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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Reilander Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Reilander Pickups
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3/4 size Thinline Style Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Binx, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Binx

    Binx TDPRI Member

    Nov 14, 2015
    Pacific US
    So I just started my first actual tele style build since being on TDPRI! I decided to make a 3/4 size thinline for my little boys birthday that is coming up. I decided to do a basswood thinline with a laminate birch top, so that it will be nice and light for him. A little late on starting the thread and taking some photos, but I started with a solid piece of basswood about 13" x 11", just big enough to be exactly 3/4 size. Some $2 particle board from ikea did the trick for making up a template from the plan I printed out.
    I made a make-shift routing table from some 2x4's and part of the ikea particle board and some plastic from the thrift shop.Half way through routing my trim bit's bearing burnt up... I guess I still need a bit of practice with routing. Had to wait a few days for a replacement bearing before getting the body cut out.
    Afterwards I thought I would use the same template and cut out guides for the cavities. The edge of the particle board ripped out and by that point I was a bit too impatient to make another template, so decided there was no problem with free hand routing the cavities and then later I can just clean them up a bit with some sanding.
    busted template.jpg cavities.jpg

    I have cut out the pickguard on a piece of pearl white 3-ply pickguard material. Does anyone have any tips on beveling the edge? I had read a lot of people just use a razor for it and so I have started to do that, seems like a lot of work though, especially difficult on the tight curves.
  2. kthornbloom

    kthornbloom TDPRI Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    My method is to make a pickguard template. (By the way, MDF is great for templates. It is way smoother and less likely to break than the particle board.) Next, stick the template to your pickguard material with double sided tape. Use a flush trim bit to cut it out. Then swap your bit for a 45 degree chamfer bit w/ bearing. If you set it up carefully you can ride the template with the bearing while cutting a perfect 45 degree edge on the pickguard.
  3. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    The razor or a card scraper. Also there's a bevel bit for the dremel, and I believe if you have a router you can do it on that as well per instructions in the post above.
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  5. Binx

    Binx TDPRI Member

    Nov 14, 2015
    Pacific US
    MDF would probably be a lot easier, the particle board was really cheap and I thought it would do, but surely not the best stuff. I will have to try a few practice pieces of the pickguard material on the router to see how it goes for the edge.
    Haven't been able to do a whole lot this week yet because of work being pretty busy, but got the top ready and attached and then routed for the binding. I used some cheap wood carving tools from Michaels to cut out the F-Hole and they worked really well.
    I have not worked with basswood too much and am finding that as I sand it, it gets kind of soft and "fuzzy" rather than smooth and hard. Any tips on finishing basswood to get it ready for painting and sealing?
    Binding is one of the next steps I am thinking about, and I have a lot of questions on that too haha :D. Is there any problem with painting, then doing binding, then doing the clear coat? It would mean no hassle with scraping, but maybe would not adhere as well or have issues with that? Any suggestions on what glue to use for the edge binding and methods on that you would suggest?
  6. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    one of the solid color bindings (ABS?) types will dissolve into a goo with just acetone... I've read many things on here about how easy it is to use and repair...I imagine doing a multi laminated binding might be a bit more complicated.

    A lot of bass wood guitars are solid color, like much like leo did with alder. I've found a few good rounds of shellac will give you a better sanding and finishing surface. If staining or direct tinting do that before the shellac. I'll sand to 180 and then do a layer of shellac, sand that to 220, do another layer of shellac sand that to 320 and you should have a nice paintable surface.
    Mr Green Genes likes this.
  7. Binx

    Binx TDPRI Member

    Nov 14, 2015
    Pacific US
    Through long weeks at work and a lot of time between work spent on this guitar, I was able to finish it up. I decided to use kind of a hybrid approach on attaching the binding, using mostly acetone and then every few inches I would put krazy glue instead, making the binding hold nice and tight to the guitar. After that I went back and filled in any gaps with either wood filler or acetone-binding goo. As much as I hate scraping binding and wanted to avoid that, I realized that acetone would ruin the painted surface if I tried to do that first, so the binding went on first.

    I then applied the color over a few days, and then started the process of scraping the binding. I am not sure if I am just not patient enough or not seeing an easy solution, but I did scrape a bit too close to the actual body of the guitar off of the binding, removing more paint than I had hoped, and I found that paint is much less forgiving than stain in my opinion for scraping.


    I then began to work on installing the electronics. I decided to go with a traditional thinline configuration, but used a Gibson style 3-way toggle switch instead of the tele style, it was a bit shorter, so it fit control cavity better (this guitar is about 1.5" wide, so not as wide as a standard). It also fit onto the pickguard better without overcrowding the smaller size.
    Finally got the whole thing finished up, and now it is time to start tinkering with the setup of it all. Thanks for all the tips and advice along the way!
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
    hfw01 and Rock-Ola like this.
  8. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    That looks great!!
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