The Workbench

Tele scratch build thread


Yes indeed! Got some nice progress the last few days. Mostly because I want it assembled before the end of the year. Still need to go through some more pics, so I'll post them when I'm done with that.

Here's another little issue I ran into. I wanted nickel plated hardware for this project, some things were easy to find others were a bit difficult to get within my budget. I used CTS pots so I needed knobs to fit those shafts. I found affordable nickel knobs online but there was little information on the site, so I didn't know if they would fit. I ordered them and, well of course, they didn't fit haha. So out came the hand drill and I enlarged the holes of the knobs so they would fit.

Further with the nut job. Lot's of filing and I spaced the string slots. More filing, sanding and some polishing and it's ready for a first test fit.

The nut will be finished when it's time for the final set up. At this point there's still lacquer on top of the frets, so first I need to get that off and do the fret leveling and crowning. Oh, and I installed the string tree.

Getting close to the finish line now!


Time to remove the lacquer from the frets and do a fret levelling at once. So first taping off the fretboard. I don't like the idea of tape on the new(ish) lacquer so I added some pieces of paper. Also because sometimes I have to put the project away halfway through and that would mean leaving the tape on for several days.

To avoid losing track of which fret I'm working on later, I number them.

I used a fret file to remove most of the lacquer, followed by a radius block and a leveling beam. When everything was level I started crowning the frets. It took some effort to get the lacquer off of the sides of the frets. On some of them the lacquer had chipped so that needed to be cleaned up.

Sanded through some of the grits starting at 320.

I ended with a fret #1000 fret eraser, these things are awesome!

Followed with metal polish. Lots of rubbing but the result is very satisfying.

Nice and shiny!

The neck is pretty much done.


Thanks guys! The build will be complete this year! I kinda had to put it together because of the serial number I gave it...

The neck and body are branded!

Just a couple of screws away of a complete guitar!


Congrats on all the hard work, Mike! Came out great, you should be very proud! Cheers!


What a wonderful build this has been. So glad to see the final touches.


Man o man, what a ride it was building this thing! But FINALLY... Here she is!

There will be more pics coming up!


Fantastic work, Mike! Congrats!


Very impressive! Nice work!


Superb sir!

Turned out really nice Mike.


Great stuff Mike, it’s been really interesting to follow this build!


Would you look at that! A tangible payoff for an incredible journey.

There's a deeper payoff too- the skills you have learned and refined, the cheery stoicism you applied to never let any obstacle deflect you from your objective. And there it is, a truly beautiful instrument ready to play music. Wonderful, Mike.


Wow, thank you all so much! I'm really happy with how it turned out. There still has to be some setting up to do, including lowering the nut slots a hair, setting the action, raising the pickups etc. So I'll have to take it apart again... For now it is playable and I have played worse guitars before so yes, I'm quite happy with the guitar! Unfortunately I'll have to be getting back at the neglected chores I have to do before we put our house up for sale, deadline is coming up fast so I have absolutely no guitar time for the next few weeks. I haven't even played the guitar this year yet, and it's calling me...

I did get a nice headstock shot:

More pics coming eventually! Maybe even a sound clip, haha!


Mike, it turned out to be a great guitar! It's very attractive, and I bet it will play like a dream once you get it all set up. Congratulations on a successful build, it was an amazing journey!


Your guitar is BEAUTIFUL! I'm applauding your hard work, attention to detail and the finished product from home.


Fantastic work! Great color scheme with the green against the natural back! Dialing the pickup heights and setup will be a walk in the park compared to some of the obstacles you've faced! Great job!


What a sizzler! (Both this thread and the guitar build). Thanks for the journey, Mike2000.


Mazel tov on the birth of your Tele, Mike! Play'er in good health!


Mike, I followed this thread since its very beginning with much interest and joy. And while I admire the skills you developed and your attention to details it is your patience and the way you deal with the little setbacks that impresses me the most.

The guitar looks fantastic and if it plays and sounds half as good it's a great one. I hope I'll be able to take a strum on it one day. Congratulations and and many thanks for sharing the whole process. Well done!

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