An exciting day, the next shipment from Texas is in. First stop was to take off the cheap gold knobs and drop on these beautiful heavy knurled ones from Armadillo. I had asked them to drop the height of the grub screw so it was closer to the base of the knob to see if it would solve another Leftie problem.
If you are left handed, you can only get anti-log pots in the splined split shaft version rather than solid shaft. Understandably all of the nice stuff is designed for solid shaft. So you fix this by dropping bushes onto the shaft - CTS make all this stuff, so then you can drop a knob made for a quarter inch solid shaft on. The problem is that as you tighten the grub screw, the two halves of the split shaft close up and it throws the knob off centre and you end up with a nice looking guitar but with wonky knobs. You can minimize this by aiming the screw into the slot but it still happens. The fix is to get the grub screw low enough down the shaft so it lands as close to the solid part of the shaft as possible and then the whole thing just works. A tiny detail but I was on the Quest for real now.
I had to sit on my hands till the weekend to drop the bridge on as the original fitting was for a wierd 5 hole fixing and this one was a std Fender spec 4 hole, so I knew it was going to take a while and didn't want to rush it.
Positioning the new bridge was dictated by the existing thru holes in the body, shunting those around would be a real butchery job even by my standards. Once on it looked amazing, did a proper soldered copper tape job under the bridge for a string ground and everything (and then went back to Blondie and did it on that as it worked so well) threw some strings on it and did a rough set up but it wouldn't quite go in, just a tiny bit sharp and right at the back of the bridge. Something was out of spec. Sure I had one hell of a neck shim angle on it, as at this stage I hadn't discovered Stewmac's range of shims and was still using cut up credit cards as a source of plastic - a bit too extreme but did introduce a certain element of cost control into a project that was now close to free fall as it still takes them a few days to mail you out a new one.
Without stripping Blondie completely that I really didn't want to do as it was now sitting nicely, I didn't have a proper Tele reference point to check the neck against, but given its pedigree (none!) that was going to be the likely culprit. But playing this guitar even with the additional "features" convinced me that the the experiment had worked - it had the air and the zing that I was after. The scale length issue still needed sorting but I could fix that on the neck set as it was screaming out to have a maple one on it.
So the hunt was now on for a new Neck.