It seems like I’m in a constant state of building a Telecaster. I build them, play a little, sell them. I don’t usually make money, but I do get a kick out of the idea that there are some instruments out there in the world that I built, being enjoyed by people.
This one is less a build and more customizing an existing guitar...but at this point there isn’t a ton left from new. It started as a Slick SL51 that I bought during Guitar Fetish’s Black Friday sale for a stupid price from the clearance section. Allegedly the neck had a twist in it, but that’s fine, I was buying it because I had a neck I wanted to use (an Allparts Fat neck).
The Slick guitars are kind of a bargain basement guitar that really out perform their price tag. They come pre-reliced, which I don’t like, but for this one it made sense because my inspiration was this:
Jeff Beck’s 1954 Esquire. It’s ugly, it’s fucked up, but it’s purposeful. And it got that forearm contour and then was never repainted, which I’ve always thought was a really cool look...plus the only thing I ever liked better about a Strat was the forearm contour.
So I added one.
The initial cut was actually made with a reciprocating saw, which I do NOT recommend if you want to do this. The best tool was the one I used to go from picture 1 to 2, which was an angle grinder with a 40 grit flap disc. It would have taken a little time, but I could have made the whole contour that way. It isn’t quite done, it’s only at 60 grit...I’m not planning to seal it, so I’ll have to go to at least 400 to make it smooth enough.
Jeff Beck’s Esquire (now owned by Seymour Duncan) also has a belly cut, but I have no interest in that. I mostly play sitting down and it sits nicer on my knee with no back cut. So the forearm contour is all this one is going to get.
Besides that, it’s got a Tusq XL but, a Gotoh bridge and it’s getting Gotoh locking tuners once I open up the holes on the headstock. I’ve never had locking tuners before, but holy shit are they easier. I’m going to get a set for my American Standard Strat, too.
Only other plans I have for it are to either remove the neck pickup and make it an Esquire or open up the neck rout for a humbucker. I’ve got a nice Epiphone Classic Pro PAF-style humbucker laying around I wouldn’t mind tossing in there.
Anybody else building anything cool?