I h'ain't got no money, but.....



I DO have a plan.  When the funds do become available, I have a pretty good idea of what is next.  I'm looking for some thoughts on a couple of matters.  First, the plan.  I have decided that I cannot live without a Telecaster with a Bigsby.  Exstensive research has brought me to the B-5, and the bridge and bridge plate that go with it.  Anyone who wants to talk me out of this, feel free, but know that I am going to get a Bigsby equipped Tele one way or another, so an alternative must be provided.  I am going to custom order this one, even though my track record with custom orders is usually pretty poor (I usually can't wait and just get something off the showcase).  But I want to get the Tele body without the string through holes, as they will be strung through the Bigsby.  So, the body.  This is one of the things I would appreciate some thoughts on.  It will be solid.  That I will not change.  The Bigsby will certainly add some weight, though it is made of aluminum, so I don't know that it will be all that much.  I want a body wood that can be easily finished, as I plan to do that myself.  I think I am down to Black Korina (heavy) or Walnut (Heavier).  I would love to be able to do just a Tung Oil finish, and both of these woods are prime candidates for said finish.  Here is where I could use some advice.  My only experience so far with Tung Oil is the neck on my not-quite-year-old Thinline Tele.  I have read that every few years or so, the finish needs to be re-applied.  How true is this?  I have no problem re-applying the oil to my neck, but a body that has all this junk attached to it?  Not sure I want to do that.  I might have the patience for a lacquer finish, so that is the back up plan, and obviously that has been covered quite a bit on this forum already, so if that is generally considered the best plan, that is what it shall be.  A lacquer finish may free me up as far as my body woods are concerned as well, and maybe I could go for something lighter.  Not that weight is THAT much of a concern, I could deal with a heavy guitar if it will give me what I'm after. 
I am trully rambling, so I will put my two major concerns this way....Is the Bigsby B-5 the best Bigsby choice for a Tele, and just how durable is a Tung Oil finish, or should I consider something else?  That's it I guess.  Like I said, this is preliminary planning, and I am sure I will come to you guys with a bunch more annoying questions about this very topic, so there is always that to look forward to.... :laughing11:
I saw walnut will look pretty sweet oiled compared to korina.

I like teles with Bigsbys, but that roller bridge never impressed me (look-wise). If you could work out a way to have something resembling the traditional bridge, I think it'll look sweet.

EDIT: Adding to what NT said under me... I say black pg. Not sure what pups, but something vintagey.
guitlouie said:
I want a body wood that can be easily finished

Spalted or Burl Maple?  :laughing7:  :icon_jokercolor:

I'm not sure on Black Korinas and Telecasters... But it can look cool! Are you going pickguard or not?
And pickups?
Louie I once had an Epiphone SG with a bigsby.  It was a righty guitar that I played upside down.  I have no idea if the guitar was original or not I found it at a garage sale for $20 because it didn't 'work'  All it needed was a quick resolder of the hot lead to the jack because the nut on the jack came loose and I think the jack spun inside causing the wire to break.  The guitar sounded good, but playing with the knobs digging into my forearm and the bigsby arm was always in my way.  I had thought about putting a regular stop bar tailpiece on it but I ended up selling it after I cleaned it up and made some money on it.  The guy I sold it to still plays it in fact he absolutely loves the guitar.  So I like the idea of the bigsby for you, go for it..

As far as your tung oil goes, I built my kitchen cabinets about 5 years ago out of oak and I finished them with the tung oil.  It really makes wood look alive and very warm.  It only gets better with age.  I finished the cabinets with 3 coats of tung oil with a light sanding between coats.  About a year after I installed the cabinets, I re-applied the tung oil and the cabinets look even better!!! I don't know if I HAD to do it or not, but I did it anyway.  I followed that coat up with some paste wax and haven't touched them since.  They look better and better every day.  The tung oil lets the patina of the wood really show through.  I wouldn't really worry about the refinishing of a guitar I think it would hold up fine.  This is where my guitar building skills are lacking, I really have no idea about finish.  I mean I can do typical wood finishes but when it comes to laquer or poly I don't have a clue as to what to recommend.  That is why I always stuck with your typical hardware store finishes on all of my wood projects.  I want to learn how to spray finishes, I have a compressor and a brand new spray gun, but no skills to use it.  I always thought that if I used something from the hardware (I was a big fan of ZAR gloss polyurethane but it always ended up turning yellow) I could touch up problems down the road with the same product.  I would go for the tung oil I think for the ease of application and the look it is worth having to refinish it every couple of years if you need to but I don't think that will be necessary ultimately
1. ) Bigsby - You can go the B5, but if you plan on using a regular Tele-style bridge PU you could also go the B16, see pic below. If you look through the galleries on this site or the Warmoth site I think there are at least a couple of builds with the B16 model installed.
2.) Tung Oil - "Body wood that needs to be easily finished..."? Applying a Tung Oil finish doesn't really differ dependent of the type of wood used, it's just the amount of prep that needs be done to fill the wood's pores if you are trying to get a "mirror gloss" type finish from the Tung Oil. You can, in fact, apply Tung Oil without grain filling if that floats your boat. My oldest axe with a tung oil finish is a little more than 2 years old, shouldn't need refinishing any time soon, I think that probably depends on how hard you are on the guitar, you don't keep constant friction contaict with the body as you do with a neck and if anything a Tung Oil/TruOil finish is probably a little less prone to chipping than lacquer once completely cured.

I might be wrong about this, but I think I've read about compatibility problems with the B16 and warmoth teles. It might have been another company's body, though.
Max said:
I might be wrong about this, but I think I've read about compatibility problems with the B16 and warmoth teles. It might have been another company's body, though.

here's that thread: http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=2382.0
I think this one would fit and it's the one with the best looking...

Nahhh Bigsby site says no...  :-\
Yeah, I was kind of back and forth between the B-5 and the B-16, but the B-5 seems slightly easier to install.  Either way, I am going to have Warmoth omit any bridge drilling and do it myself, which, I think, would save me from having to mod the Bigsby like RomanS.  I actually have seen his Tele's and many others with Bigsbys over at the Tele forum, so I have seen what others have had to go through to get theirs to work, but most of those I have seen were retro-fits to an existing guitar.  I think the B-5 will be very easy to install in a virgin body! 
the B5 is stupidly easy to install, bigsbys are pretty heay though if you're getting a heavy wood on the tele i really would recommend chambering or getting a back brace...

i can't tell you much about finishing but when i did mine i just used spray on poly, it was ridiculously easy adn worked well (i went for a clear matte finish, can't tell wou what the glos would look like

i liek teh idea of a korina tele, i dunno why but i reckon that would be sweet with mini humbuckers...
So, I just read, from a very well informed Tele Forumite, that the B-5 Bigsby with bridge and bridge plate weighs in at about 12 or so ounces.  That makes me feel better, a moderately heavy body really won't be all that much heavier due to the Bigsby.  Oh yeah, and to answer a few other questions from before, the plan is to go with a fairly traditional Tele layout, other than the woods and the Bigsby.  Top route, Lollar 52 Tele pickups, normal Tele control plate and wiring.  I'm looking at the Hybrid pickguard.  Don't really know yet though.
I think the regular guard or hybrid would look fine. Go hybrid. It'll look more custom.

And NT, I think it'll help the look.
The earlier mentioned RomanS has the hybrid pg on his Tele, and I kind of like the look.  It shows a wee bit more top wood, as well.

Hey Guitlouie

I remembered that Fender had a Bigsby equipped Tele back in the 60s, but it had a Bigsby that wasn't a B16 and incorporated the traditional Tele bridge plate.

I did a check on angela's website, they are available for $169 or so! Bigsby B5 modifed with a roller bridge and modded trad. Tele bridge.

Here's the link in the Bigsby website.


Maybe there would be less fitting issues with a B5 using the trad. bridge design?
Thanks OzziePete, I'll be checking that one out more thoroughly as well.  I might need to Dremel the Fender logo off, though, don't want that to besmirtch my beautiful Warmoth!    And Mayfly, I am so so so loving the Lollar P-90 in my other Tele, that I can't imagine being displeased with his Tele pickups!.