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Mix-and-match ES semi hollow style guitar

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by FreddyS, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi there, after asking some questions in another thread and adjusting things here and there, seems like I'm ready to go with this build, which will be my first one from zero so wish me luck! :D

    The plan is for a ES style body but a bit smaller, with 24 3/4 scale neck, semi hollow and with pine plywood + maple veneer for the flat top and back, should be way easier than carving or bending.

    And I know, not a tele style :oops: but it is so cozy here so why go somewhere else, right?

    So, this is the plan:
    [​IMG]
    I'm not so sure now about the color as some tests I made with yellow dye over maple didn't turn turn out so good, my next option is orange:

    [​IMG]
    I like it too, but will see about that later.

    Ok, before starting with the big work I did 2 of the small parts, just to be sure I could get them done right and stick with the original idea, bridge pup and bridge raising blocks made with ebony.
    Glamour shot, the pup raiser block looks just like they did on the ES-295:
    [​IMG]

    Behind, pup block got little rough but will not be seen so it's ok :
    [​IMG]

    Also did a test for the f holes, looking good:
    [​IMG]

    Looks like I'm off to a good start so let's move on.

    Most of the wood I'll be using, some sort of mahogany for the neck and body and a full sheet of maple veneer:
    [​IMG]

    Body wood cut in two pieces, getting it ready for glue up:
    [​IMG]

    I made a mistake when buying this wood, size is ok for tele or lp style and getting it this size was cheaper than buying the whole board, but it's barely long enough for the ES body style shape so I'm planing the edges by hand and it's challenging my patience... but I'll get there :lol: Next time I'll buy the full board to ease things.

    Now I need a couple more clamps to be able to glue the body.

    Laters!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014

  2. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi guys, my wife is on vacation this week and the weather has been bad so no progress yet :neutral:, but I took my tele to the dentist!
    Yes, that's right, to the dentist! not to fix cavities or something like that but for an x-ray plaque, just asked in my previous appointment and she was happy to help me with this :lol:

    It turns out the neck on this guitar is almost 1" thick all the way and not comfy to play so I need to thin it a bit but wasn't sure how much wood I could remove but now I know, yeah!

    Not quite the same perspective vs the neck photo but good enough to see how far I can go, which is quite a bit:
    [​IMG]

    Maybe I'll get to reshape that neck when I start to build the neck for this guitar.

    Laters!
     

  3. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Small progress, the two pieces body is glued now.

    Went to HD to get some supplies for jigs and found out they now carry watco danish oil (HD stores in mexico don't carry all the stuff as in the US :mad:), only mahogany was available so I got a can to test, applied some on the edge, easy and looks good:
    [​IMG]

    Those screws and washers were for my fret bending jig, built it and tested, it works!:
    [​IMG]

    Next step: put together a router planning jig to flatten the body, go for the final thickness and build some templates.

    Laters!
     

  4. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi again guys, quick question, will this bend work fine when seating the frets or should I bend it a bit more?:

    [​IMG]

    And back to updates...

    Got the fret cutter ready I think:
    [​IMG]

    Got the router sled ready and the body flattened using a whiteside #1033 1/4" shank, 1" diameter straight bit, don't know why I didn't buy the 1/2" shank version as I was going to buy this router anyway:confused: but all went really easy and smooth! btw. even using the vac the tiny shop got full of wood dust:D

    A couple of things I learned and thought to write down as tips:

    Going with the wood grain, this router bit (or any good straight bit I think) will not leave ridges as long as the router base is sturdy enough and you overlap each pass, so a special bit is not really needed. I bought a bowl bit just in case but didn't need to use it.

    When planning wood with this jig, you can go up and down with the grain without any tearout, in the end, half of the router bit is going with the grain and half against it all the time so, it just works.

    Unless your router base is strong enough, engage the router outside of the wood or you'll be pushing it down and making a deeper cut into the wood, guess how I found out:p. Then just slide the sled.

    Start each cut outside the wood, stop past the other end of the wood, move the router like half of the bit diameter, and repeat until done.


    The sled before the last pass:
    [​IMG]

    A peek into the tiny shop:
    [​IMG]

    The flattened body, and a small issue, there's a crack on one of the sides:

    [​IMG]

    I can move away from the joint/center line and skip the crack like this:

    [​IMG]

    But not so sure about that, what do you guys think or recommend? To go for it, or just fill it with CA later. Remember the body will be hollowed so that crack would actually exist in two places.

    Laters!
     

  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I always overbend my wire more that what you've done there. Being familiar with a metal bender, I made a contraption like stewmac sells early on, as I never had the desire to try and bend them by hand with two pliars like I had heard about. Three bolts in a board and 3 rollers around the bolts.

    I like the ends to go in the slot first with the arbor press. I have no particular reason other than that. I think trying to install straight frets in a curved fretboard would ask for problems with the fret not staying put.
     

  6. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi guitarbuilder, thanks for the input!
    I'm planning to do the fretting with a hammer, if I go for smaller fret radius could it make a difference in results vs using an arbor press?
    Will do some tests first but is good to have some info beforehand :D
     

  7. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    No matter what fret install method you use, some "over"-radius is beneficial, as the ends are commonly the problem--they like to pop up. When there's already tension on them from bending, to stay down, they tend to stay put.

    The only real exception I can think of is if you install frets by sliding them in sideways, like Fender used to--then you want as perfect a match as you can get. But for hammered, pressed, rolled in, etc., some extra radius is good.

    As far as the crack goes-I don't think there's any structural reason the joint has to be dead center in the guitar body, especially if it will be painted, capped, or otherwise covered. If you can move it over and avoid the crack, which I agree might be a big problem with a hollow-body, you're probably better off doing so. Just be sure you don't get confused later, and forget the wood joint is not the center line!
     

  8. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi Rick, ok, a little extra over bend won't hurt then :)

    I was tempted to try the slide method, but maybe the ebony is too hard for it?, better to play safe this time hehe.

    About the crack, right now, going with the joint line as center the crack is on the way, I was thinking it would reach the hollow part, not the case but still it goes thru the whole horn:

    [​IMG]

    As the top and the back will be plywood + maple veneer + binding only the sides of the hollow body will be seen, so offsetting the body is not really a problem, unless I follow that line as a guide for the holes and hardware :eek: but may be a problem at the bottom as the wood pattern makes the center more obvious, kind of screams "look at me":

    [​IMG]

    So I'm leaning towards offsetting the neck side only, to keep the joint line aligned at the proper place at the back, looks like a good idea? (the red line is the wood joint line):

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, this wood really is barely enough for this body, damn monkeys didn't bought proper wood :D, will have to be extra careful when shaping the body.

    Meanwhile, it's templates time!

    Laters!
     

  9. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    No opinions on the plan to avoid the crack?

    The templates for the body are done now:
    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking instead of building a third template, to add the pup guides into the body perimeter template and also add 3mm holes as a transfer guide for the neck screws, controls and bridge, maybe for the f-holes location too (the f-holes are thin so they need to be cut by hand).

    Laters!
     

  10. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    All the templates are ready, I choose not to go with mdf as the times I had used it the dust lingers for ages so I made the templates out of 9mm plywood, it is furniture grade and practically no voids at all!

    Had a couple of mini tear outs when routing the templates but fixed them with sawdust and CA, then went thru all the edges feeling how smooth they were and sanded as smooth as I could, all should be fine.

    Now, as this is a 1 time build only I'll skip making copies and use this templates, with extra care of course ;)

    btw. I did notice the 9mm may be too thin when routing the pup cavities, but I have a plan already so no worries.

    Smoothing out the center hole on the hollow template:

    [​IMG]

    At the bandsaw, doing the body shape template:

    [​IMG]

    At the spindle sander, headstock template shape done:

    [​IMG]

    Back at the bandsaw, cutting the neck template:

    [​IMG]

    Pattern routing the headstock shape into the neck template:

    [​IMG]

    Templates ready!:

    [​IMG]

    The templates are:

    - Body shape template with neck pup cavity guide and bridge pup screws cavity guide
    - Hollow template, will actually take out most of the wood with a jig saw and just use it to smooth the sides

    - Neck template + headstock template, built the two as I'm thinking to go with scarf joint to keep the truss rod access on the headstock side instead of on the heel... will see

    Am I missing something else for templates?

    Now I feel like taking a little brake after the template marathon :lol:

    btw. had to try... one thing is not like the others, can you spot it?:

    [​IMG]

    It gives a good idea about the size;)

    Laters!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014

  11. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi there, some more progress:

    Transferred the hollowing from the template into the body and cut away some wood, cheap blades couldn't do it properly, switched to a better blade and everything went good:

    [​IMG]

    Screwed the template back and started the router session with a pattern bit, I got some tear outs but luckily I left enough meat so the final pass took care of all, had to do some climb cuts though, but worked great:

    [​IMG]

    Hollowing ready!:

    [​IMG]

    After a bandsaw session - it went so fast that I forgot to take a picture - the body shape template is screwed on, and then a spindle sander session to get as close as possible to the template, almost ready for a final pass with the router:

    [​IMG]

    Now I'm chickening out about that final pass with the router hehe.

    Btw. after skipping that crack at the upper horn, the joint line ended up like this:

    [​IMG]

    Laters!
     

  12. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County

  13. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi guitarbuilder... was looking good.

    So, I let pretty much 1/16" extra on the body to take away with the router, I did read several threads about this step and even followed this tip , went for it and ran out of luck :cry::

    [​IMG]

    I routed that part with a climb cut as stated on that page, must admit I was not having the best grip I could though:(, close up of the damage:

    [​IMG]

    I'm not about to give up and throw it away and get more wood and start over, so now I need to figure out the best recovery plan.

    The idea is to be able to keep a "natural" finish but I'm aiming to darken the wood a bit with the mahogany tinted danish oil or something else anyway.

    Also, that was meant to be the upper horn but I can flip the body over so the fix would end at the bottom horn and not too visible so, options:

    - Fill the gaps with mahogany dust, apply CA, sand and hope for the best.

    - Same thing but mixing dust with epoxy + mahogany alcohol based tint, don't know if the alcohol thing could work, must run some tests first.

    - Reshape both horns a little bit, this time only sanding, already did some mockups moving the template, seems like the safest option but not so sure I'd like so much the new shape.

    What do you guys think?

    Laters!
     

  14. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    Honestly, the tearout is so small that hardly anyone will notice if you sand it level paying attention to the outline.

    If you're gonna lacquer the sides dark color, I'd go for epoxy, taping just shy of the tearout on all sides. Beware that epoxy cures somehow faster when mixed with wood dust.

    If you're gonna use CA, I'd seal the wood just shy of the tearout. Same principle as epoxy, CA wanders around too much for my taste.

    I see no reason for starting over. Good luck!
     

  15. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi metecem, is good to have another eyes and perspective ;)

    Here the tearout looked like a huuuge moon crater haha, went back to illustrator to play with the drawing, both horns will lose like 2.5 mm but the overall shape appears to be preserved, so I made a new template:

    [​IMG]

    Looks like it will save the day, but no router shall be close to those horns now :p:

    [​IMG]

    Laters!
     

  16. nickhofen

    nickhofen Friend of Leo's

    Maybe you can experiment with an asymmetrical horn design...
     

  17. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    +1
     

  18. oldgofaster

    oldgofaster Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    432
    Dec 28, 2010
    Ohio
    Cool build. Your work is nice in the mini-shop.

    Re-shaping the horns will not detract from the "ES" look.
     

  19. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi guys, not bad idea about experimenting with the horns, maybe on the next build :D

    Right on!, at first I was afraid it would, and I don't like at all the "fox" ears shape on some models but the change really wasn't that drastic and the horn is fixed now, actually both horns were reshaped to keep them symmetrical:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I guess is time for some wire routing and start the work on the top and the back pieces.

    Laters!
     

  20. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

    194
    Dec 24, 2012
    Mexico city
    Hi guys! some more progress:

    The body now with channels for the pup pole screws and wiring, the neck pup cavity will be on the top wood and the bridge pup won't need one because of the ebony riser block:

    [​IMG]

    I'm a bit worried about glue getting into the 1/4" wiring channels, I'll have to be careful when gluing the top.

    The veneers I got:

    [​IMG]

    It turns out to be actually made from 9 parts, each one kind of book matched to each other, it seems I didn't pay enough attention when buying it, but should work ok I guess.
    The walnut venner will be used with another projects, maybe for the headstock and a future thinline, will see.

    Some 1/4" plywood cut for the top and back pieces:

    [​IMG]

    I thought it would be good idea to leave the core grain running the same way as the body, also the leftover plywood is bigger cutting it like this so it could be used fore something else:lol:

    Look, I got curly veneer... ok ok, is only curled, I know :p:

    [​IMG]

    As I need to run some errands, I'll leave it like this for some hours:

    [​IMG]

    Now, I have some questions related to glueing the veneer:

    I bought a can of contact cement at the veneers shop, asked if they had rollers to apply it and they told me to just use a brush "that's how they all do it". I haven't opened the can yet but moving it a bit the glue feels thin, so the brush sounds ok.

    But, natural or synthetic brush?, it doesn't say.

    Also, while the instructions on the can are pretty clear, it seems there's a chance to make mistakes, maybe I'll need to do some tests on scraps first.

    Just in case, could it be easier to just use regular yellow or white glue?

    I don't have a vacuum press so plywood sheets sandwich + clamps will have to do if needed.

    Laters!
     

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