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Old June 20th, 2013, 07:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sapele / Maple Thinline Build

I picked up this piece of quarter sawn sapele a couple months ago with the intention of building a tele. I prepped the body blank about a month ago.






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Old June 20th, 2013, 08:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Use the router to joint the body halves.







Cleaned up the faces a bit.



Glued up.



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Old June 20th, 2013, 09:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thinned to 1.5". Gonna have a 1/4" maple cap.



This side has nicer grain so this will be the back.



Cut out and sanded to the line on the new second hand ROSS.





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Old June 20th, 2013, 09:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice piece of wood you got there.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Crap, I can't find the glue line anywhere



This end was no help either. Managed to see a bit of it on the front of the body and marked the centerline.



Screwed the template down and routed. Took it real easy with the routing to avoid tearout. Made several light passes.





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Old June 20th, 2013, 09:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Amazing job joining the two pieces together! Looking good! What is the weight of it so far?
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Old June 20th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Amazing job joining the two pieces together! Looking good! What is the weight of it so far?
Thanks Mark. I was really careful this time with the jointing. I made sure the seam was light tight along the entire length before gluing.

Looks like it's just over 6 lbs 4 oz. It'll lose a substantial amount after chambering though. Then gain a little with the maple top.

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Old June 20th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think I'll use the leftover maple from my previous build. The small piece is neck size and the other one should be big enough for a bookmatched top. This board ended up having really good figure so I think it will work alright for this build as well.

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Old June 20th, 2013, 11:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is going to be one stunning guitar!
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Old June 21st, 2013, 12:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This is going to be one stunning guitar!
+1. The sapele is lovely.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 12:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Nice piece of wood you got there.
Thanks Steve, they have a bunch at Windsor Plywood and the price is pretty good. I'm thinking I should probably pick up some more. I've been reading lots of LP threads lately.

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This is going to be one stunning guitar!
Thanks Chris, I hope so! I learned so much from the previous build that I'm going to roll into this one, such as how to properly joint a 2 piece body.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 12:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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+1. The sapele is lovely.
Hey thanks Mike, I had never heard of sapele until Herb's Elpee thread. I guess it's a type of mahogany. Smells like mahogany when I cut it.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 12:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if they are actually related, but sapele, along with khaya(spl?) are often used as mahogany substitutes, and correctly or not, often referred to as mahogany by many factory builders.
I don't really care what people call it, I think it is lovely wood. The piece you have is particularly nice, IMO.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 12:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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According to this they're in the same family:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapele

I agree, it really is nice wood regardless of the name. I can see myself building quite a few guitars with it.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 02:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I made this chambering template earlier (I love the ROSS).



Lines marked and started hogging.





It already feels quite a bit lighter. It'll be interesting to see how much weight it loses after the chambers are done.

I'm going to leave the back around 1/4 inch thick. I'm drilling to about 1.1" with the forstener not including the tip. Should have a nice clean bottom to the chambers after routing.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 02:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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mmm, i absolutely love sapele! i'd rather have that than "real" mahogany because it usually has such beautiful grain patterns!
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Old June 21st, 2013, 05:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Looking good Brian , Sapele is beautiful , it machines wonderfully in my experience
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Old June 21st, 2013, 07:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Very nice build!

If it's not too late, may I suggest you do not route the pocket behind the bridge. In my experience with Thinlines, leaving that area solid seems to help the guitar project better in a live situation, and just over all sound better.

Thinlines can be tricky to get a good sound from. In my opinion, the pocket behind the bridge is part of the reason. Even on my Ric 360/380L style builds I left the area behind the bridge solid and both those guitars will simply flatten a Ric in a side by side comparison.

Can't wait to see the finished product. I really like working with sapele. It sounds great!
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Old June 21st, 2013, 09:22 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Looks great! I'm working on a similar build right now with sapele.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 10:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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That is looking amazing. What are you thinking for a finish?
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