Here is a guitar project that is almost finished. I wanted to build a very special one-of-a-kind Telecaster style guitar. I wanted this one to be an upscale model like something the Fender Customer Shop would have made. Well this one is turning out better.
The body was purchased from Tony DeLacugo who has been building guitars for many years and is a fabulous painter. Tony is a “real” artist. He turned this walnut Telecaster body into an amazing piece.
Many hours was spent carving the flame pattern into this walnut body, shaping and sculpturing. Then many coats of try-oil hand rubbed and finally a poly clear coat and wet sanding. The outcome is breathtaking beautiful Telecaster body that would be hard NOT to become a fantastic guitar.
Next many parts are ordered:
Custom Neck from Musikraft (on order and in process)
Gold Babicz Full Contact Hardware Telecaster Bridge
Joe Barden Engineering Danny Gatton T-Style Pickup Set for Telecaster
Gold Fender Telecaster Style Control Plate
Gold Custom Shop 4 Bolt Neck Plate
Gold Fender String Ferrules
Gold Telecaster Style Pickup Ring
Gold Electro-socket Jack Plate
2 Q-Parts Gold Dome Guitar Knob w/ Mother of Pearl
1 Gold colored Switch Tip
Fender/Schaller GOLD ELITE Tuners for Telecaster
Gold Dunlop Strap Locks
Gold screws for pickups, neck plate, etc.
CTS Pots, 3-way switch, vintage style caps and vintage style wire
First step is to use copper foil to shield all the pickup and wiring cavities.
This helps to quiet those single coil pickups. I am planning on using Joe Barton Engineering Danny Gatton T-Style pickups on this guitar which are very quiet anyway, but I decided to copper foil the cavities anyway. Never know if one day I decide to change pickups. Joe Barton Engineering Danny Gatton T-Style pickups are fantastic sounding and I already have them on a Fender Thinline I recently upgraded.
Adding some of the hardware while waiting on the rest of the parts.
I screwed in the gold Dunlop Strap Locks and laid out the parts to see how they will fit and how they will look. I played with the idea of a reverse control plate with the volume control on top while I am waiting for delivery of pots and wiring,
Pickups are mounded and bridge plate is screwed to body. Fancy Q-Parts Knobs have arrived.
I do not think I will be using this Fender Select Telecaster neck although it is a beauty with birds-eye maple and a nitro finish (Modern “C” Shape- Compound Radius 9.5″-14″). I ordered a custom neck for this project from Musikraft. I will compare the necks when the one I ordered arrives. I was planning on using this Fender neck on a future build.
The electronic parts arrived from RS Guitarworks. I ordered a kit that included:
280K RS Solid-Shaft SuperPot® – for volume
250K CTS Solid Shaft Audio taper pot – for tone
Jensen Paper and Oil GuitarCap® .047 – vintage style
The Switchcraft jack, 3-way CRL Switch and wire I have left over from another build. So I got the old soldering iron out and completed the wiring using a modern Telecaster style wiring that is position 1 – neck pickup, position 2 – neck and bridge pickup and position 3 – bridge only. This wiring has a regular tone control for all positions.
After giving it some thought I went for the more traditional mounting for the control plate. The way Leo did them.
Still waiting on the gold string ferrules. The original ones I ordered from StewMac were a bit too large as they were over-sized. I was unwilling to drill out the string holes as the Fender ones fit perfect. So I ordered some Fender gold string ferrules.
The Babicz Full Contact Hardware Telecaster Bridge is an experiment as I never used one or played a guitar with one of these. The bridge is made out of aluminum and the manufacturer claims better sustain. The way the bridge is designed it looks like a great way to set up guitar. I looks great on the guitar except for the giant logo the seem to have to have. Since it uses the regular 4 hole vintage mount, swapping it for a different bridge would be easy if it does not work out. So far it looks good.
The postman arrived with another part, Fender branded gold string ferrules. I quickly installed them.
One part left to start the guitar setup… the neck… big part! It is on order at Musikraft and will probably be a few more weeks. I have a neck I bought for another planned project, but I decided to wait for now so I can compare the necks and pick the best one for this project.
The Musikraft neck arrived that I ordered for this project and it is a beautiful Birdseye Maple. But to my surprise I actually liked the Genuine Fender Select neck I bought off eBay better on this guitar. It is a basically brand new neck with a satin back and compound radius. So I am going to save the Musikraft neck for another project and I used the Fender neck which is a high-end USA Select that already had the Gold Elite Schaller Tuners mounted.
So except for some setup tweaks this project is complete and I could not be happier on how it turned out. Here are some picks of the finished guitar. It is just beautiful and the pictures do not do it justice. Looks much nicer in person.
Plays as good as it looks! Worth every penny I spent on this. This project is complete!