Mini-Telecaster Guitar

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Bob in SF

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I like little things.
I don't like working too hard to get notes and chords out of a guitar.
I couldn't resist making a mini-Telecaster - especially with a nice price drop at www.stewmac.com - here:

I did some body contouring with an oscillating belt sander, and did some additional routing to make room for EMG pickups; airbrushed the stain, sealed with 8 coats of nitrocellulose lacquer applied 24 hours apart, cured for 2 weeks, then re-sanded up to 2500 grit and buffed with compound. Next, I inlaid my logo, (which I drew in Adobe Illustrator, then laser cut into a stamp by Joel Socwell at www.4clay.com; logo impressed into porcelain clay, which I bisque fired, then glazed, then high-fired at cone 10 in a gas kiln) with epoxy putty. It's has a short scale length, so I tuned its flat wound strings up 5 frets (musical 4th interval) to A, i.e. tuned low-to-high: A-D-G-C-E-A. Great fun - plays like the wind, easy to finger otherwise difficult to reach chords, and easy to zip through single notes. It gets along well with its big brother (Ibanez AS73FMGVG semi-hollow body guitar) - show here for scale.
MiniTeleSteps,markison,2020,1000px.jpg


MiniTeleMarkisonMay2020,1000px.jpg

MiniTelecasterMarkson,HandSpan,1000px.jpg

MiniTeleWithIbanezSemiHollowBody,markison,2020,1000px.jpg


Not exactly a pen - but it makes its mark.

Stay safe everyone, and stay creative - Bob
 
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Bob in SF

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Heartfelt and humble thanks Mal, Charlie, John, Tom, Mike, Angus, and Dustin!

Mike - You might enjoy building a mini-Tele to keep your full size Tele company.

Angus - It sounds great with the (upgrade to) EMG pickups with flat wound strings - no extra noise. The active EMG pickups are a bit larger than standard Tele pickups, so I did some additional routing to fit the pickups in properly, and carefully routed some additional control cavity depth to fit in the 9 volt (1500 hour) battery without need to make a battery cavity on the back of the instrument body. I spent some extra time dressing the fret ends with files and sanding sticks to make it very finger friendly for rapid play. I also spent some time setting up the action (16" fretboard radius string height adjustment, pickup height adjustment, and intonation at the bridge saddles). I've played it through a rather large Peavy Nashville 112 that I use for lap and pedal steel guitar, an old Polytone Minibrute that I use for jazz guitar, and a Roland Cube that I use for practice and small room gigs - sounds great with all of these. I thought of switching from the top loader classic tele-style bridge to string-through-body, but there's plenty of sustain as is. I've tuned it to A, equivalent to a capo on the 5th fret of a standard scale length guitar, i.e. up five frets = up a musical 4th interval; and the pitches from lo-to-hi strings are: A-D-G-C-E-A; same inter-string intervals as usual: 4th, 4th, 4th, 3rd, and 4th. Hope this helps. Fun little build, with room for customization.

Warm regards to all.

Gratefully - Bob
 

MiteyF

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Jan 27, 2018
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I've been searching for projects to play with my airbrushes more lately... I think I need one of these. It's been ages since I've had an electric.
 

Bob in SF

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YES!, MiteyF - Go for it!
Electric guitars make fine airbrush canvases!
I sanded to 1000 grit, did not use sanding sealer, airbrushed ColorTone stains, but could have used any stain or paint; then did multiple daily sprays of nitrocellulose lacquer from a spray can; waited about 2 weeks for full curing; then sanded up to 12000 grit (many ways to do it).
Have fun, and best regards - Bob
MiniTelecaster,AirbrushStaining,markison,2020.jpg
 

MiteyF

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Damnit Bob, ya got me. My tiny tele is supposed to be here Friday, as if I needed another project. Have you experimented much with airbrushing stains and finishes outside of this project?
 

Bob in SF

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Nice MiteyF!

I've thinned the StewMac ColorTone stains with isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) - with plenty of ventilation, respirator mask, etc.

I've also airbrushed a lot of Dye-Na-Flow colors right out of the bottle - great color assortment.
Here:

I've generally sealed the guitar colors with StewMac Nitrocellulose lacquers - sprayed out of the can, outdoors.

I'm intrigued by the StewMac ColorTone Wipe-on Poly Finish - may try it on the next little project.

I've had luck with UV cured epoxy resin, and may try that again on various projects - here's a UV-cured epoxy coated goose egg that I posted on this forum a while ago:

Have fun with your Mini-Tele. Go small or go home (or do both).

- Bob
 

greenacres2

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May 2, 2017
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Northwest IN
Awesome job Bob!! I'm not ready to try a build, but back in February i took my grandson to a shop for his 7th birthday to pick up a mini-Strat. Since he was first able to walk every time he came to visit he'd go straight to the Baby Taylor on the rack. That little Strat has great action and a nice sized fretboard for his sized hands, but it's a real decent guitar!! They moved to North Carolina a month ago, and have a line on a teacher so they'll start lessons soon. In the meantime, he's been going through a Hal Leonard book with his headphones--the kid's got some rhythm. Sure didn't come from me!!
earl
 

Bob in SF

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George - I'll post a little video of my Mini Tele here this weekend.

Earl - sounds like like you are a great Grandfather! Yes - the mini-Strat is a real instrument - as is the Baby Taylor. Hal Leonard has great books/play-alongs - and the Jamey Aebersold books/play-alongs are also superb, and good for a lifetime:
You/he should also check out www.truefire.com - incredible online guitar educational resource:
https://www.truefire.com/online-guitar-lessons
The Ibanez Mikro electric guitar would be a fine next step for him as he grows.

Best regards - Bob
 
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