The Telstar - ex workshop end of march 08

This one started life as a standard tele body but i kind of like an offset body. I was working on 3 tele bodies at the time and decided to get a bit experimental on one.I got stuck into it with the bandsaw and and tidied it up with the robo sander Theoffset body and modded lower horn looked kind of cool to me. Got a nice pair of OC Duff
vintage wound tele pickups and the usual gotoh hardware set.

This one will be a twang machine but with a back to basic approach to the finish, look and feel. I want the player to be able to feel the texture of the wood and not a hard glassy finish that belongs more on a car than a musical instrument made from wood.

Above - body cut to shape ready for routing

Smoothing in the belly cut after blowing off the roughout with a flap sander
This one is a featherweight - weighs just 1.6 kgs or 3.5lbs - ideal for a tele
I am going to finish this one in danish oil and carnauba wax - I must admit i am a bit over
all the fuss and fadoodle with a high gloss and am going for a more natural look with this one. The neck is in poly and will keep that gloss but i want to be able to feel the body wood when i play this one

Laid out and find issues with the neck pocket fit. More work but it will come out pretty good in the end. Also the fret hieghts are all over the place so a good solid dressing is required. You can see the laser light i use to line her all up.

1st coat of Danish and I like it a lot. 1 or 2 to go and finish off with carnauba wax polish.
Way more sympathetic to the wood than poly which sits on the surface and can chip off.
The finish is part of the wood and it feels like wood to the touch.

Here you can see the profiles and the soft warm sheen of the oil finish starting to
develop after just 1 quick coat. I have sanded it up to 1500 grit and may sand to 2500
after the final coat and before the wax. Or I may just hit it with swirl remover and buff
that out before the wax polish. I have kept the roundover radius to a traditional 1/8"
radius so the profiles are clearly defined

The texture of the wood is quite evident in this shot. I am trying get a much more
woody kind of feel. Even though the neck is a high gloss poly I reckon its a nice contrast. I've taken a less is more approach with this one and the matte black guard will set it off nice.

Side shot of the profile cuts

Cavities ar carefully shielded with copper foil and earth wires are soldered from each to a
central point in the control cavity. The controls and pickups will be soldered into a loop
that termintes there as well. [star grounding]

Using an Electro socket on this build

Setting up the control plate components for wiring.

Control plate wired up ready to go into the body.

mmm dunno whether i like that black guard - Its a cut down standard 50's style guard
[5 screws instead of the usual 8] I am thinking I might go for a different colour.

Roughed out a blank in 12mm MDF and stuck the guard on with DS tape and blocks of 9mm
ply to give a bit of clearance for the router

Taken most of the waste now to tidy up the corners and rythm rout with a 1/4" bit.

There is the freshly cut master template. You can see the ply blocks still stuck to the old guard.

Ok I had a piece of laminated guard material in "aged" white. I would like mother of toilet seat but don't have any so "aged" white will do. It will look pretty nice I reckon.

Roughed out the blank on the bandsaw stuck it down to the master with DS tape and here
you can see I have just cut the bevel which shows the laminates up pretty good.

Poke through some 1/8" holes

Viola! nice "aged" white guard.

There she is in place and everything seems to line up pretty nice. Next job is to buff out the headstock and clean up the overspray. I will fit the graphtec nut, drill the screw holes and bolt the neck on next. After that I can string up and get the neck relief right.

Can't really load the rhythm pickup until the neck is right. I could mount the rhythm pickup to the body trad style. That way I can finalise the electronics and set up at the same time. Doing it that way I can slide the guard in last. Doing it that way I gotta get the rythm pickup position lined up perfect with the guard before I screw it down. I usually have the rhythm pickup mounted onto the guard with 3mm adjusting screws so you can change it any time.

Theres a pic of the finished guitar. Plays very nice actually and the body is so comfortable. Its very light to carry. The OC Duff hand wound pickups sure sound sweet. It's a real players guitar this one. Its plain looks bely its beautiful sweet tone. Sounds great through the 5E3 and really sparkles through the 5F4.

This one went eventually to live with a young player up bendigo way who I am told has made very good use of it and another one of mine he managed to aquire..