New Member Poplar Tele Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Bill Scheltema, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    Well the time has come friends.
    I am about to begin my Tele build using poplar.
    I plan to document my progress as I go, it may take awhile as I juggle family and my time but hopefully it won't be too long a journey.

    I had spoken to a friend who has built a few electrics, he works in a lumber/furniture/cabinet business, I had dropped him a line and mentioned poplar for body wood.

    Well I went to where he works to get scrap MDF for my templates and lo and behold there were two chunks of poplar sittin there just for me, he said they just threw this stuff out and thought I could have them free of charge, good to know.

    Once I plane them I will get a good idea on which side to use.
    Keep you all posted.

    Bill Scheltema
     

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  2. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I put this Buttercaster together out of poplar a few years ago.

    It is a very good wood.

    Easy to work. Easy to paint.

    [​IMG]

    These ears can't hear a difference in sound.

    I'll be eager to see what you come up with.

    Cheers

    Steve Dikkers
    aka Buckocaster51
     
  3. TELE_BLUES

    TELE_BLUES Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have one in my gallery i made in '85.Poplar body made from 4 peices with rickenbacker checkerboard binding and a dean style"v" headstock ,sick i know but i love that guitar.The poplar made for a real nice sounding guitar.Poor mans alder i think is the saying.If i remeber right the poplar was $4.00 for the plank i sawed up to make the body
     
  4. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I look forward to seeing the progress Bill. There will be lots of help here on the forum if/when you need it.
     
  5. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    Tele Blues,

    What finish did you do there, the image is a bit hard to tell?

    If I get a decent consistent grain I may try the vintage amber, still not sure there yet.

    Bill
     
  6. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    You know when I used to work in furniture, I was told that you don't necessarily need a perfectly joined edge, but that a good table saw cut would do, the reason being that it leaves it a bit ruff and will help obscure the glue joint line, whereas a joiner surface is almost too clean.

    Any thoughts

    Bill
     
  7. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That answer depends on your table saw and what type of finish you are wanting.
    If you have a table saw capable of cutting nice straight edges then yes, but for a clear finish you may find that your glue joint is more visible than you'd like. a rougher edge will take glue better, but if its too rough, then your joint will suffer both aesthetically and functionally.
    You should check out Ron Kirns build threads. I like the way he joins his guitars wood with an angled joint. More surface area for the glue to bind, and if you match your grain right its hard to tell that you have a multipiece body from the side and top.
     
  8. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, that is a good point and good for me to look into.

    Thanks

    Bill
     
  9. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    Thoughts on a finish

    Well,

    As I ponder a finish I found this while surfing the net, I am thinking that the dark color will help hide the green streaks I read about that you can get from poplar, this Tele is swamp ash with a hint of grain. I hope to thickness sand my body blank tonight and finish up my templates, sourcing out a drum sander to get into the top horn and neck pocket area.

    Any advise on finish would be helpful. I am also considering a double binding.
    TTFN

    Bill

    [​IMG]
     
  10. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Do you have any thoughts on how you're going to apply the finish, do you have a spray set-up or are you using rattle cans?

    If you have a spray gun you can mix dye into the lacquer to get any colour you want.

    Here's an example of the vintage Stewmac Colortone amber over maple with a nitrocellulose finish

    [​IMG]

    and this is the amber with just 2 coats of Tru-oil (it's now had 7 and is lovely) which is now my favourite finish on a neck.

    [​IMG]

    I think that Poplar looks really nice, is it very fine grained?

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes.

    Beware though, once you've done one.... I joined the TDPRI in April and I'm on my 4th build already!
     
  11. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    Scubadoo,
    Right now I am looking at rattle cans, but I may luck into a paint setup, I have an excellent neighbor with a small comp and I can't see why I couldn't buy a gun. I run a small website for a guy which is where most of this hobby capital is coming from. My first aquisition will be a good router combo table/plunge. The shop I am using has just about eveything else, and if I get good enough and make more I will sell to equip a small shop.
    For a finish I was sort of thinking of a dark water or dye followed with clear and if I was real adventurous followed by a black outer band for a burst look followed again by clear.
    I think I have the order correct there.

    Your thoughts?

    Bill
     
  12. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    dunno how i missed this thread the first time around, because i'm a huge poplar fan. i like the idea of letting the grain show through, because that's some really nice, clear-grained wood.

    my poplar build (the Rainbow Tele) is almost six months old now, and i love the tone more every time i play it. a great wood to work with AND to play with!
     
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  13. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    Cont...

    Well I was able to put in an hour so here is where I got to.
    Deciding on which side to use gave me a bit of anxiety but I think I did ok.

    Bill
     

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  14. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    looks purty dang good to me!
     
  15. ehawley

    ehawley Tele-Afflicted

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    Looking good Bill!! I'm all eyes:eek:...Are you going to do the compound on the neck for this one?
    Cheers
    ED
     
  16. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    Poplar build

    Ed,

    Yes I am, I haven't put much more thought into it, since I wasn't sure of my timeline, but I have tweaked my jig design somewhat.
    I am thinking of a vintage compound, 7.25 to 9.25 I think, does that sound about right?

    Getting pumped now that I look at the pics.

    Bill
     
  17. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    What is it that makes Wilkonson's bridge superior to a stewmac traditional bridge. I see that the barrels on the wilkonson are reduced in dia. but other than that whats the diff, aside from price.

    Bill

    Stew macs traditional
    [​IMG]

    or the Wilkinson
    [​IMG]
     
  18. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    I take it Poplar doesn't need grain filling?

    Your order looks good to me. I've never done a burst so can't comment on that, but good luck.
     
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  19. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    The point of that Wilkinson bridge is that the saddles can be tilted and locked to aid intonation. You could also use the Stewmac bridge with their angled compensated saddles which are quite cheap.
     
  20. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Scubadoo,

    The grain will not need filling, but I kept my cutoffs to test it out when I get to that stage.

    Bill
     
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