Carved Tele - Unique finish

mysticaxe

Active member
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45
In a few months, University of Michigan will begin playing football marking the 25th anniversary of their last undefeated season, one in which Charles Woodson (#2 at the time) won the Heisman Trophy.  As a student who went through that, it was a major event in my early life.  The idea had come to me to design a finish to commemorate this.  A tele felt like the way to approach this project.  A couple of my main decisions on the project:
- Upper toggle switch (I never liked slide pickup selectors).
- No pickguard, grain must be visible.

The general plan for the finish was hashed out here:
https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=33663.0

Build details:
Body:
Carved top tele, flamed maple over swamp ash, black binding, LP routing

Neck:
Roasted Flame Maple, '59 roundback, 6105 SS frets, 1 11/16"

Initial pictures shown here:
5XabI49.jpg

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mysticaxe

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Next step... try to invoke the signature winged helmet in maize and blue on the body of the guitar.  To stain following the process discussed in the previous thread, I laid a template over the body to carve the lines for the stain borders.  Pro tip - put the tape down UNDER the template so there is still something stuck to the body after you cut the border. 

Next, stain with blue (Transtint in denatured ethanol).  Darker color goes first to sand out any overrun before applying maize.  After blue dried (a day or two), dye maize.

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mysticaxe

Active member
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45
Back of the body was dyed in blue.

Next - seal with a couple coats of Birchwood Casey Sanding Sealer (to level any ridges due to cutting the top).  Paint cavities with conductive paint.  Then about 5 coats of Tru-Oil (not in cavities).  Let it sit about 2 weeks.  Buff the body and then ready for assembly.

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mysticaxe

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45
Headstock will get the Rose Bowl Logo painted on, and Woodson's 2.
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C

Cowbell Fever!

Guest
My favorite Michigan games were 78' and 92 Rose Bowls. Just awesome!!
 

mysticaxe

Active member
Messages
45
Final body prior to assembly - came out WAY better than I was expecting... Assembly was next.

Plan was for:
Pickups - Dimarzio Area T neck and bridge
Gotoh compensated bridge
Neck pickup with volume only, bridge volume and tone.

Ran into a problem - The Area T neck pickup is ~0.9" deep (stacked coil noise cancelling).  The neck pickup route is 0.75" deep.  With wires running through the neck pickup route to the toggle switch, the neck pickup couldn't be lowered below the fretboard (when the neck was dry fit).  The solution - order a Twang King neck pickup, which is only ~0.6" deep. 

Second interesting observation - the Twang King neck pickup and the Area T bridge pickup are out of phase with each other, so hot and ground needed to be swapped.

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stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,205
I would like to be able to see the pictures but they are not showing in the thread except as downloadable attachments. If I download they show as corrupted or unsupported.

Normally .jpg files attached to a post should at least show as a thumbnail.
 
C

Cowbell Fever!

Guest
stratamania said:
I would like to be able to see the pictures but they are not showing in the thread except as downloadable attachments. If I download they show as corrupted or unsupported.

Normally .jpg files attached to a post should at least show as a thumbnail.
My software warned me NOT to download the images in this thread. I would proceed with caution.
 

mysticaxe

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Messages
45
Argh!  I couldn't load the pictures from my phone to the site, so I forwarded them to my computer and tried to use Windows to save the file type...  Let me see if I can figure it out tonight.
 

ragamuffin

Senior member
Messages
910
mysticaxe said:
Argh!  I couldn't load the pictures from my phone to the site, so I forwarded them to my computer and tried to use Windows to save the file type...  Let me see if I can figure it out tonight.

The best way is to upload them to an image hosting website like Imgur and use the bbc code to link them here
 

mysticaxe

Active member
Messages
45
ragamuffin said:
mysticaxe said:
Argh!  I couldn't load the pictures from my phone to the site, so I forwarded them to my computer and tried to use Windows to save the file type...  Let me see if I can figure it out tonight.

The best way is to upload them to an image hosting website like Imgur and use the bbc code to link them here
I may have to break down and do that - I've avoided hosting sites for years.
 

mysticaxe

Active member
Messages
45
Added links from Imgur.  Now I need a sunny day to take it outside and get a shot in the sun.  I'm really happy with how the finish came out.  I burnished the roasted maple neck and polished the SS frets to a shine.  It plays really well.  I'm excited to take it to rehearsal this week and see what it sounds like through the bigger rig (sounds great through my Line 6 HX Stomp)!

nTly85a.jpg
 

mysticaxe

Active member
Messages
45
Spud said:
My favorite Michigan games were 78' and 92 Rose Bowls. Just awesome!!

I remember the '92 game (was in high school).  In January of 1978, I was too young to care!
 

mysticaxe

Active member
Messages
45
Cranked the piss out of it last night through a SLO-30.  It was glorious!  I may tweak my treble bleeds a bit, but it was very usable and as one of my friends said, "that thing has some serious balls."
 
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