Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Heel Adjust Truss Rod Channel and Fret Level for the LPB Telecaster

You may recall the Lake Placid Blue Telecaster I worked on a while back.  I've been playing it on and off and there are some issues I need to work on.

First and foremost is the neck pickup.  Originally it had a Stew-Mac humbucker of some flavor on it, and I didn't like it.  Way too muffled sounding.  So in a quest for more clarity, I stuck a different Stew-Mac "Golden Age" pickup on it, and wired it so I could have coil shunt switching.  Nope.  As a regular humbucker, it was still too midrangey for my taste.

Here's the guitar with pickup #2 in it, by the way.

So I got a third pickup which may be more to my liking.  I'm going to put that on, and I'm also going to put on a very cool Cavalier Lion coil-tapped pickup.  I'll wire both of the pickups to push-pull switches to get more tonal variations.  And the guitar has some fret buzzes here and there, so I'll address that.

One other thing that has been bugging me about this guitar is the fact that the body has no access slot for a heel-adjust truss rod.  It's a more 'modern' MIM Tele body, so my guess is it originally came with a neck with a headstock adjustment.

In order to adjust the vintage-style neck I have on it, I have to loosen the neck, make an adjustment, tune it back up, blah blah.

To alleviate that hassle, I'm going to just cut a slot for access to the heel of the neck.

Nine zillion Telecasters have been made with the original access slot.  Why change it?

Anyway, I marked where my new slot will be cut.

You can see what I mean about having to remove the neck to get to the nut.

I cut the slots with a razor saw.

I think the body might be alder.  In any event, it cut very easily.

Speaking of non-old-style Tele body things, what on earth are those 3 holes to the left of the pickup cavity for?

Two whacks with a chisel and whoosh! we have a new slot.

That was easy.

Test fit.

Oh yes.  This is gonna be perfect.

And it doesn't look like a hack job either.

With the neck off, I do a fret level/crown and polish.  This should take care of the various buzzes I have.

The neck is a "Classic 50s" MIM neck.  It was virtually new and I never bothered to level the frets.  Silly me.

Tape up the board, and mark the frets with marker and run 320 grit paper on our fret level block over them.

Crown them with a small fret crowning file.  I really like this one because it has a coarser and a fine side.

Finally go over the newly crowned frets with the amazing fantastic wonderful fret erasers.

Ironically, the erasers polish the frets so they're super smooth.  They (fortunately) don't actually erase the frets.

Which is a good thing.

Here's our wonderful maple neck with newly dressed frets.

Next I'll put the new pickups on.


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