2019 Partscaster Telecaster Electric Guitar

My buddy Forrest gave me some gear to resell a while back and as a thank-you I reciprocated by putting together this partscaster. I asked him offhand, "if you had an electric guitar, what kind would it be?" His reply was, "a Telecaster, like Merle!"

Well, I can't argue with that logic. I looked-up Merle's earlier Tele and took fashion cues from there. Forrest is a retired local baseball player, too, so I figured the first task meant it needed an Allparts "baseball bat" neck. Pickups are pretty standard Tele-realm stuff, though I have Alnico rods in the bridge pickup and the poles are oversized. The neck pickup is a leftover Seymour Duncan STK1N -- stacked humbucker -- unit that I think gives the neck-only position a little more girth and swagger compared to a standard Tele neck pickup. The two pickups together are a great mix. The guitar the STK1N came out of absolutely hated that pickup, however, so its rehoming success is a nice extra.

The body was given to me a while back and it's basswood which keeps it lightweight and responsive -- and impossibly-easy to nick and ding. It had a lot of beauty marks on it from kicking-around storage for years, so before I put finish on it (both the neck and body have just 4-5 ultra-thin coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly so it feels mostly like playing bare wood).

The Allparts neck is the key to this thing's happiness, though -- it has a big, fat, round rear and all that extra wood will always help for fullness of tone on the output side of those pickups. If it sounds lively "acoustic," it will be all that much better electric. Besides, with that much wood, warp and twist are a lot less likely over time.

A lucky salvage score netted these high-quality, mellowed-nickel Kluson-a-like tuners for use at the headstock. My "string tree" is just a tuner shaft ferrule repurposed. The new nut is bone.

Part of the charm of the thin finish is that this fretboard will quickly wear-in and get grungy and lived-in.

The oversized-pole bridge pickup sounds a bit like a slightly-firmer '60s Tele bridge unit.

Sorry, Fender -- but I like the Gibson-style 3-ways better.

While I did lightly-sand and buff-up the front/back of this body, all its "beauty" marks are evident and the sides still retain their "as-is" look of bumps and not-quite-fully-sanded spots.

I like that the Allparts necks "roll-over" the treble side of the rear of the headstock. When I see Teles without this, I always feel a little let-down.


Brandon McCoy said…
Wow! What a tele.
CM said…
I am of the same mind on the three way switches for tele, blasphemy I know but the stew macs last 10x as long as the tele switches and stay quieter since they don't wear as much. I will send a pic to you remail to share. I used one of thse metal tips I sent you several years ago ( a pkg of about a half dozen) They fit perfectly on the StewMac 3 ways. chris m