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FIRST BASS...... making a Telecaster 4 string bass Highway Key style

A local player commisssioned Me to make a Telecaster style bass. I decided to use pine because the very 1st tele's Leo Fender made were  pine...and to use Fender parts where possible. (neck/pickups/ and  pickguard). I modded the pickguard and headstock and made a control plate. The idea was to create my version of a tele bass....eventhough Fender has done one before in the 60s. Ill let You decide how it came out....but the guy who bought it loves it! I had a blast and a half creating it!I started with this pine board 60inx12inx1in. I cut and glued 2 1in thick pieces together to get my thickness. glued,clamped & waited 24 hrs before I traced with my tele template and cut the body. Body is approx 2in thinner than a tele guitar at the widest points, which seemed to fit with period photos of Fenders tele bass from the mid 60s.after the cut (no fancy shit just a jigsaw), I use a small file and a sander to get all the edges right...

Before I even start measurements and routing I spray a quick clear coat to protect the body. My donor bass was a Fender Precision ( Squier...relax Fender collectors).It supplied the great Duncan pups and a nice neck that would need to be modded along with the black guard. I take all measurement a dozen times and draw it all out on the body in pencil...this establishes my route lines and gives me a feel for the final look.

SAWDUST TIME!!!! ahhh... the neck pocket ( nothing like a tight fit...lol)

Just a rule of mine..route pup cavities and such as if You were NOT using any pickguard...be neat and clean about it. ( less wood removed= more tone in my book...) These Duncans fit like a glove.

 routed out the cavity for knobs and decided to fab my own cover instead of the metal strip tele guitars have, also cut and shaped that huge P bass guard ( ugly thing!) Oh and ground it to the bridge for Godsake! (thats the stray wire at the end..)

headstock mod was easy a cut and sand job.....



I love the grain in the pine, its color when stained clear is tele-licious to Me. I use Helmsman spray clear poly and let coats dry overnight and sand from 150 grit, 220 grit to steel wool each round till I get it shiny, not like a bowling alley- but glossy. Final assembly was the easiest part thanks to good measurements I guess. Heres a few final shots. It plays as well as it looks and gets a slightly brighter tone (pine?) than its Squier donor did.

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Comment by knockman on December 5, 2011 at 8:25pm



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