Fender Telecaster – Body Transplant

Odd one this, I’ve been asked to fit a new neck to an old guitar but never fit a new body to an old neck?

I was a little sceptical at first, it was a nice guitar to start with, and I wasn’t very sure about that pink?

Some of the hardware is going to be transferred a well, starting with the control panel.

Unfortunately the new knobs are splined but the old pots’ have solid shafts!  I’ll have to replace the pots’ as well then.

The strap buttons should be simple.  

The neck should have been easy, but unfortunately the holes in the body were just a little out.  So I drilled the old holes out….

and plugged them.  All I’ll do is drill new holes later.  There’s quite a way to go before that though….

At a first fit it looks like the neck is going to line up OK.  The question is which bit do you fix in place first?

The neck overlaps the scratch-plate so that has to go in first, but I don’t know where to put it until the neck is in place?

With the scratch-plate lined up on the neck it left an uneven gap between the scratch-plate and ash-tray bridge.

It should all line up like that in the end, just needs some careful attention to detail.

The one thing that can only go in one place is the bridge, so that’s where I need to start.

Since the neck pickup wires have to pass through the rear cavity I do need to fit that one first.  and of course the bridge pickup fits in the ash-tray before it’s screwed down.

With the bridge fixed in place I can now accurately judge the neck angle…

and re-drill the holes in the neck.

With the neck and bridge fixed now I can accurately locate the scratch-plate.   

The next problem was the jack cup.  The hole in the body is just slightly too small for the fender cup.  I don’t really like them anyway so I’m going to fit a screw in one.

So with the new pots’ wired in all it needs now is a new set of strings and a setup.

Starting of course with the neck relief.  Theoretically since it came off a perfectly good guitar it should be OK.

But it wasn’t so a little tweek on the truss-rod.

Next the action at the 12th fret.  That was always going to need to be done.

Start with the outside strings…..

and then the inside four, to match the radius of the fetboard.

Next the action at the first fret.  That was OK.

And the Intonation.  Always a bit of a compromise with three screw Tele’ bridges.

And there it is.  The photos don’t really do it justice, now it’s finished I think it’s gorgeous!  An with the Fender pickups and hardware it sounds as good as it looks.

For anything else you might need check out http://www.guitar-george.co.uk

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