Saturday, August 3, 2013

Harrison Telecaster Assembly Part 1: Body Bits

A few weeks ago I spotted a really sweet rosewood Telecaster body at Warmoth. Expensive? Yep - $756.00. But it was a finished (gloss) body for just a couple bucks more than a raw body. Then I noticed that Warmoth no longer had rosewood as a body wood in their build to order system. So I checked in with "upper management", got the go-ahead, and ordered it along with the usual bits and pieces a guitar body needs.

So what we have there is the Warmoth body, Fender Vintage Telecaster pickups, and all the other body parts. All chrome, and yeah, because this is going to be a George Harrison style guitar a BWB pickguard that will cover up a big chunk of that beautiful body.

String Ferrules

There are two approaches to installing the ferrules. Tap 'em in with a hammer or heat them with a soldering iron and press them in. I decided to try the soldering iron technique but it turned out I ended up doing both.

Basically, you warm up a ferrule on your soldering iron for about 30 seconds

 and then press it into the hole with a little screwdriver

About half the time I found the ferrule cooled off quickly and I so used a block of wood and a small hammer to tap the ferrules into place.


The next bit was the jack. I used an Electrosocket. The first step of course is to solder on the signal and ground wires:

Then thread the wires into the body and align the screw holes parallel to the wood grain

More or less parallel
I had to gently tap the socket into the body because the factory finish had made the hole slightly smaller than the nominal diameter.

I didn't have a drill bit small enough to drill pilot holes so I lubed the little screws with soap and carefully screwed them in. These guys are very small and it would be easy to twist off a head. So it's important to be careful here. Add a drop of Loctite to hold the jack in place.


The bridge is a little more complicated. The first step is to attach the pickup. It's the normal 3 screw Telecaster arrangement. I used Fender Vintage Telecaster pickups and they come with the little pieces of rubber tube and all the necessary screws.

Pop the screws into the bridge and slip the little pieces of tubing over them.

Then position the bridge pickup and tighten the screws until the tubing just begins to compress. Notice that the copper base plate has a wire connecting to the pickup ground. There's no need for an additional bridge ground since the screws contact both.

Thread the pickup wires through to the control cavity.

And screw down the bridge using the four included screws.

If you order your bridge from Warmoth it comes with a tiny Alen wrench to adjust the saddle height. Don't lose it.

Next: Neck pickup and control Wiring.

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