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Old January 21st, 2013, 10:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Telecaster Body High School Senior Project Build

This is the first time I've built a guitar. I'm doing this for my senior project, which I need to graduate high school. Muzikp is mentoring me and letting me use his garage and his tools. Hope it turns out well.
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I'm using a poplar board I got from Home Depot so I had to cut it and glue the pieces together. The blade slipped off the wheel while I was using the band saw, which was a little scary. I'm using corian for the template and I've never used a sanding machine before so it needs more work. I've almost got the hang of it though.

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Old January 21st, 2013, 10:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome aboard , your in good hands with James as a mentor . Yep , band saw blades coming off the wheels or breaking can be un nerving to say the least . Looking forward to seeing your build come to life ;-)
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Old January 21st, 2013, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good luck. Try not to look a mistakes as failures but as opportunities to learn more. You can do it.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 10:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Post lots of updates and pictures. Don't get too frustrated by mistakes, in the end they will give your new favorite guitar a lot of character.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 11:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Woohoo! Looking forward to this one, nice to see the younger generation building, there's hope for future custom guitars with these youngsters.

It should be said my band saw has cut about 1,785 board feet more than it was designed to, and that was 5 years ago. It's always entertaining to cut stuff with it.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 12:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Woohoo! Looking forward to this one, nice to see the younger generation building, there's hope for future custom guitars with these youngsters.
That's youngsters for ya!

Glad to see another kid working on a guitar! I'd love to have james as a mentor, but I'm not willing to give up Canada.

My school has a guitar building class, but the one flaw with it, is you make the stuff with a cnc! The whole part of custom is that one chip you had to glue back in, and that router that almost killed you! No offense to any guitarbuilder I mean.. er' Cncer.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 12:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Good on you young man, welcome! Pay attention to James and keep the fingers away from all the sharp high speed things that can hurt you.

Best of luck with the build, looking good so far.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 12:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old February 5th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry I haven't posted in a while, schools been keeping me super busy. Thanks to everyone for all the kind words and advice! I do feel quite fortunate to have James as my mentor. Here is what I have since accomplished:

I glued the pieces of wood together to make the block of wood I am going to cut the body out of. Luckily, that went went pretty smoothly, I'm hoping the seam will almost unnoticeable. Then I sanded, sanded, and sanded some more until i finally got the edges of the template perfectly smooth. Sanding is a lot more intense than I thought it would be.







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Old February 5th, 2013, 11:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nice job on the template. Keep at it.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 01:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It's looking good. Now the fun starts. Take your time and it'll go fine. Like people have already said you've got great help.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 12:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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So this weekend I made some progress on working toward finishing the body. I traced the template onto the fully glued block of wood. I wasn't finished with my template when I started this-luckily James let me use his . The seam turned out pretty good, so I was happy with that. I drilled wholes in the curves of the guitar shape to make it easier to cut out with the band saw. Then I used the sanding machine to smooth out the edges until I got as close to the sharpie line as possible. Then I screwed the template onto the body to make it as secure as possible so it didn't move when I used the router to make the body shape perfect. It was a little scary at first, but I managed to not maim myself so I count the entire day as a success!
















Unfortunately, when I was doing the final pass with the router I knocked a chunk out . Luckily its fixable!
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Old February 13th, 2013, 12:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Here is some more pictures. On this day I screwed the template onto the body and I used the router to make the holes for the pickups and the volume and tone controls. I cut each hole to about a 1 in depth. Its beginning to look like a guitar


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Old February 13th, 2013, 01:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Why didn't you use a router base for the perimeter route? Just curious, I know everyone has different methods.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Great job so far. I love me some poplar Tele's.

I have the same orbital rigid sander. I find I still have to finish by hand alot. I am not used to the Rigid so I make more dents then sanding....hehe
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Old February 13th, 2013, 04:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Free-hand router - brrrrrr - that gave me chills :)
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Old February 13th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Those are great skills that you are developing and don't worry about the router slip, that is a special skill in itself and takes a lot of practice. It is the main reason for router tables. At this stage, measure three times before you cut or drill. You're doing great and you obviously have a good mentor! Looking forward to more pics.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 12:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm WAY impressed.

I don't mean to be the old fuddy duddy.... be remember...


When sanding.. always wear a dust mask. Especially stuff like MDF or glue...

Roll up those sleeves! I have nightmares about getting a sleeve caught in a fan belt many years ago...



NOW for a fun tip: When gluing up... allow any squeeze out to tack up and scrape it off or wipe it off immediately with a dry towel. Don't use a wet towel. It can penetrate and contaminate the wood fibers and show up in the finish.


Carry on!!
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Old February 18th, 2013, 09:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Why didn't you use a router base for the perimeter route? Just curious, I know everyone has different methods.
Probably because I don't know what that is haha. I only know what James has taught me how to use and beyond that I don't have much knowledge of all the different methods and tools and what they're called. what are the advantages for using a router base?
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Old February 18th, 2013, 09:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm WAY impressed.

I don't mean to be the old fuddy duddy.... be remember...


When sanding.. always wear a dust mask. Especially stuff like MDF or glue...

Roll up those sleeves! I have nightmares about getting a sleeve caught in a fan belt many years ago...



NOW for a fun tip: When gluing up... allow any squeeze out to tack up and scrape it off or wipe it off immediately with a dry towel. Don't use a wet towel. It can penetrate and contaminate the wood fibers and show up in the finish.


Carry on!!
Thanks for the tips! I'll keep them in mind
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