69 Tele Thinline - help! ;-)

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by pshupe, May 23, 2020.

  1. pshupe

    pshupe TDPRI Member

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    Hello all, my name is Peter and I usually hangout in a different forum that will remain nameless. A friend of mine has a 1969 Fender Thinline blonde, natural?? and I thought I would like to take a stab at building one.

    I would like to be somewhat faithful to the originals but not stuck on a replica. I use CNC for a lot of my building and help out a friend who is a local luthier. He has a standard tele shape guitar that I have created a 3d model and CAM program. I thought if I am building something close already I might as well build something for myself.

    I cut down an ash tree about 5 years ago and have had it stickered and air drying for that amount of time. Here are a few pictures of the wood I have. It is white ash so is probably quite heavy so the thinline may be a good option for weight.

    This is my trailer full from the log I cut and milled.

    IMG_7064.JPG

    I've cut most of this up into more useable pieces and have saved some out for guitar bodies.
    IMG_0024.JPG

    IMG_0051.JPG

    I've planed up a piece and have a couple that are body sized to work with right now.

    IMG_0050.JPG

    I'll be asking for a lot of help as far as vintage build details. I will thank you in advance for any tips or info you can supply.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  2. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That's going to be a fun project for you. I agree that given the weight of the ash, a Thinline inspired build is a great way to go, too.
     
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  3. solfege

    solfege TDPRI Member

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    That is some gorgeous wood. If you can get one piece top and bottom sections, the figuring might be really cool.
     
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  4. pshupe

    pshupe TDPRI Member

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    I've been gathering info on all kinds of guitars over the years and found some pretty good drawings, pdf files, of a thinline tele. The nice thing about these files are they are to scale, which is nice. Here is my starting point or at least my confirmation that the body shape I already have is close.

    body -
    Tele_pdf.JPG

    Head stock -
    Tele_HS_69TL.JPG

    I am a CAD monkey by trade, so like to draw everything I can in a CAD program. AutoCAD is my go to program as I have used it for more than 30 yrs. UGH! I've started some drawings for my friend and have modified based on the info above.

    My CAD plans -

    CAD01.JPG

    So a few questions right off the bat -

    1. Does this chambering look about right?
    2. How thick is the body and how deep is the chambering?
    3. Depth of the PUP cavities?
    4. I noticed that a couple of the images of 69 thinlines seem to show a back plate instead of a top plate. Can someone confirm that this is the case?
    5. If it is a back plate, how are the wire channels routed.

    Thank you and I look forward to making more progress on this build soon.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  5. pshupe

    pshupe TDPRI Member

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    Yes I have about at least 3 or 4 pieces that could be one piece. I assume the original 69 thinlines were one piece?

    Cheers Peter.
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hey...I know which unnamed forum you hang out in....you used to be here years ago ;-)

    I make the walls of the thinline thicker in the short grain areas to avoid a crack if it falls. You know how SG cavities can break down by that thin area.


    When I do a thinline. The top and back are 1/4 and the control rout from the top goes in 1.5" deep. Standard American made tele thicknesses are usually 1.75" thick

    Do you have the standard tele drawing by Tdowns? post 585

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/d-size-tele-body-blueprint-files-here.74504/page-30



    As you can see those pickup depths are .850 for the bridge pickup and .625 for the neck.




    Here is what I did for a thinline on my x carve

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/using...-make-an-electric-guitar.855655/#post-8511502





    https://reverb.com/item/31425827-vintage-1969-fender-thinline-telecaster-guitar-natural-hard-case



    https://reverb.com/item/33743150-1973-fender-telecaster-thinline-olympic-white


    As far as tops, According to the Duchossoir book, it was hollowed out from the rear. I do it from the top myself, as do most here building them.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes - the Thinline was designed by Roger Rosmeisl who was poached from Ric and it's a rear route back plate as classic Rics are. Those hollows are about right.

    You can't assume Thinlines were one piece. Most Gibsons aren't. Mine's at least 3 including the rear panel. The ash ones almost certainly weren't.

    Other than the Thinline specific routes and pickguard, all the rest of the guitar, bridge, neck and controls, tuners is as per a sixties Tele.

    I'd use 250kohm pots. I'd use a four-way switch, .047 tone cap with a treble bleed.

    IMG_20190406_170849.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  8. pshupe

    pshupe TDPRI Member

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    Sweet. Thanks for the info. I've got enough wide ash to do 3 or 4 one piece bodies but didn't want to waste a 2" thick piece for a 1/4" back plate. I guess I could re-saw but would rather have a two piece back plate. Frankly I wouldn't mind doing a 2 piece body but I have the width so it's less work for the 1 piece. I'm pretty far away from wiring right now but I have looked at some components but nothing urgent for quite some time in that department.


    Cheers Peter.
     
  9. pshupe

    pshupe TDPRI Member

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    Thanks I'll take a look. That is an awesome thread about your X-carve build. I have had 3 CNC machines over the past 5 years or so. I started off with a CNC Shark Pro then moved up to a slightly larger but more robust version, then the same version with a taller Z height. I love my CNC machine and use Fusion 360 mostly. I work for an Autodesk re-seller in Canada, so I have all the Autodesk software. I've used AutoCAD for 20 years, and Fusion now for about 2 or so. Thanks for all the info. It'll take me a while to sift through it all.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  10. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Looking forward to your build and lots of great advice on this forum. After you're done this one you can post a build of "one of those other guitars"..:) We like all types here....
     
  11. artpak

    artpak NEW MEMBER!

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    One thing to consider is if you are planning to use a bigsby. Just check that there is wood underneath for the screws to bite into. Looking forward to the build. Thanks for sharing
    Art
     
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  12. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

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    My thoughts precisely. I'd definitely leave wood for mounting a B5, but not everyone digs a Bigsby (the heathens!)
     
  13. pshupe

    pshupe TDPRI Member

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    I updated my drawing to include the pickguard, switch and pot locations, and back plate design.
    CAD02.JPG

    I have been looking at 69 thinlines for sale and specifically the one in a link a couple of posts up my @guitarbuilder and noticed a slight flattening at the output jack location. I just noticed it on my drawing as well. It doesn't seem to be completely flat just a slight flattening of the curve in that area.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  14. pshupe

    pshupe TDPRI Member

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    Updated to accommodate Bigsby. I already had one in CAD so just added it in. I can't afford a B5 but have a B50 in my tool box! ;-)

    CAD03.JPG

    Cheers Peter.
     
  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  16. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

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    With the pieces i see on your pics i would consider a 3 piece back. A 2 piece top could be made out of the right piece on your bench pic split and mirrored joint.
     
  17. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Holic

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    I would add a bit of material back in the area where the top strap button goes. Adds some strength. As you can see by my Thinline build below, I did not.
    9215339A-B5C4-43A4-8063-D7E33CC468D5.jpeg
     
  18. pshupe

    pshupe TDPRI Member

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    Why a 3 piece back and 2 piece top, If I have pieces big enough for 1 piece?

    I have 4 pieces big enough for a 1 piece body -
    IMG_0054.JPG IMG_0055.JPG

    I think I will do a 2 piece back because I do not want to waste a wide piece and also I'd have a hard time re-sawing. although I could probably manage.

    Regards Peter.
     
  19. pshupe

    pshupe TDPRI Member

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    It actually is a little bit thicker there but I may thicken it slightly more. Thanks.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  20. dazzaman

    dazzaman Tele-Afflicted

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    I also know your work from the other forum (I am a member there, but stay in lurker mode), and great to see you over here.

    I am sure, based on your threads there that are have, or are, thinking of all things before you commit, but a couple of things to throw out to you.

    First, the only issue I could possibly imagine with a two piece back and one piece body would be the potential visibility of the join between the pieces, in particular when viewing from the end. I am fairly sure Fender didn't care less about that in the day, and it would be entirely how you would feel personally about that. I am thinking you can pretty much disguise that to make it more-or-less invisible, and you could always join the back pieces at an angle (rather than perpendicular) which would disguise it from the end even better. Obviously, all that is irrelevant if you paint it...

    The other thing is that, although it makes perfect sense to alter the lower cavity for the Bigsby, I don't think Fender had a cavity there in the 1968/69 versions. I know when I first did drawings and templates for mine I didn't include it, and I am pretty sure I followed what was on the originals. I can see there is no cavity on my template, but can't immediately find my notes from the time to confirm it wasn't there originally. But, even if you leave the cavity there (even in your altered form) I assume you are also going to have string-through holes and ferrules. With that in mind, the other option with a Bigsby is to get a Vibramate which simply attaches at the endpin. I will be fixing one to my second burlcaster build instrument in the next couple of days (once I finish the polishing of various things), but my test fit has convinced me it is a great solution.
     
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