Hillman Guitar No. 8
Serial No. 368950

Fender Thinline TelecasterFender Thinline Telecaster with Humbucker Pickups
After my grandmother's death in 1971, Sue-On took over where Nannie had left off in trying to satisfy my addiction for guitars. On Christmas 1975, she surprised me with a new Telecaster Thinline. She had heard me admiring the fatter overdriving sounds that many of the current rock and blues artists were getting, so, with a little bit of help from the staff at Brandon's Ted Good Music store, she found one of the newer Fender Telecasters that featured humbucker pickups. The finish was dark woodgrain and it came with a maple fingerboard and a factory-installed Bigsby. All it was lacking was a B-bender, and with a little help from our former rhythm player, the very handy Jake Kroeger, we soon installed our patented rod bender and the shiny new Tele was ready for action.

This was the guitar we took to England three times and used on all of our English recording sessions. At the end of June in the following summer, I arranged to leave my high school teaching job a few days early and we flew to London to prepare for a +30 day tour of Workingman Clubs, Discos and C&W Clubs. We packed the new Tele, a Hohner battery-powered keyboard bass, records to sell, and our costumes. (In our third British tour, in 1979, we added piles of diapers for toddler Ja-On to our luggage, as we hated the strange pads that then passed for disposable nappies in England at that time.)

We had partial sponsorship from Canada's Traynor Amplifiers who had arranged for us to pick up our British 220-wired equipment at Wing Music in Bromley, Kent. They also supplied a good Rogers drum kit for Sue-On. but we couldn't find a Fender Rhodes or any other electronic piano. Our keyboardist, Kevin Pahl, had to make do with a Hohner Clavinet (and whatever keys that were available at each venue) and our keyboard bass for the entire tour. Luckily, our old friend Alan Jones, who had arranged much of the tour during one of his visits back home to England, was able to fill in on organ in some of the clubs which had a house organ. I carried this guitar all over the UK . . . wouldn’t let it out of my sight. I still have many memories of struggling with our 1 ½ year old son Ja-On strapped to my back, a suitcase in each hand, and the Tele case wedged under my arm, while pushing our way through the London Underground passageways and onto subway cars during rush hour. Needless to say, these odd foreigners with the strange Canuckian accents and bearing mountains of luggage weren't overly popular among the fellow commuters.

As suggested by the photos below, this guitar proved to be a good all-around instrument. The late '70s and early '80s were probably our busiest and most prolific time. Sue-On and I were teaching high school and Kevin was working as a flying instructor, grain buyer and crop duster. But somehow we found time for a Grandstand tour of US State and County Fairs, three tours of Britain, outdoor country festivals, a tour of the North and Western Canada, tours of military bases, and a multitude of dance dates in rinks and halls. We also produced and recorded nine record albums and guested/produced many more for other performers, wrote and recorded 50 original songs, worked with most of the top country artists of the day, performed commercials, had a number of our own TV series, made and raised babies, performed on Canadian Country Music Association Awards presentations, appeared on Network TV and radio shows . . . and, in 1980, won the top award from the Manitoba Association of Country Artists: The Entertainers of the Year Award.  Amps, PAs, musicians, costumes, songs, promoters, etc., came and went . . . but the Thinline Tele was a constant . . . Bill and Sue-On . . . and Tele : )  Thanks ole buddy . . . and thanks Sue-On, ya give good Xmas gifts kid.



Arena Show
and Dance
Wedding Dance
SW Manitoba
Wedding Dance
Country Dance
High School
Country/Rock Dance
High School Prom or GradHigh School Prom or GradHigh School Prom or Grad
High School Prom
Boggy Creek Mountain Music Festival
Boggy Creek
Mountain Music Festival
Formal Graduation Ceremony Dance
Formal Grad
Ceremony Dance
In performance at Miami: Mick Sandbrook from England with Hofner Bass
Miami Performance with England's
Mick Sandbrook with my Beatle Bass
Bill on stage with England's DesperadoBill and Sue-On with Desperado at English Barn Dance/Barbeque
On Stage in England with UK Showband, Desperado
.See Album No. 9
Hillman / UK Connection
Bill and Sue-On : On Stage In England

Princess Anne Reception at Brandon's CNR StationPrincess Anne Reception at Brandon's CNR Station
Welcoming Ceremony for HRH Princess Anne
Brandon CPR Station
The Royal Visit

‘72 Telecaster® Thinline Specifications
Model Number 013-7402
Body Ash
Neck Maple
Fingerboard Maple (7.25" Radius/184 mm)
Scale Length 25.5" (648 mm)
No. of Frets 21
Width @ Nut 1.650" (42 mm)
Machine Heads Fender/Schaller "F" Style Machines
Pickups 2 Reissue Fender "Wide Range"Humbuckers, (Neck & Bridge)
Pickup Switching 3 Position Blade
Controls Master Volume, Master Tone
Pickguard White Pearloid
Bridge ‘70’s Strat Non Trem
Unique Features Non-Veneered Semi-Hollow Body w/"F" Hole, "Bullet" Truss Rod Adjustment
Strings  Fender Super 250L’s (.009 to .042)
Accessories Deluxe Fender Gig Bag

Suggested by Fender
(Applies to most Fender electrics)
 Necessary Tools
 - Set of automotive feeler gauges (.002 - .025)
 - 6" ruler (with 1/32" and 1/64" increments)
 - Light machine oil ( 3-in-1, toy locomotive, or gun oil)
 - Phillips screwdriver
 - Electronic tuner
 - Wire cutters
 - Peg winder
 - Polish and clothe

 In order for strings to stay in tune well, they should be changed on a  regular basis. Strings that have lost their integrity (worn where the string is pressed against the fret) or  have become oxidized, rusty, and dirty will not return to pitch properly. To check if your strings need  changing, run a finger underneath the string and feel for dirt, rust or flat spots. If you find any of  these, you should change your strings.

 Make sure to stretch your strings properly. After you have  installed a new set and have them tuned to pitch, hold the strings at the first fret and hook your  fingers under each string (one at a time) and tug lightly, moving your hand from the bridge to the  neck. Re-tune and repeat several times.

 Tuning Keys
 First start by loading all the strings through the bridge and then loading them onto the keys as follows:

 Locking tuning keys - Imagine the headcap of the neck is the face of a clock, with the top being at 12  o'clock and the nut at 6 o'clock. Line the six tuning machines so that the 1st string keyhole is set at 1 o'clock, the 2nd at 2 o'clock, the 3rd and 4th at 3 o'clock, the 5th at 4o'clock, and the 6th at 5 o'clock.  Pull the strings through taut, and tighten the thumb wheel locking the string in. Now tune to pitch.

 Standard keys - In order to reduce string slippage at the tuning key, we recommend that you use a tie technique. This is accomplished by pulling the string through the keyhole, and pulling the string  clockwise underneath itself and bringing it back over the top of itself; creating a knot. You will need to leave a bit of slack for the 1st string, so you have at least 2 to 3 winds around the post. As you progress down the line to the 6th string you will reduce the amount of slack and the amount of winds  around the keys.

 Vintage keys - For these keys you will want to pre-cut the strings to achieve the proper length and the desired amount of winds. Pull the 6th string to the 4th key and cut it (make sure when you are pulling the strings that you are pulling the string taut). Pull the 5th string to the 3rd key and cut it. Pull the 4th string between the 2nd and 1st keys and cut it. Pull the 3rd string just about to the top of the headcap and cut it. Pull the 2nd string about a 1/2" past the headcap and cut it. Finally pull the 1st string 1 1/2" past the top of the headcap and cut it. Insert into the center hole in the tuning key, bend and crimp to a 90° angle, and wind neatly in a downward pattern (carefully as to prevent overlapping of the strings).

 If your tuning keys have a screw on the end of the button, check the tightness of the screw. This controls the tension of the gears inside the tuning keys. DO NOT over-tighten these screws. They should be tightened to "finger-tight". This is very important especially on locking tuners.

Telecasters can be found with two distinctive types of bridges. The most well known bridge is the vintage style three-section bridge. The other is the modern-day six-section bridge like the American  Standard Telecaster bridge. Check your tuning.

Intonation (Roughing it out)
 You can pre-set the basic intonation of your guitar, by taking your tape measure and measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the 12th fret (the wire, not the fingerboard). Double that measurement to find the scale length of your guitar. For a vintage three section bridge a series of compensations will need to be made to compensate for the lack of individual string intonation adjustment. Adjust the 1st bridge saddle to this scale length, measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the bridge saddle. Now, adjust the distance of the 2nd saddle back from the 1st saddle, using the combination of the gauges of the 2nd and 3rd strings as a measurement (Example: If the 2nd string is .011" and the third is .013" you would move the 2nd saddle back .024" from the 1st saddle). Move the 3rd back from the 2nd saddle, using the gauge of the 5th and 6th strings as a  measurement.

For the six-section bridge you will make adjustments for each individual string. Adjust the 1st string bridge saddle to the scale length, measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the bridge saddle. Now, adjust the distance of the 2nd string saddle back from the 1st saddle, using the gauge of the 2nd string as a measurement (Example: If the 2nd string is .011" you would move the 2nd string back .011" from the 1st saddle). Move the 3rd back from the 2nd saddle, using the gauge of the 3rd string as a measurement. The 4th string saddle should be set parallel with the 2nd string saddle. Proceed with the 5th and 6th in the same method used for strings 2, and 3.

 Lubrication and String Breakage
 Lubricating all of the contact points of a string's travel may be one of the most important elements in ensuring tuning stability, and in reducing string breakage. First, let us explain some of the most common causes for string breakage. The first and foremost contributor to this happening is moisture collection at the point of contact on the bridge saddle. This can be attributed to the moisture and acidity that transfers from your hands or can be a direct effect of humidity in the air. Another factor is  metal-to-metal friction and fatigue. The differences in the metal components, over a period of time, react to each other and help breakdown the integrity of the strings. The stronger metal will always attack a softer metal (this is why a stainless-steel string will wear a groove or burr in a vintage-style saddle). Finally, you will also find that different string brands will break at different points of tension, due to the metal make-up and string manufacturing techniques. Since we manufacture our own strings, we are able to design and make our strings perform well for all playing techniques. Now, one of the best ways to reduce string breakage is to lubricate the string/saddle contact point with a light machine oil (we prefer 3-in-1 oil, because it contains anti-rust and anti-corrosive properties) every time you change your strings. The oil acts as an insulator against the moisture, and reduces the friction and metal fatigue.

 Another point that should be lubricated is the string tree(s). For this point, a small amount of Chapstick®, applied with a toothpick, works wonders.

There are two different styles of truss rods found on Fender guitars and basses; the "Standard" truss rod and the "Bi-flex" truss-rod. Most Fender guitars and basses are equipped with a "Standard" truss rod (there are two types of "Standard" truss rod; one which adjusts at the heel of the neck and one which adjusts at the headstock, but both operate on the same principle). The "Standard" truss rod can counteract concave curvature, for example: in a neck that has too much relief, by generating a force in the neck opposite to that caused by excessive string tension.

Fender also uses a unique "Bi-Flex" truss rod system on some instruments. Unlike the "Standard" truss rods, which can only correct a neck that is too concave (under-bowed), the "Bi-Flex" truss rod can compensate for either concave (under-bowed), or convex (over-bowed) curvature, by generating a force in either direction as needed for the correction.

 Check your tuning. Install a capo at the 1st fret, depress the 6th string at the last fret.

 With a feeler gauge, check the gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the 8th fret -- see the specification chart below for the proper gap.

Adjustment at headstock (Allen wrench): If neck is too concave, (the guitar in playing position, looking up the neck towards the keys) turn truss-rod nut counter clock-wise. Too convex-- clockwise.

Adjustment at neck joint (Phillips screwdriver): If neck is too concave, turn truss-rod nut clock-wise. Too convex--Counter clockwise.

Check your tuning, then check the gap again with the feeler gauge. In either case, if you meet excessive resistance or need for adjustment, or you're not comfortable with this adjustment, please contact the Custom Shop.

 Neck Radius
 9.5" to 12"
 15" to 17"


 Players with a light touch can get away with lower action, others need higher action to avoid rattles. Check tuning. Using 6" ruler, measure distance between bottom of strings and top of the 17th fret. Adjust bridge saddles to the height according to the chart, then re-tune. Experiment with the height until the desired sound and feel is achieved.

Neck Radius

 9.5" to 12"
 15" to 17"

String Height
Bass Side
 Treble Side


 Shimming/Micro-Tilt™ Adjustment

 Shimming is a procedure used to adjust the pitch of the neck in relation to the body. A shim is placed in the neck pocket, underneath the butt-end of the neck. On many of the American series of guitars, a Micro-Tilt adjustment is offered. It replaces the need for a shim by using a hex screw against a plate installed in the butt-end of the neck. The need to adjust the pitch (raising the butt-end of the neck in the pocket, thereby pitching the neck back) of the neck occurs in situations where the string height is high and the action adjustment is as low as the adjustment will allow.

To properly shim a neck the neck needs to be removed from the neck pocket of the body. A shim approximately 1/4" wide x 1 3/4" long x .010" thick will raise the action approximately 1/32". For those guitars with the Micro-Tilt adjustment, loosen the two neck screws on both sides of the adjustment access hole on the neckplate by at least 4 full turns. Tighten the hex screw with an 1/8" hex wrench approximately 1/4 turn to raise the action approximately 1/32". Retighten the neck screws when the  adjustment is complete. The pitch of the neck on your guitar has been preset at the factory and in most cases will not need to be adjusted. Note: If you feel you need this adjustment to be made and you're not comfortable with the procedure, take your guitar to your authorized Fender Service Center.

 Set too high, pickups can cause a myriad of inexplicable phenomena. Depress all of the strings at the last fret. Using 6" ruler, measure the distance from the bottom of the 1st and 6th strings to top of the pole piece. Rule of thumb-the distance should be greatest at the 6th string - neck pickup position, and closest at the 1st string - bridge pickup position. Follow the measurement guidelines from the chart as starting points. The distance will vary according to the amount of magnetic pull of the pickup.

Texas Specials
Vintage style
Noiseless™ Series
Standard Single-Coil
Lace Sensors
Bass Side
As close as desired 
Treble Side
(allowing for string vibration)

Intonation (Fine Tuning)
Adjustments should be made after all of the above have been accomplished. Set the pickup selector in  the middle, volume and tone controls to the max. Check tuning. Check each string at the 12th fret  harmonic to fretted note (make sure you are depressing the string evenly to the fret). If sharp,  lengthen string by adjusting the saddle back. If flat, shorten string by moving the saddle forward. Remember guitars are tempered instruments, retune, play and make further adjustments as needed. (Note: In the event you have a three section style bridge, compensate between the strings to minimize the percentage any one string that may be sharp or flat. Listen for an aurally pleasing intonation).

Additional Hints
There are a couple of additional things that you can do to optimize your tuning stability that have more to do with playing and tuning habits. Each time that you go to play your guitar, before you do your final tuning, play for a few minutes to allow the strings to warm-up. Metal expands when warm and contracts when cool. After you have played a few riffs, bent a few notes, you can then do your final tuning. Remember that with most tuning keys it's desirable to tune up to pitch. However, with locking tuners go past the note, and tune down to pitch. Finally, wipe strings, neck, and bridge with a lint free clothe after playing. When transporting or storing your guitar, even for short periods, avoid leaving it anyplace you wouldn't feel comfortable yourself.

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