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*Designing And Building A Mini-Telecaster*

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Jack Wells, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Many moons ago I set about building a Mini-Telecaster that would use a 22.75 in. scale neck as used on the Squier Mini-Strats.. Don't remember how I chose the body size but I cut the body too small. As the picture below shows, This places the bridge too far back to look right.

    ......[​IMG]

    Sidebar: The picture bleow shows a Mini-Strat neck (with reshaped headstock) laid out on a full size copy of Terry Downs Telecaster drawing. The bridge is positioned correctly over the string through holes. This shows an interesting point. One of these 22.75 scale necks could be put on a regular sized Telecaster body and would be within the intonation range of the bridge. This is due to the fact that then mini-neck is a 20 fret neck.

    ......[​IMG]
    ......[​IMG]

    First step is to determine the body size. Full size Telecaster body length is 15.96 in. Using a little algebra.......

    22.75/25.5=0.892
    0.892x15.96=14.24

    I'll use the Terry Downs Telecaster body drawing PDF to get the body shape. All cavity locations will be determined during the build. I opened the PDF file and use the Adobe Reader Snapshot Tool to crop around the body shape.

    ......[​IMG]

    This copies the highlighted area to the clipboard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  2. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Next I paste this into my IrfanView photo program ........

    ......[​IMG]

    .....and resize the image. I've chosen 14.5 inches for the body length because from past experience, I've found that when I print from IrfanView, I get a slightly smaller print.

    ......[​IMG]

    As the resize window shows the body width will be 11.57 in. ........... too big to print this on two 8.5x11 sheets.

    After resizing I crop and print four overlaping quadrants of the body and tape them together using a widow to align the common parts.

    ......[​IMG]

    The body shape measures ~14 3/8 in. long. Below I've laid a mini-neck at the end of the neck pocket and placed the bridge in position for the 22.75 in. scale length. I think the bridge position looks OK.

    ......[​IMG]

    Hmmm........... the neck pocket on this reduced size drawing is less than 3 in. long. I can probably get by with a shorter neck pocket by moving all screw holes closer to the back of the pocket. This would however result in non-standard hole location in the neck. The Mini-Strat has a 3 in. neck pocket. I should set the neck to the three in length and see if it still looks alright.
     
  3. kayarcee

    kayarcee TDPRI Member

    46
    Oct 1, 2008
    Brooklyn
    This is a great looking build, Jack- maybe the way to "fix" the bridge problem on the other body blank (and thus salvage a guitar out of it after all) is to use a hardtail strat bridge or a taipan half bridge and do an alternative pup config (say 2 p-90s, a CC neck only, a mini neck bucker only ) with the rosewood fb neck. Just my .02
     
  4. Sterling Indigo

    Sterling Indigo Friend of Leo's

    Sep 4, 2008
    East Lansing
    Good idea using a mini Strat neck and reshaping the headstock. I'm not a builder (yet) but I would buy one of these to match my mini Strat.
     
  5. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Here's a comparison of different neck pocket lengths. I think I like the look of the shorter neck pocket. When I built this neck I patterned it after the Min-Strat neck, ie. 20 frets. If I built another I would make it 21 frets. That would push the nut a little further from the body and would allow a 3 in. neck pocket without setting the bridge back so far.

    ......[​IMG]

    Well ...... now to make the template. After cutting around the pattern and glueing it to 1/4 in. MDF. I use my regular neck pocket template to draw the neck pocket width on the reduced sized pattern.

    ......[​IMG]

    I think I can live with the way the body curves meet the neck pocket.

    ......[​IMG]

    A trip to the bandsaw yields this.........

    ......[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  6. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Let me once again exalt the attributes of the Ridgid Oscillating Spindle/Belt sander. Unlike ordinary spindle sanders, the Ridgid with the belt attachment is great for sanding convex curves. Plus, the large end of the belt attachment gives you the added benefit of a 3 in. spindle. Great for making the transition between the convex and concave curves at the waist of the Tele body.

    ......[​IMG]

    I'll do the final shaping of this template with sanding blocks and files.

    Here I'm determining the bridge location. Adjusted the saddles to look something like one of my full size Telecasters ........... set the 22.75 mark on the rule to about the same place on the middle saddle that the 25.5 mark is on the full size. I square it up by eyeball and roughly mark the bridge mounting holes.

    ......[​IMG]

    Squaring up the centerline of the mounting holes.

    ......[​IMG]

    After erasing the originally marked mounting holes I align the bridge with the centerlines and mark the mounting holes and string through holes.

    ......[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  7. newtwanger

    newtwanger Blackguardian. Ad Free + Supporter

    Feb 11, 2007
    Quebec, Canada
    I bought one of those after seeing you use one in an earlier post. It's a very useful tool.
    Thanks Jack! :D

    And now I follow you closely as I want to make a mini tele using a 50 year old duo-sonic neck to give to my nephew for his 7th birthday...
     
  8. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    To determine the correct location of the pickup cavity with respect to the mounting holes I go back to Terry's PDF drawing, used the Snapshot Tool to crop around the bridge area and print the cropped area actual size

    ......[​IMG]

    Scratch that. Once I drill the string through holes I can use my full size template to locate and rout the pickup cavity.

    Actually I did use that cropped print. I extended the mounting hole centerline and taped it to the template aligning the two perpendicular centerlines. Then I marked the mounting hole centers and the two outside string through hole centers.

    ......[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  9. madmark

    madmark Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    49
    Nov 18, 2007
    New York
    Sweet I would love one of them for my son... impressive
     
  10. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Using my big plexi template I drill through the string through holes with a 1/8 in. bit and mark the mounting hole centers with a 1/16 in. bit.

    ......[​IMG]

    I remove the full size bridge area print and mark the pickup cavity on the mini-template. However I'm beginning to think it might be easier to just wait and cut all the cavities in the 3/4 in. template when I can screw the plexi template to the 3/4 template.

    .....[​IMG]

    Once again using Terry's PDF and the Snapshot Tool we see that the front of the control cavity lines up with the front of the pickup cavity......... sorta.

    ......[​IMG]

    I'll rout a shortened control cavity use a shortened control plate. Here i've cut it shorter. I may use mini-pots.

    ......[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  11. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Completed the 3/4 in. template and finished the shortened control plate. Here's the MDF mockup. Looks like it's time to buy some wood.

    ......[​IMG]

    The shortened control plate didn't turn out too bad. I used the cut off piece to scribe the circular end and mark the screw and pot hole locations. I roughed out the end with a bench grinder then used a fine file to file to the line. Then some 320 sandpaper and buffing. You see just a little of the copper plating if you look closely.

    ......[​IMG]

    A neighbor gave me this old board. It's 2 1/4 x 8 in. Got several knots and a lot of surface checking. Don't know what it is but it should be dry. I should be able to get a couple of 6 x 15 pieces out of it. If not I'll go to Lowes for a 2 x 8.

    ......[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  12. cmatthes

    cmatthes Tele-Meister

    405
    Sep 13, 2006
    DC Metro
    This thread is getting cooler all the time!

    Great documentation...I love this place.
     
  13. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Below is my home-made neck hole template. Since I going with a shorter neck pocket, it can't be used in the neck pocket. I therefore line it up with the end of the neck pocket and drill the holes into the template. I then transferred them to the body. This should result in proper positioning of the neck plate on the back of the body.

    ......[​IMG]

    I used my regular neck pocket template aligning it as required and scewed it into the body. My Makita trim router died on me after routing the pickup and control cavities so I went to my $19 Harbor Freight backup. It worked fine.

    ......[​IMG]

    Tried something new on this one. Drilled the jack hole with a Forstner bit in a hand held drill. It worked but I would not recommend it. I'll use the drill press next time.

    ......[​IMG]

    All routing and wire channels are done. Just have to do the ferrule holes then start the finish work. I used poplar so this will be a solid color. Maybe Dupli-Color Burnt Copper. Here's the mini alongside a full size Telecaster.

    ......[​IMG]
     
  14. jaythebassist

    jaythebassist TDPRI Member

    Age:
    43
    36
    Mar 18, 2009
    NJ
    This is a great thread. Can't wait to see what becomes of the lil tele...
     
  15. Dababy

    Dababy Tele-Meister

    395
    Jan 30, 2009
    Northeast Ohio
    Oh yeah, another Jwells build- I learn so much from these!
     
  16. funff

    funff Tele-Holic

    818
    Jan 26, 2008
    UK
    Smart little axe! Love it. Be interesting to hear how she sounds when she's finished.
     
  17. Superc_1

    Superc_1 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    60
    195
    Apr 23, 2007
    Atkins,Arkansas
    Jack? To get the 22.75" scale don't you just move the nut up to the first or second fret position of the 25.5" scale on a reg. tele? Seems I read that somewhere? Also I took TDowns autocad drawing and made all the changes of your thread into a new drawing. If you want a copy I can send you a dwg or pdf of it?
     
  18. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    That's right .......... put the nut of a mini-neck at the 2nd fret of a regular Fender neck and the frets intervals match as shown below. Same is true of longer Fender necks. Add the proper intervals on the other side of the nut and you have the proper fret spacing for the Fender Sub-sonic (27 in. scale), baratone (28 5/8 in. scale) or even a Fender Bass (34 in. scale). This makes the Stew-Mac fret scale template particularly useful if you want to build a variety of necks based on Fender scale lengths.

    ......[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  19. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    Neat little guitar...

    my nephew has a son really interested in guitar...maybe for next Christmas...

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  20. Superc_1

    Superc_1 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    60
    195
    Apr 23, 2007
    Atkins,Arkansas
    Jack? Wouldn't you go to the first fret? first fret to the 12th fret measure 11.3189" x 2 would equal 22.75"? You show the nut equal with the second fret in your picture? Maybe I'm missing something?
     
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