TV Jones found a new home

KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
I have a Gretsch Electromatic G5622T and I had upgraded the pickups to a set of TV Jones Classic/Classic plus. Trouble was I never really gelled with the feel of the guitar, so I took the TV Jones out and polished it up ready to sell.

Fast forward to last month. I ordered a Cabronita body in a light weight Korina wood, pre-finished in 'Pewter' like the Eric Clapton Strats are available in. I was a bit disappointed when it arrived as I'd over looked that they only do nitro in a 'closet relic' finish. Initially I thought I'd wait until spring, then strip it back to bare wood and respray it myself: I've already done a nitro finished Sonic Blue Strat and a CAR Jaguar this year, but thought it would be nice to pay for a 'Pro job' since I can't really spray this time of year due to the cold/damp weather. This was how it came:

Whole body.jpg

Had a bit of a dull patch too, which I was even less happy about:
Dull patch and mark.jpg

Since I have all my own car detailing gear I decided to give the body a buff and see if I could at least make the dull patch shine. Turned out much better than I'd expected and as a bonus buffing the whole front of the body reduced the appearance of the nitro crazing they had done to the finish:

Post machine polish.jpg

That got me more excited by the idea of putting it together to play until spring and I can strip and refinish it then...
 

KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
Last weekend I went through my spares box and found nearly everything I needed to put it together with the TV Jones I'd already put aside earlier this year.

I'm using a 500K CTS volume pot with a pull switch. There isn't a separate tone control on a 2 pickup Cabronita, so the Custom shop model used an 'S1' switch (push in the top of the volume knob) to bring in some capacitors that give a fixed tone control effect. I'm following the same idea, but just with the pull switch. Axecaster in the UK sell the capacitor kit for the grand price of £1.25 so I figure it's worth trying out.

For now I've wired it up just as a volume control, selector switch, two pickups and the output jack. I had some spare metal braided wire, so used that to connect it up:
Wiring loom 2.JPG

Managed to squeeze it all into the control cavity and make it reasonably neat. Making sure the metal braiding wouldn't short out any signal:

Wiring control cavity.JPG

Just had to open up the two holes in the body with a reaming tool, then a round file to finish it off as I didn't have a large enough reamer for the switch hole. I took the 'English' mount kit off the TV Jones and used the foam pads and wood screws to mount the pickups directly into the body. Then I plugged it into my amp and gently tapped the pickups with a small screwdriver to check if it all worked. All OK and even the switch was the right way round for neck-up/bridge-down orientation. I added a metal switch tip to my order list, but the recycled switch worked fine:

IMG_4850.JPG
 

KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
Thanks drmilktruck and Speedicut I wasn't that into the relic finish, but after buffing it's growing on me.

I already had two Teles: One a MIM Classic 50s in White Blonde with the lacquer finish, bought used about 5 years ago. A couple of years ago I decided I'd build an early 50s Butterscotch Esquire that was a massive evolution of a Squier Tele I bought to take with me when I worked away. I bought a MIM 'Fat '51 U' neck for it, another pre-finshed (relic'd) body and in the end only a few screws were left from the Squier (which I then gave the parts to a friend for his Tele project :D).

This was the Esquire/Tele pair:

Esquire & Tele.jpg

The Esquire didn't last long, even with an Eric Clapton mid boost hidden under the pickguard, so eventually I added a neck pickup.
I loved how it looked and by this stage had got some natural aging on the metalwork more in keeping with the relic'd body. Again, I didn't really want a relic'd body but at the time this was the only one I could get and I hadn't sorted out my spray equipment to do one myself back then:

Tele 9.jpg

Trouble was that this DIY Tele had such a heavy body that even though it played really well, my back problems meant I tended not to use it much. Hence the idea to take the parts of these two Teles to make one 'Classic' Tele and a Cabronita Tele.

I put the fat U neck on the Classic 50s and pinched the bakelite 'guard off the DIY one to make a White blonde blackguard. The other parts were used to build the Cabronita, including the medium C, nitro finished 7.25" radius neck off the MIM.

After I'd finished the wiring up, I fitted the Classic 50s neck to the Cabronita body. I put it on the scales with a standard Tele bridge and pack of strings on top and it weighed just under 3Kg (6.6lbs). Perfect. :)

Neck on 1.JPG
 
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KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
After some research I found a low priced, but suitable bridge at my usual online shop 'Axecaster'. By chance they had a 'B stock' one with some slight marks for a few quid off (not that I can see the marks now it's arrived). A blog on the supplier's site showed various people using this bridge on the MIM Cabronita and Thinline models too, so I could see in advance how it would look.

I ordered the bridge, some ferrules and a metal switch tip for my 'import' selector switch (I think it came off my Epiphone when I rewired it a few years ago, but it actually works fine). The parts arrived today and I happened to be working from home, so I took an extended lunch break and put the bridge, switch tip and ferrules on:

New bridge fitted.JPG

The ferrules aren't countersunk, but they went in really easily with just my thumb, so I may push them back out and counter sink the holes at some point (depending on whether I strip it to refinish it):

Ferrules 2.JPG

Of course it didn't take long to then put a set of strings on (my usual 9.5 D'Addario for all my 25.5" scale length guitars):

First string up.JPG
 

Teledriver

Country Gent
Feb 12, 2011
1,050
Iowa City, IA
Am I the only one that absolutely loves that switch tip?? Nice....reeeally nice!
My two pence...if you do strip it, keep the same color. Something about the color and the beefiness of the TVs and the bridge...and that switch tip...well, I like it!
 

KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
Axecaster 'import' switch tip...£2.00 (about $2.50 I guess?). Cheaper than buying a Switchcraft short switch with matching metal tip for about £18. I'm considering early retirement next spring, so I'm turning into a spend thrift. :)

If I did strip it I already have everything I need other than the base coat and my usual place doesn't stock 'Pewter' so it might have to be Inca Silver, or I could use the 'Les Paul Gold Top Gold' I already have that I used as base for the Jaguar I sprayed earlier this year:

Gold Jaguar (9).jpg

I was really pleased how that turned out as I've never done a 'Candy' colour before:

CAR & Marshall 3.jpg
 

KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
Meanwhile, back to the main story...

I did the set up and found another piece of foam to put under the neck pickup so I could set it to the height recommended in the box the pickups came with. Tried it out through my Marshall Mini Jubliee and 2x12 Greenback cab:

Finished 1.JPG

Finished 2.JPG

I think I prefer it without a pickguard, so I'll have to decide what to do to cover the control cavity. Axecaster sell blank chrome Tele plates, so I might put one on the back. The guitar is light enough, so any slight increase due to using metal rather than plastic will be insignificant. If not the body came with a thin black plastic cover that I just need to drill two holes to fit...but it looks cheap and flimsy.
 

KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
@new6659 I used a dual action polisher with various foam pads. I used a medium grade of polish first, then changed to a softer pad and a finer grade of polish to finish it off. I do the same on the guitars I spray: Usually don't wet sand so long as there aren't any bits/flies/hairs in the finish (if so I just wet sand those areas), occasionally I get away with just buffing the finish straight from the spray gun, after about a week of drying/hardening.

Something a bit like this:
Polisher.jpg

This was the Strat I built from a bare wood body earlier this year. Grain filler, shellac, then two thin coats of Sonic blue, followed by 4 coats of clear nitro. Left it a week or so to harden, then buffed:

Assembled body (6).png
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
22,767
Monkey Island
Congrats, nice job. I absolutely love the colour! I think it would go well with a gold plexi cabro-style pickguard. The Switch tip looks great too. You could even consider a Gretsch strap button with the right thread.
 

KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
Beautiful!
What a great build!

What does it sound like?

Thanks; not surprisingly it sounds very similar to when those pickups were in my Gretsch. Just a little brighter maybe, no tone circuit (yet) to reduce the highs, plus the totally different body and scale length too, but not as different as I thought it might be. That's a good point though because I just didn't get on with the feel of the Gretsch, but did like the sound of the TV Jones.

Working away from home tonight, so I brought it with me to play in the hotel room on headphones via my Orange Stamp pedal/mini amp. I don't think the setup needs changing now, though it might settle down a little I guess, but the action, etc is all where I like it. :)
 

Craig Encinitas

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2021
415
Encinitas, Ca
Since I have all my own car detailing gear I decided to give the body a buff and see if I could at least make the dull patch shine.

Excellent! I have so many products, I’d run out of things to polish and protect. So I figured, sure…let’s put some ceramic detail spray on the Player Strat!o_O

I can’t say as it’s made me play any better, but that axe sure is shiny now! :cool:

There’s one hairline scratch on the front that perhaps I could venture to buff out by hand. I don’t know much about guitar paint and finishes. But I do know when correcting, use the lightest method first, and go from there.
Great work, Kelvin!
 
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KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
Thanks for your kind words. :)

I wired in the capacitors to the pull switch today: It gives a bit of smoothness to the sound, different values for each pickup. I think I might tweak the bridge pickup value for a lower one as it's gone a bit like the 'cocked wah' that some Esquires have.

Put it back together and gave the action a tweak, ready to take to a gig tonight (probably my back up guitar, but will have to play at least one song on it). I also fitted the black plastic cover on the back. I'll get a spare blank chrome Telecaster control panel at some point, when I next order from the place that sells them.

You can just about make out the capacitors down the side of the pot:
Last wiring 1.jpg

The whole control area (a bit of a squeeze, but works fine):
Last wiring 2.jpg

Back cover fitted:
Back panel fitted.jpg

Nice and light too:
3023g Cabronita.jpg

That's about 6.6lbs in imperial measures.
 

KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
Well I broke a string on my Strat on the second song, so I started 'Cocaine' on the Strat, and finished it (and the rest of the set) on the new Cabronita. Kind of a baptism of fire. :D It worked well, just slightly lower output than my (active) Strat, so I need to plan for some kind of in line clean boost incase I need to use it with my existing pedal set up. Don't think the audience noticed though, only a guitar playing friend who helps with the sound set up.
 


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