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Customized Harley Benton Tele

I carved the headstock and stripped off the original finish. Refinished everything and added some burned areas at the back of the headstock for a lived-in vibe. Upgraded the scratch guard, and rewired the control plate so I could flip it around – one of my favorite tele mods. I also upgraded to compensated brass saddles. These days, I have it set-up as a 5-string open G tuned tele rocker ala Keith Richards.

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Rebuilt Guitars #4

This heavy beast of an alder body guitar started as a rescued New York Pro telecaster.

The jack needed to be re-soldered and the neck was starting to crack. I drove two lag pins into the heel to secure the neck integrity. You can see one of the pin covers in a photo below. I took the logo off, too.

It holds tune and intonates well for a 3-saddle tele.

The action is very low – this was a well designed and solidly built inexpensive guitar.

I intended to replace the neck with a tele neck. Instead I traded the guitar for a Nuno Bettencourt shredder I intend to mod.

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Rebuilt Guitars #3

These old guitars were built by Tiesco and sold by Sears. The pickups are collectible and traded. The rest not so much.

I replaced the tuners, straightened and leveled the neck and fretboard, and used electrolysis to get the rust off the bridge components.

The finish on the body was impregnable. I concocted a paint-over scheme that turned out pretty well. But not easy.

Nice vintage sound. Everything works and plays. But these were never great guitars so nostalgia has to count for something.

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Kit Build Junkcaster

This kit had to be wrestled into submission. I wrote to the vendor to complain to no avail. All the parts seemed cheap.

The basswood body did not want to take on color or reveal the grain. I gave it two coats of stain, and two coats of tinted Danish oil. Finally, I broke out my torch and set it on fire.

The fire worked. Since it now had a distressed look, I added some construction staples and did a few things to give the patina it needed.

The cavities were lined with copper and grounded together to make a Farraday cage.

I donated it to Goodwill. It sold for $177. There’s a message in there somewhere – I wonder what it is.