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

Cherry telecaster

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Mrsamd23, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Mrsamd23

    Mrsamd23 TDPRI Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    Indianola, Iowa

    I have shop class and I am making a tele out of cherry. I was wondering if this would sound good and if I should make it hollow. Also, any suggestions for making my first guitar, or using cherry would be helpful.

  2. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 4, 2010
    Athens, GA
    I've used cherry for a top on a pine bodied guitar. Its great stuff to work with. Very closed grained and will work down as smooth as you like.

    If I were making a Tele body from all cherry, I would chamber it, as a solid cherry body might be quite heavy.

  3. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Hi, Sam, welcome to the forum!

    I'm glad to hear you have shop class. So many school districts have discontinued shop, which is to me, a great travesty, robbing young people of introductions to some awesome life experiences that can bloom into satisfying hobbies or even well-paying careers. Enough old-man soapboxing.

    Cherry is wonderful wood. It should sound great. You should be aware there is a strong debate going on regarding tone of electric guitars. Some say the wood doesn't matter one whit, it's all in the electronics, others think the wood makes a great difference. Best advice is build a guitar or two, and make your own decisions.

    When you speak of Telecasters, "hollow ones" generally refer to the Thinlines. Thinlines are not conventional hollow-body guitars, and building a full hollow-body guitar is almost a completely different discipline from building a solid-body one Also, there is a bit more skill involved in making Thinlines, so for a first build, I'd suggest you stick with solid body.

    Cherry compares fairly well in terms of density at around 33 lbs/cu. ft compared with other woods commonly used for guitar bodies (for instance Ash, which comes in around 32 lbs./cu ft. You shouldn't have to hollow it.

    For suggestions, I highly recommend that you find the sticky post at the top of the forum for previous Challenge builds, and review as many as you can, I learned much from reading Jack Wells' (JWells), and ScatterLee's builds, plus many other skilled builders.

    Finishing cherry can be a challenge, but it's such a beautiful wood it deserves a nice clear finish. Google all you can about Cherry wood finishing, particularly how to avoid blotching. Personally, I like oiled (Tru-Oil, Danish Oil, Teak Oil, etc.) finishes on cherry.

    Good luck, and be sure to post your build progress, with pictures here!


  4. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

    Jan 31, 2012
    Lake Jackson, TX
    Welcome to the forum. Cherry is great to work with, but like OGC4 said, you may want to chamber it. There's lots of information in the build threads. Check the Challenge builds. Especially from 2010 & 2011, they tend to be a little shorter than the ones from 2012, but there's everything you need to know in them.

  5. fluid69

    fluid69 Tele-Holic

    May 13, 2010
    +1 I made a book match top from cherry for my tele thinline. I used poplar for the back. It turned out nice. I play it all the time.

    "If you want rules, read the IRS tax code. If you want to build guitars, make some sawdust." -Colt W. Knight

  6. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    I've made a cherry tele body, awesome wood to work with and it's beautiful with a natural finish, great tonal characteristics (if you buy into that kind of stuff for electric guitars). But it does need to be chambered or it will be one of those 'heavy with a great personality' kinda guitars.

    Here's a bit of the one I made, it's sort of chambered, has contours and no cap.

    Apparently I never documented the finished guitar, or if I did it's in some other thread...

  7. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

    Jul 4, 2008
    I have a Nash tele made out of cherry that I got in a trade . . . heavy, indeed. But I love cherry, such a great wood.

  8. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

    Jul 25, 2012
    Kelowna B.C, Canada
    Can't really comment on the wood, but chambering is never that bad of an idea if you like light guitars. I just wanna see a build thread! Give us some pics when you get started! If you have mahogany you could use that if you're unsure, since it is more mainstream.

  9. motor_city_tele

    motor_city_tele Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 25, 2005
    motor city
    What's really important to a musician

    First they feel the neck.
    If the shape is right they pick up the guitar.
    If the weight is light enough they play a few notes.
    If it passes these tests - it gets plugged in.

  10. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

    Jun 7, 2010
    Macomb MI
    I have one i made from cherry. I would also recommend chambering it otherwise it is just too heavy. IMHO

  11. guitar2005

    guitar2005 Tele-Holic

    Oct 22, 2010
    Canada, Québec
    I'm using cherry over alder for a carved top tele. I think it will sound great and the weight of it isn't bad either.

    In terms of using only cherry, yeah, maybe hollowing it out would be a better option vs a solid body... and tone where a 100% solid body cherry might be a little bright. I really depends on the piece of wood you have. A cherry body will be heavier than Swamp Ash or Alder for sure.

  12. guitar2005

    guitar2005 Tele-Holic

    Oct 22, 2010
    Canada, Québec
    That depends on where the ash is from. Norhern Ash is very dense, almost as dense as Sugar (Hard) Maple and much, much denser than the southern swamp ash.

    Oddly, both northern and southern ash are the same "Americana" variety.

  13. Bonneybear

    Bonneybear Tele-Meister

    May 29, 2008
    New Jersey USA
    I made a Tele from cherry w/maple top. It was lacking in bottom end. and heavy. I would chamber it as well. and maybe mahogany neck...

  14. Bronkowitz

    Bronkowitz Tele-Meister

    May 20, 2011
    Wood density can vary within a species depending on several factors (its growing conditions, how high up the tree it was, ...). I made a solid cherry guitar that is very light and required no chambering.

    It's something you need to evaluate for each board. Some species like maple or walnut will be heavy, even for boards at the lower end of their density ranges. But cherry could be either heavy or light.

  15. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2011
    Southeast Florida
    I made this cherry Tele last year, no chambers, and it is 8 lb 3 oz. I don't think that is ridiculously heavy at all. Sounds great, too! I just need to let it in the sun a bit more to let it naturally darken.
    dpetrzelka likes this.

  16. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 23, 2010
    East Tennessee
    Yeh..............what's up with that? :lol:

  17. Mrsamd23

    Mrsamd23 TDPRI Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    Indianola, Iowa
    Thanks for all of the quick answers! Well I started building it today and decided not to chamber it. It sounds to difficult for my first guitar! Also is it hart to make a neck? Or should I just buy one?
    Thanks Sam

  18. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 23, 2010
    East Tennessee
    It's not that hard, but I understand the reluctance

    It depends on who you ask :lol:...............many people in the last two years worth of the Build Challenge have found it's not too difficult at all. Just dive right in (read the build challenge threads............the 2011 yr should be sufficient. Practice on pine and don't sweat the small stuff, it's just woodwork like the rest. You can make it as high or low tech as you like...............just read the basics until you see a method that is comfortable to you....................then build that puppy! :D

  19. LeftyAl

    LeftyAl Friend of Leo's

    Mar 24, 2010
    awesome,well done Got any more pictures?

  20. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    True. I was speaking of Southern Swamp Ash. Northern White ash is good for Louisville Sluggers!

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.