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Routing out heavy guitar body to drop weight

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by thesjkexperienc, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc Tele-Meister

    Age:
    54
    469
    Dec 19, 2008
    Gunbarrel, Colorado
    I am sure this has been covered before, but my searches always end in vain.

    I have a nicely shaped, painted and gently aged alder strat body that weighs 4 pounds 4 ounces. The problem was by the time it was built up it was heavier than my Jazzmaster which is about 8 pounds even. I have metal rods in my back which makes standing without a guitar on difficult and any guitar over around 7.5 pounds causes problems later in the day/week.

    If I were to drill then route the area between the control cavity and the lower horn, hidden by the pickguard, will this cause problems? Will taking that amount of wood out drop the weight enough? (I think I need to drop at least half a pound to get it close to useable.) Any downsides I am not thinking of?

    I originally had a rather heavy neck on it as well and I may just slap a Mity Mite or Allparts neck on it to drop some weight. I am considering blocking off the trem and have this be an alternate tuning and slide guitar and I think any trem other than Callaham will be a bit lighter at least.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

    Jul 25, 2012
    Kelowna B.C, Canada
    I think that routing out the area where the PG covers should drop half a pound.. You could also route out the typical "lungs" on the back and put covers on it. It wouldn't cause any foreseeable problems.
     
  3. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    If your strat already has the swimming pool route, you may not be able to remove enough material to get half a pound. But if it's the 3-cavity route for each pup, making it into a swimming pool route, and extending it out into the horn, and digging fairly deep (within reason, of course), you will likely lighten it by that much. You could maximize the amount of material removed by carefully routing right up to the edge of the pickguard footprint, leaving 1/4" or so bosses where the pickguard screws go, so you won't blow them out. FWIW, the GFS factory closeout neck I bought for my Strat pickup mule is surprisingly light. Don't know what kind of wood it is, and it is quite thin, but it's light. Even lighter after I sawed off the annoying point at the top of the thing. :D
     
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  5. thumbpick

    thumbpick Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 22, 2012
    somewhereville
    i know you can over do it..i took a american standard tele and drilled 1 inch holes all over the back about half way through then put a cover on....the darn thing sustained too much
     
  6. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity

    The easiest way to make a guitar lighter is to buy a light guitar.
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    4.4 lb isn't that heavy to begin with. Why not just swap out for a paulownia wood body, or really light swamp ash or pine? They don't get lighter than that. I suppose you could get a thinline strat body too.

    http://guitarmill.com/guitarmill/?page_id=505
     
  8. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc Tele-Meister

    Age:
    54
    469
    Dec 19, 2008
    Gunbarrel, Colorado
    Just had a bad experience with GM, so I'm not doing that!

    I actually have a nice 3# 10 oz Strat body in alder that after sanding and a little routing will be lighter still. I may mask it off and do my own Rory Gallagher tribute. The Fender version got the paint all wrong and it was out of my price range! I wondered if Fender didn't do them perfect because they did a special custom shop Rory Strat for the UK and it was limited to just 40 instruments.

    I was mostly trying to see if I could salvage this body since it has a nice finish and I love the color. I was mostly throwing this out to see if anyone else had done this and how it turned out.

    I just picked up a nice Starcaster template that gives me several options for hardware and pickups as well as going semi or fully hollow or even solid!
     
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