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My first build done, T-style rugged and dirty


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Build documentation follows! 25.5" scale, ash body, maple neck, ebony board. Sintoms bell bronze frets, graphtech nut, Schaller DaVinci tuners, Scaheller bridge, copper hardware from Aliexpress(!). Emg pickups, jack and switch.

Shopping list:

Einhell bandsaw for rough cuts (pretty terrible saw but works well enough for this)

Japanese shinto rasp (perfect for neck contouring, belly cuts)
Lots of clamps and sandpaper (240, 320, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000 grits)
Random orbital sander from aliexpress (Deko brand, very good quality and cost 25 euros https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32869675196.html)
ELU Mof 177 router from the 80's. Even came with the original manual!
CMT router bits, specifically one long pattern bit with bearing for the body routing, one short pattern bit for the cavities and fretboard, one 6mm bit for the truss rod cavity.
Hand drill and bits.
6mm and 20mm Narek chisels
1.5m long ruler
Angle ruler for the neck pocket angle
Precision straightedge
Cheap needle file set
Fret file from thomann
Titebond Original
CA glue
Angelus leather dyes
Dyes from petsit.fi (good red color from these)
Crimson Guitars penetrating oil for finishing
Boston nitrocellulose lacquer
Telecaster router template from guitarsandwoods.com
Wood from Madinter and GuitarsandWoods.com
Hammer, screwdriver, soldering iron, rubber gloves, earmuffs, safety goggles, coffee maker.
 
Finished product glory shots attached!

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World's simplest truss rod routing jig, just a piece of plywood to rest the router edge guide against. Went much better than expected!
 
I put those mini clamps there to prevent from routing too far and ruining the headstock. Just a small amount of adjusting the width with a 6mm chisel was needed to fit the adjustment nut part.

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Neck routed to the rough outline, had a bit of trouble with routing since I only have a regular desk and some clamps. Had to take a small portion only and then turn the neck and clamp it again in a different position.
 
Glued the fretboard on, as you can see the glue lifted a huge amount overnight. I took a clothes iron, heated the fretboard and clamped it tight! Actually worked to salvage the neck. Lesson learned, you need to leave the fretboard+neck clamped down until the glue is completely solid, two days maybe.
 
Testing out the neck pocket fit with the template, seems to fit well. Finished the body routing and sanding, and dyed the body with Angelus jet black.

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Neck and board finally together as they should! Then I cut the headstock with the bandsaw to the correct depth (a better quality saw would've helped here to get a straight clean cut!)
 
Next was the test fitting of the neck, it fits! The holes for the fret markers were drilled, cut and installed them with some ca glue, then sanded level to the board. I went with off center position for the markers, wanted something different.
 
A lot of sanding and japanese rasp action later, the neck is starting to look more like something usable. I took some cuts from my ESP Horizon neck in cardboard with the profile gauge, and test fit that against my work as I was going along. The neck ended up a bit more beefy than ESP thin, but very comfortable.
 
The fretboard I bought with fret slots and already radiused to 12" from Madinter. I'm guessing they CNC the fretboards, I could see the marks of the machine on it.

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Jack hole drilled! Exciting.
 
Dyed the whole neck black, and sanded it back to get the grain black. Then dyed the neck red.
 
Bought the pickguard from aliexpress, sanded it back to bare wood. Dyed black, then sanded back, dyed red same as the neck. Added four coats of crimson guitars penetrating oil.
 
Lastly testing out some hardware fit, tuners look great imho.

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Time for frets, Sintoms bell bronze frets from Belarus. Took a bit of force to cut with my side cutters. They turned out OK, at least there are no sharp fret ends. Not the prettiest fret job ever, but works fine for a first build ever.
 
Except! Disaster the next day, one fret end had raised out of its slot. Had to put some CA glue under the fret and clamp it down with a 10" radius block. Thankfully this fixed the problem.

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Test fit the hardware, lined up the bridge and drilled the holes for it.
 
Already up to the finishing here. Put three thin coats of Crimson Guitars penetrating oil on the body, then beeswax and carnauba wax mix polish.
Three coats of oil on the back of the neck as well, and maybe 20 coats of Boston nitrocellulose lacquer on the headstock. Sanded the lacquer down to 2000 grit, then sprayed two more coats.
 
Added the string tree to the headstock. It's done! Teaser pic of #002 in the works, pretty far into it actually, up to lacquer and headstock decal right now.

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