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

First partscaster - White Pine?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by bglaze, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. bglaze

    bglaze Tele-Holic

    Nov 6, 2006
    I am building my first partscaster. The component I was worried the most about was the neck, since I am an inexperienced builder, so I ordered a nice, pre-finished Allparts neck (maple) from the bay. Some levelling and crowning should hopefully be the only thing needed there.

    There are some cheap white pine bodies to be found on ebay as well (this is my example:

    I know white pine is a very soft wood. I am not concerned in the slightest about dings, as the purpose of this partscaster is to be an ugly player. I have no finishing experience, so the body I choose, if it is unfinished, is not going to be in the hands of a master, as I plan to finish it myself. Again, I assume it'll be ugly.

    So, my concern about the softness of White Pine is the functional parts of the body (routes, screw holes, etc). I don't want the wood to be so soft that I have issues functionally.

    With the above example in mind from Rasser on the bay, does anyone have any advice or experience?

    Also, my main concern with the body I choose is weight. I want a body that is as close to 3lbs as possible.


  2. user34603

    user34603 Tele-Meister

    Dec 5, 2016
    Richmond VA
    one thing I have done on a lot of holes in a body or neck is to use a broomstraw to lightly wipe the inside of the holes with yellow glue. Let it dry overnight... and reassemble. Glue hardens and strengthens the wood the screw threads into (pickguard screws or the 4 wood screws that hold on the neck).

  3. bglaze

    bglaze Tele-Holic

    Nov 6, 2006
    This is great advice, thank you!

  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Tons of pine tele bodies have been made here with no issues. Most are around 4 lb +/-. I suspect a 3 lb body won't be 1.75" thick.
    fenderchamp and adirondak5 like this.

  5. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Don't be surprised if a 1.75" body comes out to 3 pounds or so. This white pine blank, by my calculations, is going to be just a hair over 3 pounds when profiled and routed.
    Newbcaster likes this.

  6. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    My lightest pine bodies 1-9/16" thick routed normally have been 3 to 3-1/3 lb. From used well seasoned reclaimed furniture.

    I have a Pine Squier full size/thick routed the same with thick white translucent Poly that the body is 5.8lb. The reason I got it was that the owner had a pine lightweight body made to replace it.

    I actually have that body as a 8lb Tele with all plastic knobs, lexan control plate, thin 1 ply, thinnest vintage bridge plate, small pole bridge PU/mags, full vintage Warmoth neck/klusons. So some ideas there for a heavy body build. I do really like my 6 lb pine builds with the 1-9/16" thin bodies though...

    I alos have a one piece 1-3/4" Jack Pine also normal routed that is just under 5lb. With less paint weight in nitro than the poly CV body.

    Depends on the pine of course.

  7. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 27, 2015
    Da' Magic Mittin'
    I'm dealing with a white pine body now, with a laminated top.

    Honestly, white pine sucks worse than plywood when it comes to workability and using a router. Thus far I've corrected 2 major tear-outs. One in the neck pocket on an outside corner, and the other on the outside body curve. The body curve was an easy fix. The neck pocket one? I had to chisel away the broken area and replace it. That you have to do gradually and carefully because if you try to muscle the wood, it'll split even worse.

    Then the knots? Thicknessing with a sled uncovers voids in the knots. It's not that big of a deal if you epoxy them, but make sure you do that AFTER thicknessing.

    Mind you, all of this was done with recently sharpened router bits taking off maybe 1/16" of material at a time.

    Believe it or not, the construction grade plywood was less hassle. The worst part was filling the voids, but that was nowhere near as infuriating as having the chisel get underneath the grain, splintering the wood, and forcing me to widen the fix even more. I'm still fuming as I type...

    The open grain on the white wood straight from he big box store is pretty fragile. it's OK structually, but shaping the wood? If oriented the proper way, the wood will just fracture when you least expect it.

    If I had to do it again, I'd buy some 8 / 4 Poplar at Rockler, or even glue up some poplar 1 x 8 boards from Home Despot.

    As to screws? Unless you are going with a transparent finish, I'd personally put in hardwood dowel where small screws will be situated. You never know where the threads are going to catch in a piece of wood. Small screws with fine threads will strip easily.

    My opinion is to rough-cut the blank, and then sand down to the line. It may be tedious, but it will avoid tear-out. I would also reinforce the external side and corners on the neck pocket with scrap wood to avoid tear-out.

    And I'd personally do an initial sanding of the body before putting in something to fill in the knots.

    I love the look of the end grain on the blank. I love how light the body is. But I regret using it at this point. Live and learn.

  8. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Island NY
    Go for it , white pine is fine .

  9. bglaze

    bglaze Tele-Holic

    Nov 6, 2006
    I received the pine body, and it is excellent! It is indeed 3lbs, though it is 1/8" shy of being 1 3/4" thick.

    I decided to finish it with just Tru Oil, no stain or lacquer. It has 6 coats of Tru Oil currently (0000 steel wool in between), but I plan on adding about 6 more coats with the final few coats thinned out (with mineral spirits) for extra shine.

    Super solid 1-piece body. No blow outs or meaningful imperfections. Excellent tone from "knock test".

    Here is current photo:


  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Do a search here for pine bodies.... There are countless builds by forum users. That's why they are so plentiful now on Ebay, Stewmac, and in the Boutique world.

  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    Pine works well.

    When you route a body from a blank, you can minimize tearout by moving the router as if you were petting a dog -- don't try to pet against the fur (fir) where the router is lifting the fibers. Example is move left to right from the jack hole to the knee cut, then right to left from the lower horn to the knee cut. Similar spots all around the body. A hand plane on the front and back can work better than a machine planer.


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