Because the Telecaster headstock shape is a trademark of Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) then all modern kits come with a blank or “paddle” headstock from which you can cut your own design. Any similarity to a Fender Telecaster headstock on this page is purely coincidental!
The first job is to decide on your headstock shape. I made a paper template and used this to draw the shape on the back of the headstock. Don’t use black pen as I did – pencil will do. I used a pen to show up in the photograph.
Cut out the shape of the headstock roughly with an electric jigsaw or coping saw. You can use a router if you have one.
The final shaping of the headstock is done using coarse sandpaper before finishing off with finer sandpaper to give a smooth surface for the lacquer.
As our chosen kit has a rosewood fretboard, it is important to mask it off to avoid unwanted overspray. If you have a maple fretboard then don’t mask as you’ll be lacquering that too.
You can buy the nitrocellulose lacquer you need in various colours, including clear coats from me here.
Hold the neck and spray a couple of thin coats of lacquer onto the face of the headstock. You should spray the sides of the headstock too.
Lay the neck on a flat surface and spray a few thin coats of lacquer. Once the lacquer is touch dry you can spray a few more coats but be very careful not to spray too thickly or the lacquer will run. I have used a slightly tinted lacquer to give a vintage colour to the neck.
Once the lacquer on the neck has hardened (we left ours 3 days) you can polish using a proprietary rubbing compound before polishing to a shine.