Passing on the mantle

My eldest grandson was picking up his Tanglewood Evolution tonight, and expressed an interest in learning to work on guitars. We discussed his options. I suggested picking up a cheap Squier, and we would start from there. He, however, is more ambitious, and with my tutorage, wants to build a custom guitar. He fancies a Telecaster style. We are going to sit down and choose what he wants to build, then he can start to purchase the necessary parts. We may go down the Wudtone route, so I will be looking for advice if we do. I will need to read through the earlier build threads here, to refresh my old brain.
I told him I have all the tools we will need and if he wants to inherit them he will need to serve his apprenticeship first!
Looking forward to building again - without the cost!
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Comments

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,161Member
    No. All he has to do to inherit those tools is slip something in granddad's tea ! But joking aside. I am now acutely aware (fast approaching mid fifties with the months zooming by) that life is short.

    I'd go with his ambition. Build a stonker of a guitar as a first project. One to remember !!!
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,658Member, Moderator
    For inspiration, introduce him to Paul Reed Smith and his biography.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 946Member
    Very exciting! Is it going to be built from scratch, ie carved lumber, or are you looking for kits? A midpoint could be buying the body and neck and modifying to suit. Just an idea.
    I’m looking forward to hearing more! And happy to answer questions if I can.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 946Member
    I was just looking at the wudtone website because I had never heard of it before now. But the website isn’t very clear about what it really is! It says that it’s not sprayed, but is the topcoat a wipe on poly or an oil, like Danish or Teak?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,163Member
    I have limited experience of Wudtone - having once used a clear coat kit from them to do this guitar:

    image

    It worked fine, as you can see - I was trying to keep the wood as light-looking as possible, but in the end I would say I prefer Tru Oil, although that does tend to add more of a warm/honey kind of hue.

    I believe the Wudtone colour kits also involve a stage where you have to vigorously rub in the colour stain into the bare wood, and they tell you to not have the wood finely sanded at this point. I'm not sure, but it may not be possible to get a smooth, grained-filled type of result - I think you have to go with the wood texture showing. Some like that, some don't, but if so, it's not going to be a close replica of a typical smooth factory finish. Perhaps avoiding more textured woods like ash would help for a smoother result though.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Neither of us are woodworkers, or have the tools, so we will start with a body and a neck. I have offered him a number of options to pick from, such as choice of wood, pick guard or not, hardware finish and electrics. He fancies a Tele, as he has most everything else, and fancies an SH configuration. I have sent him a link to the Wudtone site and will see what he thinks. He might go down the "rough" finish look. Wudtone supply clear grain filler for the smooth look, and there are certainly some smooth looking guitars in their gallery.

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    I also toyed with the idea of a veneer cap at one time, so I may look into that. We had all the info on the old guitar forum but I will need to search it out now.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,163Member
    That looks nice! Sounds like you're well set anyhow Jocko, and have fun with the build. :)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 946Member
    Wow that looks like my ideal Les Paul!

    Nice axe Megi! Is that wudtone clear coat an oil ?
    You don’t want to sand wood super smooth before staining anyhow. Going down to 240 grit is all you need. Beyond that and you’ll just make the wood shiny and I think you risk closing up the grain a bit. The finer grades are for clear or top coats.

    If you want an existing design you’d be crazy to try and carve it yourself anyhow. There are lots of places that make tele bodies that would save a ton of time, money and aspirin. Best bet really!
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Although I used grain filler on all my previous builds. I quite like the open grain effect on this guitar.

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    I was also thinking a two colour body may be the way to go.

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    Getting way ahead of myself though. It is the grandson's guitar and his choices to make.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,658Member, Moderator
    Ooh, I do like the shape of the second (from the right) Tele, with a more rounded edge on the front and a what looks like a tummy tuck on the back.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Guitarbodies gives you a choice of edge radius and contouring. My Tele body, used for my Tru-squire, had a tummy tuck contour specified, both top and bottom.

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  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,163Member

    Wow that looks like my ideal Les Paul!

    Nice axe Megi! Is that wudtone clear coat an oil ?
    You don’t want to sand wood super smooth before staining anyhow. Going down to 240 grit is all you need. Beyond that and you’ll just make the wood shiny and I think you risk closing up the grain a bit. The finer grades are for clear or top coats.

    If you want an existing design you’d be crazy to try and carve it yourself anyhow. There are lots of places that make tele bodies that would save a ton of time, money and aspirin. Best bet really!

    Thank you Nick - is it an oil? - I'm not sure to be honest. The kit I got had two small bottles with a base coat and top coat. I applied the stuff wiping on thin coats with a paper kitchen towel, much as I do for Tru Oil, and it certainly worked like that.

    The Wudtone chap makes much of the fact that it doesn't contain linseed oil, and doesn't soak into the wood much, and cures to a fairly hard, thin coat - he maintains that this improves the acoustic qualities and tone of a guitar as it doesn't damp vibration in the wood very much. Or something like that anyhow... I don't know how much truth there is in this, maybe some, but for my taste I felt that Tru Oil gives a softer kind of sheen - more natural maybe, is easier to use, with less troubling fumes/skin irritation issues (the Wudtone kit came with protective thin gloves) and I've not noticed any issues with the tone being damped using it either.

    So the Wudtone worked, and if I was after an easy way to get a coloured finish I might consider it again, but for a clear, easy to apply finish that gets a good result, I would pick Tru Oil every time.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,163Member
    Handsome beast that walnut tele is Jocko :)
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Yes. I gave it away because I was never using it. It was built for form rather than function. My grandson has it now and loves it. As does all his guitar playing buddies.
    If he wants a natural finish I'll strongly suggest he goes for Tru-oil. If he wants colour we will try the Wudtone. I fancy trying it out anyway.
    He has discounted a solid colour, so we won't be spraying it. I hope he sticks to that plan.

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  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,163Member
    Jocko said:

    Yes. I gave it away because I was never using it. It was built for form rather than function. My grandson has it now and loves it. As does all his guitar playing buddies.
    If he wants a natural finish I'll strongly suggest he goes for Tru-oil. If he wants colour we will try the Wudtone. I fancy trying it out anyway.
    He has discounted a solid colour, so we won't be spraying it. I hope he sticks to that plan.

    image

    I know what you mean there - I tend to get a bit involved with how a guitar will look as well. If I hated the looks of a guitar, even if it played and sounded amazing, I don't think I'd use it...

    But I would say that tele must be a good machine for straight ahead rock, with the single humbucker, and heavy walnut body and string-thru body anchoring - it should have a pretty focused tone and great sustain.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    It sounded and played great. I would probably have kept it but it was Liam's graduation from Uni, and I wanted to give him a gift that would last. So I gave him my hand built guitar.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Liam has pretty well settled on the configuration for the guitar he wants us to build. He is going for a Telemaster body. He has ordered a two piece Swamp Ash body with a Flame Maple laminate top, from https://guitarbuild.co.uk/ . He has decided he wants to stain it a lilac/purple and I have convinced him to use a blue stain to pick out the grain on the back. How that will work is anyone's guess, as I have never used stain before. The top coat will be Tru-oil. Body should be arriving at my door very shortly.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Stain arrived today. https://crimsonguitars.com/ The body should ship within the fortnight.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Body arrived today. It is gorgeous. Beautifully finished. The Swamp Ash base is extremely well figured. The Flame Maple is very pale but quite well marked. They supplied four test pieces for colour testing. We have blue and purple stain. I had thought of staining the back with the blue, then sanding it back to try and bring out the grain in blue. It is all one big experiment!
    I'll try and post some pictures tomorrow.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    As promised. Here are the photographs of the body, as delivered.

    The front is Flame Maple laminate.
    image

    The main-part of the body is two piece Swamp Ash.
    image
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 946Member
    Wow! That is pretty!
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Been practising with Crimson Guitar's "Stunning Stains". Biggest problem is getting a durable paper towel to apply the stuff. Going to lash out and by some "Plenty".
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    This is an artists impression on where we are heading with the new build.

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    What actually happens once Liam gets properly involved is anyone's guess. He works away all week, and as a young man with a girl on his arm doesn't have a lot of spare time. Hopefully we will make a start to it this afternoon or evenong. Maybe!
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Almost there with the staining on the front. Still wet bits when this was taken.

    image
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,163Member
    Phwoar! Looking fabulous Jocko. :)
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Not my choice of colour, but it is coming along!
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 927Member
    Looking good there Jocko.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    Think that is me finished with the back. About time to start the Tru-oil.

    image
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,061Member, Moderator
    We have started oiling the body using my old favourite, Tru-oil. It really brings out the pattern of the grain. Unlike previous bodies I have prepared, this one has not had grain filler applied.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,163Member
    Looking forward to the next lot of pics, curious if the Tru Oil will influence the shade of blue.
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