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The last build entry on the guitars is here!

Installing the hardware on the guitar was easily the funnest part of building them (other than playing them!).  It was fun enough that I had to remind myself often to slow down, take my time, and not rush through the final stages.  The photos taken were a bit sporadic however...

The first thing to to was to attach the neck - made simpler because I had already done it once before finishing.  However, at the last minute I decided to swap the necks of the Tele-style guitars, putting my "practice" neck on the blackguard.

They both fit well, so I must have done something right..   I had to do just a little scraping off of some finish to get them to fit, but then each was sitting in it's respective pocket properly.

Installing the ferrules into the backs was fairly straight forward, after I learned my lesson when I cracked the finish on the blackguard around the hole.  Nitrocellulose lacquer is quite durable, but is brittle when "picked" at.  The answer was to heat up the ferrule using a soldering gun - when warm, it softens the finish and allows it to stretch some. 

 Though when taking a picture and holding the gun with the ferrule on - remember that the brass will tarrnish if you keep the heat on for too long while fiddling with the bloody camera in one hand...

 Dumb move on my part...

 For the tuner holes, I didn't want to risk the same thing - I used a round chain-saw sharpening files and eased the edges of each hole so it would accept the tuner ferrule easily without stressing the finish and cracking it:

 To push the ferrules into place, I dug up one of those reduced drill bits that are for a 3/8" drill - it fit perfectly into the ferrule and with a block of wood gave me the perfect tool to push the ferrules home with... 


 A couple thin straight edges to hold the tuners aligned while I mark out for the holes... 

 Then its just a matter of screwing everything into place. 

 For the next bit, after shielding the pickup cavities and running the wires it's time to solder everything into place. 

 I'm not too good at electronics, but the wiring diagrams from Stew Mac are easy to follow.  With the blackguard done, I moved on to the other two:

 The sunburst didn't get any shielding, as it's getting noiseless pickups..  Neither did the Strat, as with it I figured if noise was a problem it would be easy enough to add afterward.

Really, from here its just a matter of bolting and screwing everything into place, nothing too earth-shattering.  Once the guitars were fully assembled, I strung each up and ran through the respective Fender' setup guide:

Fender Telecaster setup guide

Fender Stratocaster setup guide

In the guide, you go through proper setting up of the truss rod, intonation, pickup heights, and setting the action.  They are quite good general setup guides, I've referred to them often when I've done setups on other guitars, including my old Strat.

Next up, the three amigos will make their long-awaited debut...




Hi Leif,
Really enjoyed the journey.  Great tutorial as usual. 
So, when will we be hearing some Chet Atkins renditions? Or maybe some Roy Clark? 


Thanks Marv!

It's been a fun journey!  There's something both magic and terrifying about finally putting them together and stringing them up that made this part the funnest.

While it won't be Chet Atkins or Roy Clark (or even hold a candle to them - probably something more akin to fingernails on a chalkboard ;-)  ), there will be some audio included in the next and final guitar entry - I should have it posted sometime later this week...