Custom Build 1952 Blackguard Relic Guitar

Welcome to the new Smoke Tree Guitarworks Blog! For our first post we are looking at a classic guitar design that needs no introduction! Even though this guitar wasn't the first officially available solid body electric, it was the first to be mass factory produced. Here is our take on that classic!

Relic Telecaster Tele Guitar Custom made uk
Smoke Tree Guitarworks 1950's style T-type

Re-creating a Classic

We started this build with a lightweight and resonant solid 2 piece premium swamp ash body based on the original specifications from the early 50's. The body was grained filled and then finished with historically accurate nitrocellulose blonde lacquer. A couple of coats of tinted lacquer then went on to replicate the butterscotch hue that time would given to these stunning instruments. This guitar also has a 1 piece maple neck with a 7.25" radius and vintage style fret wire with an aged lacquer finish.

Ageing/Relic Work

Once the lacquer finish had fully cured the fun part started! This is the bit I love about creating these aged reliced guitars. I studied many pictures of original instruments and came up with a plan for the ageing process on this guitar. I do this to each guitar we build and try to imagine what the guitar would have gone through in it's life and where the likely wear spots would have been. The ageing process then begun! For this one I decided to go with a lightly aged look to simulate a loved but not abused guitar. I also added weather checking ti the body and neck using my specially developed process which I'm keeping to myself for now!I will say that this process is a completely natural process that I've sped up rather than using artificial methods such as using a knife or compressed air. The hardware was also dulled and aged to look like the real deal. I used a historically accurate Bakelite pickguard which was also sprayed with nitrocellulose lacquer as per the originals. Lastly the guitar was wired up with Seymour Duncan Antiquity pickups.

1952 Relic Telecaster replica guitar UK
1952 T-Style Relic Guitar

I hope you've enjoyed reading about this guitar and check back soon for more examples of our work.

Please visit our main website at to find out how you can spec your own guitar out or purchase relic guitar bodies, necks and hardware to help you build your own dream guitar!

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