New Warmoth Tele: Part II The Finish

I’m a huge fan of the legacy of a company from the 90’s called Stephen’s Stringed Instruments. Stephen Davies and team created some really unique guitars and they are becoming increasingly difficult to come across these days. The old website is still up and I love reading the specs page. I really like his comments around finishes and this meshes well with my experiences.

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New Warmoth Tele: Part I The Goal & Sanding

While I very much enjoyed my first Warmoth tele, it was my first attempt at putting a partscaster together. Compared to some of my other guitars, it wasn’t holding up any more. I played the hell out of that guitar and felt pretty comfortable giving the neck & body away. I wanted a similar Nashville tele, but with a similar finish to the last one I built. I was so happy with the N4-ish Warmoth I put together, I wanted to see if I could recreate some of the magic with that guitar on a new one. I decided to hang on to the hardware and pick up a different neck & body.

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Filling the Floyd Route on my Warmoth

Warmoth will now, by special request, offer a proper NFT Floyd route. This wasn’t an option when I purchased this body and the person I spoke w/ on the phone flat out refused. Anyway, I enjoyed filling the route w/ a single coil cover for about a year; it always made me laugh and confused people. I never wanted to commit to it and glue it in place, and it eventually became problematic at a gig. I managed to bump it loose while performing and it got in the way and that’s no way to go through life. I decided I needed to come up w/ something better.

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Floyd Rose Push-in Style Tremolo Arm

Floyd Rose tremolos tend to be polarizing with guitarists. It’s a love/hate thing, and I’ve gone back and forth on these myself. I spent almost a decade depending on them and then another decade avoiding them like the plague. Now I’m at the point where I can appreciate them for what they are, and the company is doing some really cool things that makes me like them even better. 

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Tele Neck Refinish


I was so pleased with the results from refinishing my bass neck that I decided to do the same to my tele. This neck originally had a Tru-oil Gunstock finish on it that I sanded off. It was my first expieriment with finishing and it didn’t go very well. In hind sight, I think I may have bought a defective bottle. I remember the oil being more like a tar that was incredibly difficult to spread. Honestly this was about 12 years ago so my memory is not to be trusted.
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Sprucing-up my Bass

I put this bass together in 2009, and I can’t believe that was almost a decade ago. It’s been a great bass and I primarily use it for recording. Historically the action has been on the high side with this instrument. This is a bit of a trade-off, but the upside is the strings take advantage of the extra room and the notes ring out like crazy on this bass. So all in all, it’s been a joy to own and play.

This was the second Warmoth project I completed and I’ve learned a lot since then. I was never happy with the finish I did on the neck. I went down the Tru-oil path originally, but somehow I got it in my head that I should go with a thicker finish to help ensure the neck would hold up to the string tension. ….in hind sight, this was an absurd idea and should never be attempted. This resulted in a gummy feeling on the  back of the neck and there were also some drip marks on the fretboard from when I hung it to dry. While the finish left a lot to desire, it did work fine and hold up for almost a decade, but I finally got the end of my rope and decided to do something about it. Continue reading “Sprucing-up my Bass”

Tele Hardware Update

Over the past several years I’ve made several upgrades on my tele and I never took the time to write about it. I recently switched my saddles again and I figured now would be a good time to document this.

My tele started with a standard Gotoh tele bridge with modern “strat” style saddles. These bridges are excellent and it served me well for ~10 years. …until I played a Suhr tele w/ the Wilkinson (by Gotoh) WT3 bridge and it spoiled me. …a lot.

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Warmoth “N4” Part VI

At this point the build is turning out great, but I did hit a few snags on the electronics.

Look at this progress!

I wasn’t able to install the L500XL at first because the pickup ring was intended for a Lesson Paul. The team at Wilde pickups promptly sent me the ring I needed at no cost. ….but seriously who wants to wait for USPS to take a test drive?

I went ahead and attached the Duncan ’59 straight into the jack with alligator clips, cranked up my amp ……..and Continue reading “Warmoth “N4” Part VI”

Warmoth N4 Inspired Project

For a the past year or two, I’ve been wanting a nice shredder guitar. Two of my favorites on the market right now are the Washburn N4 and Guthrie Govan Charvel. If money wasn’t an object, I’d likely just purchase several of each. …but …..yeah, not going to happen. Since my last attempt to merge the characteristics of two guitars worked really well (strat & jaguar), I thought I might get exactly what I want by trying to merge these two.

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Gotoh Tuners > Schaller Tuners

Over the years I’ve had several sets of both Gotoh & Schaller tuners. When I built my last strat I opted for a set of Schaller mini locking tuners. I went this route because this was the only locking set that Warmoth sold. In hind sight that was a dumb decision. This marks the last time I settle for hardware over convenience. The Schallers did work OK, but after a re-string they take FOREVER to settle in and hold tune. Not only that but they felt cheap and the gears didn’t feel very smooth. Even though I wasn’t 100% satisfied with them I was planning to just tolerate them. That changed a few weeks ago when the high E string tuner on the developed a rough spot on the post. It basically sliced the string as it’s tuned to pitch. 100% useless; total garbage. I’ve never experienced anything like this before with a tuner. Continue reading “Gotoh Tuners > Schaller Tuners”

The fatback has arrived

The strat neck came in yesterday afternoon, and it looks great! I ended up going with a birdseye maple neck/fingerboard. It’s also a fatback cut, which is pretty thick but not too much. Other specs are stainless steel 6155 frets, abalone inlays, Schaller locking tuners, and a Tusk nut. Warmoth did a much better job with the frets on this one than my previous two; there isn’t a single high spot on the neck. The wood grain is also just what I wanted. My only complaint is the inlays don’t look as good as my other necks, but everything else makes up for it.