Mosstone Mahogany Tele Build

Discussion in 'Project Depot' started by Mossman, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I only know my speed
    I'm returning to a project that I put on the back burner a little over a year ago and I'm getting ready to shape the headstock, so I thought I'd get some opinions before I start cutting. Obviously, I like the shape and it's not really that revolutionary from a design standpoint (the word 'derivative' comes to mind, actually), but I thought it might be interesting to see what you all think.

    I used to build guitars to sell years ago and I've been thinking about getting back into it again on a limited basis (Yeah I know, I'm a masochist). Knowing how particular most of us are about headstock shapes, I thought it would be a good idea to find out if anybody else besides me likes it (or if you all hate and consider it a deal-breaker)..

    It's a Tele build, but I don't want to go with the traditional Tele shape for the headstock - or any Fender shape for that matter. I'm not interested in building a Fender clone or counterfeit. I'm putting my own brand name/logo on the headstock. I've been using the name 'Mosstone' for my recent projects, but another name I use is 'Earthling' (I kinda go back and forth between the two, depending on mood, mostly.)

    Here's the headstock of the first Tele I built. I'm kinda going for this shape:

    ee615cc6373b9e13c7b8fdb6402b69d2.jpg

    I didn't like the shape of the headstock, so I modified it, but the biggest surprise came when I sanded the finish off (it was finished in poly with some generic guitar brand on the headstock). When I got the neck, it just looked like ordinary plain maple, but after a little sanding, all this flame started to emerge right before my eyes! This neck had so many wonky frets, I had to do a complete level and crown, but the maple was so gorgeous, I didn't care!

    I finished it in Tru-Oil, tinted with my proprietary process, which is why the logo looks brown. The decal was not metallic gold ink. It was just a light shade of beige-yellow that simulated the look of gold against the wood, but it's still translucent, and on top of the ambered Tru-oil it looks much darker.

    Now I don't skimp out. I only get decals made by people who can print metallics.

    Anyway... For this project, I got an Allparts neck with the FAT '70s headstock. I'm not a fan of this style, but it was on sale for cheap and I was gonna reshape it anyway, so... whaddaya think?

    7ddd59fb3acf7fda915ec52dfacb8362.jpg

    I know it's not that much different than what you see from Rondo and other Fender copies (or even Music Man). I was a little limited when I reshaped the first headstock. I couldn't do exactly what I wanted to do, but it's grown on me.

    Actually, this was more my inspiration than anything else, only scaled down for guitar:


    dc6f007bb3025ef188b534a6dfb2442a.jpg
     
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  2. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    Good looking shape & decal work, but I still consider it a F shape.
     
  3. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Looks good to me. I like it better than the last few years furrian. And I liked that one just fine.
     
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  4. mozz

    mozz Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Sekova like.
    astrotone-4.jpg
     
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  5. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I only know my speed
    Thanks, guys.
     
  6. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Good design compromise. It's somewhat similar to the Benton Tele.

    1120.JPG
     
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  7. Hoser

    Hoser Well-Known Member

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    I think unless you are changing the body design in some way, if its a tele or strat body it should have a proper fender headstock. I'm one of those guys that can't get beyond headstock shape on some types of guitars, Fender is one of them. Look up the Reverend headstocks, they are pretty nice too as well as the G&L The problem I have with most knock off headstocks is they are not curvy enough, Leo had it right. But if you look at Reverend and G&L ( also a leo creation) you will see the nice balance in the flow of the curves
     
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  8. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, except the 'belly' on mine is closer to the nut. I have a Tele neck that I got from (the seemingly defunked) Rock Audio that looks closer to that HB.

    I had to forego anything resembling the 'forward belly' design of the Tele headstock on the first one, because the original shape didn't leave me with many options. I have a little more room with the fat Fender headstock, but I just can't come up with a design that I like that's closer to a Tele shape.
     
  9. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I hear that. But I feel that if I'm putting my own name on it, it should look different from a Fender profile.
     
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  10. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    Looks good, but I am not a headstock aficionado (unless it really looks wacky).
     
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  11. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Ok, a little more progress on the Tele project. After a little refinement of the shape:

    384cece4e5396e233149874466c5cff4.jpg

    I felt I was finally ready to grab the jig-saw and commit!

    9e297df0e1a377b39bb3027569da28d2.jpg

    Ugh... It ain't pretty right now, but after I take my Dremel to it, it'll look so beautiful you could eat off it!

    0e879f080b703267934475d99fff46b0.jpg

    WHA??
     
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  12. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    You are doing just fine, but if you get back into it I can vouch that a spindle sander is so much faster and better than dremel work. Yeah , I know... tools cost. But these can be had for about a hundred on Amazon if you have the need. Rated really good and 2 year warranty, too!

    28437fb05c568713dada8e60aaee8274.jpg
     
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  13. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    After a little Dremel'n

    cc67c7ad6a1fde8c23d1e001150ab392.jpg

    42da8269de4deb4e56b1d9118af2539a.jpg

    I think I'm done with the Dremel, now it's on to sanding to completely smooth everything out.
     
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  14. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya... I'd also like a table-mounted router, a band saw, 13" planer, and all the other stuff I used to have when I lived on the other coast, but I'm an apartment dweller at the moment, so I gotta make do. The hard part with the Dremel is keeping the contour consistent on both edges. With a spindle sander, that wouldn't be a problem.

    This is the fifth or sixth headstock I've done this way. I've gotten pretty good at sculpting with the Dremel. To think, when I first got one I was a little intimidated, but now I whip that thing around like a paintbrush. :smile:
     
  15. harold h

    harold h Well-Known Member

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    I have a spindle sander-

    but sometimes I want to sand in the house, not the garage, so I clamp an
    old drill to a Workmate bench, and use the spindle sander attachment to
    shape the headstock.

    Works really well!
     
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  16. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I like that idea. I've been thinking about getting a workmate bench too. Now I've got another reason.

    Ok, using 120 grit sandpaper, wrapped around a dowel (still in sculpting mode here), I went to work getting rid of all the humps and dips that the Dremel left behind. Also making sure that the edges are perpendicular to the front and back, and straightening out any inconsistencies. I pay particular attention to making sure all the curves and contours are identical, front to back (the back of the headstock shouldn't look a little different from the front of the headstock).

    I'm pretty happy with it now, so that'll be it for shaping. Next is finish sanding everything (except the fretboard) up to 400 grit, mask off the fretboard and start staining/finishing. I guess I better give a holler to my waterslide guy and get him crackin' on a decal. This one will get the 'Mosstone' logo.

    Now, the $64,000 question that I guess I should have asked before I started up the jig-saw is; would this headstock design put you off buying a Tele-style guitar?

    2e444b3cd53f9b2782de75f8dcad34e7.jpg

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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
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  17. Peter Rarebit

    Peter Rarebit Active Member

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    niiiiiiiicee
     
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  18. warped

    warped Well-Known Member

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    I think it looks pretty decent.
     
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  19. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. I realized after looking at the pre-cut photo that the 'belly' of the headstock isn't as round as I'd originally drawn. I'm debating whether to take the Dremel to it again, or just leave it the way it is.

    I'm leaning toward the latter... I actually like the way it turned out, but I still feel this inner compulsion to soften that contour a little more.
     
  20. mozz

    mozz Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Curvy headstock ideas, with a little less on the bottom end.
    2e444b3cd53f9b2782de75f8dcad34e7.jpg 12819034_685405008274818_2144047648_n.jpg
     
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