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Telecaster Electric Guitar from Grizzly Kit

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Project by jeff_wenz posted 10-22-2014 03:55 PM 3362 views 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My buddy thought it would be a good idea to challenge my woodworking skills by building an instrument (one I don’t play but he does…). I am naive, so I agreed.

I chose the use the Grizzly Telecaster kit. The body is made of ash. It has a maple neck. For less than $150, I was impressed with what I received. I used the neck, body, screws and tuners. Everything else was pretty much upgraded or customized.

I am into veneering, so I knew I wanted to change the appearance. I used a blue veneer on the front and an ebony and blue veneer pattern on the back. Many have told me they like the ebony veneer just as much (if not more) than the blue. I also learned how to route a binding channel and work with plastic binding. The finish is approximately 10 coats of nitrocellulose lacquer that is wet sanded and buffed. Finishing is my weakness and although I learned a lot, it is still the weakest portion of this project, in my opinion.

After completing the guitar, I took it to a luthier who did the final setup. This was well worth the cost of $70 as his attention to detail made me appear to my guitar playing friends like an expert guitar builder.

The guitar has been played may times at my church and other local churches. Seeing someone else make art (music) by using your art (guitar) as a tool is very fulfilling.

I learned a lot about guitars. Working from a kit was helpful. I created some templates at the beginning so I have the option of venturing out in the future without a kit.

Here is a video of a friend playing the guitar prior to a luthier setting up the guitar and fixing the intonation.

If I failed to mention any details, please ask in the comments section. I enjoy sharing my lessons learned.

-- Jeff, North Carolina





17 comments so far

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 861 days


#1 posted 10-22-2014 05:02 PM

Bravo!

-- Ed

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

2673 posts in 2650 days


#2 posted 10-22-2014 05:06 PM

It turned out really nice, I’ve wondered if those grizzly kits were any good.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3599 posts in 1953 days


#3 posted 10-22-2014 05:10 PM

Way cool! now make a hollow body electric! Hahahahaha.

Seriously, I think it is beautiful.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View jeff_wenz's profile

jeff_wenz

151 posts in 3016 days


#4 posted 10-22-2014 05:11 PM

bobasaurus – The kit was nice. In actuality, the kit comes with a Telecaster body and a Stratocaster neck (neck radius and neck pocket profile).

Like I mentioned, I did not use the electronics and pickups that were included in the kit.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3599 posts in 1953 days


#5 posted 10-22-2014 05:22 PM

jeff_wenz, what did you use for pickups and electronics? Especially interested in that bridge and tail stop.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View jeff_wenz's profile

jeff_wenz

151 posts in 3016 days


#6 posted 10-22-2014 05:30 PM

Dallas—
For the electronics, I used a Tele deluxe wiring kit from StewMac. For the pickups, I used Lindy Fralin Tele Blues Special set from Warmoth.

I used the bridge and control plate from the Grizzly kit.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View jeff_wenz's profile

jeff_wenz

151 posts in 3016 days


#7 posted 10-22-2014 05:36 PM

”now make a hollow body electric! Hahahahaha.”

Dallas—

Thinline Tele (guitar #2) is almost complete. Here is a small tease…

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3599 posts in 1953 days


#8 posted 10-22-2014 06:37 PM

Beautiful work! What are the extra toggles for?

That is a semi hollow body though, lol.
How about a full blown hollow like the Gibson ES-335 or Casino?

That way I’ll know what I have to do with my next one!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3051 days


#9 posted 10-22-2014 09:18 PM

Wow nice really nice,how did you do the white plastic imitation ivery beading insert? Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

5996 posts in 1794 days


#10 posted 10-22-2014 11:01 PM

great looking guitar… looks like it was a really fun project

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View jeff_wenz's profile

jeff_wenz

151 posts in 3016 days


#11 posted 10-23-2014 01:08 PM

SCOTSMAN—

I’m not sure exactly what you are referring to (the white pearl pick guard or white binding), so I will answer both.

The pick guard on the guitar is a white pearl 3 ply white pearl/black/white. The purpose of the pick guard is 2 fold on this guitar. First, it protects the guitar finish from the pick as it is strummed. Second, it is an attachment method for the electronic and pickups. This pick guard was ordered from Warmoth. which can be customized to fit the specifc hardware your guitar has. Other standard pearl or “pearloid” pick guards are bountifully available on the internet from ebay and beyond. It is mounted to the top of the guitar by screws.

The binding is the white trim around the outside of the guitar. This is a plastic material that consists of white/black/white lamination. A channel is routed into the guitar body to accept the thickness of the binding. It is glued in, then scraped or sanded flush. Plastic binding can be bought in multiple places on the internet from ebay to Stewart MacDonald (Stewmac.com). For inforamtion, you can read their instructions. at the bottom of their product page.

The photo below shows a closeup of the pick guard and binding. I hope this is helpful.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3051 days


#12 posted 10-23-2014 01:55 PM

Yes Jeff I know about the scratch guard, but the edge trim binding looked very hard to do. Now I see it , I will try to make a follower in my metal shop to use with the dremel or a small router later in the year.I really am quite in awe of this project and await to see many more pieces of your work.
You have it. No doubt. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View jeff_wenz's profile

jeff_wenz

151 posts in 3016 days


#13 posted 10-23-2014 03:04 PM

SCOTSMAN—

The channel is fairly easy to router using a template router bit (ball bearing on the bottom). The biggest challenge si finding a bearing that gives the exact width of the binding. StewMac sells a binding bit set that includes multiple bearings to accommodate different widths.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

1406 posts in 2451 days


#14 posted 10-23-2014 03:10 PM

For the binding on my most recent guitar, I just used a 3/8” bearing from a rabbet bit set and a 1/2” flush trim bit. I swapped bearings and away I went. It worked great for .06” binding.

Nice looking guitar. They sure are fun to build. That’s probably why I suck at playing now, because I spend all my time building instead. Oh well…

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

736 posts in 1032 days


#15 posted 10-24-2014 10:38 PM

Well done, you did a great job just keep up the good work

-- Soli Deo gloria!

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