I want to build a Tele. Tips and advice wanted!

stbhorn

Member
Messages
201
This will be my first attempt at this, I am somewhat "handy", so I am not worried about putting something together. I am looking for advice as to where to purchase the materials I will need.

1. Body - "F" hole, semi-hollow body. Binding on the top would be cool. Either finished or not
2. Neck - maple neck, birdseye, amber tinted, standard tele type shaped neck.
3. PUPs - I want to do a humucker in the neck and traditional tele in the bridge
4. Hardware - knobs, pots, pup selector, tuners, string tree, bridge, saddles
5. Pickguard - traditional tele shape, pearloid perhaps

Any tips or advice will be appreciated!
 

bluesrules

Member
Messages
544
Compensated BRASS SADDLES!!! I have 6 teles and there is only 1 left that I have to add the brass saddles to. It saved a good playing MIM Tele from being sold.

Seymour Duncan Vintage for broadcaster STL-1b is a AWESOME bridge pickup for the $. I've tried a Dimarizo "Humbucker from Hell" (it's supposed 2 B single coil sounding) in the Neck once, not that good though IMO, but its the only Humbucker that I had in a Tele.

Maple, Birdseye,amber tint...Ohhhlala!
But I love a thicker feelin' neck. 2 each his own.

Have fun with it.
 

twangbanger

Member
Messages
1,493
Great web site here
http://www.telemodders.com/useful_links.html

I've built two and I'd definitely go with the aforementioned saddles. Bodies from Guitar Mill in Nashville and necks from USA Custom Guitars.
Unless you are experienced at set-up I'd get a local tech to fine tune it though once it's assembled.
Great site thanks! USA Custom guitar necks are the way to go! I like my teles w/ callaham bridges and Fralin or Lollar PUs . Lots of great choices out there. Good luck w/ the build and post some pics when your done.
 

stbhorn

Member
Messages
201
How much money (ballpark est.) do you think I will have invested in this? Just in neck, body and all hardward associated? Trying to decide if I should buy a tele or build one myself.
 

gkoelling

Member
Messages
17,155
$1,000.00 and up. It depends on what you're looking for and what kind of deals you come across.
 

bluesrules

Member
Messages
544
what do brass saddles do the the tone?
Well I'm sure it varies as much as the wood that makes the bodies.

But I did 5 pickup changes on a MIM Alder tele- Lollar, Fender's, Duncan, Fralin and they all sound Bassy & trebley. Finally swap too Brass and the Tele Mid spank came back with some musical presence. I'm a believer!
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,171
Brass comp saddles-AllParts, awesome bridge and not a ton of dough.
Neck-USACG
Body-USACG or Guitar Mill
Pickups-Lollar
Guard-AllParts
Hell get a set of 880's for tuners, basically all the hardware from allparts! They make great stuff. CTS POts, CRL switch, Switchcraft jack. Afterall, a control plate is a control plate for crips sake! Electrosocket......
 

ford

Modz
Staff member
Messages
13,879
Brass comp saddles-AllParts, awesome bridge and not a ton of dough.
Neck-USACG
Body-USACG or Guitar Mill
Pickups-Lollar
Guard-AllParts
Hell get a set of 880's for tuners, basically all the hardware from allparts! They make great stuff. CTS POts, CRL switch, Switchcraft jack. Afterall, a control plate is a control plate for crips sake! Electrosocket......
Hey, you sound like you have done this before?????? :dude I'd love to build a tele, but "buy" the time I paid for everything, I would probably just buy one from you Chris, because it would be better than mine for not much more and save me loads of frustration..ha.

rock

bford
 

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
21,774
I have $500 in my latest partscaster Tele (just put together today). Good deals can be had from fellow TGP'ers and elsewhere selling bodies, parts, etc... I ended dropping about $360 on there for what amounted to a loaded body +. I only had a neck with tunes (fairly cheap $100 Mighty Mite, but it seems to be working although I may pay someone to replace the nut with higher quality and a fret dressing).
Fender MIJ '55 reissue body
Joe Barden Vintage Tele bridge w/ brass saddles = VERY cool!
Fender '52 reissue pups
Callaham prewired control plate with knobs, etc...
Mighty Mite neck, G&L branded schaller tuners (had them from a previous sale)
Looks pretty sweet (new actually) and it sounding quite nice already. Like I said, more tweaking and maybe a pro's touch on the neck and I'm good... maybe another $100 or so.
So - $600 for a MIJ Tele with upgraded everything that will definitely hang with any new Fender USA Am Standard offering IMO.
Or, buy a used G&L Bluesboy for $800 - 900 with case and call it a day
:dude
 

Zane

Member
Messages
1,273
I bought a Brian Poe "Broadcaster" body & knobs
a Musikraft RW board neck
Callaham bridge
Lollar vintage T pups
Glendale neck plate & slot head screws
RS vintage Tele electronics
will probably have Mark Jenny put the finish on it for me...
but I may do it myself ( if I get up the nerve)
 

RomanS

Member
Messages
2,338
You'll find tons of info at the Telecaster forum www.tdpri.com

Other than that:

I like Warmoth www.warmoth.com for necks and bodies; with their showroom you've got a chance to see what you'll be getting before you buy. USACG www.usacustomguitars.com is also popular, slightly more expensive than Warmoth, but does offer more custom options. Warmoth will also make you a pearloid Thinline pickguard with a humbucker cutout.
Pickups: some of my favorites are the Alnico II Tele pickups from Seymour Duncan, the Fender CS Nocaster pickups, and Pete Biltoft's pickups www.vintagevibeguitars.com - can't help you with the neck humbucker, I'm a single coil guy myself; Pete Biltoft could probably wind you a set of a bridge SC and neck HB that match in output; or get one of his CC-pickups - fat and warm like a humbucker, but also transparent like a single coil (they come in different shapes and sizes).
I really like the Wilkinson 3-saddle intonation compensated bridge from www.guitarfetish.com
A real Tele needs Kluson tuners (make sure you get the correct tuner hole size when ordering your neck); if you like modern convenience, get the locking-type Klusons.
An Electrosocket jack cup is very useful, much better than the orignal cup, which tends to get loose over time.
A Fender 4-way switch is also a great modification - the 4th position will give you a slightly louder, humbucker-ish tone, even with 2 single coils; or get a 5-way Superswitch and wire it according to Deaf Eddie's diagram http://www.deaf-eddie.net/guitars/5-tone.html

About the money: depends on how fancy you want to go - buying a bound and/or finished body will increase the price quite a bit (you might try finishing the body yourself, if you dnon't mind a matte/semi-gloss finish, an oild finish is not that hard to do); I'd say 500$ is about the minimum - probably you'll be spending more like 7-800, more than 1000 if you want to get fancy parts.

Just for encouragement, here's a pic of a Thinline I recently built from Warmoth parts (finished it myself with TruOil):

 

Troser

Member
Messages
41
This will be my first attempt at this, I am somewhat "handy", so I am not worried about putting something together. I am looking for advice as to where to purchase the materials I will need.

1. Body - "F" hole, semi-hollow body. Binding on the top would be cool. Either finished or not
2. Neck - maple neck, birdseye, amber tinted, standard tele type shaped neck.
3. PUPs - I want to do a humucker in the neck and traditional tele in the bridge
4. Hardware - knobs, pots, pup selector, tuners, string tree, bridge, saddles
5. Pickguard - traditional tele shape, pearloid perhaps

Any tips or advice will be appreciated!


It sounds like you're wanting to build a cross between a Fender Telecaster Thinline, and a Fender Telecaster Custom; cool idea... The Custom is my favorite Tele, and the Thinline is such a cool oddball that I think you're onto something! I've had both, as well as the Telecaster Deluxe (two humbuckers/Strat-shaped headstock); the neck humbucker is cool, but you've got to have the Tele bridge and single-coil or it's not a "true" Telecaster.

I'd suggest Lindy Fralins for pickups; great tone and they won't break the bank. I've got humbuckers and single-coils and they both sound fantastic; to have one of each on that guitar would make it a player from hell. As to the necks and bodies, Warmoth has always seemed to provide good material, but if it were me, I'd try to find a genuine Fender neck, and use a custom Warmoth or similar body... a Telecaster should have a Fender, or at least authentic Fender-style neck, in my opinion.

It would be cool to see a traditional Telecaster control plate, switch, and two knobs, as opposed to the big pickguard seen on the Deluxe, Custom. and Thinline Teles. In my opinion.

Sounds like a great project. I think you could build it for around $700.00 and do it well.

Here's one I built about six years ago, photographed at first assembly: old San Dimas Charvel Telecaster neck, Lindy Fralin vintage blues pickups (I added the gold neck pickup cover to match the brass), old brass hardware, and Warmoth swamp ash one-piece body. I strongly considered a P-90 at the neck, but the Traditional configuration won out. It's a stunning guitar to see, hear, and play. ~Tim

 

teleboy

Member
Messages
108
Don't know if you have all your stuff or not, but I highly recommend guitarmill, killer wood for teles>
 

studiodunn

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,556
Shop wisely and you can build a great tele for $600. Check out guitarfetish.com for some really good deals on decent parts.

Here is my first tele I built. As cheap as i could with the exception of, CTS pots, Switchcraft and NOS PIO Cap.
Alder body
2pc maple neck
GFS pups

I sold it for $400 w/case and made a little money.
The buyer called me and raved on the guitar.
 

skeeterbuck

Member
Messages
1,666
How would I do binding on a tele body (starting with bare wood)? Would I tape if off?
Get the binding done by the company you buy the body from. I know USA and Musikraft can do it.

Be careful of the pickguard. If you put a regular style pickguard on a thinline body, part of the F hole will be covered.

And.... don't build it with the idea of saving money. Do it for the fun, knowledge and satisfaction of doing it yourself.

Good luck!
 

Dion

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
904
Gregg and Marcia have some awesome stuff at www.grguitars.com if you're into a lot or a little of "relic" work. Check 'em out. Built my Strat with all their parts and love it!
 




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