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A chambered LPish looking thing

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freeman Keller, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    This is about as far from a tele as you can get but compared to ukuleles and all the other stuff people are building I'll give it a try. I've built (and given away) a few tele-clones, but my real love is Gibsonesque guitars - Lesters and all the Electric Spanish styles. I built a Lester clone and love it, but as any LP player knows, they are darn heavy. So, just as Gibson is doing with their "weight relieved" LP's, I thought it time to make one of my own.

    Everyone does a '59 'burst, here is mine with a vintage goldtop (and an old Gibson tube amp in the background)

    [​IMG]

    This won't really be a copy of a Lester, there will be a bunch of differences, including the top. I have two sets of Spanish cedar (neither from Spain or a true cedar) down in the wood shed, I think it will work

    [​IMG]

    and a hunk of mahogany and some possible binding material

    [​IMG]

    The only problem is that the top is only 3/8 thick, not really thick enough to carve, but too thick to be a flat drop top. We'll work out something
     
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  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    A couple of advantages to building a LP clone, I like the shape, I have most of the jigs and templates, and I know I can get a case that will fit. Only think missing is a template for the chambering so I whipped that out

    [​IMG]

    because I think the top may get pretty thin in the recurve I thought it best to make the sides fairly thick. We'll see how this works out
     

  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    That little gold top is visiting my house for a few days and has one of the nicest necks I've played, so I thought I'd better copy it for the record.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also shot the center seam and glued the top together

    [​IMG]
     

  4. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    294
    Feb 20, 2018
    phoenix
    me looking at your pictures: wow.... holy crap.... holy crap wow! spanish cedar... that is really a cool looking piece of wood. will be following this one!
     
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  5. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

    Age:
    55
    918
    Jun 7, 2010
    Macomb MI
    Nice top. Looking forward to seeing this progress.
     

  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Pretty outrageous, eh? Spanish cedar is a common wood for classical guitar necks - it is a little lighter and maybe less stiff than mahogany but that's where I was familiar with its use. I had no idea that it flamed until I saw these pieces, then I bought two sets with no clue of what I was going to use them for.

    Put them away in the wood cellar (which is a shelf in my wine cellar) and kind of forgot about them. Was looking for something to go with dinner (wine, not wood) saw the Spanish cedar and decided it was time.
     
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  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Sketched the body shape on the mahogany

    [​IMG]

    and routed the wiring channel from the switch thru the pickups to the controls

    [​IMG]

    It was a nice day so I took the drill press outside to make clean up easier and started drilling out waste

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Screwed my template on and started cleaning up the chambers

    [​IMG]

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    A final clean up pass

    [​IMG]
     

  8. Billnchristy

    Billnchristy Tele-Holic

    869
    Sep 21, 2017
    Georgia
    This is gonna be the teats.
     

  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Cut the outside shape on the bandsaw

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and called it good for the day. Time for a cold adult beverage
     
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  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Before I make any more sawdust it might be a good time to talk about my thought process here. Every time I start building a guitar I have a pretty good idea of where I want it to go - for the LP in the first picture I definitely wanted to get as close to an old 'burst as I could (I grew up listening to Allman and Gibbons and Betts and all those guys).

    For this one I'm letting the wood dictate what I do with it. I like the LP shape and general Gibson construction (set M&T neck, head shape, carved top) but I want it pretty obvious that it is NOT a Gibson. I like to set a theme when I start - I think this calls for wood binding and accents (probably rosewood) and the golden hues of the Spanish cedar call for gold for the inlay and hardware. If I have the right scrap from the top I'll do the head plate in the same Spanish cedar. If I use a rosewood fretboard I won't have to bind it but I will bind everything else.

    I know I want to use a Nashville style ToM and some vintage PAF's - I've been moderately impressed by the StewMac golden era pickups so I'll start with them.

    The fact that the top plate is thinner than I would like changes the geometry from the usual Gibson 3-1/2 to 4 degree neck angle to something a little less. I sketched the profile on my Les Paul plans and the angle looks to be right at 2-1/2 degrees to work with the Nashville bridge. (A little anecdote here, I was drawing the neck angle and my wife asked what I was doing. I told her calculating the angle - see, it's just simple high school geometry.... She looked at me and said "you are actually using MATH?" Ah, duh, yes, that's what its for).

    With those decisions I can order the wood and parts that I don't already have and get on with the building.
     

  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    A few of you have posted likes on this so I guess I'll keep putting up pictures. Got the body outside routed today

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Should have done that outside, its going to be a real mess to clean up. Here is the body as it stands now

    [​IMG]

    Drilled and routed the control cavity access and routed for the cover

    [​IMG]

    Anyone ever notice that the cover is asymmetrical? I wonder why Gibson did that?

    Made some covers for the switch and control cavities. Generic mahogany doesn't quite match but it looks a whole lot better than plastic.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Cut the rough shape of the top and cleaned up the gluing surfaces. Dripped some glue all around

    [​IMG]

    and clamped it together

    [​IMG]
     

  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Started working on the neck. I have fixed so many Gibson style headstocks that I have vowed to never build a one piece neck. A scarfed joint is much stronger, easy to do and conserves wood. I'm making two necks at the same time - one for a future ES175ish project. I can get a neck out of a commonly available piece of mahogany that is 3 inches wide and 7/8 or 1 thick.

    Scarfed necks can either have the head glued under the neck stick or on the end - there are advantages of both (and disadvantages) and I've done it both ways. I prefer the end. Measure the short point of the head and mark the angle (16 degrees)

    [​IMG]

    Saw 'em off and flip 'em over

    [​IMG]

    Thin the head to 9/16 minus the thickness of the headplate

    [​IMG]

    And glue it to the neck. This is kind of a tricky thing to clamp - it demonstrates the high school physics lesson about wedges, especially when lubricated with some AR glue

    [​IMG]

    Edit - for some reason Photobucket flipped my first picture upside down, but I guess it doesn't matter. I hate Photobucket.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018

  14. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

    29
    Sep 9, 2018
    MS Gulf Coast
    Looks great! Do you know the toothpick trick? I picked it up from a fabulous builder over on TalkBass. Here’s a neck I glued up just earlier this week:

    [​IMG]

    The dot near the center of the photo is the toothpick. Basically, you dry-clamp the joint, then drill two small holes outside the neck taper, one on each side, just large enough to insert a toothpick. Then when you glue and clamp, the toothpicks keep the pieces located relative to one another. Easy peasy!
     

  15. ES330

    ES330 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    71
    May 2, 2017
    SF
    Ever thought of using Paulownia wood for the body ??
     

  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    I frequently pin parts but usually use brads and I didn't want anything metal in the joint thats going to be carved. What I have been threatening to do is build a really good headstock clamping jig, both for making necks like this and for repairs.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    No. I have a nice stash of mahogany, but mostly I'm an acoustic guitar builder and have collected woods for the next dozen or so hollow guitars.
     

  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    121
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    A couple of glue ups. Cut the end off the neck stick and made the heel, and glued a couple of scraps from the top to make a head plate

    [​IMG]

    Body looks OK

    [​IMG]

    Put my smallest binding bearing on and routed a channel 1/4 inch down, that will be the recurve

    [​IMG]

    Routed another channel for the rosewood binding.

    [​IMG]

    With the recurve established I started carving the top

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It won't have nearly as dramatic an arch as a Lester but at least it won't be flat. Planed the 2-1/2 degree neck angle

    [​IMG]
     

  19. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

    Age:
    55
    918
    Jun 7, 2010
    Macomb MI
     
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  20. 24 track

    24 track Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    beautiful work , I am in awe of you buggers that can build like this

    it impresses the heck out of me , please keep it comming!
     
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