C18Q1 Sesh's Saga

What's Hot
Ok, perhaps some backstory is required...

About 10 years ago I bought a Saga telecaster kit. Back then kits like these were fewer and far between. I think I paid about £120 for it.
I took bloody ages making it. I cut the headstock to a shape which was frankly, never quite right. Those last three words will reoccur throughout this rebuild. I gave it a few coats of cheap aerosol lacquer, which only had a few small patches of orange peel, but in the end I had a playable guitar. I did have some trouble with the action and relief. The truss rod couldn't pull the neck flat enough. At one point I clamped the neck against a plank of wood to straighten it. I left it like that for a few weeks and it seemed to help a bit. I've also put a washer on the end of the truss rod and between the two of them the neck is better. There's also some shimming going on.

It ended up looking like this:

http://i.imgur.com/2WEU19u.jpg

That was fine for a couple of years but I always intended to have it a a guitar to tinker with. Then the internet filled my mind with tales of coil splitting, out-of-phase and series mods and it was upgraded to this:

http://i.imgur.com/MtPmToj.jpg

The finish was done to not quite right standard using rattle cans. 

You can see I went to town on switches.

It has:
A three-way for each humbucker, for standard, series and one coil only.
A two-way for both humbuckers out-of-phase.
A two-way for both humbuckers in series.
And,  two stacked pots to give individual volume and tone for each pickup.

And that's how it stayed until this weekend. I finally decided to look at the pickup selector as it was dying. So, I took it to bits. Cleaned it up, and once I'd found the ball bearing again it worked much between. Then, on reassembly a wire came off the back of a pot. Arse. And the two more, one of which was something to do with all the switches. Something, to do with my not quite right soldering with a cheapo iron.

So the job's got bigger. Certainly big enough to be considered a challenge to do in 3 months. For me anyway. I'll go through the planned works in the next post. I'm doing this on a tablet so I'm worried all the above typing might disappear.

PS I'm well away how laughably shoddy the give has been. Feel free to laugh and mock. I can only hope that the end product of this challenge isn't so bad.

Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
0reaction image LOL 1reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    So, my plans for this are:

    Improve headstock shape
    Refinish neck. The back of the neck is quite rough now. I'm thinking of an oil finish.
    Simplify controls:
    The stacked pots get in the way so it will go back to a single master volume and tone.
    A single switch mounted on the control plate between the pots for coil splitting.
    I might put in a 4-way pick up selector as that was one of the few mods that I liked.
    I'm going to do away with the extra control plate so the big hole underneath it will need filling.
    The bridge could also do with being shifted back a bit as the saddles could do with not being so far back.
    And, finally, refinish the body. It will have to be a solid colour. Currently I'm favouring Pelham blue but green again is a possibility.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1148
    Nice project, watching with interest..
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    In the absence of any proper progress I've reacquainted myself with the pickups. They are Axesrus Bourbon City. I'm sure I paid £40 for the pair 5 or so years go. The now seem to be £67 each! 
    Anyway, the plan is to still have some splitting going on, but I don't know what yet.

    Here's some pics:

    http://i.imgur.com/r0pKWHc.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/hUbzX71.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/AxQ9ef6.jpg

    The plan for tonight, if there's time is to try and reposition the bridge and see if I can get the intonation better than before. A few more hole in the top won't make a difference at this stage.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RabsRabs Frets: 974

    Yeah I started off buying from Axesrus. They make nice stuff but as you say the prices have been creeping up the last few years.

    My favourite make at the moment for good sound and great price is Vanson.. I haven't been let down by them yet.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    The nearest I have to progress is that I have repositioned the bridge so it intonates without the springs being fully compressed, and the adjusting screw touching the string, almost clamping it, on the low E. So, that's good at least. With the bridge in place I must remember to mark the new bridge pickup position before I take it off. And, the new string through position. 

    Next job will be neck removal and stripping the finish in the chilly garage. I never did address how this fits into "what I didn't get for Christmas" in previous posts. I didn't ask for numb fingers, but I would have liked another kit, or ideally parts selected from various sources. But that didn't happen. Perhaps the next time @TTony runs a Q1 contest he should do it in the summer when it's warmer.  ;)


    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    Rabs said:

    Yeah I started off buying from Axesrus. They make nice stuff but as you say the prices have been creeping up the last few years.

    My favourite make at the moment for good sound and great price is Vanson.. I haven't been let down by them yet.

    Cheers for the heads up about Vanson. Looks good. 
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    Finally, I've got something done. I spent an hour yesterday afternoon scraping off the old green and black finish with a single edged razor blade. It came off easily so it seemed a more sensible way than heat or chemicals. Once I got under it I could pretty much slide the blade the whole length and take an inch wide section off. I'm guessing this method wouldn't work if the original paint and application were of a higher quality.

    So, here's what I'm left with:

    http://i.imgur.com/3Ojc4NU.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/8eGi0ay.jpg

    Not for the first time I got some unattractive wood.

    There's been a lot of clear finishes done on here recently and I'd like to do one with this, but this isn't the body for that. One day maybe I'll do a swamp ash something, but that's a long way off.

    Back to this one, I still don't know what colour to redo it. I was leaning towards something like Pelham or lake placid blue. My wife liked the green that it was. So it might be green again. I won't be attempting a rattle can burst again.

    Anyway, the next job is to find some wood to fill the lower control plate hole and the ferule holes on the back.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • DannyPDannyP Frets: 699
    Ocean Turquoise is my fave Fender colour in that ballpark - and lesser used too.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    DannyP said:
    Ocean Turquoise is my fave Fender colour in that ballpark - and lesser used too.
    Indeed, that's a nice colour. I still am not sure what colour to go for. I doubt this will change until the second before the paint purchase. And then still change five times before the first coat.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

    (Douglas Adams)
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • DrBobDrBob Frets: 1695
    Would a Tele Deluxe pickguard cover all the existing holes and save a lot of woodwork ?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    DrBob said:
    Would a Tele Deluxe pickguard cover all the existing holes and save a lot of woodwork ?
    That's plan b, if I ever get around to ballsing up plan a.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1420
    I bought a can of surf green from amazon got around a tenner for my start and came out okay. I bought some sachets of floor oil for 5 quid based on someone's recommendation on here and it darkened the neck nicely and left a satin finish. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    Well, it's about time I got this rolling again. I haven't been completely idle. Just mostly, and shit's got in the way.
    One barrier to getting things done was the state of my shed/garage. In true Sesh style it was a dumping ground of hoarding and half-arsed-ness.
    It went from this:
    http://i.imgur.com/NGnwIYe.jpg
    To this:
    http://i.imgur.com/NZlxXPC.jpg
    So, that's one less barrier.

    I've filled the unwanted holes with wood and filler and now this is where I am. I need to invest in some more abrasive paper before I do anymore. I'm calling this the ugly duckling stage. Will I end up with a swan or a turkey?
    http://i.imgur.com/YlREqHz.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/kDT1xj5.jpg
    I'm not sure what sort of pickguard it will have so I've filled all the holes for now. 
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1420
    So it took three months to move a bike three feet is what you're telling us : )  

    However don't look in my sheds...
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SeshSesh Frets: 837
    munckee said:
    So it took three months to move a bike three feet is what you're telling us : )  

    However don't look in my sheds...
    No!
    I found the brush for the dustpan too.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.