Comparing old and new truss rod nuts, old one is very worn.

For some reason known only to Fender, the US American Standard Stratocasters and Telecasters use a 1/8″ Allen key to adjust the Bi-Flex truss rod. It’s okay if the rod is working well and whoever adjusts it used a tight-fitting key of the correct size, but if not, the nut can quickly be trashed and require replacement. …

Black La Cabronita

I’ve recently finished this La Cabronita style build, using yet another body from GuitarBuild.co.uk. It’s pretty much Fender specification, down to the USA Standard Stratocaster hardtail bridge, pearl button tuners and of course, TV Jones Powertron pickups. Rather than the S1 switch, I have used a normal push-push pot to bring in a tone …

P-90 Telecaster complete

This guitar was built on commission from a customer. It features a two-piece ash body from Guitarbuild, an AllParts V-profile neck and P-90 pickups from Wizard Pickups. The body is finished in my dark “53” Butterscotch lacquer, and body and neck have clear satin lacquer top coats for a silky smooth feel.  

Butterscotch Telecaster with Joe Barden pickups

I put this guitar together today for a customer. The body is from guitarbuild.co.uk and the owner finished it using my Butterscotch nitrocellulose lacquer. I fitted the Joe Barden pickups, with the bridge mounted to the body, G E Smith style. There is a 4-way switch fitted, giving in-series as well as in-parallel pickup …

Bakelite Snakehead prototype pickguards

I had a request to make one of these so made a few whilst I was at it! These pickguards are made from “Bakelite” sheet and lacquered in clear gloss nitrocellulose . They’re made to fit replicas of Leo Fender’s 1949 “Snake head” prototype that he used to take around to clubs for artist …

Finished Ice Blue Telecaster

Here is the Telecaster assembled. I’ve used the bridge from a Fender USA 62 Reissue, Fender jack cup, AllParts parchment ‘guard and some great sounding hot AlNiCo V pickups from The Creamery. I’m considering giving it the freezer treatment once the lacquer has hardened sufficiently.

Clear coats sprayed

Preparation Finishing alder is much easier than painting an ash body as the wood is more tightly grained. The reduction in finishing costs is why Fender used alder bodies for their solid colours and sunbursts from the late fifties. As with any wood however, preparation is absolutely fundamental to achieving a good result. If …

Butterscotch Telecaster body with hardware fitted

Will experiment with a relic treatment on the body instead. Here is the distressed Telecaster body. Here’s how I distressed the lacquer. I’ll distress the ice blue metallic Telecaster next. I gifted the butterscotch Tele to Pete (him with the freezer). Hoping he’ll let me freeze more guitar parts soon…

Back of the butterscotch Telecaster body

Here’s how to get the ferrules into a Telecaster without chipping the lacquer. This only works for guitars finished in nitrocellulose. The heat of the soldering iron melts the lacquer which also acts as an adhesive holding the ferrule in place. You can probably see from my shaking hand that I’m exerting quite a …

Wet sanding the front of the body

I’m often asked how to spray a butterscotch guitar body so thought I’d put together a bit of a tutorial. Please note that I do not offer a refinishing service. The body I’m using is by Guitar Build who offer a range of CNC machined guitar bodies. I’m very impressed with the accuracy of the shape, …