Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Barncaster - My Hand Built 150 Year Old Tele

 The 150 Plus Year Old Barncaster - Telecaster - By Jim T.
I started really getting into barn wood telecasters a year ago. I love the idea of real barn wood being used for a Tele. I would spend my night doing Google image searches of barncasters and I decided I had to have one. I contacted a great body wood crafter. His company is called Wildwood. He cuts great bodies. He had a few pieces of barnwood left over from another project.

The description of the wood:
That is actually wood from a barn. It is wormy chestnut from one of the chestnut barns in the Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio. Chestnut barns are rare. The wood was stored for about 15 years in a climate controlled room to make picture frames and the builder decided that he was not going to use it. It is 150 plus years old and could be much older. The marks on the horn are saw blade marks from way back when. Lots of nice worm holes and more!

I put the guitar together from all my favorite parts: 
Neck PU - Lollar Imperial Standard wind heavy relic. Thee hand wound humbucker!
Bridge PU - Rio Grande Muy Grande (purchased on TDPRI)
Bigsby - B17 (GRRRRREAT)
Bridge - The stock was good but the Compton has more sustain. He custom made it to fit the B17 bridge.
Knobs - I made these out of 12 gauge shotgun shells and a .45 acp for the switch.
Control Plate - That is a black GFS tele control plate. I just scrubbed it with a green Scotch pad. They may not make this anymore. I had this one laying around.
Wiring - Toneshaper for the Tele. The cool part here is that I can switch from a 500k to 250k pot depending on where I'm at with my switch.
Neck - That is a CEG Hardtail Mighty Mite. I tried many things to get the color right. Plays great. No complaints. I drilled it with a hand drill and everything is straight.
Body - This was custom made and he cut the neck slot with the 4mm angle in it. I bolted on the neck and it was ready to rock!
Nut - Earvana - I love em.
Tuners - GFS Gotoh locking knockoffs. These are great tuners and drop right in. I have put these on several guitars with no issues and they kick ass. I ordered the black ones and scrubbed them with a green scouring pad while watching Smokey and the Bandit. Nicely aged!
String Hold Down - I was popping the strings off the bridge and wanted something to hold them down. I contacted Trussart and he was nice enough to reply to me but he doesn't sell his separately (I knew he wouldn't). I looked over and saw some .357 shells and an hour later I had a killer home brew string retainer!  

This guitar plays and sounds as good as my high dollar Fender Tele, in fact I like it much more. If you have never built your own guitar I highly suggest it. It's fun, rewarding and you get the exact guitar you want.

Here is video of Sam Eakins from Taylor Guitars taking a spin on the Barncaster de Hell:

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