I am happy to have Mr. DAloia’s 1966 Telecaster in the shop to start the prototype of the CD Custom. This will be a faithful reproduction of Chuck’s main guitar for the past 33 years. We had quite a time getting it here. Without going into a long story, take my advice; do not send a guitar through the US Postal Service.
This guitar has some unique attributes from someone who liked to “customize” their guitar. It was very popular in the 70’s to take a drill or chisel or knife and make some modifications to your standard model Strat or Tele. Chuck’s guitar has the sides beveled in a free form fashion which is unique and actually makes the guitar comfortable much like the body contours of a Strat. However, primarily, what was done in that era was pickup routing or some form of it depending on the tools available on Dad’s workbench. This guitar has had generous amounts of “hand carved pickup routing”.
Chuck has a much more colorful description and I will let him tell that story.
I have drawn a map with some of the main measurements for the side bevels. This will help when it comes time to make the body. I will also use this as a template for the shape itself. Rocco Guitars standard Rattlecaster while familiar is slightly different in its overall shape.
One of the most exciting parts of this project is having a 1966 neck profile to measure and duplicate. This one has been played in and is in great shape. There is no bow or relief in it. It’s dead straight.
I will be duplicating the neck “Old School” with spoke shave, rasp and scraper. That’s how I carve all our necks and so I need to make templates and take measurements. I actually carve with calipers on the bench and check thickness throughout the carving process. It takes some time but it’s worth it.
The CD Custom will be composed of a Swamp Ash Body and Quarter sawn Maple neck and fingerboard. Stay tuned more to come.