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Thread: First time build - Tele with a kiwi twist

  1. #1
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    First time build - Tele with a kiwi twist

    Hey all, first time builder here. I went a bit stupid and thought "hey, I should build my own guitar, wouldn't that be cool?" and now I'm here with the kit quietly sh***ing myself. haha

    So I have just dived in. Sanded the top to start and my mate was determined to paint up the body, so this is what she's done - a tui on a kowhai.

    Suggestions for how to finish this properly? I'm already expecting about a thousand mistakes that I've made already, but hoping I'll be able to do this without ruining the artwork...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Mentor Andyxlh's Avatar
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    Wow that looks great!
    Id consider covering it with clear coat before you do anything else. Id use a spray, what kind of paint was used? You want something compatible, so an acrylic clear on acrylic paint ideally
    You will need to locate the bridge, and drill all the holes
    Theres a thread on locating the bridge. You will need to fit the neck and the two outer machine heads to make sure the strings fit centrally on the neck
    Its going to look fantastic!

  3. #3
    Mentor vh2580's Avatar
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    Fantastic artwork. Agree with Andy on coating with some form of clear to protect the painting while setting up.
    Tony

  4. #4
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    I also agree with the others re: sealing with an appropriate clear coat.

    However, I'm going to suggest a couple slightly radical ideas...

    IMO, your mate has done such a lovely job with the artwork, it will be an absolute shame to cover so much of it up with a traditional tele bridge.
    You're in a fortunate position that there are no mounting holes for the bridge or pickguard, so I would install a TOM-style bridge or even better, an adjustable wrap-around tailpiece. Either option would allow the artwork to be visible with fairly minimal obstruction.
    The pickups can simply be body-mounted, so there's no need for a pickguard. This all fairly untraditional, but I look at this guitar as wanting to be truly unique.

    I know that's a lot to ask for a first-time build, but if your under a deadline and are able to take your time, you could get it right and be (I think) a lot happier in the end.

    Lastly, and I don't mean this to be critical, merely observational, the artwork should have been done with the traditional hardware in mind so it would end up being covered by it.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  5. #5
    Mentor dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Beautiful piece of art. If it was me, I'd be trying to make the headstock shape have some relation to the bird. Or a "traditional" headstock shape, but get your mate to paint something additional on it.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the awesome advice everyone!
    I will definitely work on a clear coat before continuing... the paint is acrylic with a little paint pen on top, which she has sprayed a few light coats of varnish over so hopefully the paint won't get affected by the clear coat. Will also look into getting the headstock painted with something of the same theme.
    Is this the sort of this I should buy and apply?
    https://www.mitre10.co.nz/shop/rust-...clear/p/384369

    I've purchased a transparent scratch plate, so that will mean much more of the artwork will be visible and I can still mount the neck pickup on it. The traditional bridge, whilst does obscure a bit, could be worse I think, so I might just stick with it as this is my first build haha.
    I'm in no hurry, but summer here means I have a bit more time to make the build happen. I'm keen to try and get it right as possible cause I intend to perform with it hopefully.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Mentor JohnH's Avatar
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    I love the artwork!
    #001 (LP-1S) [finished - co-runner up Nov 2018 GOTM]
    #002 (WL-1)
    #003 (MPL Megacaster - semi scratch build) [finished]
    #004 (ST-1 JR - Arachnoid Superhero build) [finished]
    #005 (LP jr)
    #006 (TL-1A)

    Junk shop acoustic refurbs (various)
    'The TGS Special'

  8. #8
    Mentor JohnH's Avatar
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    It might be worth finding out what varnish she used, to make sure your clear coats are compatible.

    Did she varnish the whole body, or just over the artwork?

    Also, I love the idea of a clear pickguard
    #001 (LP-1S) [finished - co-runner up Nov 2018 GOTM]
    #002 (WL-1)
    #003 (MPL Megacaster - semi scratch build) [finished]
    #004 (ST-1 JR - Arachnoid Superhero build) [finished]
    #005 (LP jr)
    #006 (TL-1A)

    Junk shop acoustic refurbs (various)
    'The TGS Special'

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