“Blood Red” Telecaster Clone.

Well, the following is my brief description of my 2013 brief project.

As I posted in my previous 2 posts this one is just another “leftover” project.
Some time ago I’ve found that I have enough spare parts left after the upgrades of the other projects to put together another Telecaster type guitar.
And the only missing big part was the body.

Cigar Box Guitar Body
So, firstly, I wanted to make some sort of the mixture of the cigar box guitar and the Telecaster clone.
I even have gave it a name “Redneck Telecaster”.
But all my friends and family members didn’t like this idea: to put together all this shiny parts with such an ugly wooden box:

Telecaster Guitar Body
I started to search for a good looking body. I didn’t want to invest any significant amount into “leftover” project. I didn’t care about the type of the wood. I just wanted the cheapest body possible. So it took me for a while before the eBay search brought me this one for a price of about $50.
And the irony of the case was that the seller/maker of this Telecaster bodies lives in the neighboring suburban area! Small world! So I saved (probably) on the shipping. I say “probably” concerning current gas prices :(.

And now it’s time for comparisons:

Redneck Tele Guitar "Blood Red" Telecaster

I hope you agree that the winner is the image on the right.

Problem #1. Guitar Body Cavities Depth.

The pickup and controls cavities had appeared not deep enough to fit the electronics.
Router Bit
Moreover, I’ve made another mistake: I’ve rushed to shield most of them with the copper foil.
How can I deepen them?
To scratch with the knife would be way too long process.
So, after some search in my tool boxes I have found this router bit:

It’s not ideal. But it can do the job for me.
I used the regular drill to make all cavities deeper.
No need to say that I’ve scratched all the shielding coverings applied before.
It’s not a big problem with the modern technologies providing the self-adhesive foil.
Pickup hole
But I’ve learned one important though well known ancient lesson:

Measure 7 times before the actual cutting! 🙂

As a result I’ve got a deeper though ugly cavities.
Note the more deep holes on the sides.
That’s for the pickup screws
(You may click the thumbnail to see the details).

Assembling

Actually there’s not much interesting to tell about this part.
Most of this step is just to put all parts together with a screwdriver.
Oh! And the soldering of course. The pickups and the output jack have to be connected to the controls.
Assembling the telecaster

And one more little thing at the finish. The pickguard was overlapping a bit the edge of the controls plate.
The has been easily fixed by dome filing and sanding.

The drawback of assembling the guitar from the random pare parts is that the parts never fit perfectly.
Mostly it’s just minor issues like this one.
But sometimes the problem can cause a serious failure.
(See below the “Problem #2”).

But finally here’s what came out of it:
Assembled guitar

Problem #2: The neck is sitting too high!

Done!
I cannot wait to try this axe.
But.
After putting the strings on it I’ve got another huge disappointment.
The guitar neck is sitting Too high. What prevents the proper adjustment of the strings.
The string are just simply lying on the frets. Even if the saddles are set to their maximum height.
Even when the truss rod is released at all:
Strings are lying on the frets

Well, what can I do here?
Actually I see 3 options here:

  • 1. To cut out the neck slot of the guitar body which makes the neck to sit lower. But I don’t have the right tools to make it properly. I guess such kind of tools can be quite expensive.
  • 2. I can find and put some metal plate under the saddles. I don’t need to fix it with the screws: the tension of the strings is enaough to keep it in place. But aesthetically it might look ugly and weird. And yhis is certainly the goal of this project.
  • 3. A shim placed between the front part of the neck base and the neck bed of the guitar body. Not 100% sure if it will work as I expect.
    But it is the lass affective way and I will give it a try.
    As a shim I will try to use a half piece of some useless plastic card like this one:

Plastic card as a shim

I’ll let you know soon the final result and what will be my verdict on this instrument:

Will it fly or I’ll let it die?
As a nice decoration of the wall.

To be continued…

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