Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Taylor T5-Inspired Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Boysie, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. Boysie

    Boysie TDPRI Member

    98
    Apr 2, 2009
    Taupo, NZ
    Hey guys, it's time for another build or four. The plan so far is for:

    A Mahogany/Maple Taylor T5 (clearly)
    A Spalted-Cap, Mahogany Les Paul
    A Walnut SG for a mate
    A Walnut Strat (time permitting)

    So I've modelled up a T5 based on the picture and scale length, and tweaked it to allow for a rear-mounted pickup and slide-controls on the side.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I get home to Timaru in a week, so I'll be knee-deep in sawdust in no-time.
     

  2. Theorage

    Theorage TDPRI Member

    86
    Dec 19, 2009
    Pacific NW
    You do nice work! What amount of chambering will you use? As you know, your acoustic tonal dimension will depend on how much of the top vibrates...
     

  3. Theorage

    Theorage TDPRI Member

    86
    Dec 19, 2009
    Pacific NW
    Now that I look more closely at your schematic, it seems that you have a solid island for the magnetic p/u and the bridge. So I'll follow up with the question: what thickness of maple will you use for the top?
     

  4. Boysie

    Boysie TDPRI Member

    98
    Apr 2, 2009
    Taupo, NZ
    Thanks Theorage. I haven't looked into the wave physics of the chamber yet, but it's something I'll investigate before I make the first cut. I'm thinking the maple will be 3-5mm, and I may put a 0.6mm figured veneer over that. As you said, the pickup and bridge will be largely fixed to the mahogany body, so I'm not too concerned about strength. I do have the string pins (is that the right term?) overhanging the block, but they should be close enough to the island to keep the stress down on the cap. Pictures speak a thousand words:

    [​IMG]

    The red arrow shows the string pins hanging over the block
    The blue arrow shows the bridge saddle supported by the block
    The green arrow shows the pickup cavity
     

  5. Theorage

    Theorage TDPRI Member

    86
    Dec 19, 2009
    Pacific NW
    Guilty of quick assumptions

    When I saw the upper bout controls and the reference to the Taylor T5, I took for granted that you were going to use some sort of piezoelectric pickup in addition to the magnetic.

    If true, then let's go to the next point -- type and position of the piezo. Your last diagram & text seem to infer that you are considering the influences of bridge vibrations, and therefore perhaps a typical under-saddle p/u...? Valid because even if your body was completely solid, the string pressure over the saddle and down to the bridge pins would still give you some acoustic-style output, but no one would confuse it with a 414c!

    However, the T5 derives its acoustic sound from the vibrating top area behind the bridge by using some sort of surface mount piezo under the top. [K&K transducer(s) pop into my mind... even though I've never used my X-ray vision to see the guts of the T5!] Now we're thinking about resonant frequencies of the hollow areas where top thickness, top wood composition, and construction practices will affect the sound of wherever you're going to position the PZ under-top transducer(s)!

    Judging by your aptitude, I suspect that you'll somehow be fortunate enough to land on the optimal design. Cheers, T

    [as a side note: you're probably not getting the attention you deserve on this topic because this build isn't a tele despite being in "Tele Home Depot" ;)]
     

  6. Boysie

    Boysie TDPRI Member

    98
    Apr 2, 2009
    Taupo, NZ
    Yeah it is pretty hard to get an idea without ever having held a T5, so I'm just making up my own design with the external shape of the Taylor. The plan currently is to place a surface piezo behind the bridge (as you suggested), and have a three-pole toggle switch to pick between or combine the piezo and magnetic pickup.

    Thanks for the input Theorage, it's definitely got me taking another look over my design (and that's a good thing). I love the community here at TDPRI and have got a huge amount of help from everyone here in the past, so I thought I'd share my own progress (tele-heresy though it may be).
     

  7. SSO720

    SSO720 Tele-Meister

    323
    Feb 10, 2010
    Knoxville TN
    This is a build I want to watch. I have a Crafter SA-BUB, which I feel is a poor man's Taylor T5. I played the Taylor and loved the sound but not the $$$. Then I played the SA and took it home. Besides the price difference on the Crafter I like the ability to blend the pickups.
    Good luck on the build
     

  8. Tom Karol

    Tom Karol TDPRI Member

    77
    Mar 18, 2003
    Medway, MA
    I also have a Crafter SA. The label on mine says BUB (Bubinga), but I believe it's actually ARW (Andes Rosewood). Great guitar at less than 1/3 the price of most T5 models. A $40 pro setup turned it into a real winner. I love the mellow twang of the lipstick neck pickup. I generally blend 3/4 lipstick pickup and 1/4 piezo. The active EQ is very effective, too. Looking forward to see what you come up with, though!
     

  9. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 1, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    love these guitars, been itching to have a go myself but maybe I'll let you work it all out for me first ;)
     

  10. Boysie

    Boysie TDPRI Member

    98
    Apr 2, 2009
    Taupo, NZ
    Thanksguys, I hadn't heard of Crafter guitars before - they look remarkably (even patent-infringingly) similar to the Taylor. I've always loved the T5 shape, and have really gotten into building guitars, but it only just occurred to me in the last month to put the two together. I guess we'll see how it turns out.
     

  11. Boysie

    Boysie TDPRI Member

    98
    Apr 2, 2009
    Taupo, NZ
    Right, so it's taken a while, but I've finally made some progress (in other words, I've hit a wall with my Les Paul build, so figured I'd get started on this one). Thicknessed the walnut using a router sledge:

    [​IMG]

    Some relief holes put in with the drill press:

    [​IMG]

    Then a rough cut with the jigsaw, and the biggest, most savage blade I could buy:

    [​IMG]

    The first pass with the router (sans tearout - all's well so far):

    [​IMG]

    Then the second and third passes, also without incident:

    [​IMG]

    It wasn't until I cut out the body that I realised there are a few knots in the back (which will be seen), and pretty much none in the front (which will be covered by a maple cap). A bit of planning may have been beneficial here... oh well, nothing a bit of grain filler can't fix I guess. I also got an order through from a mate, so I've tagged the parts for this build to his order to save on shipping (and shipping is a LOT from the US to NZ); they should be here soon!
     

  12. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2010
    New Zealand
    Time for the groundbreaking new T5 double cutaway special?
     

  13. Boysie

    Boysie TDPRI Member

    98
    Apr 2, 2009
    Taupo, NZ
    I was contemplating that, until I tried out my new spiral up-cut router bit. It turns out it's a fraction of a mm too thin, and as a result it didn't clamp up in the router as well as I was expecting. I have to say, for a piece of razor-sharp steel spinning loosely in a chuck at 20,000 rpm, this really was the best-case scenario:

    [​IMG]

    However, it did mean that the back is pretty much a write-off. So, onward and upwards:

    [​IMG]

    After a rough cut with the jigsaw, I glued it up with a flamed maple cap:

    [​IMG]

    Once that had dried, it was a rough-cut with the coping saw and a quick sand with the drum sander:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And finally, a test cut for the binding channel where the neck will go (and where the neck will hide any mistakes):

    [​IMG]

    But the biggest revelation this week: I'll be making this one a twelve string. Admittedly I have never held, touched or played a 12 string, but then again I had never played a tele before I built one, or a T5 or Les Paul, which I'm in the middle of making as well - it all adds to the fun!

    One question I do have though is with regards to the neck. I realise that the nut will have to be wider, and obviously the headstock will be longer, but are there any major changes in terms of construction? ie. Will a standard truss rod be enough?
     

  14. Boysie

    Boysie TDPRI Member

    98
    Apr 2, 2009
    Taupo, NZ
    Nobody? All good, I thought it may have been a little optimistic to ask Taylor advice from a Tele forum :)

    Anyways, I started shaping the f-holes recently, and had a little slip with the file. Before I knew it, I had a designer dent in the top of my body:

    [​IMG]

    So out with the iron. Luckily most of it popped back out; it's within sanding depth now at least:

    [​IMG]

    I've also spent a lot of time shaping the bridge blank. No piccies of that unfortunately, but I remembered to get a few when I was putting in the saddle and pin holes. First on the agenda: make up a 1/4" guide for my 3mm router bit to follow:

    [​IMG]

    Then run through with the router:

    [​IMG]

    I wished after that I'd given it a test run first with some MDF. It turns out my jig was about 2mm too short:

    [​IMG]

    Not to worry though, another pass with the template shifted slightly gave a pretty good fit:

    [​IMG]

    It's in there pretty tight, but can be removed fairly easily with a pair of pliers - pretty close to perfect. Next up, mark the pin locations and centre punch with a sharpened nail:

    [​IMG]

    Then drilled and countersunk in one foul swoop:

    [​IMG]

    And finally drilled out again with a standard bit to get the 5.5mm diameter I needed (5.3 would have been ideal, but I didn't have one lying around). A quick test fit, and I couldn't be happier:

    [​IMG]

    The pins are a little loose - they don't rattle, but the do drop out when you flip the bridge. Hopefully the string tension will keep them nice and tight one they're on the guitar though.
     

  15. skipjackrc4

    skipjackrc4 Tele-Meister

    363
    Jan 21, 2011
    USA
    The T5 is probably may favorite electric guitar of all time. At least in appearance. Never played one.
     

  16. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2010
    New Zealand
    Beautiful work. How thick is your bridge blank?

    I have pre-thicknessed 6mm black maire for mine but I'm thinking I may need to double up before I carve it down to size ahead of placement and fine tuning.
     

  17. vdaly

    vdaly TDPRI Member

    11
    Jun 4, 2011
    venezuela
    Wow man that is really cool!

    Do you have blueprints that you could share?

    Best regards...
     

  18. Boysie

    Boysie TDPRI Member

    98
    Apr 2, 2009
    Taupo, NZ
    kwerk: Thanks! It's around 12mm thick, which is on the thick side - I may still have to sand the base a bit thinner. I figured I'd see how the action is once I've got a neck made and set before I start removing too much material though. I've just finished going through your clocKWERKcaster thread, it's given me a lot of inspiration for a future build - I'm thinking moving gears though (Got to put this engineering degree to use somehow).

    vdaly: Sure do, however it's a little big to upload here. If you PM me your email addy I'll send it on to you. It's worth noting that I've only made them off a picture though, so while it will look like a Taylor the exact dimensions and internal structure will be different.
     

  19. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Feb 23, 2010
    East Tennessee
    A Martin type truss rod (in a U shaped channel works well on a 12. If you must use a standard rod, find a 1/4" (6mm) not a 3/16", esp if you try to really thin the neck. Just what I have seen work, not a definitive word :lol:
     

  20. Boysie

    Boysie TDPRI Member

    98
    Apr 2, 2009
    Taupo, NZ
    Thanks Dave, much appreciated!
     

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