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Newbie '69 Telecaster Thinline Help

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by TeleAlex, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. TeleAlex

    TeleAlex TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    11
    Jun 12, 2018
    Ohio
    All-
    I'm starting my first build and failed to realize that the '69 Thinline body I purchased has no markings for the bridge. Is there a template that I can print & lay on top to mark the drill holes for the bridge? (or a better suggestion).

    This is the body i'm working with, I plan on putting a single coil pickup at the neck:
    [​IMG]

    Some of the plans I have seen have a slightly different shape for the volume/tone cavity, which is why I wasn't sure which plan would be most accurate. Apologies for a repeat post that is most likely asked all the time, I just wanted to make sure I do the right thing.

    Thank You,

    Alex
     
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  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County

  3. TeleAlex

    TeleAlex TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    11
    Jun 12, 2018
    Ohio
    Would this work for the body I have? I take it the slight difference in the volume/tone cavity doesn't matter?
    [​IMG]
     

  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Your best bet would be to print it out to scale and measure from the rear edge of the neck pocket to the mounting holes and see if it is what is shown on the Tdowns drawing. That dimension is 7.370". Scale means that the known measurements are exactly on. Distances between neck holes are 2" the long way and 1.5 across the width. The neck cavity should be 3" long +/- tolerance.

    This drawing has the dimensions on it:


    dims.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018

  5. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Oklamerica
    And I wouldn't mark the bridge mounting holes until you have the bridge in-hand. The best thing to do would be to mount the neck and measure 25.5" from the FRONT edge of the nut to the break point on the saddles. Line up your bridge and mark the holes for drilling.
     
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  6. TeleAlex

    TeleAlex TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    11
    Jun 12, 2018
    Ohio
    Thanks, Roger. Stupid question - what is the break point on the saddles? Thanks!!

    Alex
     

  7. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    42
    Jun 26, 2012
    Bristol UK
    RogerC's is the safest option.

    The break point on the saddles is the last contact point between the saddle and the string. After that, the string vibrates freely. Same with the nut measurement. Measure from the edge after which the string is free.
     

  8. TeleAlex

    TeleAlex TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    11
    Jun 12, 2018
    Ohio
    Thank you! out of the entire project, I'm most nervous about getting the bridge right because it's so crucial. I should of purchased a kit that had everything pre-drilled for my first build, but I didn't want to pay for the junk hardware/pickups that I wasn't planning on keeping in the first place.

    I've already re-wired an SX Tele with a 4-way switch and new pickups, this new build should be a good learning experience.
     
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  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    All the measuring and laying out is great but if the pickup doesn't fit into the pickup rout, then you have some more work to do. Get your bridge and the rest of the parts first and go from there. If you get a fender stamped bridge it will fit the tdowns drawing. If the body is metric and Asian, then nothing may fit right compared to the fender specs. A few months back I bought an inexpensive eden body and had to open up everything but the neck cavity to get my parts to fit.


    one example

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/0054162049--fender-american-vintage-3-saddle-telecaster-bridge-plate?mrkgcl=28&mrkgadid=3274464232&rkg_id=0&product_id=0054162049&campaigntype=shopping&campaign=aaShopping - Core - Guitars&adgroup=Guitars - Guitar Accessories&placement=google&adpos=1o1&creative=226299461162&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3v3YBRCOARIsAPkLbK5JFhML0nkDzwMMGkmvddaKtmXMjdadppiU7SSR4HVwnRnhfDteefYaArHcEALw_wcB
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018

  10. TeleAlex

    TeleAlex TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    11
    Jun 12, 2018
    Ohio
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018

  11. TeleAlex

    TeleAlex TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    11
    Jun 12, 2018
    Ohio
    FYI...the body and neck I'm using is from Solo Music Gear
     

  12. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    121
    Feb 20, 2018
    phoenix
    not bad suggestions: I will offer my own as I would be worried the drawing might not match the guitar exactly or I'd get it crooked... that's just me. they way I'd do it is...
    mount your neck. then use a straight edge(16" or more) and place it on the side of the neck going back to the bridge - draw a line. do sm on the other side. check these lines against the pickup cavity to ensure your neck is parallel - otherwise loosen neck screws and adjust neck and re-tighten till those two lines have same clearance on either side of the pickups.

    Then using those lines measure back exact 1/2 scale length from 12th fret on both lines and make a mark. draw a parallel line from mark to mark and that is the intonation line (ie where the strings should hit the saddles). set bridge on there (temporarily) such that you have play for low e string going both directions if you adjust the saddles (note the low e string will always be further back from the intonation line than others so plan for that).
    now mark where the front of the bridge piece sits on the body given the intonation line. draw a parallel line (to the intonation line) for the front of your bridge to allow you to line it up. find the center of that line. measure to either side of center 1/2 the width of your bridge. now you know where the bridge goes.
    use string going from tuner hole for low e to bridge low e to bridge high e to tuner hole high e and verify your bridge is centered on the pickup holes, and your neck is centered, and you have the proper clearance for both strings going up the fretboard. if not - start over.

    it's a fairly complicated process... but the last thing you want is to mount something and then find that your strings aren't going across the frets parallel or your pickup poles are no longer located under the strings or your bridge doesn't have enough play to intonate correctly.

    not the bible, but i figure if you hear many methods from many folks one will make sense to you.
    good luck.
     
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  13. TeleAlex

    TeleAlex TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    11
    Jun 12, 2018
    Ohio
    If I'm using an offset saddle like this:

    [​IMG]

    and going the top load approach...which one do I measure to since they are staggered?
     

  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I'm guessing that body is routed for import shaped pickups.


    I would move your saddles forward to about 80-85% of travel. That way you get some wiggle room. The top dead center of a round saddle ( or the point where the string breaks over the saddle) is where the scale length should hit.

    The pickup mounted in the bridge has to fit into your pickup rout though too. When you get the pickup, put it in the bridge and stick the neck into position. This can give you an idea if the saddles will intonate as the scale length should be within the saddle adjustment range. Intonation requires that the saddles move backward from scale length to be in tune with the fretted note at the 12th fret
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018

  15. TeleAlex

    TeleAlex TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    11
    Jun 12, 2018
    Ohio
    If I were to use Roger's method, I'd move them all out to 80-85% of their total possible extension and measure 25.5" from the FRONT edge of the nut to the break point on the saddles. Do I have that right?

    That said, when I extend them should they be aligned in a neat row so I have an accurate point of reference for the break point?
     

  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    The scale length is measured from the fretboard/nut edge to the break over point on the saddle. The center of the 12th fret should be half of that measurement. Since you don't have neck holes yet, you'll need to lay them out to attach the neck unless you use some double sided tape. Then there is the matter of the wiggle room for the neck to get the E strings where you want them on the neck. Getting the pickup and bridge to be centered to the body is important too. It's a juggling act. You get what you pay for with aftermarket bodies. I think it would be a mistake to drill for the neck and attach it and then find out you can't leverage it a bit to adjust the strings to the neck. Going back to my other comment, I wouldn't really do anything until you have all the parts and see how they fit together.

    Normally I'd use the straight edge on each of the sides of a mounted neck to determine a centerline of the body to the neck. Then with the neck in place, I'd find the scale length point on the centerline and use a protractor to get a perpendicular line to the centerline.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018

  17. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County

  18. TeleAlex

    TeleAlex TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    11
    Jun 12, 2018
    Ohio
    Thanks so much for everyone's suggestions. I found a good video that I think will help!

     
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  19. Kriticaster

    Kriticaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    40
    110
    Nov 5, 2017
    Crete, Greece
    How did the 4-way switch work out for you??
    That’s what I’m planning for my Thinline partscaster build...

    I’m excited about the sonic possibilities!!

    And good luck with the bridge placement... That’s somewhat beyond my abilities at present...
     

  20. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    51
    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Bridge placement can be a pain in the A. The amount of times I've had to dowel fill incorrect holes and start over - *doh*

    But there's some sound advice in here. Get ALL your relative parts together, follow the afore mentioned instructions, take your time, and you should be good.
     
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