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The hex head nut on these trussrods are slightly bigger than the rest of the rod, so it calls for a wider slot right near the butt end of the neck so the rod will be able to drop in. Once the hole is drilled from the end of the neck the rod can then be slid up into position.



The end result....


Both necks are at this stage,... well sort of, the neck for the semi is getting the fretboard glued on at the moment.


Thats it for now!


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Hey Chad, that's very cool binding. Is that some sort of tortoise shell? It's dancing in the light. Keep 'em coming, these are looking great.


Yeah it is tortoise shell plastic binding with B/W/B purfling to make up the height. The tortoise only comes 6.35mm deep and the top was around 8mm so instead of plain black binding i thought this would be much cooler. I really like the look im just trying to figure out if i should bind the neck aswell.... I'm not sure if a tele should have a bound neck but its basically gonna be a clear finish and i reckon those little touches will jazz it up!

More work will get done on the necks tomorrow as i have a day off from work :D


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Got some more work done on the necks today. It started with both fretboards glued to the necks.


Next I routed them flush to the neck and shaped the heel. Because these f/b's are pre-slotted and radiused from Stewmac they come with 24 slots which caused a little problem. If i had of cut the fretboards off at the 22nd fret slot for a 21 fret neck the f/b would have been to short for the neck, so the easiest fix was to have 22 frets and leave a 3mm overhang off the back of the neck. Then I marked out for fretmarkers and sidedots, drilled and glued them in.


While they were drying i had to finish thickness the headstock and blend the f/b to the neck. I tried 2 techniques for this, first i rough cut on the bandsaw and then cut depth cuts to the line and then cleaned up with a chisel. I saw someone using this technique on PG and thought i would see how it went. If i had a guide for my bandsaw i would have just gone for a finished cut on the line and I tried clamping a straight edge to the bandsaw table but just didn't like the setup. The method worked fine and the results were good but i felt it took too long and there is too much room for error if your not good with your hand tools. Here's a shot to explain the technique.


The second technique is just a trusty tenon saw. This is how i was always gonna get the job done but thought i would roadtest the other technique. Took 10mins from start of cut to totally finishing the headstock shaping. I would recommend this way every time.



Just needed a little blocking to flatten her out and then i used the rasp to shape the f/b curve/blend.


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Both necks then had the tuner holes drilled and fretboards finished radius sanded to knock down the dot inlays. These two are ready for frets and shaping tomorrow. :D



with their bodies,



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I also made a fretbender this afternoon over a beer. Took me 15mins and cost me 10bucks! I still can't believe how ridiculously easy it was to make and the perfect results it produces. A couple of pics, if anyone's interested i can give more details into how to build one. I'm pretty sure there is already a tut for it though.





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im about to start building a thinline tele with my father, this has been a great build to follow so far! How deep do you route the hollow?... or i guess a better question to ask, how much material is left on the back?

Hey pariah,

I left around the 7-8mm mark. The top is 6.5-7mm thick for memory. You can leave more if you so wish but i wouldn't go much less than 6mm(1/4 inch). It all depends on the weight your after, i probably took a little too much on this body and as Drak stated earlier in this thread, it may not balance well and the tone may not be there. Time will tell. :D

So starting where i left off.... the woodwork on both these guitars has been finished since last Friday. I've been to busy to start the finish sanding and finishing, im also waiting on some nitro sealer to arrive.

I decided to carve a ribcage(belly?) carve, i thought if i took the time to bend the top for comfort i should carve the back as well. Its much comfier to hold in playing position now when sitting down and i think it really suits the look of this build.


The necks all fretted and edges beveled . I will dress the frets after the necks are sprayed. Using the fretbender the fret are seated really well, im super happy with the fretting results, my best yet.



I marked the heal and headstock carve details using a paper template photocopied from the plan.



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I made this neck profile gauge off the plans using some 3mm mdf. The lines are the edge of the fretboard to help rough in the thickness of the neck at both points. I start to rough in the headstock end of the neck with a rasp, followed with a half round file and then sandpaper to smooth it all out checking with the gauge along the way. Final thickness's are checked with the calipers.


Once both end's are shaped to the correct thickness, i blend in the neck shape between the headstock and heal with a spokeshave and i use a straight edge to make sure the neck is flat.



Once the neck is flat and straight like the above pic, i start to shave my way from the centre out to the edge of the fretboard using the straight edge to check for lumps. It doesn't take long with a sharp spokeshave and is quite fun. After its all shaped i hit it with some sandpaper. I wanted to try a neck that is a little asymmetrical in shape. Basically i left a little more bulk on the bass side of centre so it moulds into the base of your thumb a little more. It's not much, but enough that if you grab the neck normally and then flip it the other way you can feel a difference. It feels comfy to hold, but ill make more assumptions whether its good or bad once ive spent time playing it and get some opinions from fellow guitarists. Necks all done.



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  • 7 months later...

Alright buddy, I know you're back from that extended vacation in Europe. Have you pulled these out of the closet yet? Even just to remind yourself what they look like?

I suppose you think you have to work day and night to replenish the funds you depleted on that trip, but we've waited long enough. Let's see some teles.


Welcome back, and I hope you had a blast!


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Hey Scott!

I am indeed back from Europe and yes we had a blast...getting my life back in order. My car got wet on the inside over winter and i've come home to a mould infested car complete with rusted tools :D and the worst of my rusted tools was my favourite 2. Both my routers! So i've been playing with bleach and cleaning my car and spent the day today de-rusting my tools!

Although i did take time out to order all the parts from stewmac for the Semi tele :D so they should be here in a week. Unfortunately i won't be able to finish them as a pair as debt won't allow it and work around these parts is sparse! I'm naughty to even finish this one... So anyway,... i left off with both the necks and the body of the semi sprayed. Will hopefully polish out the semi's body this weekend. Ill have to wait for p/ups though as i cant afford them, but it's ok ill assemble the guitar without them and set it up etc. to play acoustically.

Some pics for ya....


The neck on the right has had a light rub with some 0000 steel wool, nice and smooth!4 coats of sealer if i remember correctly.





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Hey Scott, Workingman,blackdog,

Thanks for the support... :D

The cars fine now, bit of scrubbing and love and she's looking good! Work isn't too bad, just did a couple days up in the city for family and start back with one of the builder's i was working with before i left on monday so i should be ok. Plus, i have a few private jobs coming up, decks,pergola's etc but it's nice to know people have been waiting for me to come home to build their project's.

I know what you mean Blackdog... u see so many modded Tele builds...but i only own humbucked guitars and have no SC gits so it will be cool to have something different. I've been looking at p/ups and i think i'm sold on a SD alnico 2 pro for the rhythm p/up and the SD vintage broadcaster for the bridge p/up. The sound bytes on the SD website sound great and i think they're right up my alley. I will be mostly playing blues with these so those p/ups seem like a good match.

Anyway hopefully ill get some time to buff out the body this w/end and ill post up some pics!



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Chad - this guitar is looking great ! Nice to read about your safe return from holiday. Hopefully work will pick up enough to splurge on some pups. Have you considered RAD's pickups? I am a big fan of the tone he creates. I'm getting some '54 style Sc's from him right now for a 'surf' guitar I am building.

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You could probably shave with that thing as your mirror if you wanted to, Chad. Do you live in the rain forest or what? That's a lovely view reflected in your tele.

I concur with Mike about RAD's pups, but I don't know how much shipping them to OZ would set you back.

Looking real good mate.


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Got all the parts yesterday :D So mock up pics to come later tonight.

SR, i would love to live in the rain forrest but i live in plain old aussie bushland on 2 acres in the Southwest of the country. I'll take some snaps for ya...

I've read lots of good things about RAD's p/ups so ill PM him and have a chat. For now Our souls has hooked me up with some p/ups he doesn't need...what a fantastic bloke!!!

Anyway Off to the old salt mine!


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So i got the frets levelled, dressed and polished this afternoon and also swirl removed the body, so now this Tele is ready for assembly... I'm trying to figure out if i wanna use the pickguard or not? I quite like it, as does my wife but the top of this guitar is quite nice... maybe a vote is needed?



No pickguard


Fretdressed neck


And a pic for SR of the bush :D


What do ya's reckon? PG or No PG?

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Nah just joking SR

This is a shot standing in the door of the shed looking up our driveway. This is one of the biggest trees on the block, a big old Redgum or Marri we call it. Used for furniture and flooring here in the southwest.


Here im standing to the left of the tree in the above pic and facing a little to the left.


Standing in the same spot but facing 90 deg left and looking at the house i built with my father in law and our family friend who is a builder. To the left of the house and at the bottom of the block we have a nice creek that runs in winter, fun to mess around with the dogs down there.


And spinning another 90 deg to the left the shed where i build guitars.



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Very nice little corner of the world you live in Chad. Thanks for the snaps. I really enjoy getting little close up views of this planet especially from points of view that I'm never likely to have on my own.

I'm not normally a fan of pickguards, but the first thing that jumped into my head when I say that pic is nice pick-guard. I really like the shape. I'm not sure I'd vote to cover up that wood....but I certainly wouldn't vote against that pick guard.

Boy that firmly straddled the fence didn't it? :D


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