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Getting Ready To Build A Tele

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Hi all! First off I just want to say that this is an incredible forum. I've been lurking for quite a bit and have already learned so much.

Anyways, on to my real point in posting here. A while ago I ordered Melvyn's book about building a solidbody, and after reading most of it, I've come up with a pretty good idea of what I want to make. I figure that since it's my first time (and I've always wanted a Tele), I'd go ahead and build a Tele. The real place where I need my help is with my parts. I put together a list of everything (important) I'll be (presumably) using:

2 piece glued swamp ash body

"Allparts" unfinished maple neck

Wilkinson adjustable Tele bridge and regular ferrules

Gotoh locking vintage tuners

Tusq nut

LM nitro lacquer and colortone "stain"

Custom shop TX Tele pickups

I'm going to be going for a "vintage" look- hence a nitro choice. Really, though, one of the only things that I'm really concerned about is sound quality from my new instrument. I could be boring and spend upwards of a grand buying a Fender custom shop Tele, or I could use basically the same parts, be a little more adventurous, and build my own for about half the price. Will there be a noticeable sound difference if I take my time? I'm really looking forward to building my own, I just want to make sure that it should sound good. I'll likely be building it over the summer so I have more time. I know I probably sond like a worrier here, but any advice would be appreciated. Also, looking at the basic parts list, is there anything you all would recommend over what I have selected that may be better but not a lot more expensive?

I'm sorry if I sound like I'm asking a lot here, I just want to do all the research I can before diving in and finally building my guitar. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks guys!


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as most people say, dont expect much from your first build. but some people do pull of amazing stuff on thier first builds. as far as sound quality, i dont think the sound would be much different, but the major difference would be the playability. but since you are using a pre made neck, that makes it a ton easier.

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Sure, I find that the slower I build, the better the guitar sounds. :D:D

Look, there's no way to be certain that the guitar is going to be exactly what you want. Chances are, if you stick to the specs, the guitar will end up sounding and playing the way you want it to, but there's always the risk it won't. Especially for the first guitar.

Personally, I'm working toward the day when I can truly make myself a first-class guitar: I'm still several years away from that (I only build one guitar a year or so). My first efforts are all okay, not great, but I learn a lot each time.

So it all depends on you. If you really need to have the guitar be perfect and everything you want it to be, then you're better off spending the bucks and buying a ready-made guitar. That way you can play it before you buy it.

But if you have the patience and especially if you have the woodworking experience, then there's no reason you can't build a guitar you'll like a lot.

You won't really save a lot of money building the guitar yourself. You might have a lot of fun building it though. And you might end up getting hooked on building, and find that you just can't stop...and then it does indeed start getting expensive...but you'll have lots of guitars!

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