Fitting a neck pickup, custom-cut all-red scratchplate, and chrome control plate to my Wilko Johnson Fender Telecaster
The latest incarnation of my Jimmy Page "Dragon" Telecaster project build. I'm seriously running out of upgrade options now...
The inspiration for a new project build is a chain reaction. One thing leads to another, and plans take shape...
After swapping out the original HOSCO neck, for a Fender neck with a rosewood fingerboard - the "Dragoncaster" somehow looks and feels a whole lot more authentic. It might not be a Vintage '59 slab board - but it does have something of the essence, and it finally finishes the build off properly. Time to wrap another project up.
Earlier on this year, I finished off my "Dragoncaster" with a HOSCO neck. This was always a compromise. Due to the CITES restrictions then in place, I didn't have much of a choice when it came to vintage style, rosewood boarded necks. Fortunately, the CITES restrictions have recently been amended, and I have a chance to upgrade to something much more suitable.
This build has taken ages - but I've eventually managed to achieve the quality of both finish and componentry, which I first set out to realise. It's well worth the wait, and the hours I spent, getting it as right as possible, haven't been wasted. And I have the additional pleasure of having put it all together myself.
My "Dragoncaster" project has taken more than a year to get to the point where I can add the finishing touches, setup and finally get to hear those revered Don Mare pickups. I've had to solve a couple of technical problems along the way, but I'm really happy with the way the guitar has turned out. With every setup I do, I seem to get a little bit better at refining the playability of my builds. It's fair to say I have more than high hopes for this one.
In building my "replica" I have to take a little bit for granted, here and there. I don't know exactly what kind of innards Jimmy's original Dragoncaster had. I've put this build together to capture the look of Jimmy's original paint job. The pickguard is as close as I can get to the spirit of the original. The pickups are hand built to capture that distinctive sound. All I can do, is take an educated guess at the wiring circuit.
Because of the close-fitting inter-relation between the scratchplate, control plate, neck pickup and bridge - the final fixing of these elements is only possible after som precision scribing to the guitar body. A few slight modifications may be required before the screw hole positions can be finalised, and drilled out.
There's plenty to get on with, and this lockdown thing means I have plenty of time. Putting the 50's "Hank Marvin" Strat together has given me a bit of confidence, but I have to balance what I can achieve, with my current visual handicap, against the need to get technical and design elements just right. In some cases - it's all about technique.