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Thread: TeleStrat dubious record attempt

  1. #1
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    TeleStrat dubious record attempt

    While putting off finishing my Fender-neck-on-Gibson-body bass project, I have been acquiring parts to build a hard tail Strat-ish guitar. I began so long ago that I can't actually remember when it began. The closest that I can get is that shortly after I got the neck and the body, I purchased a 1960's vintage Eko case for it from Angela Instruments to put it in. I must have gotten the neck and body around that time. I still have the sales receipt for the case, so that dates it to early 1987. I put some finish on the neck to preserve it, as Warmoth told me to, so that began the build...

    ...and that was it, until a couple of years ago when I build a PB ESB-4 kit. During the ESB build, I took the bold step of putting some left over primer on the body. And that was it until fairly recently, aside from slowly acquiring parts to complete it, whenever I saw something interesting on sale.

    A great deal of this build is the result of stuff being "on sale." The body started life as an HSS strat body made of poplar. I am guessing it was on sale because it's just not a very attractive wood for clear coats. The neck was a lefty Strat neck. I am not a lefty, but figured that just meant the head stock would be reversed. And it was "on sale" for a really good price.

    I had a great deal of trouble deciding on pickups. I did not really want a Strat. I have an old Fender Coronado with D'Armond pups in it--close to P90s--so I did not want those. Maybe a couple of humbuckers? Then one day I saw a set of GFS Lil'Punchers for half price due to an open box...

    Bit fuzzy...light was not good... but here's how it lays out at the moment:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can't see the cool Klutson lefty vintage tuners I got for it...on sale, of course.

    I had to rout a bit--and wobbled a little in a place under the pickguard, to accommodate the Tele bridge pickup. Also near the neck pickup for the truss rod adjustment nut. Typical for Warmoth, the body was not cut to accommodate the heel-adjust truss rod.

    Bought a Dragonfire custom pickguard from TNT Custom Guitars in Klamath Falls, Oregon. They were a pleasure to deal with, and the pickguard fits beautifully. Much easier and more pleasant to deal with than the time I bought a pickguard from Warmoth...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I could not decide on switching so, decided to just go for broke. I haven't wired it up yet, but I have the parts...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Top pot is Volume. Bottom pot is a Tone with a push pull switch. In the middle position is a four-way rotary switch.

    The rotary switch will switch humbucking and single coil modes. HH, HS, SH and SS. The SS setting from the switch is traditional Tele, so it is not humbucking because it uses the north coil of both pickups. The push-pull switches from the north to the south coil on one of the pickups to make the SS setting humbucking. Probably more trouble than it's worth...but thank you to WeirdBits for helping me to map it out.

    So far the only other thing i have done...today...was to add fret marker dots. The build is right-handed, but the neck was intended for lefties, so it has dots on the wrong side for me. Followed the Dan Erlewine method from YouTube as best I could... Here's the result:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My hope is to set a record for the longest build that is actually completed... Am I a contender?

    There is a very thin finish on the neck, but there are a couple of places where it has rubbed off. God only knows what I used to put the very thin protective coat it has on it. I have some acrylic poly drying on the underside of the heel to test whether it reacts with the ancient stuff I put on originally. I am thinking I will do a light acrylic poly finish over the whole neck if the test goes well. Shellac if it does not. Or maybe shellac then poly... Not sure. The neck looks pretty good now. don't want to leave spots unprotected, but I also don't want to do too much. Will be curious what others think!

  2. #2
    Overlord of Music FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Yeah I think you may be in a field of one in this race Fender!
    Closest I can get is the actual FrankenWashie.

    First body iteration begun in 1992 ish, and it lingered as a SHS that got occasionally played and never really finished to any great degree until about 2016.

    Thatís when I pulled the original body apart and laminated in a new core of Victorian Ash and merbau and actually used templates and a router to get the neck square and true.

    To be fair itís not technically complete, as I havenít yet sorted out the magnetic cover for the trem. It has no finish on it per se, but I sanded all the way up through the grits and then polished the neck and body with micro mesh. Itís so smooth that it doesnít seem to take on skin o r anything

    I think youíve got at least a five year lead.

    Can anyone top 32-ish years?🤣😂
    FrankenLab Guitar Experiments.
    Making bad ideas a reality since 2016!

  3. #3
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    I ordered some blonde shellac flakes last night. I am thinking that I may French polish the neck. It has a bit of unidentifiable satin finish on it now, but it is worn in a few places. There are a couple of worn spots on the heel. One spot that looks like I just missed it in the middle of the 8th fret. It may not be through where I used some 400 grit on the dot markers I just installed, but it is noticeably thinner there. As per mid-80s instructions from Warmoth, I finished it with a little satin finish (whatever that was). I probably did not let it cure long enough before putting some old tube socks over it to protect it (remember tube socks?), because there were some small marks on it from the fabric. They buffed out easily, but the finish was never very thick to begin with.

    With the exception of the 8th fret, the thin places are not anywhere that should need a huge amount of protection, and the neck is sanded quite flat now. Am I right in thinking that I may be able to get away with just putting some shellac on it and not doing more? But for the thin spots, mostly around the heel, the neck looks great now, so I am loathe to do very much...

  4. #4
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    My daughter created the logo. She is becoming quite the graffiti artist. Wanted something to go with the planned sea foam green-ish body color that my son picked out. So the "Aquacaster" is born...or at least gestating.

    Still ruminating about neck finish. The neck is basically finished and looks pretty good other than about three spots that are bare due to some sanding. Maybe s tad thin where I added side dots, and of course I need to cover the logo. Is there any reason I would need to use more than shellac on it? The places that are thin are not in places that will get much wear....Click image for larger version. 

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    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    This may be progress...will depend on what it looks like after a little sanding. Used the trusty MTN94 rattle cans to put 5 coats of "Bali Green" ...sort of like one of the Fender surf colors... over the automotive primer that's been on this beast for years.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I *think* I have most of the parts, so I decided to work on the finish.

  6. #6
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Probably getting ahead of myself here since I haven't put the final clear coat on the neck yet...but I have a question about how to mount the tuning machines.

    I think I mistakenly said their were Klusons above. They are actually Gotoh's. Clearly there is one for the right side, one for the left, and the rest to go in the middle...

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    Unfortunately, no matter how I arrange them, I can't get them to sit flat when I put them all in a line...

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    Has anyone had some experience with these. What it looks like is that they were all once like this...

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    ...but got trimmed without a lot of precision.

    I am thinking that once I install the ferrules I will need to file the interlocking ends down so that they fit. Is that how this is generally done? Is there a better way to trim the ends? Do they usually fit perfectly and I just get a crappy set. Wait! Don't answer that. One thing is sure. I got them so long ago, I won't be able to return them.

    However I do this, should they overlap at all? or should they be flush with each other?
    Last edited by fender3x; 26-03-2020 at 06:34 AM.

  7. #7
    I've had some similar vintage style tuners.
    Trouble is that the spacing of the holes are critical to get a good fit.
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    I would suggest grinding the edges of the middle tuners to get them fitting together.

    cheers, Mark.

  8. #8
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    Hey fender3x.
    The single tuner in the photo you posted is from a 3 x 3 set. It has the full "ears" and is fixed with 2 screws per tuner.
    The ones you have are made to interlock using 1 screw between each tuner like king casey's pic.

    Warmoth is generally very good with their products (even in the 80's) but it would be worth measuring the tuner hole centres just to be sure. If they're mis-spaced, it may require some plugging and re-drilling to get a good equal fit. If it were me, I wouldn't trim the tuner/s.

    I used a set of Gotoh Kluson-style tuners on my PBG TL kit, but had the opposite issue. The holes were too far apart. I ended up fashioning small "washers" to bridge the gap between the tuners.for the fixing screws. Not my best solution, but it worked. Good tuners though.

    Just for fun, I've posted one of my Strato-Tele below.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  9. #9
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    The middle ones I have appear to be cut. The are not uniform for one thing. I'll check the hole spacing, but I can say for sure that the tabs are not uniform. They look like they began life as three-a-side and were just cut down to (almost) fit. But why would anyone do that if you can buy them to fit? Very strange.

    I may be forced to grind or file, as King suggested.

    Only thing that appears certain is that McCreed makes excellent color choices ;-)

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    Only thing that appears certain is that McCreed makes excellent color choices
    Hah! Thanks!

    That is truly a one-of-a-kind. It was mixed by eye, so not a clue as to what the ratios might have been (7+ years ago). I've compared it against some of the genuine Fender greens and it's somewhere in between Seafoam and Surf, but definitely leans more toward the Seafoam.

    That pic isn't great either, as it's much glossier and greener IRL.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

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