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Thread: My first build - TLA-1

  1. #1
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    My first build - TLA-1

    Hi All

    After much waiting, I finally received my TLA-1 earlier this week.

    I am a complete newbie to this, but have found some of the work produced by members here to be truly inspiring. Having said that, I am not setting the bar too high for the first build. Just want to make a reasonably attractive and playable guitar. If the build goes well, the plan is to build another kit and give it to my old man.

    The only modification I am making to the kit is to use a white pearloid scratch plate rather than the stock white.

    My plan was to do a ceruse finish, but I was slightly disappointed with the grain on the body. I guess I will still work towards a ceruse finish, but if it doesn't pan out, I will just go with a plain colour.

    As foreshadowed in the online instructions, the rout for the bridge pick up was not quite right, so I ended up having to enlarge it. I don't have a router, so I just made do with drill, chisel etc.

    Whilst waiting for the kit to arrive, the thing I was most nervous about was shaping the headstock - I had visions of splitting or snapping the head and therefore ruining the neck. Therefore I decided to do the headstock first because if I was going to break it, I wanted to break it before I spent time preparing and painting the body!

    I am happy to report that the shaping of the headstock has been safely negotiated. I wanted to go with a classic telecaster headstock, and for a first go, I am pretty happy with the results.

    I then spent a couple of days of sanding the body. Given my plan to do a ceruse finish, I figure that I don't need to sand it to a mirror shine. I have now given the body the first coat. I have chosen a teal colour, and will (hopefully) use white highlights in the grain.

    Here are my progress pics. I will keep updating as I go.

    Cheers
    Mark
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  2. #2
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    Hi everyone

    I am having a problem with the wiring and need some help.

    I had no problems wiring the jack, or the hot wires for the pick-ups. However, I am having all sorts of problems wiring the ground wires to the pot.

    I have sanded the pot to ensure there is something for the solder to adhere to , but no luck. I no that i am meant to heat the wore and let the heat of the wore melt the solder, but it just seems that i am melting the wire. In any event, I can't get it to adhere to the pot.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I running out of solder...

    Any alternatives would also be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Mark

  3. #3
    Member Wayne.Mumford's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
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    Hi Mark, welcome to family. Soldering is not my favourite part as I am not so good at it. You might want to look at some how to vids on google to pick up some handy tips, that’s what I do. Anyway, you might not have your soldering iron hot enough. Try not to heat the pot up too much as you can fry it. Soldering iron needs to be hot enough to heat up a spot on the casing and melt the solder quickly. You also have to “tin” the wire, and the spot on the casing by melting some solder on to each part, then melt them together. You might also need solder with a resin core which helps to the solder to adhere. As I said, I am not an expert at soldering so you might get a few more tips from someone else. I hope I could help a bit.
    Wayne.
    Build-1 ES-3 June 2016 GOTM.
    Build-2 IB-1S
    Build-3. ES-12G June 2019 GOTM.
    Build-4 Gene Simmons axe bass. 43 year project done.

  4. #4
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    Hi Diesel
    Welcome to the forum!

    I agree with Wayne. It does sound as if your iron is not hot enough. The fact that you managed the jack and pickups suggests you are using the right solder.
    My method (for what it is worth) is to hold the iron on the pot for a few seconds and then introduce the solder. It should pool fairly quickly if the iron is up to the job. Then take the iron away before damaging anything.
    Tin the wire as Wayne said. Then put the tinned wire on the pooled solder on the pot and press your iron against it. As soon as the solder melts, remove the iron.

    What wattage is your iron?

    Cheers
    Ricky

  5. #5
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    Thank you to Wayne and Ricky for their responses, which were invaluable.

    I am please to report that I have sorted the problem, and finished my first guitar. It is certainly not perfect, but I am happy with how it turned out.

    I enjoyed the process, and hope it is just the first of many. I certainly learned a lot that would assist in any new builds!

    Cheers
    Mark
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  6. #6
    Member Trevor Davies's Avatar
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    Perth
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    Looks good. I like the colour. Also like the headstock.
    Build #1 - FVB4 - Build Diary
    Build #2 - LP-1SS - Current - Build Diary
    Build #3 - FBM-1 - Current - Build Diary

  7. #7

  8. #8
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Oct 2016
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    Reading, UK
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    The guitar looks great!

    Successful pot soldering does require a reasonable sized soldering iron with a widish tip. I now use two irons, one is temperature controlled soldering station and has a fine tip that I use for soldering all the small connections, and the other (a cheap 60W temperature controlled iron I bought from Amazon) with a wide tip, I use for back of pot stuff. It really makes a big difference and the pot and solder are heated up to melting point within a second, as opposed to six or seven with the smaller iron.

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