A chambered tele-ish sort of thing

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freeman Keller, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I'm at kind of a bitter sweet moment in a current project. Some of you might have looked into my Chambered LPish thread - that guitar now has all the finish on it and is hanging quietly in my shop/garage. If I am good, it will hang there for two or three weeks (four would be even better but I'm not that good), then I can color sand and buff it, wire and install the electronics, do the frets, make a nut, set it up and finally.......... play it.

    Realistically that is a month away, maybe even more.

    Mean time, I'm bored. I was kind of getting in a groove, going out to the shop, making some sawdust, posting a few pictures. I'm going to miss that. So I did what I always do when I'm bored - I started another project.

    I don't actually own a telecaster. I've built four, but given them away to a cause that I believe in. I've got the Les Paul and jazz guitar bases pretty well covered but everyone needs a tele in their quiver, right? Besides, I've got a hunk of mahogany and some very pretty maple stashed away in the basement. Might as well make something out of while the LP thing outgasses and the little cross links link (or whatever the finish is doing as it cures).

    Raw wood, maple, mahogany and a neck blank

    IMG_4609.jpg

    Ran them thru a friends thickness sander, then ran a router along the edge of the maple against a straight edge

    IMG_4610.jpg

    Shot the edge against a carpenters level with some 120 grit paper on it

    IMG_4611.jpg

    And glued them together

    IMG_4612.jpg
     
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  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    I like the way you think, brother! :cool:
     
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Before I go any further, the usual disclaimer and some background information.

    First, I am a totally amateur hobby level builder. This will be my 24th instrument, most of them were acoustics of some sort. I build in the corner of a three car garage - I don't have a real "shop". Part of the reason for posting these threads is to show just what can be done with minimum tools and space, I have carefully selected the power and hand tools that I feel I need, but its pretty minimal when I look at pictures of some of your shops. There were some "shop" pictures at the Chambered LPish thread, I won't repeat them here.

    When I build electric instruments I tend to be influenced by traditional Gibson styles which I realize are not the focus of this forum. As I said, I've built some tele-clones and given them all away, I intend to keep this one so it will get some of the little oddities that I like in a guitar.

    The telecaster is kind of the antithesis of the other electric guitars that I've built, all which have humbuckers, set necks, carved tops. I like that kind of guitar and that kind of sound and if I didn't already own them I would consider making a tele-clone with 'buckers. But really, a tele should be twangy and so this guitar will get traditional single coils. Haven't decided on which ones yet (I do have a set of StewMac Golden Era that I might start with).

    Second thing, its going to be chambered. I liked the results of chambering the LP clone (the reduced weight primarily) so I'm going to hog this one out. That makes it kind of like a Thinline, but I definitely will not put an f-hole in it - I think they just look wrong. This is a stunning set of maple so I'll do some sort of finish to take advantage of that - I was considering a Cremola or tobacco 'burst but that might hide too much of the wood. We'll see as we go on.

    Otherwise it will be a pretty normal Fender type guitar. Screw on neck with no angle, flat top. I've got the mahogany for the body and neck and that nicely matches the flame in the maple. Rosewood fretboard and probably rosewood binding - that might change as I think about finish. Rosewood or maple veneer on the head so basically the guitar will have three woods that seem to work well together. Water born or solvent lacquer, we'll see what the weather is like when it comes time to finish.

    Probably some other important things but I can't think of them right now, so lets let the glue dry on the top.
     
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  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    When I saw the maple in the wood store I knew it was pretty nice, but I didn't realize how nice until I got it home and splashed some DA on it. Here it is after the glue up

    IMG_4613.jpg
     
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  5. fordguy_85

    fordguy_85 Tele-Meister

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    That's gonna be one gorgeous top my friend!
     
  6. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    ooo - this is going to be interesting!
     
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    My wife calls me "the wood slut".

    Moving on. I made a simple little template that looked like pictures I've seen of chambered teles and set up my daughter's little picnic table outside. Drill out most of the waste wood from the body

    IMG_4619.JPG

    and cleaned it up with a router

    IMG_4620.jpg

    This is why I did it outside

    IMG_4621.jpg

    Cut out the basic shape

    IMG_4623.jpg

    and this is what I've got

    IMG_4624.jpg
     
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  8. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not that this isn't cool enough, (it's plenty cool!) I had always dreamed of this project by making another blank and stacking them for a double thickness hollow Tele, but that's a dream for another day. Carry on!
     
  9. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    Guitar Maker -- someone who turns wood into sawdust...musically.
     
  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    That seems like a lot of work to get basically here

    IMG_3512.jpg
     
  11. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wasn't that a lot of work? ;)
    I would think removing wood would be easier than jigging and bending and clamping.
    Nice work. Carry on!
     
  12. tdoty

    tdoty Tele-Meister

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    Bending is surprisingly easy, though I’m still not sure I’m over the learning curve.

    Great project, Freeman! Looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

    Tim D.
     
  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Bending is really very easy - remember that the sides of every acoustic have been bent. Its also much more economical with wood and you have so many wonderful wood choices. Stick around for a while, I'm planning on bending some rosewood (?) for binding when we get to that stage - that will be a bit trickier with the tight curves at the horn and the bass side of the neck.


    I sat in a seminar by Charles Fox (the guy the designed the bending machine that many of us use). He was doing a cutaway with mahogany, (relatively easy wood to bend) and it went "snap".... Charles took the broken pieces out, looked at them and said "that happens..." I think of that every time I bend a piece of cocobolo or Mad rose or Brazilian or.....
     
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  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Oh, before I forget it, I weighed the body block before and after doing the chambering but before I cut out the shape. I left one pound 14 oz of wood on the driveway. With a little effort I could have made that an even 2 pounds. The chambered LP was a pound and a half. I think I'm going to like both of these.
     
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  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I spent 6 weeks with Charles and George Morris when he lived in Vermont and ran his GRD school. He was an interesting guy and a good teacher. I bent my sides on what was probably the original bending machine.....who knew. His methodology was based on efficient production methods. I actually learned more about woodworking there than at IA teacher college.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  16. zipseattle

    zipseattle Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]


    Where did you get those killer long reach clamps? The aluminum ones with the knobs...
     
  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Back outside, this time to flush cut the outside of the body.

    IMG_4625.jpg

    I haven't decided if I want to use the Oak 4 way switch or something different but its pretty deep and I wanted to make sure I have enough clearance in the cavity.

    IMG_4626.jpg

    Route a hole in the back for the electronics - I don't want to mess up the top.

    IMG_4627.jpg

    IMG_4631.jpg


    Make a cover plate for the electronics

    IMG_4630.jpg
     
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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Cut away most of the waste on the top and smeared some glue on the body

    IMG_4632.jpg

    Clamped 'em together

    IMG_4633.jpg
     
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  20. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Time to start on the neck. Had my friend with the thickness sander face one side of the neck blank which will be the top (fretboard side). Band sawed the top of the head, then faced that off with a Safe-T-Planer.

    IMG_4634.jpg

    Routed the truss rod slot (LMI double acting rod installed from the top). Unfortunately no picture. Planed the back of the neck close to its final thickness

    IMG_4635.jpg

    Rough sawed the width

    IMG_4636.jpg

    and sanded it straight on the sides

    IMG_4638.jpg

    IMG_4637.jpg
     
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