Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Telecaster (T Style) Guitar

The Fender Telecaster (see here) has been around for a long, long time. In fact it was one of the first commercial solid bodied electric guitars. It was developed by Leo Fender in the early 1950s and has been in continuous production ever since. There are several different models comprising solid bodies, semi hollow bodies, many different pickup/hardware permutations, different fret board materials and different timbers. It has inspired many copies over the years by different manufacturers.

I've decided to make one next as it is a simple spec and easy to produce - yes I know I haven't finished the baritone yet! There will be no fancy wood work or book matched tops on this one.
Of course mine will not be called a Telecaster as that is copyrighted by Fender themselves. I haven't got a name for it yet but it will probably come under the TMc "Dunluce" banner.


I was looking through my lumber rack and found a nice piece of swamp ash that I have had lying around for a few years that I will use for the body. I also found a nice length of birdseye maple that is just aching to become a slick neck. The American black walnut I bought recently can be used as a skunk stripe in the back of the neck to cover the two way adjustable truss rod.
Birds eye maple - beautiful stuff

A little glue up of swamp ash I did
a few years ago


I normally spec high end Schaller hardware on my guitars but I'm giving another manufacturer a go this time.

The machine heads will be the Wilkinson E-Z-LOK Schaller style. They seem to be very good, well made and cheap too. The bridge will be one from Fender themselves (why change a good quality piece of hardware?) Fender Modern 6 Saddle Telecaster Bridge. All the rest of the hardware will be chrome plated standard high quality stock.

I've been looking at Seymour Duncans range of telecaster pickups and have decided to go single coil this time. Most of the electric guitars I make are specced with humbuckers so I am breaking the trend here. I had a listen to quite a few of SDs pickups and have gone for the Alnico Pro II bridge and neck combo.

Also I like the idea of having a slightly different switch combination for this project so will be using a 4 way switch to change the pickup selection. SD have a wiring diagram on their site for this.
I might just make a scratchplate out of some nice exotic or may just make a plastic one. I haven't decided yet.


I don't normally paint my guitars, normally I just stain them and let the timber do the talking with a laquer finish on top. This time, another departure, I'm going to paint the body. Not sure of the colour yet but it may be white. At this stage I don't know what paint I'll use, nitrocellulose, water based poly, oil based poly etc.


If you are a fellow woodworker you know that many things get in the way of doing what you want to do. I have quite a few projects that are waiting to be started so this will probably be at the bottom of the list.

All in all it will be a slight departure from the custom designed/built guitars that I normally do.

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