Tele parts build

This is a job that's getting more and more common with the advent of high quality kits being available at pretty reasonable prices from some very reputable sources including buying all the parts yourself  from guitar parts suppliers that some of these "builders" actually buy off as well.

This one, like quite a few I get to assemble now was supplied by MJT in the US. I've built several of these that turned out to be great guitars, especially for the money. Weather you like/agree with this current fad of  "relic'ed" guitars is of little consequence to me if you end up with a good playing, good sounding guitar, which this one very much is.

The advantage of a Fender style guitar is obvious for this type of build over Gibson or other big brand designs. These guitars were originally designed around low cost and unskilled labour to assemble them which lends itself perfectly to these projects. What, with me being terribly unskilled and all.


The main advantage of buying the complete (almost) kit from somewhere like MJT is you know it's all going to fit together properly. I've assembled several of these "kits" where people have bought parts from different suppliers and despite "Fender" parts all looking similar, some parts don't fit quite as well as they should and the money you can save on buying cheaper parts, you'll spend on making it all go together properly. The other issue with "cheap" parts is of course, they're cheap parts and you won't end up with anywhere near as nice a guitar as one like this.

If you want to do more of the finishing/assembly work yourself you can buy complete unfinished guitars in parts from places like Allparts and do it all yourself. If you feel uneasy about the final set up then assemble the guitar yourself and then take it somewhere to get it playing well.

These kits come complete with everything except pick ups and the owner supplied genuine Fender vintage Tele pick ups to be fitted to this one. He wanted the control plate back to front with the volume at the front so he can roll it with his pinky while playing.  It's a good mod in my book.



The bone nut was supplied with the kit but needs fitting and adjusting to play properly. The neck wasstraightand the frets were pretty level so it didn't need much work to get it playing well after the nut was right.

The rest of the guitar set up very well and plays GREAT (for a Tele) with a nice shape and thickness to the neck and a nice very light body. This is the second one of these in a row I've assembled that had a VERY light body, which is great. Contrary to popular belief I personally believe a verylight, resonant hardwood body will sustain much better than a heavy soft or medium wood body.

With everything settled in and adjusted, this was a great Tele indeed and much, much cheaper than a very "hit and miss" actual Fender. Off to get played ....... A lot hopefully...

Aug 02 2013 Written By: Tim Brennan