NGD: Tele Custom Build - Warmoth - Brownface


Gold Supporting Member
This started almost two years ago as I thought it would be fun to do a build. I found the body (never assembled) on eBay that I really liked and bought it, set it aside and forgot about it for a while. Then this past summer I found a 65' Melody Maker that a neighbor had tossed in the trash that I saved minutes before the garbage truck showed up. It had one odd modification. Someone had routed and installed a vintage Fender Wide Range pickup in the neck position. It was a couple weeks before I remembered the Warmoth body I bought but when I did and pulled it out sure enough it was routed for the Wide Range (I didn't look close as I was planning on using a standard HB).

Body: Warmoth, purchased on eBay.

Neck: Purchased used on TGP forum. It had an wipe on clear oil finish. I stripped it and refined the sanding more and used Stew-Mac amber tint spray lacquer and about 6 coats of clear lacquer over that. Wet sanded and polished the finish and it turned out great (IMO). It is the 59' profile and I really like the feel. 9.5" radius with SS frets (first time with SS and so far so good).

Pickgaurd: I played around on the Warmoth site for color schemes and decided I liked the dark board best and also this pick guard color with the body. That was helpful. Bought it from the Warmoth site. It is the real tortoise shell, layered.

Neck Pickup: The vintage Fender Wide Range (10.65k) mentioned above. It had a short lead and I sent it off to Telenator (Don Mare's suggestion and I found him on the Tele Forum TDPRI) and he was super helpful. He put on a new lead and tested it. Fast service and very reasonable. (Thx Telenator!).

Bridge PU: A Don Mare Broadcaster, the Keefer at 10k. Bought the set (with the neck PU) here on TGP.

Wiring Harness: RS Guitarworks. Big thanks to Billy at RS for walking me through it and he does great work as many know. I have RS harnesses on at least 7 guitars now.

The Bridge: I saw this bridge when looking for a solid brass bridge online and loved it. Gotoh makes it but I did not like the finished they offered (Black, Chrome and Gold). So I emailed the company in Japan and asked it they could send me one un-plated and they did. So I used a patina solution to get the aging going. I love how the shiny brass is already starting to show through in places.

Lastly the KNOBS: Fender Brownface amps are a favorite of mine and my #1 amp is a 1962 Brown Vibrolux. I have a love hate with the witch hat knobs on the Deluxe and Custom Teles. So as a sort of play on the theme of using amp like knobs on the guitars controls I went with some repro brown face knobs since they worked with the color scheme.

Sound: Telenator was correct when he described using the Wide Range with the correct Single Coil bridge PU. Each PU sounds great on their own but together they are just huge. The guitar sounds like a tele but has a huge piano sustain to it. The combo of the woods, bridge and PUs just seem to work. It sometimes reminds me of a 54 LP with P90s I played that had the stop tail bridge in the way it had similar sustain, harmonics and wild overtones.

Thank for your patience of the long post but it is the Gear Page.

And here she is:



Silver Supporting Member
Looks very nice and I bet it sounds great too. Hard to believe in this day and age someone would just throw away an old guitar. Good on you for saving that one! The pickup alone is worth $300.


Looks great! I think the planning/building process is half the fun with guitars like this. I've done a few Strat "partscasters" and love them. I really want to do a tele as well soon. I'll have to keep an eye on my neighbors trash...


Another beautiful guitar. Carp! Now I have to start a build. I love the bridge plate.

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