First Guitar

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Project by wallybob posted 01-06-2010 06:06 PM 2655 views 6 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first attempt at making a guitar so I chose to make a solid body electric which I knew would be a lot easier than an acoustic one.

The incentive to build the guitar came from my youngest brother, well he’s young to me, he’s in his mid 50’s., who collects classic electric guitars and presently has about 50 with matching amps from the period. As a matter of fact he has converted an entire bedroom in his house to store and display the instruments.

So the idea was to make a one of a kind just for him and something I might be able to accomplish with my limited woodworking skills and no musical talent. The design is based on the original Fender Telecaster although it is not a copy. All you guitar coinsures will notice the obvious differences, no pick guard, the edge banding. and the dual tone and volume knobs.

The guitar is a two piece body of Honduran Mahogany with quilted/tiger maple veneer top and the neck is a piece of tiger maple left over from a jewelry box I made for my wife. The fret board and access cover are rosewood. The finish is hand sanded Liberon to 1000 grit and wax. (I’m just learning to spray lacquer and didn’t want to take a chance on this project) The feel of the finish is hard to describe but my brother, who just received the guitar yesterday, told me that he thinks the neck has a better feel than any of his other four Telecasters. To me that made the project all worthwhile. Shaping the neck was one of the most enjoyable parts of the project. It took almost two days with a spoke shave, rasp, and sanding but I found the challenge relaxing. Thanks to You Tube for the video on how to do it because I had no idea.

I am also indebted to two young students at the junior college where I volunteer for helping me with the project which would not have been completed without their help. Scott for the woodworking aspects of the project and Waturo for wiring the electronics and the setup. I have no musical talent so with out their help this project would not have been completed.

Thanks for looking,


17 comments so far

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4793 days

#1 posted 01-06-2010 06:22 PM

I don’t know much about guitars but that is one beautiful piece of woodworking !

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View David Schmaus's profile

David Schmaus

19 posts in 4329 days

#2 posted 01-06-2010 06:28 PM

How does it sounds?

View Kjuly's profile


311 posts in 4365 days

#3 posted 01-06-2010 07:11 PM

Hi Wally,
What type of finish did you use?

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4314 days

#4 posted 01-06-2010 07:21 PM

Looks awesome!!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View Pdub's profile


926 posts in 4260 days

#5 posted 01-06-2010 07:31 PM

That is a beautiful guitar!

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5298 days

#6 posted 01-06-2010 07:37 PM


-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1930 posts in 4752 days

#7 posted 01-06-2010 07:44 PM

That is the best looking Tele I’ve ever seen!! So what kind of electronics did you use?

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 4711 days

#8 posted 01-06-2010 08:04 PM

Oh Yea that looks killer !!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View RealtorJim's profile


29 posts in 4192 days

#9 posted 01-06-2010 08:21 PM

Very nice! Did you make the fretboard? If so, how did you create the radius?

-- "If you can't find it, build it. If you can't build it, then you must need some more tools."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4753 days

#10 posted 01-06-2010 08:54 PM

Thats a nice looking guitar.

View JimDaddyO's profile


666 posts in 4159 days

#11 posted 01-06-2010 09:10 PM

Nice looking wood on a beauty build! Congrats!

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4366 days

#12 posted 01-06-2010 09:15 PM

View MVGraz's profile


15 posts in 4502 days

#13 posted 01-07-2010 02:56 AM

Nice Telee. That maple top is sweet. Thanks for the background on the build. I can relate – I too have a brother who got all the musical talent in the family. Would love to try something like this one day.

View Brokewood's profile


27 posts in 4101 days

#14 posted 05-22-2010 11:00 AM

That’s a great twist on the telecaster! I love the through-body strings, very beautifully done!

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4657 days

#15 posted 05-22-2010 02:57 PM

wonderful wood choices


showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

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