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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:09 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

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Hello all,

Brand new here, and new to building guitars too. I've had a fair bit of experience in setting them up and even re-painted a few before, but never actually built one myself.

I've bought a telecaster kit, and an original Fender Telecaster neck pickup and a Tonerider bridge pickup to make it sound a bit better than the cheap pickups that came with it.

I've already found that the neck pickup doesn't fit (maybe 1mm out) through the pickguard, and the bridge pickup doesn't fit the cutout in the body (maybe 3-5mm out).

As I'm new to this, I thought I'd just run it by you all what I plan to do:

To sort the neck problem I'm going to gently file the pickguard on each side (to keep it even) until the pickup fits nicely. I was then going to attach the neck to the body, and pencil down lines from the neck across the body so I know everything is in line (pickups/bridge etc.).

Using these as guides I was going to (somehow!) file away the cavity in the body to make room for the bridge pickup (again likely to file both sides to keep even) but will make sure it's all straight with the lines I've drawn from the neck.

Any tips would be really appreciated - I'm not in any rush, so taking it slow and methodically!

Cheers,

Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:56 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
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Chris, welcome to the forum and what you describe for the neck will probably work but I'm a little concerned that these pickups don't fit. I'm not familiar with the Tonerider pup but most Tele single coils are standard size and should fit a standard body.

If the body was incorrectly routed I would consider returning it. If not, do you have a router or laminate trimmer available by any chance? If so I would suggest getting or making a template for your pickups and routing the cavity using a follower bit. Here is one source for templates

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Ty ... lates.html

I'm really concerned about the bridge pup not lining up - remember that it has to fit in the cutout of the bridge and that is pretty critical. Here is my Tele clone with the cavities routed

Image

And here it is with pickups in place

Image

Before you go any farther, what kind of kit is it and can you post a picture?



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: isherwoodc (Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:10 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:13 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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Thanks for the response Freeman, here's an album of what I have: http://imgur.com/a/FfvR6

Hopefully it's clear enough. It looks as though the new bridge pickup I have is marginally longer than the one that came with the Kit (from kitbuiltguitars.co.uk) even though it states on the packaging it fits all tele's. It barely fits through the bridge either and may require a small amount of filing.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:29 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
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OK. Well first the neck should not be a problem - file the pick guard to fit the pup and then the body to fit the p/g - as long as its centered on the neck you should be fine.

For the bridge I would put the neck on and mount the bridge in its location (you probably have some instructions, double check that the high E saddle is about 25.5 plus 1/16 for compensation, the low E will be 25.5 plus maybe 3/16). Anyway, mount the bridge and see how the cavity lines up. Then open the hole in the guitar body in whatever direction it has to go. The important thing is first that the bridge is in the correct location and centered, then that the pup is centered under the strings.

edit to add - the StewMac fret position calculator gives the location of Tele style bridges as 25.750 from the nut to the forward mounting screw. I would double check that against your instructions and remember that you want the saddles a little beyond the scale length (25.5). This is one of those measure twice before you drill things (unless the holes are already drilled which it doesn't look like). Also, is this a thru body string design?



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: isherwoodc (Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:50 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:52 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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Ok that makes sense! Suppose once I know exactly where to position the bridge I will have a better idea where to extend the cavity for the pickup.

It's not a through body string no, the strings just go through the end of the bridge.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:18 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
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Put the neck on. Put a straight edge on each side of the neck and draw (lightly, you may want to put pieces of masking tape on the top and draw on them) two lines that are the extension of the sides of the neck to the bridge area. The bridge will be centered between them. Now measure from the nut to the 12th fret and confirm that its 12.75 inches (half the normal Fender scale length). Now draw a line 25.5 from the nut across the bridge area. If you had no compensation that is were the break point of the saddle would be but you will want 1/16 to 3/16 of "compensation" - you determine that once the guitar is finished and strung up - you keep adjusting those long screws that move the saddles back and forth. If the saddles are at the scale length when they are all the way forward you should have enough.

I've seen measurements for several different Tele style bridges where the main four mounting holes seem to be different dimensions from the front of the bridge. I don't know exactly what you have so thats why I recommend checking against the scale length. Your instructions may be taking all of this into consideration.

Good luck with the kit - enjoy and show us the results.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:00 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

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Thanks again - I was thinking of doing some videos of the progress - mainly to get feedback on all the awful techniques I'm using.

Do you have any suggestions how I can widen the bridge cavity in the body without a router?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:27 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
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isherwoodc wrote:
Thanks again - I was thinking of doing some videos of the progress - mainly to get feedback on all the awful techniques I'm using.

Do you have any suggestions how I can widen the bridge cavity in the body without a router?


Its often easier to just snap a photo and post it here if you have a question. You can see all the photos I take when I'm doing a build - in part to document it, in part for discussion like ours.

These are designed for a Dremel tool but could be used in a drill

https://www.dremel.com/en-us/Accessorie ... px?pid=407

Go slow and be careful.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:16 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

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Thanks again Freeman - I did some measuring/lines last night and pretty happy with how it all sits (the kit seems to be pretty accurate).

1 question I have, you say nut to saddle should be 25.5 inches, but to give some compensation for adjustments. Should I set the saddle to around the mid point (using the screw in the bridge) and then measure the 25.5? So to give any compensation either side? - so that I have space to move the saddle toward and away from the neck (hard to explain sorry!).


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:55 am 
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The saddles should be all the way forward when set to the scale length. Compensation always adds length to the scale length, so you don't need any forward adjustment.

_________________
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:42 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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Great thank you. Just out of curiosity, why do they only need to lengthen the string length for compensation?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:30 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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I've just measured a few things up. If I have the saddle all the way forward toward the neck at 12.75 inch from the 12th fret, the bridge does not line up with the pickup cavity at all - as shown in this photo:

http://imgur.com/AcOJutp


In the following the bridge is lined up to where the cavity is, but the saddle at full reach are at around 12.25 isntead.

http://imgur.com/IZGoBWp

Any suggestion on where I should place the bridge?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:06 pm 
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isherwoodc wrote:
Great thank you. Just out of curiosity, why do they only need to lengthen the string length for compensation?

There's two things that contribute to compensation. The main reason is that the string is stretched slightly when it's fretted, so the string needs to be a little longer to play in tune. The second thing is that strings have stiffness, so the effective vibrating length is slightly shorter than the distance from the fret to the saddle. There's no set way to calculate exactly what the compensation should be, it varies with size and type of string, action height, and playing style.

_________________
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:38 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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First name: Freeman
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Roger has explained the issue well - as a string is fretted it gets stretched (think of the first part of bending a note) - its pitch goes up. The amount that it goes sharp is a function of its core wire diameter (stiffness) and the height of your action - the higher the more it stretches. We "compensate" for that by moving the saddles a little farther from the nut - the amount is experimental and will be part of the setup procedure you'll do when this is all done.

But the point is that you always add a little to the scale length.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:52 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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First name: Freeman
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isherwoodc wrote:
I've just measured a few things up. If I have the saddle all the way forward toward the neck at 12.75 inch from the 12th fret, the bridge does not line up with the pickup cavity at all - as shown in this photo:

http://imgur.com/AcOJutp


In the following the bridge is lined up to where the cavity is, but the saddle at full reach are at around 12.25 isntead.

http://imgur.com/IZGoBWp

Any suggestion on where I should place the bridge?


OK, that does look weird. First, I assumed that you checked that the 12th fret is at 12.75 inches. Second, what does your instructions say about locating the bridge? What is that one hole in on the centerline of the gutar - maybe a string ground to the bridge or??

My StewMac calculator says that Tele bridges should be set with the four mounting holes 25.75 from the nut, that would be 13 inches from the 12th fret (I don't totally trust that measurement because it seems like tele bridges are different.

You really don't need the scale length at the most forward location of the saddles - you've got quite a bit of travel to set that intonation. My personal tele has the high E at about 25-9/16 and the low E at 25-11/16 so as long as you are in an area where you can get from 0 to 4 or 5/16 of extra travel you will be fine.

edit to add, I wouldn't hesitate to take this out to the general electrical guitar forum if you do have questions about locating the bridge. Not too many people read the kit subforum, and even tho this is a kit, I think its legitimate to ask on the more widely read forum.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: dzsmith (Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:04 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:35 am 
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Walnut
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Thanks again Freeman. I think I'll measure off 25.5 from nut to the saddle and just make sure I have around .5 inch to play with. If it all goes wrong I can always try again and it's all a learning curve with it being my first build.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:08 am 
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Koa
Koa

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First name: Freeman
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isherwoodc wrote:
Thanks again Freeman. I think I'll measure off 25.5 from nut to the saddle and just make sure I have around .5 inch to play with. If it all goes wrong I can always try again and it's all a learning curve with it being my first build.


You should be fine. All this started because you said the pups didn't quite fit the holes in the body - I wanted to make sure the bridge was in the right location before you started hogging any wood out. Tele bridges do have quite a bit of adjustment but this is one of the most critical measurements on your guitar (the other will be the neck angle and height of the neck above the body - once again you have limited adjustment of the saddles up and down and the angle helps you set the action. Frequently tele's have the neck shimmed a bit to make this work so you do have an ace in the hole here.

Keep us posted on your build and don't be afraid to bounce questions off of us.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:03 pm 
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Freeman wrote:
isherwoodc wrote:
Thanks again Freeman. I think I'll measure off 25.5 from nut to the saddle and just make sure I have around .5 inch to play with. If it all goes wrong I can always try again and it's all a learning curve with it being my first build.


You should be fine. All this started because you said the pups didn't quite fit the holes in the body - I wanted to make sure the bridge was in the right location before you started hogging any wood out. Tele bridges do have quite a bit of adjustment but this is one of the most critical measurements on your guitar (the other will be the neck angle and height of the neck above the body - once again you have limited adjustment of the saddles up and down and the angle helps you set the action. Frequently tele's have the neck shimmed a bit to make this work so you do have an ace in the hole here.

Keep us posted on your build and don't be afraid to bounce questions off of us.


Good call Freeman, measuring from the nut to bridge mounting holes is irresponsilbe advice from SM.
Measure from nut to saddles after confirming the true scale of the fretboard is the way to go.
You're a good fellow Freeman!

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