Breaking Radio Silence (and a brief update)

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Breaking Radio Silence (and a brief update)

Despite not having written anything here for 2 weeks, I’ve been quite busy in the workshop. This is the second weekend of spraying lacquer on the Telecaster build, and things are starting to come together. The headstock decal (pictured) was applied after the third lacquer coat on the neck, and has just been sealed under coat 4. Another 6 coats of lacquer to go and the neck will then be done.

A Somewhat Heath Robinson Spray Booth

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It’s been a busy few weeks since Christmas, including being Best Man at my best friend’s wedding on Saturday.

I did however manage to get a brief hour in the workshop yesterday to get things set up in advance of spraying the lacquer for the Telecaster build.

Having tested the compressor and airline equipment I then erected a small freestanding greenhouse to use as a spray booth. Given that my current workshop is a 1950s prefabricated garage I stand very little chance of keeping it entirely dust free while spraying, but the greenhouse should provide a clean space in which to hang the guitar while applying the finish over the next couple of weeks.

All strung up

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All strung up

Today I started levelling the frets on the Telecaster build. But before I did so, last night I assembled the full guitar (save for the electrics) for the first time, and put a set of strings on her.

This was mainly to assess the effect of string tension on the neck before working on the frets, but also an opportunity to review the neck shape and decide on any last minute tweaks to the neck profile prior to spraying the lacquer.

Of course I couldn’t resist playing her – this was the moment of truth when she stopped being a piece of furniture and started to be a musical instrument! Initial impressions are very good – the combination of swamp ash body and maple neck gives a nice bright, percussion twang, especially when hybrid picking country licks. The vintage neck profile fills the hand, but isn’t not too club-like. That being said, I may remove a little more material between 1st and 5th frets, just to increase comfort a touch.

I will write about the fret levelling process in a separate entry. But for now, I shall leave you with a picture of the guitar, strung up, on our dinning room table.

Going Dark

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I’ve not had any workshop time over the past couple of weeks, as final wedding preparation has taken over. Yesterday that hard work came to fruition and Rachel, my partner of six years, and I married.

Tomorrow we fly to San Francisco to start a two week road trip through down the pacific highway to Santa Barbara before cutting inland to Death Valley and ultimately arriving in Las Vegas.

As a result, I won’t be posting to Over The Wireless for the next couple of weeks, although that doesn’t mean I won’t be thinking about woodwork.

Normal service will be resumed in October.

Catch you all on the flip side!