I decided to try and build a partscaster, and document the build here.
I’ve got a Allparts Telecaster body, contoured ash, and an Allparts maple neck, vintage shape. Licensed by Fender, I thought I should get it right if I wanted their T shape.
I’m going to install white Seymour Duncan 59 humbuckers. It’ll be a hardtail. Two volumes (push/pull split coils) and two no load tones. It’ll hopefully end up faded fiesta red (Wudtone) and looking cool. I’m not sure about a pick guard yet.
I realize it’s not a very traditional setup and it might offend some purists, but I really, really, like the look of Telecasters and I wanted two humbuckers. The guitar I’m playing now (Fidelity Guitar) has a single Mustang bridge pickup and somewhat of a Tele saddle so I’ve already crossed over to the dark side of nontraditional
What I’ve realized so far: building your own guitar will absolutely not be cheaper than buying one.
There’s a small dent in the back of the body, but I only saw it a few days after it arrived. I’m not sure if it happened at the seller’s, in transit (packaging was great though), or here. I’ve decided not to care.
The tuning peg holes in the neck are stepped, so 8.5 mm in the front and 6 mm in the back. Apparently this is just as vintage as 8.5 mm all the way through, just a different kind of vintage. This wasn’t mentioned in the description, not even on the Allparts site, though you can see it in their pictures if you zoom in. I’ve decided to not ream out the holes, forget about locking tuners and change them out for Fender vintage tuners with 6 mm shaft.
I’m still waiting for some of the hardware to arrive. Then it’s time to drill the holes in the neck, and in the body for the controls and mount some hardware.
I’ve learned that neck screws are supposed to pass freely through the body and only screw into the neck. They do so, btw, which is why I looked it up
Bonus pic of my absolutely wonderful Fidelity guitar:
Seymor Duncans are very nice but expensive, if you would be interested in exploring an alternative look at Irongear pickups, they are as good as SD’s but cost less! The other idea to consider is if you might like to give it Strat style body contours, that might get rid of that ding on the back. Depending on what style you want to play it might be useful to get some locking tuners, another option is adding a Single coil in the middle for more tone options; you might have guessed by now, I’m doing something similar myself! Loads of ideas and can’t make my mind up where to go at the moment
I’m looking forward to following this thread and seeing the finished article.
Good luck with your build Maarten.
I’m looking forward to this develop!
So building a guitar is a slow process. I was waiting for the rest of the hardware to arrive. Now that it has arrived, I find it’s also a frustrating process
After finding tuners that fit the stepped hole (vintage Fender tuners), I now have the problem that the tuner bushings are too large for the hole. Apparently this happens a lot and it’s easily solved by using a tapered reamer. I think it’s silly that Fender vintage tuners aren’t compatible with a Fender licensed Allparts vintage neck, but I found several comments online pointing out the same problem as I have.
Second, the bridge. The body is drilled for string through setup, but the string holes in the bridge don’t line up.
There’s a technical drawing of the bridge (it’s a Babicz Billy Gibbons trembucker bridge) that has every possible distance indicated, except the one from the string holes to the humbucker rout. Since it looked like it would fit, I assumed (never assume…) that it would fit. I can also put the strings through the back of the bridge so I can still use it. I either have to fill up these holes and drill new ones, or fill up the old ones and string through the bridge, or ignore them or put led lights in, I don’t know.
Seymour Duncan only ships pickup mounting rings with trembuckers, so I have no mounting ring for the neck pickup and a useless one for the bridge. I’m not sure yet if I’ll get one (and what color?) or just wood mount the neck pickup. You’ll also notice that the pickups are two different shades of white, even thought they are the same model pickup.
Minor problems, all in all. You really need to look at all the specs and it’s frustrating they aren’t always clear. And don’t assume
I can now start marking all the holes that still need drilling. It’ll be a while before I’ll have time to actually do something though, I have to work the following 9 days in a row.
Thanks for the update Maarten. Go to love this sort of thing, I guess. Small problems seem almost inevitable and learning to solve them is part of the deal.
It’s been a while Working full time and studying for an extra degree and walking the dog and playing guitar, you know how it is…
I now have access to a huge communal workshop with professional tools! They’re really cool, chill, friendly and supportive, and the music is nice. 28°C and the summer vibes were strong.
I forgot to bring the 3 way toggle, it’ll have to go in next time. I had to use a router to take off some of the front (in the back cavity) because the wood was too thick for the pots, or the pot shafts were too short…
So then I accidentally nicked the body with the router. No eyes or other body parts harmed, but it took off a big piece of wood on the back. The guitar will have a weird contour line. I’ll call this guitar Lucky. You live, you learn.
But I managed to drill straight holes in the neck and it fits nicely. Hopefully things will progress a bit faster now. I’m on night shift next week, so no promises.
To do: toggle switch, tuner holes, fill up the string-through holes, install the bridge, ‘fix’ the accidental router damage, make a wooden back plate to replace the plastic one.
Alternatively, for your next one, you could recess the pots.
Quick question. Where are you located?
I’ve been told about a communal - kind of - workshop in Southampton UK (I think you pay a small fee but it’s peanuts) but I haven’t been able to find one in London.