Archive for the ‘My Tadcaster Guitar’ Category

Tadcaster works

May 6, 2010

The finished tadcaster

I have completed construction of the tadcaster. There are one or two residual problems to attend to and I shall talk to the friend who made the body about these in due course. However, I finished soldering the electrics this morning. At some point, I shall have to do some further work on both the intonation and the action but the main objective today has been to plug it in and see if it makes a vaguely pleasant noise. I am pleased to report that it does. I have tested it on a small Marshall amplifier and it also plays ok when plugged in directly to my Alesis USB mixer. I don’t think that I shall be playing it until I have sorted out some of the minor issues that remain outstanding but it is a proper guitar and it does work.


Tad front more or less painted

April 29, 2010

Here is a pic of the tad front. I think it is more or less done now. I feel a tad ambivalent about the tad. Maybe it has become a tad too heavy metal in its appearance. Still, for better or for worse, this is what it now is. I think the front is so busy that the back needs to be a plain colour, possibly a dark green.

Front of body for the tad

Spheres appearing on the tad

April 26, 2010

I have started to airbrush some spheres onto the front of the tad. So far, it is working out ok.  I have also positioned the bridge plate, volume and tone knobs, and John Smith’s logo to get an idea of how it might look.

tadcaster front spheres

Progress on the tadcaster

April 25, 2010

First paintings

This is a very short blog. I just want to say that the first stages of the tadcaster body painting have now taken place. For technical reasons, I have decided that the background has to be painted last and this is coumter-intuitive, I know, but I have to live with it.

I am hoping that painting will move forwards quickly over the next couple of weeks so we can get to the electrics before summer breaks out.

The tadcaster with a white undercoat

April 14, 2010

I have been having trouble with the tadcaster guitar project. The white acrylic base did not take on the final (possibly 6th or 7th) spray coat. I sanded down and have attempted to respray today. This project is taking a very long time. I haven’t even started doing the final artwork on the body.

The white base coat for the tadcaster

Yesterday I visited my cousin and his family who were on holiday in Yorkshire and we had lunch at a very comfortable pub in Richmond. This is a very old English town with a lot of military history behind it. However, I have to say I was more interested in eating my roast lamb dinner than in delving into the distant past.

Buying the bits for the John Smith Tadcaster

March 7, 2010

We went to the guitar fair today and I bought most of the bits and pieces that I will need. My friend, Tom, took this picture. You can see the body, with some of the stuff piled on it. And the body is sitting on the stall which sold more or less all the stuff you could ever need.

Buying the bits for the John Smith Tadcaster

One of the stalls that caught our eye was selling guitars made out of old cigar boxes, oil cans, and all manner of things. The guy running the stall is sitting down here playing a bit of bottleneck on one of the guitars he made (Tom took the pic).

Cigar box bottle neck guitar

Humbuckers and spray paint

February 23, 2010

With regard to the guitar making project, I have been doing a little research. My current thinking is to go with a single bridge humbucker, and I wonder what we think of Seymour Duncans?

As far as the paint job is concerned, I am inclined to work from a particular Paul Klee painting that I very much like, as an inspirational model (it won’t be a simple copy because of shape, etc). Once the weather improves a bit, I intend to practice on the spray design and templates using some scrap wood. I have some questions for my UK readers:

1. Do you think the sort of spray cans you can buy in Halfords might work ok?
2. Is it possible to mix colours either wet-on-wet or sequentially on dry?
3. What is the best material to use as a template, given that I shall need to paint on some slightly fuzzy straight lines (maybe about 1-2 mm wide).
4. I would like to be able to draw some black lines on the design. What would be the best kind of pens to do this with?

Answers on a postcard to…. lol

My tadcaster guitar in the making

February 19, 2010

Last night I went round to see my friend Tom, and his mate Allan was there, too. This was a pre-arranged meeting since they had told me that Allan had made a surprise present for me. Perhaps I should explain: Allen is a talented woodworker who is capable of making fine musical instruments in the lutier range.

When I arrived I was presented with the basics of what I am sure will become a unique guitar. Allan had screwed the neck to the body and placed a couple of pegs and strings on it by way of a demonstration of how it might look when finished. It is a little difficult to describe. He has made a telecaster body out of a recycled 1970s mahogany door, and a maple neck. He has drilled holes for where the major components should be placed (such as the pickup and the tuning knobs). In the center of the body he has placed a genuine John Smith’s logo. John Smith, apart from being an excellent English beer is, of course, my name. There are several layers of humour in this guitar. Allan has shaped the body in a style that draws upon the telecaster and stratocaster. Yet John Smith’s beer is brewed in Tadcaster, a town in Yorkshire, England. So, Allan has given me, John Smith, the project of building my own Tadcaster guitar – starting with the components of the body and neck that he has so kindly made for me. This is a wonderful challenge and I am really looking forward to it. I think they are expecting me to paint the body in whatever way I choose. At present Allan has given it a coat of cellulose primer and he has suggested that it could possibly take another coat before I paint on the final image(s). I have not yet decided whether to paint in the abstract or even to fill the space with line drawings. I shall take some time thinking about it. Anyway, I present a picture of the basic components as the are at the moment. We shall be going to a guitar fare in a couple of weeks time, where I should be able to buy any additional components that I need. I’ll keep you informed as to my progress.

My tadcaster