Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Surf Monster Telecaster: Shaping the Headstock

Time to shape the headstock on the Surf Monster Telecaster. Thankfully, this task is made easy by our old friend the inter-web! Many of the Fender headstock shapes can be found here: http://pdfcast.org/pdf/fender-headstocks. This pdf file contains headstock templates at a 1:1 scale. All you need to do is print out the page you need (make sure you use 1:1 scale) and off you go.

Alternately, if you are having trouble accessing pdfcast, templates can be found in a number of other places. Here are a couple of other pdf documents for Fender headstocks, both hosted by Google:

Google GuitarPlansCollection link 1
Google GuitarPlansCollection link 2

With the PDF in virtual hand, I decided to use the 'modern' Telecaster design shown below as the basis for my headstock, as it's the one from the pdf that most closely aligns with my headstock blank.


Anyway, a quick trip to the laser printer, printed at 1:1 and everything was ready to get the shape traced on to the blank. You can see that the blank doesn't quite match the traditional shape towards the bottom where it meets the neck. The best I could do was to line up the tuner holes and take it from there.


Using a clutch pencil, I carefully traced around the cutout giving a guide for the jigsaw. The corner near the lowest tuner hole (where the neck meets the headstock) will have to be rounded off some to approximate the original shape, but otherwise it looked pretty good.


And then came the east bit! Using the jigsaw I cut around the design - staying reasonably close to the line, especially in the concave sections. Why especially the concave sections? Well because I don't have a bobbin sander! Once the cut was completed, the convex portions of the headstock were easily finished off down to the line on the belt sander. Unfortunately the concave portions could suffer no such luxury and had to be finished off using a bastard file and 180 grit sandpaper.



In the end it all came out nicely and the whole neck is now ready for some sanding and some Wudtone neck finish.Still deciding whether to go with the Vintage Yellow Wudtone neck kit, or the colourless finish over Vintage Amber Colortone dye. Hmmm decisions, decisions...