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Thread: TLA-1 First Build

  1. #1
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    TLA-1 First Build

    Hi All,

    Yesterday I received my TLA-1 kit and while I would have loved to really have a detailed look I was very busy so apart from giving it a quick look and checking the upgrade components were there I simply put it aside.

    While I am very excited to receive my kit I am also extremely nervous as I have zero (yep zero) handyman skills (so this build could be a comedy of errors). But while I would love to have a playable guitar by the end of this, the truth is I am using this to sharpen my skills and learn as much as possible for this process.

    Upgrades:

    - tone rider hot classics
    - Grover tuners
    - graph tech nut
    - Wilkinson Bridge

    If any experience builder has any up front suggestions or things to look out for I am open ears. Any pitfalls so to speak! I know I will need to enlarge the bridge pickup cavity as the tone riders donít fit.

    A little more info about me - I am new to guitar (very new) and many years ago I actually played drums. I have a 2 year old child and over the last few years havenít had time for hobbies. This is a combination of trying to learn more about guitars and in truth the guitar I am practicing on has been lent to me. But I also would like to undertake a small project and just have some time to learn new skills etc. and truthfully the only reason I am even considering this as a project is this forum. I have been ready some build diaries and it seems like the help is endless.
    Last edited by FCD; 12-08-2019 at 03:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Overlord of Music dave.king1's Avatar
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    Welcome, you have picked probably the easiest kit to build first up.

    Compare the kit bridge with the Wilkinson I'm pretty sure you'll find there is a difference and that is where your pickup problem is, I had to rout the Tuff Dog cavity 6mm closer to the neck to get the intonation right.

    I have some custom pickups in my Thinline and the baseplate on the bridge pickup is 1mm bigger than the standard Squier pup so a bit of work was required on that one as well.

    Have fun and remember the only silly question is the one you don't ask

  3. #3

    TL build company

    Greetings and welcome FCD.

    We are following a similar path. I just received my TL-1 kit and started my build diary here.

    You are right about the Forum community. I have received a ton of help from members. You can see my threads in wiring and finishing forums. Lots of good information in those threads if you are researching those topics.

    I stuck with some basic upgrades but I may purchase other items (e.g. bridge, pickups, etc.) along the way. I'm also going to take one of my old electric guitars (valued less than $80) and experiment. When I really get going on my TA-1 build, I want to be as knowledgeable as possible. It may take awhile, but given my extreme GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome), I want to build a few leading up to the ES-5V or similar kit. It's the style of guitar I really like.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts to the forum. Have a great time building!

    Cheers,
    Rick
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon
    "I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring." David Bowie

  4. #4
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    Great to hear so many guys got their presents!
    I just got started with a TL build too, bit nervous too I must say :-)

    Have fun FCD!

    Rolf

  5. #5
    Member ILRGuitars's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard mate. The TL-1 is a great starting point into building and you have some great upgrades there.

    My advice is to plan what you want to achieve (colour, finish, etc), measure twice and cut (or drill) once, and be patient.

    Do a mock up build first to check everything, especially the scale length with the new bridge, pickguard fitment and neck fitment.

    If you are not sure about anything, ask us. We are here to help and just as excited to see the end product as you.

  6. #6
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    Thanks All,

    So today I did a test fit of all components (not tuning heads). I also worked out the centre line of the guitar and roughly where the bridge needs to go so I could work out how much material I need to remove in order to fit the Tonerider pickups with the Wilkinson bridge.

    A few things that I noticed

    - pit guard and bridge have quite a gap between them but this seems the only option if you want correct intonation
    - neck plate holes donít seem to line up with the pre-drilled holes in the guitar body.
    - also there seems to be a 8mm-9mm ridge between the guitar body and the top of the fret board. Is this normal (I have seen it on some other build diaries but it is more then I thought.

    Next steps will be to remove material for the pickups and test hit strings and bridge alignment.

  7. #7
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    No pictures taken today and nothing was really completed.

  8. #8
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    Hi All,

    Need some advice about sanding the guitar. I would like to grain fill with a contrasting colour for the ash body (timbermate). My question is about the grit I should be sanding to before applying - I am thinking somewhere between 320 - 400?

  9. #9
    Member Joe3334's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FCD View Post
    Hi All,

    Need some advice about sanding the guitar. I would like to grain fill with a contrasting colour for the ash body (timbermate). My question is about the grit I should be sanding to before applying - I am thinking somewhere between 320 - 400?
    400 seems about right.

  10. #10
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    Thank you for the reply - will sand up to 400

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