Other Guitars

NGD-ish: Tele-Kay-ster


Not exactly NGD, but a friend returned a guitar I lent him about a decade ago. I pieced it together over a couple of years in the mid 90s. It's a Kay body, Tele style neck, Bigsby bridge, Jazzmaster tremolo, Gibson P90s, and what for my limited knowledge at the time passed as "Gretsch"-ish wiring - standby switch, bass cut switch, and two 3-ways for the pickups. I think the knobs came from Canadian Tire.

To say my work was coarse is an understatement. I finished it with floor poly brushed on over gold and black spray paint. The pickup risers are weatherstripping cut to size with scissors. I stuffed a bunch of sponges inside to combat feedback.

It plays and sounds as good as I remembered. Nice to have an old friend home!


Body close up. Note the "pinned" bridge. I have to hand it to Kay for making a hollowbody so robust that I could screw a vibrato right into the top and it didn't tear off. Top and back are a good 3/16" thick.


Rear control panels. Not too back given that I didn't know what I was doing and my only power tool was a dremel. You can kind of make out the side to side brush strokes in the poly finish. The finish still looks decent after 20+ years.


Mel that's beautiful. Did you do any recording on this?


Thanks, Polecats! I gigged with it when I was in Montreal and for a year or so when I first got to California. I think the only recording I did with it was a glissando on the old Jaguar and Jazzmaster website I made in the late 90s.


That is one of the best things I have seen lately.


You didn't have the parts collected by an assistant named Igor, did you??


I like it!

What's it's name?


Love your TeleKayster.


Quite the gemisch, but I like it Mel.


I'd like to nominate the name Mishegas for this guitar . . .


Wow, Canadian Tire has Everything!


Should call it Abby.


Ha! At the time I dubbed it the "Melecaster", but I think all of these suggestions are superior!


Should call it Abby.

– Baxter

My dog's name is Abbie Normal. It fits.


I think TeleKaySter takes the cake. Added it to the topic title!


Yep, some of the old Kays do have pretty cool headstocks.

Here's my 60's K-6868 "Style Leader" acoustic with the "tin foil" metal headstock plate - -


That’s awesome!


Love the style leader! I really like the way Kay used "flame" wood.


Love the style leader! I really like the way Kay used "flame" wood.

– Mel Waldorf

Yeah, the flamey wood is nice. After a set up and new strings (Martin M130 Silk & Steel 0115 - 047), this Style Leader is a really fun old timey finger-pickin' blues picker!


The telekayster looks like a great guitar. That Style Leader is gorgeous!

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