Hand Tools Archive

Re: Spruce Telecaster - Fin

david weaver
Thanks, mike. I bought all of the metal parts and the electronics.

Templates for various guitars are widely available, and the parts are, too.

Leo fender and his guitars were a lot like bailey was with planes. Both took something complicated and boiled it down into parts that could be manufactured easily to a spec and then assembled, so you can really do whatever you'd like - and actually buying everything pre-made and then fitting it is probably cheaper than what I did, or you can go bonkers and buy things like $500 necks and $500 bodies.

It makes a little less sense to work mostly by hand on a guitar type like this because it's designed to be made with a pin router, and the control plate and bridge are designed to be simply stamped out of steel and plated. Doing the fitting of the neck to the pocket is still easier for us by hand than it is with router tricks (industrially, the parts would just be cut out with CNC and there's little to do these days hand fitting anything).

The world of guitars is like tools. You can start with the simple ones like this to get a feel for doing the binding work and finishing work before blowing a lot of time carving a spruce arch top or something. And it's enjoyable. Unlike big furniture builds, there isn't much crisis potential (like complex glue ups), and you could build something like this with cheaper materials for probably about $125.

My total cost for good wood and then a good wiring harness and first world pickups and tuning machines (things I prefer as a player) is about $400. Really pleasant and worth doing, and the supply of good parts from china if you don't skimp on the tuners (probably the only thing where cheap isn't at least decent) is really robust. Far more competitive than woodworking tools are now.

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