Following on from my last post which covered the bridge, there were only a couple of jobs left to do. The electrics had to be soldered, followed by the fitting of a new set of strings. The electrics have now been soldered into position and all that remains is to fit the new strings. The strings we are going to use are the same gauge as Francis uses (9–42). So, from top E the individual string gauges are 9, 11, 16, 24, 32 and 42 and we are using a set of nickel-wound Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings.
It’s important to ensure that the strings are wound in accordance with the established procedure for vintage slotted machine heads. Each string should be measured out to a predetermined length, bent to 90 degrees, crimped and cut to length before inserting into the tuner and wound carefully with the wind going downwards and with no overlapping. Fender have a set procedure for this, detailing all of the cutoff lengths which can be found in any of the many Telecaster manuals out there. A particularly good source of information is The Haynes Fender Telecaster Manual (By Paul Balmer).
This is quite a small detail, but worth noting anyway. Francis usually has a spare pick inserted under the edge of the pickguard, as you never know when you might drop one! Over the years he has used different picks in various colours. However, in order to be consistent with our Rollin’ Home pic and the period in question, we are going with a single black Jim Dunlop XL nylon pick and I believe that Francis still uses this pick today.
The XL is a very heavy pick and not for everyone, so it’s just there, inserted under the scratchboard to look the part. You could use a much lighter weight black pick which wouldn’t deform the pickguard as much as this one does when inserted underneath. The ripple that the pick creates in the pickguard is pretty permanent and will never fully flatten out again. However, you will remember from a previous post (see Pickguard) that with the body-mounted neck pickup it is very easy to swap over to a new guard at any time without having to disturb any other parts
Pickup selector switch
At the time of Live Aid and for sometime after, the OG was missing the black plastic cap that sits on the end of the pickup selector switch. In more recent years the cap has been present, but for our build we are leaving it off for the sake of authenticity and I think that it looks better that way anyway.
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