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Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Danishboy, Apr 1, 2020.
Can you name some Teles below 6 lbs, with a belly cut and arm contour?
Hard to find
There is no way to answer this. You'll need to look at specific individual guitars and find one you want as no model will consistently be that light. *Below* 6 pounds is going to be a challenge for sure - you'd likely need to go with a custom maker.
I'm building one right now with chambering, bellycut and modest arm bevel. Body is at 4.6 lbs without hardware so I doubt I'll make the 6 lb mark.
This month I made 4 tele's that are under 6 lbs and they are amazing. You don't sacrifice anything (except weight) if you know how to do it. Truth is they can be more resonant, have greater sustain, and be more durable and beautiful than anything -very dependent on the wood and the design. I made a lot of classicals and steel-string acoustics in the past and use a lot of those principles in my tele's. Here's a ceylon satinwood I made with '59 humbuckers "a real tone beast from the early days" and also one of my latest tele's. I have never sold any guitars that I have made: they have been donated to music charities (like Harmony and Healing), nondenominational churches, music programs, veterans, and trauma victims.
If you're using a normal neck and hardware, you'll need a body in the 3 pound or less range to get under 6 pounds with a Tele.
Exactly what I figured out too (about 2 lbs 8 oz is the best I can do 0n a bare bones body).. I mill a chambered center section to the body to carry the structural stress-bearing elements (usually q-sawn old growth cedar, or roasted spruce). Then I cap it with thin spruce/or a thin hardwood like african blackwood or bubinga for durability. The cedar is stiff enough for the neck stresses and transfers sound like a screamin' bandit, but without the caps it would be way too soft to survive much use. So it's hard on the exterior, stiff in the center section and hollow where it can be.
It's easier to get a very light thinline type body than a very light solid body if you're buying one, though it's possible to get regular swamp ash bodies under 3.5 pounds.
Whoa, dude! I am speechless! That Telecaster is just freakin incredible!
Care to share some further details about it. Wood, hardware etc.?
Sure... It's maple cap over chambered swamp ash w/cocobolo crotch wood trim, neck is torrified maple, flat-sawn, w/ truss-rod, stainless steel frets and it weighed in when finished under 1 lb (without tuners), it has a 3-way with long-shaft CTS pots and treble bleed, 2019 American Pro Tele V-mod pickups, & insulated cavities. Tuners are locking F-Fenders (very nice but very heavy at over 8 Oz), and Modern Gotoh bridge (a bit heavy, but in my opinion does have a nice warm resonance). I could have been a "cut-off" tele bridge leaving the bridge pickup open with another cocobolo trim piece; and with Steinberger gearless tuners (not sure if I like them though) and that bridge change, I think it would drop another 1/2 lb or so. So it could have been even noticeably lighter and maybe just as nice sounding...maybe.
Also, if you like beautiful guitars that are "good playing" and "good-sounding" here's another favorite; it's a 2017 Fender Kotzen with a "make-over". It's a bit heavier at 7lbs 6 Oz. Action is .013 to .018 across the 1st fret and .06 across the 12th. it was a non-working guitar that had problems: pickguard was busted, screw holes were stripped, sizeable dents in the body, some cracks in the finish and some that extended into the body; it had a damaged strat pickup with a pried-off cover in the neck, wiring was melted in more than a few spots, had a non-working switch, resoldered over-heated pots, cavities were chiseled to oversize (by the markings it looks like a dull flat-headed screwdriver was used). Hey, but I understand,right? - it's a tool. Anyway this one had a lot of "non-luthier" modifications and problems, and that may have led to its final mistreatment which, by the looks, was some body-slamming. So, it became a project. It got stripped and structurally repaired, refinished, cavity edges were rerouted, was insulated, got new pots and wiring with a Bill Lawrence style 5-way switch w/ treble bleed, a new twang king in the neck, reused the sole-survivor chopper T in the bridge, new pickguard was refitted and new holes drilled, refitted the neck, replaced some hardware and knobs. It had a gorgeous palette of sounds, and it was a smooth, easy player. It went to a friend who saw it, played it, and absolutely fell in love with it.
Oh, I forgot. I made this a few years ago. The trim on the red tele is from the same board.
Thanks for posting all that. Nice refurbishment job on the other Tele. I love that pg you put on. Goes brilliantly with the body and gold hardware.
I have a Tele Bridge dual rail bucker that I must use in a build someday. But I’ve got half a dozen or so projects on the go atm, so that’ll have to wait.
^^^ THIS ^^^
Hi, regarding your "Tele Bridge dual rail bucker", what make is it and what does it sound like;is it one of you favorites. Just curious, i'm always looking to get that perfect combination of sounds. I like the Chopper-T bridge most days, but sometimes just switching over to the the Gen 4 noiseless v-mod on the Fender AM Pro is absolutely "the best", (for some reason?). Depends on mood, and style of play but in general there are about 5 pickup sets I prefer over the rest. Haven't tried Tone Specific's (can of worms as to whether they are special or not) but might do that soon. Best regards, Bruce
It’s just a no name bucker I picked up off our local trade site on a whim. Haven’t tried it as yet, but will eventually put it in something. I’m itching to try it to see what it’s like, but not sure what build I’m gonna put it it. Something will come along to inspire me .
Well, this one didn't make it out of the shop...customer had some health problems so i'm selling it on Ebay -still new.
It might be worth talking to Ron Kirn to see if he still has Eastern White Pine from the Globe Grain Elevator. My Kirn built from this wood is just a hair over 6lb. I imagine he would have no problem building one around that weight with the contours you want.
I have a crummy left shoulder, so I ordered pine bodies from "Tone Bomb" in Calgary. I just need a little help from a luthier buddy, and I'll have them up and running. One is an Esquire, and the other my Tele stuff will go onto. They seem pretty light to me
Here's a 5 lb Hybrid (5lbs 5 1/2 Oz to be exact). It's my new favorite. I spent a ton of time on this guitar. It started out as a Tele Tribute concept, but with some very appropriate upgrades. The sexy look of a strat (and yes, tele is definitely sexier to some), with reverse headstock Tele-neck, and a Gristle-tone tele output in a string-through. Custom Body (forest-fire hardened redwood was cut for the caps front and back, a qtrsawn cedar block that was made into the center started out as a huge block of cedar that was kiln toasted at intervals ranging 280 to 360 degrees F for 48 hours and then trimmed to get rid of the cracking and char, and then chambered. Neck is Warmoth roasted with Warmoth compound radius and stainless frets. Has Koch Gristletone Tele Electronics, Titanium Saddles, Vintage Gotoh Tuners. It may be possible to hit under 5 lbs with lighter weight tuners, and single coils with 3-way as Gristletone is relatively a heavy-weight (but man what a sound and resonance this thing puts out -It's as perfect a guitar soundwise as I have ever heard or made). The finish is hand-rubbed blonde shellac.
Well, I do not like body contours on a tele. (I have a couple of other types of guitars that do have one or both of those contours on them, and I don't find them to be any advantage.) When I read the 6 lbs. part, I went on ahead and started reading the thread. It seems the consensus is DIY or custom order.
I have neither the tools nor the talent to build a guitar myself, but I have custom made guitars. All five of my teles are custom made by Bob Logan of Logan Custom Guitars. He does thinline and chambered; I have examples of both. In fact, my avatar pic is of my two "Firecasters" (lumber salvaged from a house fire + telecasters), and they're both chambered. The one on the left weighs 6 lbs. 3 oz. The one on the right weighs 5 lbs. 10 oz. And he does body contours for a little extra.
I don't know how much shipping to Denmark would add to the price of a tele, but I do know that Bob has shipped guitars to the UK, and I think to other countries in Europe as well. Furthermore, Bob's base prices are reasonable, to say the least. The base price for a chambered tele from Bob with the contours would be in US currency $784, if I've read his website right. Of course, what features you custom order after that base price will determine the overall cost of the guitar, overseas shipping not included.
I am of absolutely no help, but I have a warmoth chambered alder hardtail strat that weighs just over 6lbs.
It is rare for a true solidbody to get that light.