The mission for this build was to get close to a nice old 50s Black-guard Telecaster. I wanted to create something as close to the original classic as possible, but I wasn't going to let using a few modern parts here and there hold me back! That said the plan was definitely to go further than ball park approximation - the best quality parts I know of are being used for this build.
The body I had custom made is Swamp Ash (light weight) from USACG. Most of my builds use necks and bodies from Tommy Rosamond at USACG. Tommy always has the time of day to talk through every detail and puts up with this limey's numerous questions and requests!
The tone and quality of these parts are absolutely key build foundations and are just stellar. I would do a tone and all round quality challenge with certain "custom shop" guitars any day of the week, with confidence.
I chose an oil finish for the body - somewhat controversial and definitely one element that is not completely aligned to a 50s Tele. Let me try and explain why! An oil finish (in this case from Wudtone) gives you a thin protective finish that simply allows more resonance and is perfect to encourage that Tele twang. No grain filler is used so you do get a very different, more organic look to the finish, which I personally love for certain guitars. This approach really is considered the opposite to large companies slathering on a thick coating of Polyurethane, which can smother tone and sustain.
I only had to use a few coats of colour to get to the lovely golden butterscotch you can see to the right. For the oil finish you only have to wait overnight for each coat to cure, which is also an added bonus!
To top it off I added a clear gloss oil to get a lovely sheen.