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RogerC 05-19-2011 07:32 PM

Military themed tele build
The idea started a few months ago when I found some WWII general purpose straps in a military surplus store. I had them sewn together to make myself a guitar strap

Well, one thing led to another and I figured I needed an appropriate guitar to pair it with. I've been wanting to build myself a guitar for a while, and I've also been wanting a telecaster for a while as well. I figured with my lack of experience, a tele would be the logical thing to build, so next thing you know, I'm sourcing parts to build one. And by the way, my plan is to build it for under $100, so my sourcing has consisted of begging/borrowing/trading for tools and parts.

I've got a guitar-playing friend with a nice wood shop, so I talked him into building one with me. I bought a plank of douglas fir to make the body from (I'll actually get 3 bodies from one $6 plank), and a neighbor gave me a piece of cherry that I'll use for the neck.

Someone from another forum suggested using an ammo box for different parts, and I found one for $6. I plan on making the bridge, jack plate, neck plate and control plate all from the ammo box. I'll follow up with pics of that later.

As it sits right now, I've sourced all the parts I need and have a total of $80 in the build. We'll see how that goes as we start cutting and gluing.

Hardware-building pics coming up...

RogerC 05-19-2011 07:38 PM

To make the bridge, I started with this

Using my massive muscles and sheer determination (Ok, it was really a hacksaw and lots of determination)...

I ended up with this

Using a vice and hammer, I folded over the outside flange. I think the design will work fine. My building friend has a friend who works at a metal fab shop. He said he'd help to finish the finer points in fabricating the bridge.

Neck plate fabrication on the way...

RogerC 05-19-2011 07:42 PM

I'll be using the flap (for lack of a better term) from the front of the box to make the neck plate.

Here I am tracing my template

I use an angle grinder with a cutting wheel to get it close, so it goes from this

To this

Next comes the bench grinder

All I have to do is drill some holes, and It's done.

Next up: control plate

RogerC 05-19-2011 07:51 PM

Template tracing

Select an appropriate tool (at least the most appropriate from what I have available)

And get to work

After having it's turn with the bench grinder, it looks like a control plate

My point in using this kind of material is two fold. First, I've never served in the military (I've been diabetic since I was 7), but I have family and friends who have served or are still serving. I've always had a tremendous respect for our troops and wanted to do something to show my support. Second, I want this thing to look like it's had a long, hard life, and has had several "field fixes" performed on it. I know I may be getting rather ambitious for my first build, but I've got a vision dang it :D

riorider 05-19-2011 08:54 PM

Classic, Rog!!!

I'll be following with glee....


RogerC 05-20-2011 02:34 PM

I didn't get many pics today, sorry. I left my camera at home, so all I had was my cell phone.

Anyway, I picked out my boards and got them jointed and glued together. I've changed from the douglas fir to the reclaimed red pine I found. These boards are gonna be sweet with the relic'd look.

Jointing the edges

All glued up :up:

And we got the pattern glued onto our template material. He's got a friend with a really nice saw, so he'll have them cut out for next weekend. Then we can start cutting out the bodies

Not as much progress as I'd hoped, but we're getting there :guitar:

RogerC 05-21-2011 07:17 PM

I've decided on my headstock logo. This is the name I use for my recording studio, so I thought I'd just carry the moniker over to my guitar as well

Bob Womack 05-21-2011 07:57 PM

Very cool! I look forward to the next installment!


RogerC 05-21-2011 08:07 PM

Thanks, Bob. I'm pretty excited about it myself :D

RogerC 05-22-2011 06:15 PM

I got a little more work done today. First up was the jack plate

Got it laid out and then to work with the tin snips

Then after the bench grinder, it looks like this. Just needs holes drilled, and it's done

After that, I wanted to work a little more on the bridge. First I needed to cut the flange off the second side

Next, the secondary piece of metal was worrying me, so I got rid of it. I didn't realize there would be no paint underneath it, but that's ok. It's done now

Then I worked on making sure the back side was flat and as square as I could get it.

The bridge still needs a lot of shaping (cut to size, drill holes, cut out area for pickup, etc), but it's getting there.

Corky Long 05-24-2011 07:11 AM

Cool project
Keep the pics coming! Very cool project.

RogerC 05-24-2011 08:56 AM

Thanks Corky. I'm hoping to have a lot of progress after this weekend. My goal is to complete the body and finish off all the hardware.

Wolf 05-25-2011 12:39 PM

What with the body color? Are you going for green or camouflage?

RogerC 05-26-2011 11:00 AM


Originally Posted by Wolf (Post 2629218)
What with the body color? Are you going for green or camouflage?

I think I'm going to leave it natural with some relic'ing (which some people on here don't quite get ;) )

I thought of doing a rough burst of OD green around the outside edge, but I think I'll skip that

12GA 05-26-2011 01:08 PM

Just a quick note to say I'm really enjoying this thread! Thanks for the frequent updates and keep up the good work Roger.

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