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6down1togo

Burl Walnut Telecaster build is finally done!

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I started putting this Thinline together a couple years ago and resurrected it to finish it up. I started with an unfinished Walnut body w. bookmatched burl walnut top and Fender Walnut neck. I put in Filtertron pickups with Bourns no-load mini-pots and orange drop caps. Tuners are staggered locking Hipshots and the bridge is a Hipshot clone with brass saddles.

I veneered the headstock face with burl walnut veneer to match the body with a nod to Freeman Keller who shared his "secret recipe" for laminating. I will admit to having moved the veneer around for 15 minutes just to get it so the top and side grain matched up before I precut it to shape. It's a small detail I am especially proud of. The speed knobs and pickup rings were ordered clear and I back-painted them with a shade of bronze I mixed up to match the bridge saddles. I installed small magnets to retain the screw-less, wood back cover plates and went modular on all the connections, doing all the soldering outside the body and making it plug and play. I just couldn't go near that body with a soldering iron after all that lacquer, wet sanding and hand buffing lol

Let me know what you think. It's not a player yet, I need to do a full setup and work out some high fretboard low bridge issues (needs longer saddle height screws).
 

 

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Goodness, that did turn out really well, didn't it? Great work. :thu:

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and..no pickguard! Are you putting this on Reverb also*? I mean, when it is playable?

I was wondering... when you said the saddle height screws [I'm assuming they are Allen heads] were not long enough...is that due to  the neck pocket or the neck not seated correctly...where did the body come from?

Everything looks so neat and clean in the pix...how much more 'height' are you trying for? Would it be worth shimming the bridge?

[sorry, I'm a 'repair guy', not a builder..although I have built/rebuilt/modded numerous axes over the years...]

 

*asking for a friend...really!

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gorgeous. Just the way I would love to have one with filtertrons and 4 controls. Thanks so much. I hate you! ;)

Hows the weight? (Compared to other thinlines)  Never had a walnut guitar... thanks for reminding me.

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4 hours ago, daddymack said:

and..no pickguard! Are you putting this on Reverb also*? I mean, when it is playable?

I was wondering... when you said the saddle height screws [I'm assuming they are Allen heads] were not long enough...is that due to  the neck pocket or the neck not seated correctly...where did the body come from?

Everything looks so neat and clean in the pix...how much more 'height' are you trying for? Would it be worth shimming the bridge?

[sorry, I'm a 'repair guy', not a builder..although I have built/rebuilt/modded numerous axes over the years...]

 

*asking for a friend...really!

No, I built this one for me. 

I don't really see a neck angle issue but the allen screws in the saddles are very short and are nearly fully extended with action at about 1/16" which is too low I am going to get screws with an additional 1/8" length and that should do it. Before I do this though,  I am going to throw in a 0.020" shim at the front of the neck pocket and see if it just needs a little less neck angle. If that does the trick, I'll pull the neck off and taper the heel slightly. Should be an easy fix either way.

I am anxious to play this thing.

 

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Posted (edited)

In the never-ending project that this guitar has become, I have decided the neck just sits too high off the body. I have jacked up the saddles with longer height screws and shimmed the neck to decrease the neck angle and I still don't have it playing the way it should. I measured the neck pocket depth and it was 1/2" (was) 5/8" as it should be. The most likely culprit is the Fender Licensed neck by WD. WD is well known as an acronym for "Wrong Dimensions" and this neck is no exception. The thickness of the heel makes the neck sit up out of the body too high to allow good playabilty. No matter how high I set the saddles and action or angle the neck, it would always fret out somewhere on the neck. My bad. Neck was correct, neck pocket was not

I started by sanding off the neck heel as far as I could go. It didn't amount to much, but there it is. With my router sitting at a buddy's house and me avoiding a 2.5 hour round trip to retrieve it, I did what anyone possessing a Dremel and a Master's Degree in "Ghetto Luthiery" would do … I ground the pocket out free-hand with my Dremel. I did use a square and Vernier Calipers to check my progress to compensate for the ghetto technique. It took about 15 minutes and a light kiss with piece of sandpaper afterwards.

Here is the result … This time it will play right. Since I was better motivated, I added magnetic catches for the covers and a cool serialized neck plate.

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Edited by 6down1togo
Operator Error

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How thick was the heel? The WD neck I have sitting in my lap right now is exactly 1" thick which is the proper spec for Fender necks.

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Posted (edited)

The heel measured 1" thick and the pocket 5/8" deep. My Fender guitars (USA Dlx and '57 AVRI) have 7/8" thick heels and 5/8" deep neck pockets. I removed 3/32" from the pocket and 1/32" off the neck heel to put the fingerboard back at the correct height above the deck. I could have taken the full 1/8" from the pocket but I was swearing at the WD Logo and decided to "erase it".

Here is a before and after:

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Edited by 6down1togo

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On 6/11/2020 at 10:38 PM, 6down1togo said:

The heel measured 1" thick and the pocket 5/8" deep. My Fender guitars (USA Dlx and '57 AVRI) have 7/8" thick heels and 5/8" deep neck pockets. I removed 3/32" from the pocket and 1/32" off the neck heel to put the fingerboard back at the correct height above the deck. I could have taken the full 1/8" from the pocket but I was swearing at the WD Logo and decided to "erase it".

Here is a before and after:

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IMG_2935a.thumb.jpg.a8497b4182adbf2881221d820f9f81b8.jpg

 

Oh, if you had a pickguard on the guitar it would be just about enough space.

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GilmourD, I don't know what the heck I was measuring but I just looked at it again and the WD neck heel was 1" and so are my Fenders. I need to start wearing my reading glasses when I do this stuff. lol The neck pocket was an 1/8" shallow and that was the problem. I was sitting here thinking about it and remembered that my normal 1-3/4" neck screws weren't long enough and I had gone to 2" screws on the initial assembly and the light just went on! The neck pocket was the issue. I just got my measurements twisted up. I take back everything I said about WD. lol.

  • Haha 1

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