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Thread: TLA-1 Factory Second Build

  1. #1

    TLA-1 Factory Second Build

    Hi all,

    Long time lurker, first time poster!

    Recently purchased the TLA-1 factory second kit with some upgrades. Ordered a few pieces incorrectly which Iíll detail below (e.g wrong size pots, wrong bridge) due to a lack of reading product descriptions and insufficient research, but Iím just going to roll with it and see what happens.

    Decided to upgrade most of the hardware and electronics:
    - Grover tuners
    - Entwhistle AT52 Tele Set pickups
    - Babicz FCH Z Series Single coil bridge
    - New CTS pots, cloth wire, sprague cap and fidelity upgrade

    So a few mistakes on my end:

    - Didnít realise all the hardware that came with the factory seconds kit would be black, but after doing a mock build, it looks pretty cool with the chrome bridge, so just going to keep it that way. I asked for the pick guard to be swapped to white as I noticed it was black, but didnít realise the rest of the kit was black hardware, so that was a bit short-sighted of me. On the plus side, now I have both a white and black guard to choose from!

    - The new pots are too large for the control cavity, so Iíll have to route that out and re-drill the plate to make them fit. Good excuse to try out my router, so not too fussed about it.

    - I didnít realise I had ordered a string-through-body bridge upgrade, rather than a string-through-bridge. I donít have a drill press, so this will be interesting. Looking to order a drill guide that works with my existing cordless drill Iím order to avoid spending hundreds on a tool I only plan on using to drill 6 holes with. Will also need to get some ferrules for the back now too, so this has turned into a bit more work than I bargained for.

    Iíve been debating what colour to paint the guitar and have narrowed it down to either a metallic light blue, metallic red or pearlescent white. Going to use the dupli-color cans from Supercheap Auto as Iíve seen some awesome finishes with those, and will do the neck with Tru-Oil.

    If anyone has any advise regarding the string-through-body setup and routing out the cavities, let me know. Itíll be my first time trying these, so any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Miami, FL, USA
    There are a number of ways to drill perpendicular holes on YouTube. The solution I came up with involves using a cheap guide, attached to a moveable platform. Worked well enough that I still have it, and use it quite a bit for places my small drill press can't reach.

  3. #3
    Cheers [mention]fender3x [/mention]! I was thinking of purchasing one of those guides, but was a bit uncertain how well it was going to work by just putting it on the body, so this solves that issue perfectly.

    Iíll have to order one of the guides and try putting together something similar to your design. Iíll let you know how I get on with it

  4. #4
    Mentor ozzbike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland
    I don't where you are moose crab......but these guys have lots of stuff that may assist you.

    Real Parts.

    This is a selection of switch plates for you....

    and a selection of 250k pots.....the mini ones are for you.

    Some bushings.....

    ...and a bridge...
    Runner Up G.O.T.M. November 2020. Custom SHB-4

    Runner Up G.O.T.M. December 2018. MMB-5

    Winner G.O.T.M. March 2018. JBA-4

    Runner Up G.O.T.M. December 2017. BG-46

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    I had a drill press that I planned to use for my ST-1JR kit build moosecrab, but the body didn't fit under well enough. Basically what I did was:

    1. find the largest drill be that fits through the holes in your bridge
    2. set up the bridge in position, and use that on the top side to drill a millimetre or 2 into the face as a guide,
    3. used that drill bit to then very carefully drill a block of wood to give me a straight guide
    4. drill each hole from the face side down a bit past half way
    5. Go back and drill your 2 e strings all the way through the body (Don't forget to clamp something under it to prevent tear-out)
    6. flip the guitar and align your bridge to those 2 outside holes.
    7. drill small marker holes again using the bridge like you did on the face.
    8. get the bridge out of the way and use your guide block to drill to meet the holes from the other side.

    The important thing here is that your holes are neatly aligned and spaced on the back, if there's some slight mismatches halfway through the body it's not a show stopper

    Last edited by HereIsJT; 13-01-2021 at 01:56 PM.

  6. #6
    Cheers [mention]ozzbike [/mention] , I reckon Iíll order the ferrules and maybe the pots from there (if I decide against rerouting), and see if thereís any other bits and pieces I might need/want.

    Thanks for the suggestion [mention]HereIsJT [/mention], your idea intrigued me and then I found this drill guide template at my local Aldi tonight for $10 which was a nice surprise. I might actually try your method but using the guide in order to save some coin!

  7. #7
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Caloundra West, Sunshine Coast Qld
    Nice slab of timber.
    I would go with a red stain and black pickguard.
    Too much grain to be hidden under a solid colour.
    Cheers Waz

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    # 1 - EX-5
    # 2 - EX-1
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018

  8. #8
    Cheers Waz. Wouldíve loved to go with a stain, but the grain on the treble side doesnít match up and leaves something to be desired. If the grain was nicer there I think I wouldíve definitely stained it.

  9. #9
    So thought Iíd provide an update on where Iím at after doing a bit of work on the build over the weekend.

    Bought the remaining bits and pieces I needed, namely the spray paint (going for a dupli-color candy red pearl), some materials to build a spray stand and some parts from RealTone (new string guides, strap locks, new mini pots and string ferrules).

    Grain filled and sanded the body to 240 grit (highest grit I had for my orbital sander), so will continue sanding at higher grits by hand before I go ahead and spray. I only had some Ebony grain filler laying about, but itís popped the grain nicely and itís almost a shame Iíve already committed to spraying it. I think after this build Iíll have to get another kit and just finish it like this!

    Also need to route out the bridge pickup (not quite in the right spot currently) and drill the holes for the strings and ferrules. Iíve tried a few tests on scrap wood using the drill guide I mentioned above and it seems to work quite well - just need to practise a bit more to make sure I get the result Iím after!

    Iíve built the spray stand out of some PVC pipe and a T-section, with some dowel threaded through to be able to rotate the guitar as Iím spraying. Yet to attach the guitar to it as I need to cut a piece of wood to fit in the pocket, but itís otherwise been assembled.

  10. #10
    Painting over Timbermate is most likely going to result in shrinkage (despite what it says on the container).

    Unless of course, if that's the effect you are going for.

    cheers, Mark.

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