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Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:29 pm
by Steve Sawyer
Well, it's done. Many, many lessons learned.

  • The most important lesson is to always build the guitar to match the hardware. Building off of a plan, including placement of the bridge caused a few difficulties that I was able to mostly overcome. The one remaining issue is that the high "E" string is just a tad too close to the edge of the fingerboard. It plays just fine, but it feels a bit odd at first.
  • I won't do a spray finish again unless I have the right space. I used rattle-can Seafoam Green from Guitar Reranch, and rattle-can Behlen stringed instrument lacquer for the clearcoats. This actually went pretty well, but having to watch the weather like a hawk to spot the warm, dry days for spraying was a pain inna butt, and despite my best efforts, I got some small pieces of dirt in the finish (my wife is a gardener, and we have the filthiest garage on the block - maybe in the whole city! :roll: ). I can live with it, but I'm going to immediately switch to methods that don't require a spray booth to get a good finish. Unfortunately I had my heart set on a seafoam green Tele, so I kept bulling ahead...

It plays really, really nice. The only issue is that there is a bit of a buzz if I really dig in with the pick. Not noticeable when amplified, and never occurs if played soft or moderately. I'm going to put it back on the bench and go over everything after the holiday. I suspect that I might have slotted the nut a bit too low, but I should be able to correct that. I have a half-dozen nut blanks handy.

Again, many thanks to all who contribute here, as I've learned so much from you all.

Special shout-out to Barry Daniels and Alan Carruth who both made some really good suggestions on some finishing problems I had - thanks guys!! And yes, Barry, that Griot polisher worked like a champ!

Apologies in advance for the pics. I had a helluva time getting the pics to come out even CLOSE to the actual color, despite farting around with the color balance. If you've ever seen seafoam green up-close and personal, it'll knock your eyes out!! These pics make it look pastel, which is the last word I'd use to describe seafoam green. Tried to bump the saturation, but then the maple and rosewood started looking weird, so I left it alone. These were the best of the bunch.

Tele 1.JPG


Tele 2.JPG


Tele 3.JPG


Tele 4.JPG


Tele 5.JPG

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:54 pm
by Freeman Keller
Sweet tele, Steve.

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:10 pm
by Steve Sawyer
Freeman Keller wrote:Sweet tele, Steve.


Thanks, Freeman - Back when I started serious study on the guitar, I'd always coveted a Telecaster, and bought one used. It got stolen when we were burglarized, and for complicated reasons I ended up replacing it with a Strat when the insurance money came in. I've never lost my love for Teles, and now I have one again! :mrgreen:

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:21 am
by Pat Foster
Sweet! My son and I are building a Tele for his senior project. After seeing yours, his may well end up being seafoam green.

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:26 pm
by Bob Francis
That looks great Steve.

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:21 pm
by Steve Sawyer
Pat Foster wrote:Sweet! My son and I are building a Tele for his senior project. After seeing yours, his may well end up being seafoam green.

Can't think of a better first project. You can't get much simpler, but you end up with something with a classic, iconic profile.

The last time we saw Leonard Cohen (about two years before his passing) one of his guitarists had this lime green Tele with cream colored pick guard, knobs and control cover and what looked like an ebony fingerboard. Wow, was that a stunning guitar! I was sorely tempted to give that a try, but I've always loved the seafoam green and wasn't sure I wanted to try to match that lime green from memory. Again, the pics don't do it justice, but the swatch below will give a better sense of the actual color.

Image

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:46 pm
by Dan Smith
Nice build amd I love the color!

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:27 pm
by Mark Swanson
I always love a tele, and I like the green too.
If you are getting buzzing and think the nut is at fault remember that it only comes into play on the unfretted strings. With an electric guitar and the light strings used, it will always have a little fret rattle if the action is low and it's played hard. Don't worry about it, learn to play with a light touch and if you need more volume then crank your amp. <G>

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:52 pm
by Gordon Bellerose
Yep, Nice Tele Steve!
There is a simple elegance about a Tele, is there not?

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:40 pm
by Bob Francis
I really like the tort guard on there too!

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:10 pm
by Steve Sawyer
Yeah, Gordon, the Tele is almost primitive - just a flat slab of wood - but it does have a most graceful shape despite the chunkiness of the execution. I've always attributed that to the fact that the line of the upper horn continues through the neck joint to the cutaway and lower horn. Contrast that with an LP which has a distinctive break between the line of the upper horn and the cutaway.

Thanks, Bob - I don't recall if I considered anything else for the guard. It seems like I had this vision from the start with the rosewood/seafoam/tortoise combination.

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:59 pm
by Randolph Rhett
Wow Steve, that guitar is HIDEOUS!!!....

But in a very intentional and well executed way ;-) Congratulations on a nice build!

Re: Guitar #1 completed

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:12 pm
by Steve Sawyer
Randolph Rhett wrote:Wow Steve, that guitar is HIDEOUS!!!....


:lol: Yeah - there are those that respond that way to seafoam green!!

Thanks!