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New Warmoth Build - TV Yellow P90 Tele Special

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,640
So after building 2 custom Warmoth Telecaster Deluxes, and being incredibly satisfied with them, I decided that it was time to build a third one in the series. This time, something a little bit different, but still sort of "matching". I had a Les Paul Special Double Cutaway with P90s a while ago, and loved the tone, but just couldn't get used to the body shape. So I decided to make my own "custom-shop" Tele Junior with P90 pickups.



I ordered this body from Spike at Warmoth, who really helped me out with the custom features. It's a solid Tele body, but with the control route from a thinline. (according to Spike, this had to be hand done, and they did a great job.) I also had it made with a rounded strat neck pocket.




Here it is on the workbench. Since Warmoth didn't offer a TV Yellow, I had the body finished in TV Yellow by Marty Bell, out in California. I sent him a few pics of some Gibson LP Specials that I liked, and he NAILED the color. It looks fantastic, even better in person.




Here I am, hunched over, carefully tapping in the ferrules with a hardwood block. I always take a round file and open the holes up slightly, just to make sure that the finish won't crack as I tap them in.




Here they are. Tapped in nice and neat and level. I don't countersink them, but neither does Fender on their US Standard guitars, so oh well. haha.




Here I am installing the bridge. Since I use Fender American Standard bridges on my builds (so far), I order the body routed from Warmoth with the narrow spaced flatmount bridge. In addition to having to slightly widen the string-thru holes, I also fill the outer 2 mounting holes, and re-drill, to make them line up perfectly. Once it's done, everything fits perfectly and lines up great.

Continued on next post...
 

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,640


Lined up perfectly! Now I have to re-drill the outer two holes.




Bridge and saddles installed. I love the clean look of this Fender bridge, and it don't sound half bad either!




Made sure to install a grounding wire underneath the bridge too. I put the end of the wire on an anvil and hit it with a hammer to flatten it, so that it lays flat underneath the bridge. Then, sheilded the cavity with some aluminum tape. I know, I know... copper is better. But so far, I've had great luck with the aluminum tape, and it's cheaper too.




Here's the pickguard just to give you a preview. If you notice, there's no "notch" for the bridge pickup - I ordered it like that on purpose. It's always bugged the heck out of me when I see P90 teles, with pickguards that are routed for a regular tele bridge, and it doesn't line up perfectly around the pickup. Too much space on top, not enough on the sides. I decided to tell Spike to make the pickguard without a notch, and I'll cut it myself. Luckily, Warmoth was able to do this for me.




Here's another small detail that I make sure I take care of. The football jack plate's radius does NOT match the Tele body radius when you get it, so I always bend it by hand to make it match. Wrap it in a cloth, grab it with a pair of flat pliers...




And carefully give it a few bends, till I get the radius that I want.




Perfect. No gaps.
 

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,640


I run a piece of tape across the center of the output jack hole to mark the center...




After installing the jack to jackplate and soldering the wires, I drilled, screwed, and installed the whole thing.




Took a little break from the body, and installed the tuners. Dig the logo - chrome self-adhesive decal, under 10 coats of gloss poly. Looks just like the US Deluxe Teles and Strats.




This one had one of the TIGHTEST neck pocket fits I've ever seen. Incredible workmanship on Warmoth's part.




I'm talking Suhr-tight here.




Just as good on this side too...




Put some strings on to check the neck alignment, and it was dead on.
 

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,640


So now it was time to tackle the routing of the pickup notch. I laid the pickguard on the body, laid the P90 on top of it, and used a scratch awl to scratch the line. Then, I got to work on cutting the notch. After using a dremel to get pretty close to the scratched line, I used some sandpaper wrapped around a Xacto blade handle to get the corner radius.




Then I used some sandpaper around a wood block to get the straight sections.




Can you say perfection? (Warmoth - you guys gotta start offering this option on the pickguards from the factory...)




I also ordered the pickguard with just the Volume and Tone control holes. I left the rest of it blank, so I could install a Gibson 3-way toggle. I taped it up, marked the spot, and drilled a hole to mark it.




The I used a reamer bit to open it up.




Reaming it a new one... hahaha
 

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,640


Just gotta clean it up a bit with a round hand file...




...installed the switch and pots. Looking great so far!




Taped off the pickguard, and used an ESP multi spanner to tighten it. GREAT tool from stewmac. Much better then trying to use needle-nose pliers.




All wired up. Kind of a challenge installing the P90s using a Master Volume and Tone, instead of the usual V T V T gibson setup.




Pickguard is in place, looking good...




Black Gibson bell knobs installed. Trying to keep the aesthetics and details very traditional gibson.
 

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,640


LOVE the look of those P90s. Seymour Duncan Vintage Soapbars SP901s.




Installed the string trees. I use the Fender American Standard ones, which are kind of a pain in the ass to install, but look nice and clean, and match the bridge's look.




Strung up, and we're almost done!




Polished up.
 
Last edited:

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,640


Here it is, all polished up, in the stand. I just couldn't be any happier with the final look of this guitar.




The tone of the Seymour Duncan P90s is incredible too. Luckily, I happened to get a set that had an underwound neck pickup, and an overwound bridge one, so they match up even better than usual. The neck is nice and clear, and the bridge is super fat and loud. They just have that classic, P90 chainsaw grind.




Here's another shot. I'm just loving the TV yellow. (Hey Warmoth, start doing TV yellow!!!!)




Well guys, I hope you enjoyed my photo documentary of my latest Pierro Custom "Special" P90 Telecaster!
 

simon_62

Member
Messages
336
Looks great! Very similar to what I would order too except i'd have had an arm rest and heel contour :)
 

coldfingaz

Member
Messages
11,200
Great job!

Man, I wish I was handy, but I learned the hard way a long time ago that I'm not!

I had Creston build me a P90 LP Jr. inspired Esquire along similar lines. What's that body made of? This one is mahogany. One thing I really love is the toploader bridge he used:

 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,151
Nice result and a very good job on the pickguard and jackplate, and shielding.

coldfingaz, nice one there too.
 

frisco kid

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,909
What an awesome post! Thanks for sharing the build process..great looking guitar and must be even more gratifying knowing you built it.
 

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,640
Thanks for all the kind words fellas. This is my 5th build so far, and by far, the most unique. And yes... it sounds INCREDIBLE! Just like a LP junior, but a bit more snap from the 25.5" scale length.
 




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