Pitfalls to avoid when building a partscaster


half rock, half gas
OK. I want to put together a telecaster style component guitar. This is something I have never done before but I hope it will be fun.

I will be sourcing mostly Japanese and Chinese bits and pieces and so far I have a Gotoh bridge ... OK, it's not much, but it is a start!

As I have started looking into what parts are available, I gather that sometimes things are 'American' size and other things are not. I want to get a tortoiseshell style pickguard -- should I just get one and then check the dimensions and then get the other things (ie the control plate) to match afterwards? Or should I approach it differently?

Any wisdom from you sages of all ages?


half rock, half gas

Exhibit A: a second hand Tele bridge. I am going for a relic so went at it with 220 grit paper and a scourer. Black greasy gunk was courtesy of some old, oil based leather dye applied with a cotton bud.
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Get one style from the get go and try to source everything to that style. American vs Eastern/Other/rest of the world is just Imperial vs Metrics as far as I know. In my experience it can be a pain to source parts, specifically when companies fuck up their descriptions. I’d strongly suggest inquiring about the product rather than buying trial and error style.

And even then there’s potential for fuck-ups in my experience. For example I have a new toggle washer for my LP Studio that is spec’d as USA-Style, yet it will not fit that Studio nor my MiK Viper and Evo. It’s sort of a lottery.


half rock, half gas
Yeah, I hear you. I suspect that the pickguard will be the item most likely not to fit -- I have a dremel and scroll saw if necessary but ideally it would fit from the get go.


I... I like trees.
Tele body you posted (IMG still not showing):

Bridge you posted:

Right click on image, copy image address, and paste into the box here.


Stop, don’t, come back.


half rock, half gas
Will do. The neck pup on my other Tele is so muddy as to be pretty much unused by me. I hope to get a clearer tone from whatever I get for the neck on this one. Budget will be a deciding factor and I may have to go very cheap (on the neck pup as I don't need it as a priority) to offset the other costs.


half rock, half gas
Body has arrived from China in well under a week. Tracked all the way via Fedex.

Overall I'm impressed with how smooth everything has been. The body is v. nice. Not the exact same one as the photo but the same spec for sure. Weighing in at 2kg (4.4 lbs) it's ideal.

The only complaint was that the string holes were not drilled all the way through on 4 of the holes. The ferrule holes have been cut well however and frankly, that's all I really care about. It was a 5 min job with my drill to finish up the string holes so no biggie.

The neck pocket is 55.5mm as advertised. I may have to enlarge it slightly but of course I'll wait until I have procured a neck!

Next up:

Light sanding (it's already pretty smooth)>>Grain filling (it's ash so it needs it)>>Sealer>>Nitro Laquer

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half rock, half gas

The conditions were perfect for spraying today! About 22 degrees with low humidity and no breeze at all.

On the left we have the wood after grain filling and 3 coats of sealer.

On the right we have the result of three or four coats of nitro laquer. (Come on, even the name 'nitro' is better than 'poly', don't you think) I might go for another couple of coats before I call it a day.

The wife said it looked better natural -- I take this as code for "Yes, of course you can have a natural ash body tele as well!"

There are a couple of small runs but nothing that either won't be covered by hardware or removed when relicing!