First Guitar

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Project by wallybob posted 01-06-2010 06:06 PM 2049 views 6 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first attempt at making a guitar so I chose to make a solid body electric which I knew would be a lot easier than an acoustic one.

The incentive to build the guitar came from my youngest brother, well he’s young to me, he’s in his mid 50’s., who collects classic electric guitars and presently has about 50 with matching amps from the period. As a matter of fact he has converted an entire bedroom in his house to store and display the instruments.

So the idea was to make a one of a kind just for him and something I might be able to accomplish with my limited woodworking skills and no musical talent. The design is based on the original Fender Telecaster although it is not a copy. All you guitar coinsures will notice the obvious differences, no pick guard, the edge banding. and the dual tone and volume knobs.

The guitar is a two piece body of Honduran Mahogany with quilted/tiger maple veneer top and the neck is a piece of tiger maple left over from a jewelry box I made for my wife. The fret board and access cover are rosewood. The finish is hand sanded Liberon to 1000 grit and wax. (I’m just learning to spray lacquer and didn’t want to take a chance on this project) The feel of the finish is hard to describe but my brother, who just received the guitar yesterday, told me that he thinks the neck has a better feel than any of his other four Telecasters. To me that made the project all worthwhile. Shaping the neck was one of the most enjoyable parts of the project. It took almost two days with a spoke shave, rasp, and sanding but I found the challenge relaxing. Thanks to You Tube for the video on how to do it because I had no idea.

I am also indebted to two young students at the junior college where I volunteer for helping me with the project which would not have been completed without their help. Scott for the woodworking aspects of the project and Waturo for wiring the electronics and the setup. I have no musical talent so with out their help this project would not have been completed.

Thanks for looking,


15 comments so far

View rtb's profile


1099 posts in 2805 days

#1 posted 01-06-2010 06:22 PM

I don’t know much about guitars but that is one beautiful piece of woodworking !

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View David Schmaus's profile

David Schmaus

19 posts in 2341 days

#2 posted 01-06-2010 06:28 PM

How does it sounds?

View Kjuly's profile


303 posts in 2378 days

#3 posted 01-06-2010 07:11 PM

Hi Wally,
What type of finish did you use?

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 2326 days

#4 posted 01-06-2010 07:21 PM

Looks awesome!!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View Pdub's profile


906 posts in 2272 days

#5 posted 01-06-2010 07:31 PM

That is a beautiful guitar!

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3310 days

#6 posted 01-06-2010 07:37 PM


-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1853 posts in 2764 days

#7 posted 01-06-2010 07:44 PM

That is the best looking Tele I’ve ever seen!! So what kind of electronics did you use?

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 2723 days

#8 posted 01-06-2010 08:04 PM

Oh Yea that looks killer !!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View RealtorJim's profile


29 posts in 2205 days

#9 posted 01-06-2010 08:21 PM

Very nice! Did you make the fretboard? If so, how did you create the radius?

-- "If you can't find it, build it. If you can't build it, then you must need some more tools."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2765 days

#10 posted 01-06-2010 08:54 PM

Thats a nice looking guitar.

View JimDaddyO's profile


338 posts in 2171 days

#11 posted 01-06-2010 09:10 PM

Nice looking wood on a beauty build! Congrats!

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2703 posts in 2378 days

#12 posted 01-06-2010 09:15 PM


-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View MVGraz's profile


15 posts in 2514 days

#13 posted 01-07-2010 02:56 AM

Nice Telee. That maple top is sweet. Thanks for the background on the build. I can relate – I too have a brother who got all the musical talent in the family. Would love to try something like this one day.

View Brokewood's profile


27 posts in 2113 days

#14 posted 05-22-2010 11:00 AM

That’s a great twist on the telecaster! I love the through-body strings, very beautifully done!

View a1Jim's profile


113839 posts in 2669 days

#15 posted 05-22-2010 02:57 PM

wonderful wood choices

-- Custom furniture

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