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Old July 20th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Newbie's second build - a thinline

Well, it was my birthday on Thursday so i thought I'd start a new build whilst my first is curing in the conservatory.

I had an ash body blank that I'd glued up at the same time as the first build and i'd just bought some lovely flame maple from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Prime-Timbers

Lovely wood and a really nice guy. He has some great maple burrs at the moment.

Now the ash had a real nice grain on the one side



but not so lovely on the other



so i thought a thinline would be perfect. I've always like the look of them but never played one so it's bit of a leap of faith.

I guess I was inspired by Jack's build thread http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaste...ne-%2A%2A.html

First things first it was time for a hearty birthday breakfast.



The body blank i had was 1 3/4" thick and the maple cap was 1/4" so i needed to plane the ash down to 1 1/2".

I wasn't sure if i would be able to do it with the tools i had available; no planer/thicknesser, but I borrowed this from a neighbour



I was worried that i wouldn't be able to get it flat enough for the cap but BAW4742 suggested that I sand to 1 5/8", route the body and then make up a sanding stick to sand across the edges and the centre block. That was a great idea.


Last edited by scubadoo; July 20th, 2008 at 04:57 PM.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I put some tape on a ruler as a guide



and began planing. That really is quite an unpleasant and tricky job. I kept checking the depth round the edges but wasn't really able to check the middle thickness. Every so often i would put a straight edge across the blank and sight along it to see if i could see any light between the straight edge and the ash which would indicate that some areas were too low.

Once i was happy i screwed my new template from Terry Down's Rev D drawing onto the blank and traced round the edge



I cut the blank out with my old green bosch jigsaw; i really want a bandsaw!



I thought that i could start the lower horn off with a forstner bit. I put the ash on a piece of mdf to protect the bottom when the bit broke through but all did not go to plan, I heard an unpleasant noise, flipped the body over and saw that the bit had ripped a smalll chunk out.



Well, i hoped that it would sand out and also remembered that i was planning binding so it should be ok.

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Old July 20th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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With the body cut



i was ready to route, I screwed the template back on and fitted my small template bit



I did the first pass without too many problems, i really enjoy this part. Kind of scary but really satisying.

Here's the body after the first pass



I then swapped to the longer template bit and set it to do another 1/4" or so.

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Old July 20th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Then i raised the bit and cut some more. I couldn't quite do the whole depth so removed the template and used the previously cut bit as a guide. There are a few rough bits but a bit of elbow grease with the abrasive should sort that out.



Next thing was to do the chambers. I traced my template outline onto a piece of 3/4" MDF. I drew a line 1/2" inside the outside edge and a line 2" either side of the centre line to give me my chambers.

I also put a chamber behind the bridge making sure I left a thicker bit where the strap button would screw in behind the bridge. Just realised that i should have done that on the upper horn. Just make sure you've marked on the string holes, i nearly didn't and was going to cut out the wood that they would go through.

I drilled a hole through the template at either end of the centre line so that i could sight the centre line on the body in order to get things lined up ok. I then cut out the template, and traced it onto the body. I didn't worry too much about tidying up this template as most of the chambers will be hidden.

Time to make some dust! Using my biggest forstner bit, i hogged out (that's a great expression that i think I picked up from you guys in the US) as much of the cavities as i could. I'd measured the thickness of the body, subtracted 1/4" and set the drill to cut another 1/4" less than that so that I could tidy up with the router.



That makes a lot of sawdust



no really, a hell of a lot...how do you guys keep your shops dust free?



edit: i now realise i should have left thicker walls at the front strap button and the jack socket. Thanks Jack and Fatman for the advice

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Old July 20th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So back on with the template



and time to route out the chambers bit by bit. That's quite tricky. I take it you guys do that with a handheld router?

It was really hard to see through the dust and every so often the router would tilt and go deeper. I took one bit too deep but it won't be visible



Where's the floor gone?



I sanded the inside of the chambers as i wanted them to look nice when viewed through the f-hole, i stopped at 320 grit.



I was amazed at how light the body was and how the sides flex. I'm really looking forward to hearing how that affects the sound.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 04:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It's amazing how much quicker everything is with the confidence of the first body under my belt. Everything so far was done within the course of one day, a bit here, abit there.

Next i took a big piece of timber with a good flat edge and glued some 80 grit to it.



I used this to sand across the top of the body.



Every so often i placed a straight edge across the top and look to see if there were any gaps between it and the body.



I scribbled on those bits with a pencil and sanded until the pencil was gone

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Old July 20th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is the wood for the top



I glued this up but was not really sure that I'd done a good job, I'll post pics and possibly expletives tomorrow.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm kind of thinking about a double f-hole with no pickguard as I've always liked the look of the Mcarty PRS thinline.

I just need to figure out the placement of the volume/tone knob and the selector switch and the control cavity at the back. I'm thinking something like this.



I fancy an vintage amber finish with double white binding and a strat neck Maybe that hipshot bridge that i've been lusting after?

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Old July 20th, 2008, 06:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Great job so far!....

Although I'm too late now, just thought I'd mention the bit that other TDPRIers have brought to our attention from their own experiences with making thinlines....

Don't forget to leave a little extra wall thickness around the jack socket area so that you've got sufficient wood to take the 2 screws of your Electrosocket...

However, if you were not intending to use an Electrosocket, opting instead for the 4-screw metal plate jack socket (think Squier Affinity, Les Paul etc.) then totally ignore this post!....
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Old July 20th, 2008, 06:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Now Fatman ........... what's wrong with the traditional jack cup?

Great job there scubadoo. I noticed you didn't leave a thick wall for the front strap button screw. You probably left enough but you could put in a patch before you glue on the top.
It's interesting to see different work around ideas for lack of certain tools..... a thickness planer in your case.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatmanstratman View Post
Great job so far!....

Although I'm too late now, just thought I'd mention the bit that other TDPRIers have brought to our attention from their own experiences with making thinlines....

Don't forget to leave a little extra wall thickness around the jack socket area so that you've got sufficient wood to take the 2 screws of your Electrosocket...

However, if you were not intending to use an Electrosocket, opting instead for the 4-screw metal plate jack socket (think Squier Affinity, Les Paul etc.) then totally ignore this post!....
wish i'd thought of that! I guess i could glue in some timber, or maybe use a les paul style
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Old July 20th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Now Fatman ........... what's wrong with the traditional jack cup?

Great job there scubadoo. I noticed you didn't leave a thick wall for the front strap button screw. You probably left enough but you could put in a patch before you glue on the top.
It's interesting to see different work around ideas for lack of certain tools..... a thickness planer in your case.
Thanks Jack. It's your fault that I've tried a thinline

I realised about the front strap button whilst typing this thread. I think I'd better do what you suggest and glue a block in.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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By the way, thanks Jack and Fatman.....I'm planning to glue the top tomorrow so your input was well timed
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Old July 20th, 2008, 08:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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First off scubadoo...great thread! I've never done a thinline but some day I'll have too!

Second off ...WHAT IS THAT BREAKFAST! .. ..I've heard of.. bangers and mash..bubble and squeek...but what is that? Is it one of those? Is that Boston baked beans for breakfast?

Third off...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Cheers
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Old July 21st, 2008, 04:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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First off scubadoo...great thread! I've never done a thinline but some day I'll have too!

Second off ...WHAT IS THAT BREAKFAST! .. ..I've heard of.. bangers and mash..bubble and squeek...but what is that? Is it one of those? Is that Boston baked beans for breakfast?

Third off...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Cheers
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Hee, hee. Thanks Ed. Somewhere under that ketchup and brown sauce is sauage, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, eggs and toast. That's what we call a full english breakfast. All washed down with a pot of tea.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 05:17 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Got woken up early this morning by a delivery of Alder from David Dyke. Looks nice, a couple of little knots to fill but at least no grain filling, hoorah!

Here's the clamping of the maple cap



I found that tricky, there must be a better way. I put a sheet of plastic film between the maple and the wooden block to stop it sticking. When i gave it a light sand i could see a slight dark line at the join. Surely the glue hasn't reacted with the plastic? I don't know if it's it a problem or if it will look ok when finished. What do you think?



The other thing i need to do is add some support to the area at the front strap button and the jack socket, as I'd cut these too thin.

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Old July 21st, 2008, 06:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Somewhere under that ketchup and brown sauce is sauage, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, eggs and toast. That's what we call a full english breakfast. All washed down with a pot of tea.
Not quite a FULL English breakfast - no breakfast is complete without some lovely Black Pudding! Mmmmmm....... * salivating uncontrollably *

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Old July 21st, 2008, 06:18 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Not quite a FULL English breakfast - no breakfast is complete without some lovely Black Pudding! Mmmmmm....... * salivating uncontrollably *

Black Pudding, mmmmmmmmmmmmm! nothing like a bit of fried pig's blood!
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Old July 21st, 2008, 06:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey Scubadoo. Looks like your thinline is coming along nicely.

I'll be keeping an eye on you. I think there's a thinline in my future too. I want a hogged out body for myself.

I'd have to wash down that birthday breakfast with a big nap. Whew!
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Old July 21st, 2008, 09:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Do i cut the f-holes before fixing the top on, or after? Doing it after would ensure correct placement but what would i physically cut through the maple with, can you get short jigsaw blades? and wouldn't routing it fill the cavities with dust?

I don't have any files yet, will i need them.

Help!
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