A Trio of Telecasters - A Tribute to Buck & Don

SlingBlader

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
827
Reaction score
1,432
When my brother and I were growing up the late 60s and early 70s, music was always playing in our house. One thing you could count on every Saturday morning was my dad playing Buck Owens as he balanced the checkbook and paid bills. We all watched the Buck Owens show, Porter Wagoner and Hee Haw on TV. It made a big impact on my brother and I, and without a doubt is one of the reasons that we play. My dad also plays pedal steel guitar (Huge Tom Brumley fan) as well as 6 string.

When I started to build a few guitars, my brother and I thought it would be cool to make a pair of Telecasters like the ones Buck Owens and Don Rich played back in the day. One would be silver metal flake with double black binding and a maple board. The other would be gold metal flake with double checkered binding and a maple board. I decided to finally start the project this summer and I began to gather parts.

I began to think that maybe I should build one for our dad. The first thought was to make a blonde, black guard Tele. But, in the end we decided to go with the red, white and blue flag motif. Buck had a number of these over the years, and the later ones were silver flake (instead of white) with red and blue stripes. So, that's what we're going with, for better or worse. They won't be identical "replicas" or be dead on to 1960s Fender specs... but they'll be in the ballpark. I want this to be a fun project, not an anal-retentive deep-dive into which alloy the bridge saddles should be made from. :D

I'm fairly confident that I can pull off the normal parts of the build. The stuff I'm unsure of will be the multi-piece binding on the gold guitar, and the metal flake finishes themselves. I've done some research and have bought an additional gun with a large needle set to accommodate the .015 flake that I'm going to use. Masking or scraping the flake from the binding is the big question mark... can I do it without buggering it up? We shall see. :fingersx:

Sourcing the black and white checker binding has been problematic. I ended up buying the "Wonky" malformed checkered binding from Rothko and Frost. It got messed up during manufacture and each piece has a different amount of usable material. I bought 10 pieces hoping that I can cut it up and get enough material. If it doesn't work out, I'll use straight up black binding, no big deal.

Quick overall specs (subject to change as needed):
  • Alder body
  • 2 piece hard maple neck (figured maple for my brother and dad)
  • Matching headstocks... maybe.
  • Maple fretboard (Figured maple for my brother and dad)
  • Gotoh (Kluson) Tuners
  • Bone nut
  • Fender bridge with Wilkinson compensated saddles
  • Fender '64 Tele pickups
  • Electrosocket jack
  • W/B/W pickguard
  • Guitar 1 - Silver metal flake with black binding
  • Guitar 2 - Gold metal flake with black/checkerboard/black binding (Maybe... I think... I hope.
    :)
    )
  • Guitar 3 - Silver metal flake with transparent red and blue flag stripes and white binding
And here are the inspiration guitars:

Silver
qfVeJd2.jpg


EscnEkJ.png


Gold
iaPENEy.jpg


76lnDVp.jpg


asP8W2P.jpg




Flag. I won't be using any gold hardware. Just chrome/nickel and a w/b/w guard.
03yHb7r.jpg



I'm already a little ways into the project. I'll make a few progress posts a bit later to catch up.

Any other Buck and Don fans out there? :hmm:
 

bierz

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
89
Reaction score
110
Very cool. I'll be following along because I always enjoy tele builds, plus want to one day shoot some flake and maybe even a red/white/blue Buck style finish. What kind of flake are you going with?
 

GuitarSlinger1101

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
24
When my brother and I were growing up the late 60s and early 70s, music was always playing in our house. One thing you could count on every Saturday morning was my dad playing Buck Owens as he balanced the checkbook and paid bills. We all watched the Buck Owens show, Porter Wagoner and Hee Haw on TV. It made a big impact on my brother and I, and without a doubt is one of the reasons that we play. My dad also plays pedal steel guitar (Huge Tom Brumley fan) as well as 6 string.

When I started to build a few guitars, my brother and I thought it would be cool to make a pair of Telecasters like the ones Buck Owens and Don Rich played back in the day. One would be silver metal flake with double black binding and a maple board. The other would be gold metal flake with double checkered binding and a maple board. I decided to finally start the project this summer and I began to gather parts.

I began to think that maybe I should build one for our dad. The first thought was to make a blonde, black guard Tele. But, in the end we decided to go with the red, white and blue flag motif. Buck had a number of these over the years, and the later ones were silver flake (instead of white) with red and blue stripes. So, that's what we're going with, for better or worse. They won't be identical "replicas" or be dead on to 1960s Fender specs... but they'll be in the ballpark. I want this to be a fun project, not an anal-retentive deep-dive into which alloy the bridge saddles should be made from. :D

I'm fairly confident that I can pull off the normal parts of the build. The stuff I'm unsure of will be the multi-piece binding on the gold guitar, and the metal flake finishes themselves. I've done some research and have bought an additional gun with a large needle set to accommodate the .015 flake that I'm going to use. Masking or scraping the flake from the binding is the big question mark... can I do it without buggering it up? We shall see. :fingersx:

Sourcing the black and white checker binding has been problematic. I ended up buying the "Wonky" malformed checkered binding from Rothko and Frost. It got messed up during manufacture and each piece has a different amount of usable material. I bought 10 pieces hoping that I can cut it up and get enough material. If it doesn't work out, I'll use straight up black binding, no big deal.

Quick overall specs (subject to change as needed):
  • Alder body
  • 2 piece hard maple neck (figured maple for my brother and dad)
  • Matching headstocks... maybe.
  • Maple fretboard (Figured maple for my brother and dad)
  • Gotoh (Kluson) Tuners
  • Bone nut
  • Fender bridge with Wilkinson compensated saddles
  • Fender '64 Tele pickups
  • Electrosocket jack
  • W/B/W pickguard
  • Guitar 1 - Silver metal flake with black binding
  • Guitar 2 - Gold metal flake with black/checkerboard/black binding (Maybe... I think... I hope.
    :)
    )
  • Guitar 3 - Silver metal flake with transparent red and blue flag stripes and white binding
And here are the inspiration guitars:

Silver
qfVeJd2.jpg


EscnEkJ.png


Gold
iaPENEy.jpg


76lnDVp.jpg


asP8W2P.jpg




Flag. I won't be using any gold hardware. Just chrome/nickel and a w/b/w guard.
03yHb7r.jpg



I'm already a little ways into the project. I'll make a few progress posts a bit later to catch up.

Any other Buck and Don fans out there? :hmm:
So Cool! Obsessed
 

SlingBlader

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
827
Reaction score
1,432
Here are a few progress pictures of material prep.

Picked up a couple pieces of alder from my hardwood dealer. Not the greatest looking stuff, but it will be fine for some solid color teles. Also fairly light.
dx6dZeO.jpg


Chopped into rough chunks.
SLLspX0.jpg


Jointing the glue edges in preparation for gluing up the blanks.
JnwfGSZ.jpg


Clamped up.
FE1uwLA.jpg


Brining down closer to final thickness on the drum sander.
YWNxhp3.jpg


Ready to cut to shape.
5v11zBG.jpg
 

SlingBlader

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
827
Reaction score
1,432
Very cool. I'll be following along because I always enjoy tele builds, plus want to one day shoot some flake and maybe even a red/white/blue Buck style finish. What kind of flake are you going with?

Cool, these are my first Teles, so it should be fun. :thumb: Also my first real flake. I've shot some very fine pearl flake, but on this one I'll be using some .015 Didspade.
 

SlingBlader

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
827
Reaction score
1,432
Here is a little more progress on the bodies.

I roughly cut the body outlines on the band saw. I think it's obvious the blade was a little past its experation date. :D
239DNsv.jpg


I attached my dual purpose, multi-layered Tele body XL2000 template and took it to the inverted pin router to make some cavities. You can see a bark inclusion on the side that was revealed after I cut out this body. That will need to be scraped out and filled.
Zkm83rT.jpg


Cavities complete.
ptg3s1w.jpg


I removed the cavity layer from the Tele body XL2000 template and went to the router table to ensmoothen the outline.
y03PZLg.jpg


Three bodies shaped.
FWcn20C.jpg


Here I have scraped out the softest part of the bark inclusion. I'm filling with some medium CA and sawdust.
yTX2Wdn.jpg


xDZI6LQ.jpg


And sanded smooth. This may need more filler to get all the little holes filled, but I'll take care of that later.
EHCOYEq.jpg


More soon. :)
 

SlingBlader

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
827
Reaction score
1,432
Moving on to the necks. Two of these will be made from the last of a piece of figured maple that I have. The third will be made from pretty plain maple that I picked up recently.

I'm using the StewMac slotted nut dual action truss rod in these. So the first step was to make a little jig that I could use to accurately locate the hole for the nut.
Du11g8u.jpg


Jig clamped in place and drilling the hole with a brad point bit.
nj2gPlq.jpg


Nut hole complete. :D
0pSagsS.jpg


I drilled a 1/2" hole with a forstner bit near the end of the neck to allow clearance for the nut when installing the rod.
MYEibXs.jpg


Made the slot for the rod on the router table. Nice fit.
SigX2pD.jpg


Trimmed the neck blanks to final size at the router table.
hZP0JEY.jpg


The pile of parts is taking shape.
MluOWwf.jpg


More soon. :)
 

redking

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Messages
4,609
Reaction score
5,487
Great thread! Although, I was initially a tad disappointed to not find a triple - necked guitar when I opened it up :rofl:
 

SlingBlader

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
827
Reaction score
1,432
Next, I started to prep the fretboards. I had enough of the figured maple for 2 of them, and the third will be some plain straight maple.

Cutting fret slots on the table saw using a sled and slotting blade.
g1CpJnw.jpg


All three boards slotted.
KuS0Acm.jpg


Setting up the router table to radius the boards. These radius bits make pretty quick work of this.
oYkos7V.jpg

9H1roFy.jpg



Partially there.
ApYo2vW.jpg


Radius complete, just needs a little cleanup with a leveling beam.

fcJ5Xdb.jpg
 

Skyjerk

Meatbomb
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
7,107
Reaction score
9,379
Your work looks impeccable man. :)

I'm curious about your choice of truss rods though. Since you obviously aren't going for "vintage correct", why use a truss rod that requires the neck be removed in order to adjust it?

I've always kinda shook my head at that kind of neck as it makes setting the action a PITA :)

On my Strat builds I always use the spoke wheel type and just cut a little access at the heel so this can be adjusted with the neck on and strung up under tension.
 

SlingBlader

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
827
Reaction score
1,432
Your work looks impeccable man. :)

I'm curious about your choice of truss rods though. Since you obviously aren't going for "vintage correct", why use a truss rod that requires the neck be removed in order to adjust it?

I've always kinda shook my head at that kind of neck as it makes setting the action a PITA :)

On my Strat builds I always use the spoke wheel type and just cut a little access at the heel so this can be adjusted with the neck on and strung up under tension.

Thanks, Chris. While I'm not necessarily concerned about having vintage correct parts, I do want to maintain a vintage correct appearance on these builds. Yes, it makes adjustment a bit of a pain. But, for me that's a twice a year adjustment at the most. I can live with it. :)

Part of the reason I went with this particular rod is ease of installation. Vintage correct truss rods, with curved slot and all that goes with it, are just a an overly-complicated nightmare from my perspective. :)

I really do like the spoke wheel rods, and I've used a couple of them on Strats. But, in those cases I was not so concerned about maintaining a vintage appearance.

3PGHdgJ.jpg


Uqycj1X.jpg


Anyway, that's my reasoning. Probably more information than you wanted. :D
 

Skyjerk

Meatbomb
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
7,107
Reaction score
9,379
Anyway, that's my reasoning. Probably more information than you wanted. :D

Its funny. I always provide WAY too much info and people lose interest about 1/4 the way through anything I write. that doesnt seem to stop me, though. Thats just how I roll ;)

I LIKE lots of info :)

Your answer makes perfect sense. On my own recent neck-through LP build clearly I wasn't going for vintage accuracy, but from the front/top I wanted it to look like a regular LP.

Of course I dont use the G logo, but other than that it looks like a Les Paul.
 

SlingBlader

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
827
Reaction score
1,432
Its funny. I always provide WAY too much info and people lose interest about 1/4 the way through anything I write. that doesnt seem to stop me, though. Thats just how I roll ;)

I LIKE lots of info :)

Your answer makes perfect sense. On my own recent neck-through LP build clearly I wasn't going for vintage accuracy, but from the front/top I wanted it to look like a regular LP.

Of course I dont use the G logo, but other than that it looks like a Les Paul.

Yeah, I hear ya. I have the same problem. :)
 

Latest Threads



Top