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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Two years in the making. I had the birdseye body made hollow with a solid maple center black. Pickguard is also custom made...faux abalone. Van Zandt P/U's were dead when I received them so I had them custom wound. Neck was actually found new. The original owner removed it when he purchased it new in '84. The rest of the hardware is Fender US Standard. I recently found a JV bridge plate in my parts bin that I'll attach...for nostalgia sake. This is by far my favourite guitar and the only one I now play.


 

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Wow, nice guitar! I can't say I'm a huge fan of the pickguard, but the birdseye maple is stunning. Where did you get the body done?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Bucky. Granted, this guard is not for everyone but, honestly, standard stuff looked just plain boring against the birdseye. Regarding the body, I found a fellow on fleabay who made custom guitar bodies and contacted him. One month later it was done...and I was on my way with the project. I found the neck a few months later. It's an MIJ reissue BTW.

Steve :food-smiley-004:
 

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Nice looking guitar, Stevie! I've got a '74 Thinline with the big humbuckers and I was just hit with the inspiration last night to build (screw together - I'm no luthier) another one to my own specs. Does it have a 3 or 4 bolt neck? The f-holes are'nt quite Fender looking but I bet it's a great blues guitar. Hard to tell from the photo but the top looks like it may be a little thicker as well. Can you give me a measurement?
 

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I personally don't like teles. But that's a nice looking piece of wood you got for the body.:DevilGuitar:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks fellas.

The top is 2-piece, bookmatched of course, while the back is a 3-piece. I had it finished with several coats of nitro-lacquer.

I'll measure the top's thickness Lester. Actually, the body was deeper than I liked initially so I wound up planing over an 1/8" off both the front & back...to give you an idea of how much wood was there! Fits perfectly now though and my new El Dorado strap makes it super comfortable to play.
 

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Wow, beautiful guitar-pickguard included! I've always leaned towards Strats and LP's and SG's a bit more than Tele's (even though I love their sound), but your guitar looks good enough to sway me!
-Mikey
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Photo of back added...

I measured the thickness of the top Lester...it's 5/16". To answer your other question, it has a standard 4 bolt neckplate.

In case anyone's interested, I can dig up contact info for the fellow who rewound my P/U's...IIRC, he's near Brampton. He's been doing it a long time, does superb work, and best of all...only charges $25 per P/U! Actually, while I'm at it I'll sift through my receipts to figure out what the final cost was on the project. Some folks may be surprised at just how affordable it is to "build" your own axe.

Steve
 

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My thinline measures just over 1/8th" so yours is substantially thicker. However, my guitar had all the finish stripped when I bought it so it could have been planed and sanded down slightly. Stewart-McDonald is selling alder bodies with a 1/4" thick maple top. That's still too thick for what I want since I'm looking for the lightest weight possible. Thanks for the info Steve, and I for one, would be interested in your build cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Grand total is (drumroll please)....

OK, and FWIW, here's how it all shakes out (total in $CDN, shipping & taxes included):

  • Neck cost me $135...tuners & hardware were included;
  • Body, unrouted & unfinished, was $135...yes I know, I stole it at that price;
  • VanZandt set was $60...$10 to purchase (remember, both were dead) and $25 each to rewind;
  • Pickguard was another $40;
  • Remaining hardware & electronics cost $35
TOTAL COST = $400 CDN.

Before anyone makes plans to duplicate this feat :) , let me qualify things. First, my father has templates for Teles and nitro lacquer in his shop so he routed the body and put the finish on the guitar for me...big savings! Second, I found another project builder and purchased the hardware as a set from his parts bin...more savings there. Third, I happen to live quite close to the NY border so I saved "brokerage fees" by picking things up myself. Finally, while I consider each of these purchases to be a pretty good deal, they didn't just fall in my lap. I spent considerable time and energy just to find them and then negotiated/pleaded/harassed for the best deal I could get. As always, your mileage may vary.

Steve :food-smiley-004:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Found the contact info mentioned above. Check it out if your vintage or other good quality p/u is no longer working.

West End Rewind
16 Ramsgate Ct.
Brampton, ON L6Z 1W4
Contact: Peter Leonard,
Tel: (905) 846-2538
Fax: (905) 846-5616
Email: [email protected]
Services: Custom rewinding of stringed instrument pickups.

Steve :food-smiley-004:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd certainly agree with that assessment bucky. The project was tremendously satisfying as well. Perhaps I can offer a few suggestions for others who'd like to put together a good quality Fender-ish guitar on the cheap.

First, look for dead vintage (or other quality) p/u's on fleabay. They're inexpensive to buy, rewind (see previous post), and receive by airmail. Second, if you're considering a custom body, find someone who's already building them and ask for exactly what you want. Alternatively, they may have near-flawless "seconds" on hand or other orders that customers backed out of...just ask. If you're looking for more standard fare however, I'd suggest searching for solid-wood MIJ or even Mexi bodies/necks first. US components are often overpriced and simply don't offer good value IMO. Finally, if you are hanging around fleabay, type in "project" while searching the GUITAR category and see what comes up. This can be a really good method for finding several useful parts, often from someone elses abandoned project, in a single auction. As always, enjoy the process!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Almost forgot...

Was digging through my parts bin and discovered some "left-over" pieces. Things I had picked up during the project but never used. If anyone's interested, I could keep digging to see what's there. So far I've found two Fender vintage-style Tele bridges (one has a serial number...looks to be US '52 RI), set of compensated brass saddles, 4-way switch, string-thru body ferrules. Perhaps I should post on the classifieds forum instead?

Steve
 

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wow for 400 CAD?!?!?!? omg you lucky little mother lol, but i love teles dude keep that one for abit, it looks very nice, and i could imagine the sound you get out of it
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: Strat vs Tele...

I've "made" several Strats over the years as well...probably half a dozen at least. The only one that stuck with me however was one I didn't even build...an early JV series '57 RI. It was, and still is, perfect...for a Strat. :)
 

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Sweet lookin' guitar Steve...I love the look of abalone...so the pickguard is +1
in my book.lofu

What kinds of sounds are you getting from this puppy?

Jan
 
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