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This was one of those projects I wish I never started but I had to see it through. I certainly did not skimp on parts and bought the best swamp ash body and a Fender licensed maple neck. Its a really solid guitar and plays/sounds real nice!
My DIY Telecaster spec:
1952 Telecaster unfinished swamp ash body (2 peice) – Ebay
Allparts unfinished maple Telecaster neck – Allparts uk
I started with an unfinished All-parts Telecaster neck. I sanded for a clean and smooth finish using 150 grit and finishing with 320. I used about 15 coats of Tru-oil for the finish, going over with 0000 wire wool between every few coats
Look how nice this gets the neck! The Tru-oil buffs up pretty well but takes ages to cure hard. I made the mistake of wire wooling before the first coat of Tru-oil had properly hardened and had to start again. Learn from my mistake
After 3 weeks, the neck is finished. It just needs holes drilling for machine heads, string tree and heel
Here’s the body. Its a 52 Telecaster with counter sunk string ferrules. The wood is swamp ash – its very soft and easy to dent with finger nails!!
Here’s the hardware. Kluson tuners, Fender 3 way select switch, 250k CTS pots, Wilkinson bridge…
This is quite a deep body. I wasn’t sure the screws would go deep enough to attach the neck. It seems ok though
I had a lot of difficulty finding string ferrules that could be counter sunk to fit this body. It’s the one bit i’m not too happy with
I filled the body with an oil based black grain filler (Jenkins Jecofil) to bring out the grain. Bought from here http://www.jpennyltd.co.uk
I sanded it back (grade 320) a little to get the effect i wanted
After about 15 coats of Tru-oil on the body i started to fit the hardware.
I lined the control and pickup cavities with sticky-back copper foil to act as shielding
I made sure the neck was aligned by checking the strings were parallel to the neck all the way along. I then marked the four points to be drilled on the neck heel
I used a pillar drill to ensure the holes are completely straight and at right angles to the back of the neck. I started with a 2.5mm drill bit and then opened them up with the correct size.
This is a bone nut. It needed a bit of filing and sanding to make it fit. I used a very small dot of wood glue to hold it in
Here’s some of the mess i made. I had no workshop so bedroom floor had to do. Those steel wool bits get everywhere though – not recommended near clothes!!
Thats the control plate wired up!
Here’s the wiring diagram and component values i used
Everything fits snugly but i realised i’m not too keen on the gold hardware
…it sounds great though!
It feels really solid and plays nice! i love the range of sound i can get from this from harsh twang to deep mellow