Zelda Guitar

Zelda 25th Anniversary Telecaster Guitar

Zelda guitar tru oil transtint

Zelda headstock – waterslide decal under tru oil.

When the Legend of Zelda’s 25th anniversary was announced I got the idea for a 25th anniversary telecaster guitar. I didn’t finish it until recently. People sometimes ask me how I can afford to make so many guitars, most standard electric guitar projects probably costs about 300-400 or more (unless you really use bottom of the barrel parts or you make your own hardware/pickups)  but I simply buy the parts slowly one at a time. One week a bridge, one month a pickup etc. Eventually I manage to complete one.

I didn’t build the body on this one, I bought it from Plaid Sabbath guitar works when he was selling them on the Guitar Reranch forums. This one was a heavy, dingy poplar telecaster body and so far it’s my finest sounding guitar. I made the curly maple neck with fiber optic fret markers. I didn’t do the inlay on the ebony board though, managed to find that on eBay a year or so ago. I thought the vine inlay fit somewhat with the Zelda motif and the color of it matches the triforce emblem to a T. The triforce was laser cut by Ponoko and I simply placed fluorescent yellow transparent acrylic under it (sanded slightly to seem opaque rather than transparent).

Zelda leds guitar

Zelda triforce and fiber optic fret markers.

A few leds sit under the triforce, these are fired by a small switch on the control plate. This switch turns on the green fiber optic markers too. Two AA batteries sit in a battery holder under the control panel, I used threaded inserts instead of screws on the control plate so it’s easily removed. A Sanwa pushbutton next to the triforce acts as a killswitch.

The curly maple neck was first dyed with a small amount of Colonial Maple Transtint dye in water. Next I lightly sanded it back with 220 grit leaving color only in the grain of the wood. Then I dyed over the whole thing once more with the Transtint for that nice tiger-stripe effect. Finally finished it with tru oil — my preferred neck finish if the neck will be bare wood and or dyed in the

Zelda guitar curly maple

Curly maple with transtint and tru oil.

red/orange/yellow range (tru oil tends to add an amber tint). Oh yeah, the finish is pure Target Coatings EM1000 sanding sealer mixed with PaintwithPearl gold pearl — it looked so nice I decided to not even clear coat and it’s held up great. Kind of a matte gold finish.

Last but not least: the pickup. Aaron Campbell at Rumpelstiltskin Pickups (how great is that name?) wound a screaming 13k Alnico V bridge pickup for me which I unofficially labeled the “Rumpelstiltskin Nightmare.” This is the best sounding guitar I currently own — plugged in or unplugged. The guitar has a great trebl-y snap to the low E and A strings, plus a “woody” sort of tone, really nice. The pickup is clear yet hot, great harmonics and sounds so big I forget that it’s a single coil. Maybe one day I’ll make a normal tele? Not today.

One of my favorite embellishments is the original Link image on the top of the headstock. Whenever I see that art I’m reminded of sixth grade when I took Thursday plus Friday off to beat NES Zelda in four days assisted only by Kool Aid and the fold-out map. It was a grand adventure.

Zelda Tele Nintendo