Guitar making question linking here as well

I am not a guitar player but I have bought a lot of guitars for my grandson an have made 2 for other people.

I was an electronic technician for 40 years and have helped my grandson modify guitars.

Most guitar players tend to like a certain guitar sound or action like a stratocaster, telecaster, Les Paul or a thousand other types. So first decide what type of guitar and pickups you want to have. If you are building a guitar to learn pick the genre of music you like and a guitar of your favorite guitar hero.

There are a lot of kits available with wiring, pickups and tuners. Try or there a lot of other guitar parts suppliers. But most importantly have in mind what kind of guitar you want to make and proceed from there.


Thank you @gdon_2003 I have decided on the telecaster model definitely double sided and plan on making the neck as well. Do you have any direct links to what your son uses as far as pickups ect? I am trying to make this as a surprise. Thank you for the link as well, the variations of prices is what I dont understand the most…I want something basic that is not overpriced but still good if that exists? He will probably upgrade and update but dont want to do just body neck and fretboard i would rather have a functional guitar at the end.

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Perhaps more experienced guitar builders can chime in. However there are several sites that carry parts for a Gibson Telecaster.


If you are looking at modeling the electronics as close to the configuration as what Fender uses on the Telecaster I would suggest going to their site and see what they have listed. They have several different models of the Telecaster with different humbucker pickups that produce a differing sound, but I think you can come up with something you want to add to you make.

All Telecaster Guitars | Fender Electric Guitars


I’ve used the ebay seller “guitar madness” (G.M. Tele Telecaster Chrome Neck Pickup, and Bridge set | eBay) for pickups on my most recent build. I am very happy with how they sound and used the “Bill Lawrence” wiring scheme to get a few more sounds using a 5-way switch instead of a 3- way.

On previous builds I used some generic amazon hot rail humbuckers ( ,

These rail humbuckers are really nice, but may not be the classic “tele” sound someone would be going for. I’m really happy with the minimal noise/hum/buzz out of them.

The worst pickups I’ve tried are Fleor brand from amazon. These had lots of noise/buzz/hum despite proper shielding etc… and just didn’t sound good. (

I mentioned it in another thread, but a few other notes.

  • Buy genuine Fender neck screws or get stainless of the correct size. The others will end up snapping and it isn’t fun.
  • Stay away from musiclily products on amazon. They are so cheap it is tempting, but other brands like Wilkinson are far better for the price.

-Fretting the neck is by far the worst part of the process. Buy good frets (dunlop brand), and make yourself a fret bevel file, buy a fret end file, and tape everything off you can to not damage the neck during the process.

  • Making the nut may take a few tries. People SWEAR you can’t make one without nut files. They are wrong. Making some out of feeler gauges ( and then using welding tip cleaners ( to round out the bottom of the slot is very effective. I bought a set of hiroshima nut files and honestly still use the feeler guages to do everything except the rounding of the bottom of the slot. (The feeler guages cut much more quickly than the proper files)

Wow thank you @baaja this really helps!

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