31 March 2014

Harley Benton Telecaster-kit

To start off the debate, I have to say that on a personal level I've always found the Telecaster to be the ugliest guitar shape ever made.
This thought was what ignited the idea of creating a punk guitar, which shouldn't bask in style or glory.

With this in mind I purchased the Harley Benton Telecaster-kit from Musikhaus Thomann for a quite affordable price.
The kit included everything the guitar needs, but as usual I wasn't quite content with that and needed to leave my own mark on the axe.

First off I started with using a vertical mill to expand the default bridge single coil slot to fit a basic humbucker.
This time I have sadly no idea about the humbucker specs or manufacturer. It's some random stock mic which I received in a batch of cheap, random, humbuckers.
With this done it was time to test the Tele-style bridge with intact humbucker frame. it sat well into place and the humbucker fit perfectly, but then came trouble with the pickguard.
The niche for the original bridge was narrower than the humbucker frame (yeah, no sh*t?) so I needed to grind some plastic to get everything in place. Again nothing a saw, a file and some sanding paper couldn't bite into.

Finally I still needed to drill holes for the strings, as the bridge was only configured for through body setup.
This last body modification got screwed up a bit and goes to show that not all things should be done with the "freehand" technique. The back looks quite grotesque with the string ferrules cascading in places.
All in all the body modifications were quite a breeze with this one and they were fairly easy to realize ... and even easier if I had the proper set of tools available at home.

After the necessary body mods I started pulling out the duct tape and a few hours later I had sticky fingers, but the guitar cover was taped.
Now only the final trimmings were undone. I handled the duct tape edges with a sharp surgical-knife and then it was done.

For the headstock I wanted to go with a design I had used on a modified 1/2 size Stratocaster neck (story coming up). Again without the proper tools the time spent on the headstock was quite exaggerated, but it turned out great.
Also the headstock got it's fair share of duct tape treatment and the nice cut-finish.

Last up it was out on the balcony and I sprayed the leftovers of two Maston varnish cans onto the body and the neck.

Even if not very "punk", the headstock received it's set of Planet Waves Auto-trim tuning machines, which I've come to love and use exclusively.  The trimmed strings are quite good for safety with children in the house.


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