Skip to content

Partscaster: The Tele Kit

Within the last 10 years or so, it seems that putting together your own telecaster is a rite of passage of sorts for guitarists. The tele is the original major mass-produced guitar, and some argue (myself included) that it's the best. It still remains the one style of guitar that can get you virtually any sound you need. They're tough, they're lightweight, and they have a mid-century modern functional design that remains compelling all these years after they were introduced.

JT's first partscaster kit

I made my first tele partscaster many years ago. I didn't pay much for it, maybe $200 or so. I didn't have much money at the time, so it was a decent investment. Given how cheap it was, I didn't have any illusions that it would be of high quality. What I was buying was the experience of doing it, the challenge and the fun of making my own guitar. It was a blast putting it together, something I'll always remember. I did an okay job on it, and remember it was decent enough to play a few gigs with. (sorry for the pic quality....these were taken many moons ago)

When we recently had the chance to team up with Icarus Custom Shop and carry some of their guitar bodies, we signed right up. I think for me, it's an awesome opportunity to make available incredibly unique and high-quality guitar bodies and parts for folks to make their own kits and make it affordable. The thing is, I know what it's like to be a guitarist who can't spend a ton of money on the stuff that I love. With our extremely limited markups on awesome American-made and Korean-made parts, we make it possible to put together a killer partscaster that you can play forever.

The two types of bodies that Icarus built for us are nowhere near run-of-the-mill. First up is the Les Paul style tele. Exactly like a Les Paul, this tele style body is mahogany with a book-matched flame maple top. Both woods are fully figured and stunning. The mahogany had deep reds, but far more figured and dynamic than you'll see in a mass-produced guitar. You know that sought-after non-chambered Les Paul sound? Imagine that sound with quality tele pickups and a bolt-on neck.

Next, we offer black limba. Black limba hails from tropical western Africa, and has a grain that is generally straight and coarse in texture. This wood is the same as korina, but denser and WAY more highly figured. These guitar bodies are made entirely out of two book-matched pieces of black limba. Exceptional darker black figuring on the front, back and sides make them look striking from every angle.

Since I made that first partscaster, I have made a few more, and still do it to this day.  (Having a garage full of guitar parts helps ...)  It's a great use of your time, and if you share the building experience with a loved one, all the better. There's something pretty magical about building a guitar, and experiencing that guitar making a sound that wouldn't otherwise exist.

Update (1/22/21): Our limited edition guitar body collection has sold out!  Email us at if it's something you think we should restock!