Completed : Ebony-topped Tele build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by gitman, Oct 9, 2017.


  1. gitman

    gitman Member

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    like the title says : I dreamed up this Tele project and the body needs an ebony cap. Warmoth declined... I probably could find some sheets of veneer and go that route but I have seen guitars with SOLID ebony caps by Carvin, Kiesel and several small builders, mostly building for the Hard Rock/Metal crowd. If somebody could point me in the right direction .. Thanks !
     
  2. Torren61

    Torren61 Member

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    What's your budget? Also, don't do veneer. Veneer is like a guitar version of a girdle.
     
  3. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change! Supporting Member

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    The stripy stuff should be reasonably easy for a builder to find so any body maker that takes custom orders should be able to do it. If you're going for the Blackmachine look the solid black stuff is tough to find in wide pieces. Even the Blackmachine I owned had a three piece top.
     
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    gitman likes this.
  5. gitman

    gitman Member

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  6. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    The crap veneer they put on cheap guitar bodies is a joke.
    But to buy real veneer, there is not a thing wrong with it.
    Real veneer is thicker than most people think.
    And you can get extraordinarily beautiful tops that way.
    But applying veneer is an art form all unto itself.
    Not easy to learn right out the gate.
    But real veneer and real veneering is absolutely a viable guitar option.
    I've veneered many guitars over the years.
    And learned a lot of 'don't do that' lessons along the way.

    You'd be surprised how hard it is to actually sand through real veneer.
    It takes a Lot of work, even with a power sander, to sand through it.
     
  7. gitman

    gitman Member

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    It isn't cheap but ..... I found a really nice 2-piece top of African Ebony at Gilmerwoods and has it sent to Warmoth where they will 'mate' it to either a white Korina or Swamp Ash body with chambers. In a couple of weeks I'll know more, stay tuned !
     
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  8. gitman

    gitman Member

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    gotta show this to you guys : over the holidays I put this together, after spending about 8 weeks choosing and sourcing the parts...
    The body is a Warmoth Tele with a Korina core and a Gaboon Ebony top. The top I got from Gilmer Woods since Warmoth could not supply a suitable piece of ebony. It's bound in Ivoroid and finished with a few coats of an oil supplied by Crimson Guitars in Great Britain. After the oil finish had cured I put on several coats of Renaissance Wax, also a british product, normally used for preserving antique furniture etc. The neck is from musikraft.com, baked birdseye maple , one piece (round C shape, on the large side) and fretted with 6105 stainless steel frets. This neck is markedly stiffer than my 25 year old maple neck from my first Warmoth Tele !
    I put in a pair of TV Jones Classic pickups and the bridge is a Hipshot model. This guitar has settled in now with a set of 011's and I didn't even need to touch the trussrod - it plays effortlessly, rings like a piano and has endless sustain ! The pickups give it a deep, full and balanced tone, with beautiful sparkling highs that are always pleasing while still retaining a woody warmth ... hmmmm, yummy.
    I am a happy camper ! This guitar can cover a broad range of tones, from anything twangy/rootsy/funky stuff to gutsy slide and warm jazz tones (I did wire in a treble bleed circuit since I run the volume pot all the time). I dreamed up the combo of Korina with a bound Ebony top for pure looks and as it turned out this works just dandy ! just sayin' .....
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  9. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    Wow! That is gorgeous! 'Tis a fine thing you have built there, Mr. Gitman!
     
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  10. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change! Supporting Member

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    That is a beauty. Get some of LMII's ebony knobs on there!
     
  11. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    Oh man,, that is awesome!!
     
  12. gitman

    gitman Member

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    hey thanks, guys ! A set of Ebony Dome knobs is on the way, don't fret ;-) Crazy but true : the black toggle switch comes all the way from China !!!! I did not find a
    european nor US dealer who carried an all black switch, can you believe it !?
     
  13. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    How far did you look? Guitar Electronics has them, as does Allparts, Amazon, Guitar Fetish... they're all over the place. Google is your friend. If you use Bing, then it'll only return things that Microsoft makes, sells or somehow gets a cut of.
     
  14. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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  15. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    Gilmer has been one of my go-to's for many years.
    Cool that Warmoth would accomodate you like that.

    Looks really attractive!
     

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