ash. side of the guitar (Swamp ash) will be black, but the rest will be left natural in color.

The Pickups

The pickups that I am deciding to use, are those that are found at Guitar Fetish.

The bridge pickup will be a vintage 50's Telecaster pickup, which will give me the classic telecaster "twang" with a an output of about 7.2K.
Bridge Pickup

The center pickup will be a rail pickup (humbucker in a seingle coil form), which will give me the warm sound I like. It's wound to about 15K.
Center Pickup

The neck pickup will be a regular vintage chrome covered Telecaster pickup. It supposedly matches well with the bridge pickup i'm buying. Output maybe about 5K?
Neck Pickup

The Neck

I've decided that I won't be making the neck this time around, but instead i'll probably buy a $150 neck from Warmoth. It's going to be a maple/maple neck that I think i'll finish myself with Tung-oil. It's gonna be a standard Tele heel with 22 frets. I'm not gonna decal the neck either, because last time I screwed up real bad. I've heard lots of good things about the Warmoth necks. At the beginning I was thinking about buying a Mighty Mite neck, but I said to myself "I made the investment, so why go the cheap route. I'll probably even replace it someday anyways.". I'll be using the Wilkinson EZ-Lok tuners, which are I guess "Semi-locking" tuners. As for the nut, I don't know yet, I think I will try to get a graphtech nut. Any suggestions?


More comming keep checking back. Im gonna update this thread alot!
Last edited by Thewongster at Feb 12, 2007,
#3
I'm not to sure if the hum-sized-single will fit in sonicly. I would leave the guitar with a 3way for the neck and bridge, and a push-pull pot for the 3 way or the middle 'bucker.
Will says:
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#5
Quote by Will_Minus
I'm not to sure if the hum-sized-single will fit in sonicly. I would leave the guitar with a 3way for the neck and bridge, and a push-pull pot for the 3 way or the middle 'bucker.


Ok thank you for your input, what would you suggest me doing? can you explain more clearly, sorry I didn't understand. How does a push pull pot work?
#6
To do what I suggested you would just wire the tele like a regular tele, except the switch on the push/pull pot. The P/P pot would be used to toggle between A) the regular tele circuit and B) the middle humbucker. Here's the diagram.


This is how a push/pull pot works.
A push-pull pot has two functions. Function A is as a regular pot to control volume or tone. The volume or tone is controled by the three prongs much like on a regular pot. Function B is a DPDT switch, allowing you to switch between anytwo things.
It's main purpose is the combine a pot and a switch so you don't have to modify the guitar's appearance.


Any other questions?
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#7
Day 1: Sketching the design onto MDF

Ok to start off I decided to sketch my Telecaster design I found off the internet, onto a piece of MDF, which I bought for about $10 CDN. It's quite simple, all you have to do is tape the design onto the MDF so that it's easier for you to trace around without the design moving and going out of place. I recommend that you use a sharp pencil to trace it out because, if you make a mistake you can erase. It's also more accurate then a thick marker.

(NOTE: You probably noticed that I used a sharpie to trace the design onto to the template, but I only did that so that it would show up better for the picture, that I posted )



The Telecaster design in the picture above, i'm using for just the outline of the Telecaster, so my telecaster isnt actually suppose to look like that. I got that from a luthier and he dosn't want me to sahre it to the whole world . I'm sorry i wish I could share it with you guys but i'm not allowed. You can find many CAD templates at guitarbuild.com though.
#8
The lines from the Sharpie are kind of freehand, I assume you're only going to use the template for the cutting of the wood, then making it curved like a regular tele?
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#9
Quote by Will_Minus
The lines from the Sharpie are kind of freehand, I assume you're only going to use the template for the cutting of the wood, then making it curved like a regular tele?


Yes thats right, so by putting the push/pull pot it will give me the feel of a normal 2 pickup telecaster, but when I pull or push or pull the pot it will turn on the Humbucker?
#10
It should. The only thing I realized I did wrong/didn't include is a way to ground the pickups that aren't being used, which I'm not too sure how to do. But with the regular selector, there is no ground, so the push/pull will be able to get away without the ground.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#11
Quote by Will_Minus
It should. The only thing I realized I did wrong/didn't include is a way to ground the pickups that aren't being used, which I'm not too sure how to do. But with the regular selector, there is no ground, so the push/pull will be able to get away without the ground.


Sorry once again for being so ignorant, but when I turn on the humbucker, does that mean that I will have the original 2 pickups + the humbucker being used? or is it if I turn on the humbucker, it means its just the humbucker thats on and the other pickups disabled?
#12
The regular pickups and the humbucker won't be on at the same time.

To put it really simple,
Push: Regular pickups.
Pull: Mid. Humbucker
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#13
Quote by Will_Minus
The regular pickups and the humbucker won't be on at the same time.

To put it really simple,
Push: Regular pickups.
Pull: Mid. Humbucker


Thank you soo much I understand now, and if I turn it while its in the "pulled position" it will raise the volume or tone?
#14
The pot part still functions normally regardless of what the push/pull part has selected.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#15
Ok I've run into a problem. Apparently the Nashville pickguard they sell at guitar fetish does not fit with a Telecaster neck pickup. So I decided that I would like to use a Lipstick tube pickup that fits. They sell it at guitar fetish. Now they have 3 choices, and keep in mind im looking for a very nice clean sound yet I dont want it too weak. They see a Reverse wound polarity pickup at 6K and an 8K version. is the 6K pickup more cleaner then the 8K? Is 8K pretty hot for a single coil? Also besides the hum-canceling of the 6K pickup, how does it effect the sound by it being reverse wound and rever polaritied?
#16
I'm not familiar with those PUs; however, since you're using a humbucker in the middle, heresy!, would 8K vs 6K for the other PU really matter at this point?

That Tele will have its unique sound! Look at the specs of the "new" Baja Tele for the unique switching, too. I got a chance to play one and it has so many different combinations. Good Luck!

#17
Ippon, the humbucker won't be on at the same time as the neck pickup.

You'll want the 6K RW/RP pickup so that you won't get hum when the neck and birdge pickups are selected. You also don't want to neck pickup to be too hot, or it will over power the bridge pickup.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#18
Quote by Will_Minus
Ippon, the humbucker won't be on at the same time as the neck pickup.

You'll want the 6K RW/RP pickup so that you won't get hum when the neck and birdge pickups are selected. You also don't want to neck pickup to be too hot, or it will over power the bridge pickup.

True, I did see your wiring diagram ... I had to speak up for Tele freaks/fanatics who are probably still on the floor after reading about a humbucker in the middle.

I agree that the neck shouldn't be hotter than the bridge ... I've installed a Texas Special meant for the bridge in the neck position for grins, because I had 2 meant for the bridge, and it didn't sound right when switching back and forth.

#19
Quote by Will_Minus
Ippon, the humbucker won't be on at the same time as the neck pickup.

You'll want the 6K RW/RP pickup so that you won't get hum when the neck and birdge pickups are selected. You also don't want to neck pickup to be too hot, or it will over power the bridge pickup.


Thanks sooo much guys, and yes I agree that would be good that it dosnt hum. I'll be posting the cutting of my template today, so keep your eyes open. Yea im trying to make this Telecaster as versatile as possible lmao

EDIT: Ok I was thinking about what you guys were saying. Guitar fetish sells a 1960's repro pickup overwound bridge , and is about 9.6K. Which do yo think would give more of an authentic tele "twang"? The 1960's repro overwound at 9.6K or the 1950's repro at 7.7K?
Last edited by Thewongster at Feb 17, 2007,
#21
Guitar Fetish Shipment

Sorry for not updating in awhile, but I finally recieved the majority of my parts! All I am missing is the neck, the bridge and the 3-way switch. I was really impressed by the parts that I bought from GFS. He isnt lying when he's talking about getting some of his parts from "Big Name" companies. However don't take that as a good thing.



Yea, that's right it says Epiphone, as some of you MIGHT regard as a cheap brand. But this isn't going to stop me from enjoying this stuff. I am totally impressed with all the chrome finished products. The chrome finish is near perfectly spotless!



I love the knobs, They are heavy brass knobs, unlike the crappy plastic ones that came with my saga bass :P



The tuners look great, I can see a few machine marks though, dosn't affect tuning one bit though.




Later I will post my whole pricelist of all the parts I am going to buy. Some might be in canadian dollars.
#24
Though this may be a little late i suggest you don't do the humbucker in the middle, would take away from the tele-ness, just have your bridge and middle, then put a strat single in the middle like on the fender sold models. I'm very classic about my tele's and strats, if this was a regular one i'd bit your head of for even thinking about having a humbucker near it

But still, looking great! I love nashville's (Them, deluxe and thinline telecasters are the only i can stand that arent regular tele's, with strats though its ONLY SSS )
#25
FINALLY a lipstick build! you post clips!
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#26
Quote by Punk_Ninja
Though this may be a little late i suggest you don't do the humbucker in the middle, would take away from the tele-ness, just have your bridge and middle, then put a strat single in the middle like on the fender sold models. I'm very classic about my tele's and strats, if this was a regular one i'd bit your head of for even thinking about having a humbucker near it

But still, looking great! I love nashville's (Them, deluxe and thinline telecasters are the only i can stand that arent regular tele's, with strats though its ONLY SSS )



Don't worry, It will maybe take away from the tele "appearance" but not the sound. I decided to put a push pull pot, which means that I will be able to turn the humbucker on and off basically. Although the sound of my telecaster will sound a little different because I got a lipstick pickup, only because a standard tele neck pickup won't fit with the nashvill guard I got. But I heard some good things from this lipstick pickup. I heard they are very "janggly" and clean.
#27
Telecaster pickup routing template

Hey guys, sorry for not posting for awhile, but I have been busy so I couldn't really work on the Telecaster until this weekend. So this weekend what I did was make my router template with all the pickup route holes in it. My friend helped me cut the pickup route holes with a jigsaw, and at the beginning I was a bit skeptical, because no one uses jigsaws usually to make those templates, because jigsaws are often used for roughcutting, and not as accurate then say a router. However to my surprise, it turned out really good, and all we did was have to sand it down a bit.



and

#28
Telecaster Neck

A while ago I also recieved the Mighty Mite Telecaster neck, and it looks beutiful! except for nut ajustment, it seems like it wasn't painted well there, but still, it's really nice! Worth all of its value (or more!)



and



Telecaster Bridge

I also went out and bought a Telecaster bridge from allparts, instead of buying a lower quality one over at guitarfetish because they ran out. I am happy I did pay an extra 20 dollars, because I think this one will last a lot longer, and I like the brass barrels it comes with too .

#29
i'm sure the epiphone jack is something else rebranded- neutrik or switchcraft or the like.

and the bridge i got from GF seems like good quality. i like their stuff.
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#30
Quote by tubab0y
i'm sure the epiphone jack is something else rebranded- neutrik or switchcraft or the like.

and the bridge i got from GF seems like good quality. i like their stuff.


Yea I love their stuff too! There stuff is quite amazing, check their site out now, if your looking to make a partscaster, here's your best chance! they got tons of bodies and necks on sale, for incredible prices!! The allparts bridge that I got I think in a Joe Barden too!
#32
Yea dont worry i'll post lot's of pictures of the whole guitar project. Not sure what you were referring to when you said what did I use for them, but I used a jigsaw to make those routes in the template.
#36
Sorry I haven't updated for awhile, but I have made a lot of progress and I will hopefully be able to post the pictures and info soon when I have time.