Planning my first project, looking for feedback..


Hi there!

After spending a long time trying to fight the GAS, I think I will finally have to pull the trigger..
Here's my plan:

- 1 piece swamp ash Tele Deluxe body with both tummy and forearm contour
- 6 hole vintage tremolo
- Lollar p90 in the neck-, Strat singlecoil (I've got one left out of an old American Standard) in the middle-, and Lollar Imperial humbucker in the bridge-position
- maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and CBS-Strat-headstock from a Classic 70s Strat (which is lying around my house and already drilled for a 4-bolt neckplate..)

Unfortunately, Warmoth only offers their Tele Deluxe bodies with the traditional two-humbucker routing - either standard size or routed for the big oversized Fender Widerange humbuckers. Do you guys think a P90 soapbar will fit into the larger Widerange-routing without a problem? I'll probably order a custom pickguard from Terrapin Guitars and cut the body routing for the singlecoil according to that. Is there anything that might cause a problem that I didn't think of?

I'm not yet sure about how to wire the pickups - I'll probably go for the traditional three-way toggle switch and a second on-off switch to control the middle pickup.. any suggestions?

I'll appreciate any help from you guys!
three way toggle with a middle switch will work fine. It looks like it could be a great build, but maybe you should drop Warmoth an email or call about that p90 route.
looks great! i think all the routing should work fine, but emailing them is a great idea. they're really helpful.

and i'm a BIG fan of anything Tele Deluxe  :headbang1: very nice!
Thanks for the answers!

I actually did ask Warmoth about the P90-routing, but the answers were somewhat confusing.. The first answer was 'yes, no problem, no extra charge', but when I later asked about the singlecoil in the middle the only reply was 'we only do H-H routings on Tele Deluxes'. The same answer came when I asked if it was possible to order a custom universal (the 'swimming pool' - you know ;-) routing for an extra charge.  :doh: Well, after looking up the dimensions of P90s and the big Fender humbuckers on the internet, I came to the conclusion that the soapbar should snugly fit into into the Widerange-routing without need of modification  :hello2: - uh, tell me if I'm wrong..

The only thing that worries me is the need for the singlecoil routing in the middle as when it comes to woodwork, my experience is somewhat, uh.. nonexistent! (Well, I do know that I shouldn’t do the routing by using a blunt screwdriver, though..  :laughing8:) Do you guys think I should rather have a luthier do this? On the other hand – even if I mess up big time, I’ll still have a BIG pickguard to cover everything up..  :laughing7:
Why not get a regular Tele body, rout it like you want, and put a Deluxe pickguard over it? Or am I missing something...?
Well, due to my complete and utter lack of experience with routing a body, I only want to do it myself if there's no other way around it. Which will probably be the case with the middle pickup..
I'm sorry, that was a very poorly worded sentence - I meant to have Warmoth route it! :)
wouldnt that be the tele custom body he'd want? I would ask them if they can rout this one for a trem, HB in the bridge and sc in the middle then have your pick gaurd made.

I think if you have access to a router you can use one of these templates:

and one of these bits

and end up with a very clean route.

A less expensive technique would be to eyeball it, negating the need for the template and the $25.00 bit.
I'm sure that would work out fine as well.

Plenty of pickguard to cover it up.
never realized that the routing options were so limited on the Deluxe..

I like the design btw! not sure about the mix n match pickups though, should be versatile though!
I have a tele deluxe build with two humbuckers and a middle single coil, and I'm doing the switching just like you described-- 3way for the buckers and a separate on/off for the single coil. I used a push/pull pot to do that single coil toggling.

This is a great switching setup. The single coil's output is much less than the other pickups', so I specifically wanted it separate. I can add it in or take it out of the sound whenever I want. It adds some great textures to the sound of the other pickups, if that makes sense.
Thanks for all the input!  :toothy10:

Yes, obviously only the ‘classic’ Tele Deluxe control and pickup layout is offered by Warmoth, the only choice being between standard “Gibson” and larger “Fender” humbucker routings. Can anyone confirm that the P90 will fit into the Widerange-routing?

Nathana, you stole my idea!  Can you post a picture of your guitar, please? Just out of interest, not because I want to sue you for stealing my idea..  :laughing7: How are your pickups controlled? I thought about three volumes and one universal tone control, maybe.. While the two potentiometers controlling the P90 and the humbucker will be 500k, that one for the singlecoil would have to be 250k – is that right?

Another major concern I have is with the tobacco burst finish I’m going to order. I think the burst on the swamp ash body in the picture comes pretty close to the look I want. The most important thing for me is that the edges should be more 'brownish' instead of black.. But looking at the showcase pictures of tobacco burst bodies, they all seem to differ so vastly in colour and appearance that I’m a little afraid I might get something I don’t really like.. When I asked Warmoth about the possibility to order a tobacco burst look that ‘goes more in one direction than another’, they told me that it would be impossible to tell how a body will turn out before finishing it.  :dontknow: Do you guys have any experience with this?

And do you think I should go for a transparent brown back?

Your help is much appreciated!!  :cool01:
OK, here it is

So, the 3 way switches between neck and bridge humbuckers. Then each pickup has its own volume: the humbuckers' volumes double as coil splitters, and the single's volume is the on/off switch. One tone control to rule them al! Everything is 500k except the single's volume (250k), but I've been thinking about making the tone 250 too.

It would be best to order one of the (great) Lollar single coils so you 'll be sure it is RWRP for humbucking operation in positions 2 and 4. Order the humbucker with the optional 4 conductor wire single coil/out of phase sounds.
get ready to experience one of the best pup's out there with that lollar p-90.  Absolutely fantastic.
Nathana, this looks gorgeous  :kewlpics:– what kind of wood is that? This is exactly how I want to wire my pickups – can give a comment on the “quack”-quality of the “splitted humbucker – singlecoil”- positions? And how did you do the singlecoil-routing in the body?

I think I’ll really go for three Lollar pickups. Probably the “F-spaced Imperial humbucker” in the bridge position. Should I rather go for the “underwound” or for the standard P90 in the neck position? Do you guys have any experience with this? I also need some recommendations for the middle-pickup! Strat-like in-between-sounds would be cool..  :cool01:

The only thing that keeps me from ordering is the fact that I’m not sure that I will really get the colour I want. Searching the showcase, I found two different “types” of tobacco burst on swamp ash (see pictures). To my eyes those colours look quite different – can it really only be a matter of different pieces of wood (although it’s both swamp ash)? The tobacco burst of the first picture is pretty spot-on what I’m looking for. Do you guys have any experience with “specifying” the finish you ordered?

Thanks for all your answers!
Looks like the difference is in what color was used for the back of the guitar and burst over. Top looks like transparent brown, the bottom pic looks like transparent dark or cherry red. Also the yop pics has a wider & softer burst as compared to the second pic.

I like the bottom picture better.  :icon_thumright:
The regular wind neck pickup is fantastic, its at a level that it loves to overdrive a tube pre at every opportunity, while at the same time ringing like a bell. You won't be able to get Fender-level cleans out of it, and it will be a lot louder than that SC middle pup, so those are considerations. I could see a case for either the 50s wind or the regular wind, but I think you'd love either one. Personally, I think that you'd be better off ditching the middle pup and getting a great strat at some future point, but hey it's your guitar.

They don't promise a specific outcome from the paint shop for a good reason - the color and texture of the underlying wood greatly affects the final result, so the paint shop is given the task of deciding how best to do each piece. Based on all the beautiful paint jobs on W guitars out there, it's probably best not to second guess them. One of the places where you start to realize that working with fine wood is not the same as working on an industrial product - it doesn't lend itself to standardization in many respects. Basically, if you want an actual custom guitar you have to resign yourself to the fact that you can't see it in advance.
bnn said:
Can anyone confirm that the P90 will fit into the Widerange-routing?

yes it will - the wide range route is bloody huge.

to confirm this i just checked my original 70's wide range which is about 93mm between the mounting screws.  P-90's are closer to 85mm