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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Another first time build... and some stupid questions.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by tortoisemon, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    Hi everyone. This is my first post here although I've been lurking for a few weeks. I'm just starting my first tele build, partly due to the inspiration and know-how I've gotten from this forum. Thanks! My goal is just to end up with something I will enjoy playing.

    A couple of weeks ago I purchased a piece of 8/4 alder rough lumber and have since planed, jointed and glue it into a two piece blank. I've also purchased mdf body routing templates off of ebay. I thought I'd ponder whether to build or buy a neck for my first project while working on the body. I'm not sure if I trust my carving ability but I recently discovered the Scheltema contour jig and am considering giving that a try.

    My first step was building a decent router table extension on my table saw. I've been thinking about doing this for a long time but the prospect of building a custom guitar was what finally tipped it. My second step, which I'm in the process of, is copying the 1/4" templates I bought onto 3/4" mdf.

    Which brings me to the first of what I believe will be many dumb questions I will have. What kind of double-sided tape do y'all use to attach templates? Obviously not carpet tape. I tried that on some test pieces and had to pry them apart with a screwdriver, which ripped the surface right off of the mdf. And how much tape should I use? Also, would it make sense to apply some polyurethane finish to the templates to make them more durable? Or is there a better way to do this that I've missed?

    Another question - does a 2 inch router bit with bearings have any advantages for doing the outside body shaping or are multiple passes with shorter bits better?

    Thanks in advance and sorry if these have already been covered.


    Progress so far:
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    SAM_5364.JPG

    SAM_5365.JPG SAM_5369.JPG
     

  2. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Welcome!
    What kind of double-sided tape do y'all use to attach templates?
    Shur Tape @ Lowes

    As for the templates CA, polyurethane, anything that dries hard and can be sanded smooth.

    Honestly sanding to the edge might be a more pleasurable experience. Unless you have one of those 2 inch wide by 2 inch long bits tear out is likely...and unless of course your looking to make an exact replica of another instrument
    That said some folks do body routing based on direction of the grain. It's worth hunting down the few threads on the subject.I believe shorter bits are better as they remove less wood, which helps avoid tear out . . .
    Down hill routing and TDPRI will yeild results
    through google. Here's the first thread that popped up is from Jack Wells and wholly sugar Jack knows guitars ;)
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/body-building-101-routing-the-shape.80099/

    Nice job on the blank!
     
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  3. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    Thank you! Just for clarification, what type of Shur Tape? A search on the lowes.com brought up three: carpet tape, 'hold it' for rugs and double-sided duct tape. Given my previous experience with carpet tape I assume it's one of the other two.

    > Honestly sanding to the edge might be a more pleasurable experience.

    Unfortunately I don't have a decent sander for doing edges like this and my freehand skills are generally quite bad. That's why the router/template approach appeals. I'm looking at the spindle sander attachments for a drill press for final sanding of the edge though. I can't quite justify a dedicated sander... yet.

    Tearout is something I've never experienced in a few years of woodworking but I'm very sensitized to it after reviewing these forums. Shaping a thick curvy guitar body must be quite different from putting roundovers on straight boards I guess! Thanks so much for the link. I will go for multiple passes using the downhill method.

    > Nice job on the blank!

    Thanks! So far so good. Of course that was probably the easiest step.
     

  4. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

    Jan 31, 2012
    Lake Jackson, TX
    I use carpet tape. Sometimes. Only if I can't use screws in discrete locations (like under the bridge, or the neck pocket). If I want to put the template back on for some reason, it goes back in the same place. Carpet tape is pressure sensitive. If you just lightly press the pieces together, the template may shift or come off. If you clamp the pieces together, it can be really hard to get them apart. The trick is to get somewhere in between.

    Nice router table. You look like you know what you're doing.

    My trick to routing is to take very small amounts of wood off with each pass. There are differing techniques for routing just like there are differing opinions on just about everything. I never rout "downhill". But that's just me.

    Dr Alphabet gave you good advise & Jack Wells is amazing.

    Welcome to the forum.
     
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  5. mikeyb

    mikeyb Tele-Meister

    338
    Aug 18, 2014
    Chicago, IL
    Peachtree turners tape. I get rolls from Amazon for $10. You must apply pressure to lock everything together. I use barbell plates (40-50lbs) for an hour. Plastic auto body trim remover wedges work to pry everything apart when you're done. Carpet tape is not rigid enough to hold position. Beware.

    For transferring your 1/4" templates to 3/4" don't bother with tape; Screw them together.

    Save yourself heartbreak and get a Whiteside spiral flush trim 3/4x2 bit. No tearout.
     
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  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
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  7. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

    583
    Dec 23, 2012
    State College PA
    +1 w/ Nosmo. Screws and clamps for me, I dont trust tape. The duplicative registration of using screws is a plus, at least for me - maybe it means I'm doing something inefficiently, but I like the repeatability of it.
    Cut the perimeter to within a whisker and finish with a router and a quality bit, go slow, and tear-out is rare. I have better luck avoiding tear-out with hand-held router on a clamped work piece, as opposed to table. Go figure. YMMV.
     
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  8. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    Thanks! Great explanation of using carpet tape. I'm still paranoid that it will destroy my mdf templates after my failed experiment. I did spray the templates with polyurethane clear coat yesterday in hopes that would make them more durable. But screws are sounding even better. Since I'm planning on using a standard pickguard I'm guessing that will provide enough cover for a few screw holes.

    Thanks but not really. I inherited most of my tools a few years ago and have been learning how to use them ever since. Youtube videos are my best friend. I've made a few halfway decent pieces of furniture. I spent weeks thinking about the router table before actually building it.

    Thanks. That seems to be the common thread. Common sense would have told me to get a humongous bit and take it all off at once, but that's why forums like this are so valuable.

    Thank you! I'm glad I found it. Very impressed by the members and their expertise.
     

  9. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    Thanks! Looks like yet another reason not to trust carpet tape. And another vote for screws.

    Thanks for the pointer. My router won't accommodate a 3/4 shank but I found a 1/2x2" version too. Pricey though! Are they worth it?
     

  10. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    Thanks! That's not too expensive and I'm going by Lowe's today so I may try another experiment.
     

  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    It really sticks. I've had to pry two pieces apart when I used too much. There is a bit of a learning curve but it's all I use now. It doesn't stick as well when it is 5 degrees out though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
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  12. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    Thanks. And another vote for screws. You must have a steady hand. I tend to have a lot more confidence in the router table than in my ability to keep the router bit square when holding it by hand. But I don't think I can use any clamps with the table.
     

  13. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    That's what I'm afraid of. How much do you use for a guitar body template?
     

  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I think the roll is about 2" wide. I usually use about 5-6 pieces spread out on the body template about 2" long. I place it far enough apart to allow a thin tool to get under it and carefully pry it up. You can cut it down the middle to make it thinner too, for skinnier areas or templates. I avoid putting it under the routs so the cutter doesn't get the sticky adhesive on it while I'm routing. When removing, you don't want to just yank it up at at once, or you can tear wood off, I usually pry sides at an angle.
     
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  15. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    For body templates, I use screws, sunk into areas that will be routed away later, like pickup cavities.

    Here's a trick you'll have to try to trust it, but it's never failed me: on your template, where you're going to stick the double-sided tape, use a clean, dry rag to dust and clean it thoroughly. Then stick down a length of PREMIUM blue painters tape, I prefer and trust 3M. Burnish it down real good. Then do the same with your work piece. Stick your double-sided tape to the painters tape. It will hold against the lateral force of routing just fine, and will release with moderate pulling force without damaging your template or the workpiece. I've never needed a tool or anything but moderate pull pressure to separate the two pieces. And I do use thin film carpet tape.

    The 2" Whiteside upcutting spiral carbide router bit is about as foolproof as it gets for edge routing, but because of the amount of exposed moving cutter edge, and its total intolerance for any climb-cutting, can be dangerous. You must always be cognizant of your feed direction. Straight cutter bits Will grab and tear out especially on end grain like the end to the Tele horn

    And welcome to the cult!
     

  16. mikeyb

    mikeyb Tele-Meister

    338
    Aug 18, 2014
    Chicago, IL
    Yes!! I got mine on Amazon for $85 and wish I hadn't spent $40 on a non-spiral bit. You can knock off 1/2" of material and not have any tearout. It's built like a tank and has replaceable bearings. This bit and the 1/4" spiral flush trim by Whiteside are my go to tooling. A roundover, pattern bits for neck slots/pickups and 45 degree for edging pick guards are pretty much what's needed.
     
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  17. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    Thanks. Sounds like some practice on scrap is called for. Still debating this versus screws, in my head.
     

  18. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Island NY
    Screws will work , so will good double sided tape . I'm in the double sided tape users group , but there was a time I used screws . It all comes down to what works best with your comfort level , experience will give you confidence in what ever method works best for you .
     

  19. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    Thanks! But this brings up another dumb question in my mind - should you route the cavities or the body shape first? I have two different templates for this. Intuitively it seems to make sense to do the cavities first while there is more material on the blank to support the router base. But then you wouldn't have the material to attach screws to.

    I'll try it! I would feel better about my ability to remove masking tapes, since it's designed to be removed.

    Thank you! I'm already enjoying it immensely even with all of the things I need to learn. Or maybe that's why I'm enjoying it so much. Really looking forward to actually playing my first home-built guitar too.
     

  20. tortoisemon

    tortoisemon TDPRI Member

    50
    Feb 26, 2017
    Colorado USA
    I think you and R. Stratenstein have convinced me. I found it for $88 on amazon. Pricey but since I think I already have the rest of the bits I will need I may splurge on this one. Would upcut or downcut be best in a router table?
     

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