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Danelectro style Tele Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by sjohnbruton, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

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    My recent (ill-timed) attempt at the 2012 Build Challenge
    (located here) was to be a hybrid of a Tele and several design elements of Danelectro guitars.

    Ever since I played a copper colored Silvertone like this one

    [​IMG]

    I have wanted to own one. The guy who had it flat refused to sell it, by the way.

    So, using Dano the style of construction of a plywood frame capped top and back with hardboard, like these,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    my intent is to make a light weight, very resonant, mojo loaded, retro style, bad-ass of a Tele. :grin:
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  2. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

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    I want the hollow body, sound hole, and front pickup of the Convertible,

    [​IMG]

    the pickguard of the 59,

    [​IMG]

    and the dolphin nose of the U series.

    It also will have a Fender style nut in aluminum (like a Dano). Throw in some wide vinyl edge banding and the finished product will look very similar to this:

    [​IMG]
     
    bricksnbeatles likes this.
  3. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

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    The first step is the body.

    Instead of using the cheapest available, I went "all-out" and bought a sheet of 1/2" Birch ply. I then cut this full sheet into fifteen 16x19 panels. Following the same process, I cut a sheet of 3/16" hardboard into the same size pieces.

    [​IMG]

    Once I had these panels, I face glued three of them together to get an over all thickness of 1.5" Sadly, my inexperience shined brightly and the resulting blank was badly warped due to crappy cauls...

    The second attempt was successful when I realized I could screw the panels together since the ply core was not going to be visible in the finished product. I ended up with this:

    [​IMG]

    I then rough cut the blank to shape on my benchtop bandsaw.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

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    I bought my then 14 year old son a Danelectro re-issue U-2, Les Paul shape two p/ups, in the early 90'2. I play it now as part of my colection and won't part with it. Love those "lipstick p/up". Apparently Dan Erlewine collects the old ones and his Brown U-2 is his personal favourite. I'd love to get a double cutaway Like Jimmy page used. Good choice for a build sjohnbruton!
     
  6. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

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    Next up - pattern routing!

    Since the blank is too thick for my 1" bit, I need to do two passes. First up is the top-bearing-that-really-is-a-bottom-bearing-when-its-in-the-router-table bit:

    [​IMG]

    Then, flip and repeat with the opposite bit:

    [​IMG]

    Since I want a soundhole, I can't use a center block that extends from the neck pocket to the bridge. I do, however, want a bit more rigidity than the "island" bridge block of the Convertible. So, I decided to attach the island block to the frame with a narrow strip running from the end pin to the bridge.

    To cut the inner cavity of the body, I first used several sizes of Forstner bits to drill out the inner corners of the pattern.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I then played "connect the dots" with my jig saw.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is the rough cut body core:

    [​IMG]

    I decided to leave enough material for a mild arm contour. Here she is after knocking off most of the interior saw marks with an 80 grit sanding drum.

    [​IMG]

    Ready for hardboard!

    FYI: I can totally see why Danelectro used these materials and construction methods. Even upgrading to birch ply, I spent a total of $60 for the plywood and hardboard combined. When cut to 16x19 and processed into blanks, I will get 5 finished bodies and still have hardboard left over. That's only $12 a body!! Gotta love that. :cool:
     
  7. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

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    Thanks, I hope it turns out half as cool as a real Dano! Those lipstick pups do sound great. For this one I'm sticking with Tele pups and electronics, though. Mostly because this is kind-of an experiment (prototype) and I already have the Tele setup. Oh, and I'm cheap, too! ;)
     
  8. Doc Rorick

    Doc Rorick TDPRI Member

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    I love it. The convertible sound hole will be aces.

    You're making me itch to start a hollow-body build before I'm done with my current (maiden) solid body effort.

    Dig the ply method, too!
     
  9. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Poster Extraordinaire

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    Didn't Dano use pine instead of plywood for the center?
     
  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity

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  11. Greg M

    Greg M Tele-Holic

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    This will be a cool build to watch. I had intended to do a Dano-style build at some time but ended up forgoing the hardboard for plywood. Good luck on the rest of the build.

    Guitarbuilder: that is some mojo right there! :mrgreen:
     
  12. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    I did one of these last year with a polycarbonate cutting board instead of a top layer of hardboard; they're a blast to make, and I'll echo what everyone else has said about the lipstick pup. It's my favorite pickup. The GFS low-output versions sound great, especially wired in series.

    I hadn't thought of stacking plywood; I just pieced together offcuts of poplar, plus some mahogany (for the bridge island). Since they were all pieces I just had lying around, the body cost something like $28.

    Nice build!
     
  13. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

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    Thanks. I'm hoping it works out like I imagine... :D

    Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. Best I could figure out (without too much research), is that some were pine ply and some were pieces of solid pine. Truth is I don't really know.

    Cool! That would be pretty slick... I'm not sure about a 23.5" scale though. I've never heard of a Dano that short. Of course, what do I know? :confused:

    Thanks, I'm gonna need the luck! And all the extra time I can find laying around. Too bad you can't but that on ebay...

    Thanks. Sweet build, BTW. I love using out of the ordinary materials for stuff like this. What did you use for the edge banding? I think I saw you mention wallpaper? I've decided to go with vinyl shelf liner...

    I'm definitely going lipstick on the next one. They are one of my faves, too! ;)
     
  14. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, I just cut some wallpaper into strips. I found a sample that matched the off-white of the back; it had a nifty texture, too. Yellow glue and a coating of epoxy took care of it.
     
  15. stinkey

    stinkey Tele-Afflicted

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    Love it so far.
    I have had an similar idea, but you'rs better so i'll rip it, if thats OK with you.
     
  16. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

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    Nice idea. I'm hoping the vinyl won't require any top coat.

    I heard a quote once that went like this: "If you steal from me, you're stealing twice!" - No worries. :p
     
  17. Walter Broes

    Walter Broes Tele-Afflicted

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    Cool project! As far as I know, the reissues are/were ply core, the originals several pieces of solid wood.
     
  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    I think they used Poplar...

    I love this build. Very cool.
     
  19. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    If that's accurate, not many were. Most were 25" scale (Danelectro built) except for the original Pro, which was 21". FWIW, 23.5" is very playable and sounds cool with modern pups, but seeing your pup selection, 25.5 or 25 would be better. For those that have never tried one, a 25" scale is very versatile, just play a PRS sometime ;)

    Here ya' go LINK, the humbuckers are a gas. I wired them in series with a shorting switch for single-coil, then a single coil tube in the neck position for a friend's Squier 51.................I've been trying to buy it from him ever since :D
     
  20. jeremyb

    jeremyb Tele-Meister

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    Loving this build!!
     
  21. chuck_zc

    chuck_zc Tele-Meister

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    I have lipsticks and pots lol!
     
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