Telecaster guitar project

(Marc Lupton) #1

Hi I will be starting an electric guitar project once I get my fob next week

initial thoughts on specs:

Swamp ash body with spalted maple top with white binding
Curly maple neck
Ebony fretboard
Stainless steel frets
Dual action truss rod (accessible from the heel)

(Marc Lupton) #2

The swamp ash blank for the main body

(Marc Lupton) #3

Currently at my parents so have been preparing the blank to glue up.

(Marc Lupton) #4

Book matching the wood for a decent join


Now just wait for it dry and then final clean up and thickness

(Marc Lupton) #5

wood ordered for the top wood (it’s about 5.8 mm thick

(Martin John Finch) #6

Sounds like a great project! There are several members who dabble in guitar building and maintenance - we have had a couple of meetings covering simple topics, and member @Howard is a formidable luthier himself, running a guitar shop for several years. So don’t hesitate to ask members for their help/advice!

I like the idea of the dual action truss rod. There’s a partscaster Facebook group who have lots of posts about this kind of thing.


(Marc Lupton) #7

Ah cool. Would be good to get some help and advice on some parts of the build

Heres a pic of the first one I did. I am trying to make the second one a little more complicated to learn new skills. I am a little worried about binding as it’s going to be difficult to glue and bend

(Martin John Finch) #8

Very nice! I like the old school tuners.

(Marc Lupton) #9

body blank has now been planed flat and just a little bit over thickness

have also thicknessed the ebony fretboard

(Johan Lindskog) #10

This looks like it is going to be awesome. That spalted top is amazingly textured. Where did you get the wood blanks from?

(Marc Lupton) #11

Spalted top and ebony board was eBay.

Swamp ash was from exotic hardwoods

For the finish on my first build, I used a spray gun and stewmac dyes mixed in with nitrocellulose with thinner and a little retarder .

The key to getting the burst right is having a gun where you can easily adjust the volume and the spray width . I tried a cheap spray gun but I couldnt get it right as I couldn’t adjust the spray volume or pattern .

(Johan Lindskog) #12


I’ve never used a spray gun, but heard it’s not easy to get right?

Gonna be difficult to get a decent gun in London I think. I’ve looked at doing a burst effect with dyes and an oil+wax finish. Obviously not gonna get that lovely deep gloss, but great results should be achievable with hardly any specialist tools.

How are you planning on finishing the tele?

Anyway, I’ve yet to buy the first piece of wood!


(Marc Lupton) #13

Once you have the correct setting, it’s really easy tbh. Easier to spray in summer when it’s less humid but I still managed to spray at 90% humidity in winter outside (not ideal tbh due to the wind) as I and a little retarder.

You need a compressor for a spray gun. My dad had a fairly largish old one and then attached a water/oil filter in between the gun

I will probably spray it a light amber, maybe a slight brown on the outside to give it a faint burst. Neck will be clear or clear that’s been left in the sun , back wood likely a mahoganyish colour

(Marc Lupton) #14

Cutting the fret slots with a mitre box. Holdfasts come in really handy for clamping to stop any movement

(Rich Maynard) #15

Hand forged…?

(Jonty Bottomley) #16

I don’t know about those ones but I’m looking to install a tail vice and holes for bench dogs and holdfasts, if you were interested those could definitely be hand forged :wink:

P.s. Nice work Marc!

(Marc Lupton) #17

Roughed out the depth of the nut slot. Needs a bit of work later on to get it right

(Marc Lupton) #18

Neck wood came from the USA

Using a toothed blade to flatten due to the flame being prone to tear out

With wood like this important to keep a sharp blade.

I grind a hollow in the blade with an old tormek but don’t regrind the edge unless it’s chipped and then just free hand sharpen on Japanese Waterstones (the hollow makes this easy). I bought the tormek off eBay fairly cheap and I am very impressed with it . It’s pretty safe, easy to grind square and about as fast as a normal grinder

now smoothed with a smoothing plane . The blank is still just a tad over a mm too thick but will allow for any additional movement of I need to reflatten

(Marc Lupton) #19

top wood came. Has quite a lot of tear out from supplier and is around 6mm thick. I am assuming this will be similar to preparing wood for an acoustic guitar so this will be the method to follow

(Marc Lupton) #20

First time glueing something so thin

Realised j got this glueing set up slightly wrong after seeing it online. I should have had the MDF side not in contact with the guitar , only the wooden slats .

Should be ok as the piece is much wider then requires