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A chambered tele-ish sort of thing

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

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    The shape I like for Fender-esq instruments is somewhere between tele and strat so I had to glue on a little wing to get the width.

    IMG_4639.jpg

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    Last step is to drill the access hole for the truss rod adjuster (it doesn't have to be at an angle like a normal Fender rod)

    IMG_4648.jpg
     
  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been debating what to do about the head. My original plan was to veneer it with some nice maple that sort of matches the top and to finish it accordingly. I have some flamed maple veneer but it isn't quite right - its much lighter color (more typical of maple) and the flame is much closer together.

    My second idea was to veneer it with rosewood - that would carry the fretboard theme thru to the end of the head. I'm also going to bind the body in rose so it would complete the theme. However I'm also not sure I want the head to match the fretboard. The other complicating factor in all of this is what to do about the inlay in the head - if I use the maple veneer I'll probably do the inlay in rosewood, if the veneer is rose then I can inlay maple.

    So, what I'm going to do is put the maple on and see how I like it. I can even get to the point where I'm ready to finish and can experiment with some of the scraps to see if I can get a better color match. If I decide to do a sunburst I can also 'burst the head. If I don't like it I can just throw the rose on and see how that looks.

    Here are the two veneers sitting on top of the neck and my big hot pipe.

    IMG_4650.jpg

    I have two hot pipes, this one is a piece of 3 inch pipe with a barbeque starter inside. Here is the working end

    IMG_4658.jpg

    I also have a smaller one that I heat with a propane torch and I have a Fox style bender for acoustic guitar side, but since I just need a quick bit of heat this one is easy to plug in and bend the veneer.

    Here is a little caul that fits the curve of the head

    IMG_4651.jpg

    The veneer is bent and clamped to the head

    IMG_4653.jpg

    Done, needs some trimming

    IMG_4652.jpg
     
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Head is roughly shaped and truss rod access opened up

    IMG_4654.jpg

    The fretboard is a LMII pre cambered pre slotted board. Over the years I have built guitars of just about every scale length from mandolin to bari. It makes no sense to try to tool up to slot every different length board when I can buy an accurately slotted one for 25 bucks. Probably cheating, I don't care, if I only built one kind of guitar I'd put together a miter box.

    I actually had to chuckle - last night I was reading an article in American Lutherie about the history of Gibson's three different versions of 24-3/4 scale. It seems as tho in the prewar days (and maybe into the '50's) they were cutting each slot individually on some sort of indexing slide on a table saw - it was only fairly recently that they started gang sawing all the slots at once. Not only that, they were using the Rule of 18 and rounding off to the nearest 64th.
     
  4. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    C’mon Freeman, what’s a 64th between friends?
     
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  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    A 64th is insignificant to a carpenter, its a lot to a machinist. I spent 40 years working with machinists.
     
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  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Moving on. Adjusted the truss rod neutral, filled the slot at the heel end, smeared some glue on the neck, and clamped it together

    IMG_4655.jpg

    IMG_4656.jpg
     
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  7. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's a machinist's joke Freeman. You were supposed to say, oh about 0.015625".
     
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  8. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Or since 2000 or so "shy of a 1/2 a mm"

    :cool:
     
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  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm staring at a set of strat plans and they give the width of the neck pocket as 2.2000/2.1875, the length as 3+/- 1/32, the depth as .594 +.010/-.020 and the walls tapered at 0.84 degrees +0/.25. Right
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Enough of that stuff. Since I had the hot pipe out I figured it was time to bind the body. First routed the channel - its so easy to do a flat topped guitar

    IMG_4657.jpg

    Next I bent the binding on the pipe but didn't take any pictures. Its kind of hard when you have a steaming piece of steel pipe on your work bench and hot wood in your hands to pick up a camera and document the ordeal. Anyway, bent the binding and taped it in place.

    IMG_4659.jpg

    My system if very simple - put the tape on with gaps of an inch or so between. Wick a tiny drop of water thin CA in the gap while holding the binding tight against the body with a little block of wood. Let it kick, sometimes I'll spray a little accelerator on it. Do the next gap, and the next and ...

    When the binding is "tacked" in place (just like a welder would do) I take the tape off and run a tiny bead of the CA all around the binding. It will wick down into the gap (often a bit flows out of the bottom of the binding).

    IMG_4661.jpg

    This works great with both wood and plastic binding, and I've never had a failure.

    Oh, for what it is worth, the pink thing in the last picture is my full on NIOSH respirator. I have become so sensitized to CA that I wear it any time I use the stuff. Can't avoid it, might as well take precautions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Next day. The top was a hair thicker than the binding is tall and I cut the channel very slightly below the seam with the mahogany body. That means that the top of the binding is about 1/32 below the level top. That is actually good, I scraped the outside inch or so of the top so it gradually slopes to the binding - its really hard to see but I like it. Wiped another coat of DA on the wood to judge colors - I'm really liking what I see

    IMG_4663.jpg

    Here is the binding - its kind of hard to see the maple purfling line (I've been sanding and the maple has picked up a bit of dust. It will be scraped right before finishing which should restore the light line).

    IMG_4664.jpg
     
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  12. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    That looks absolutely spectacular!
     
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  13. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Holic

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    Wow! Props to you from another guy with no real shop space. Using your daughter’s picnic table is an inspiration. I usually use stacked milk crates or a piece of MDF on top of a trash can.

    Your guitar looks great!
     
  14. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Freeman, that is coming along great, looks beautiful already. Here's one I'm finishing up,with some features similar to yours:
    DSCF2129 copy.jpg
     
  15. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Back to the neck. Went back outside and trimmed the fretboard back to the neck

    IMG_4665.jpg

    Slowly working it down to the lines at the nut and 16th fret

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    Carpenter's level with some sticky back sandpaper on it.

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    Tiny chip out right at the nut

    IMG_4668.jpg
     
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Drew some reference lines on the neck blank and clamped to my work bench. Started removing everything that doesn't look or feel like a neck

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    Spokeshave, planes and sandpaper

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    Important to keep the back of the neck straight as it tapers towards the head

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    Is this heresy? My favorite neck profile is one I took of an old vintage Les Paul, I've used it on several guitars and everyone seems to like them. Since this is going to be my guitar I'll make it something I know I'll like

    IMG_4670.jpg
     
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  17. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I spent about $100 on a cheapo ryobi table saw. and another $150ish to get the stewmack blade and the 25/24.75" scale template.

    For me it was one of the best decisions I've made in the shop so far. But if I built a different scale length every time... Maybe I'd do it your way and just order em pre baked.

    Do them by hand is no fun imho.
     
  18. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    “Cheapo” and “table saw” sounds like a scary combination to me. My Bosch contractor’s saw was $500, and represents the minimum level of functionality and safety (integrated riving knife) I consider acceptable. That shifts the value proposition more heavily towards LMII slotted boards. Plus the fact that my hourly rate keeps going up every year, especially when I’m charging myself! :D I love the LMII slotting service.
     
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  19. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It shouldn't in this instance.

    The blade sits square. The crosscut rails work. It has a riving knife, though you don't use that for cutting fret slots.

    All in it's a simple and safe solution. You could do it on your Bosch too. But that would mean changing blades. That's what make it the perfect job for a cheap table saw. All it needs to do is little itty bitty cross cuts.

    Seriously, just about anyone doing this could have an all in dedicated fret slotting station for less than $300.

    To be clear, I would not build a shop around a $100 ryobi saw. But it does this job just fine.

    I cut down a beautiful maple billet and ended up with a bunch of boards at about $3 (not including labor).

    Not saying that your way is wrong... Just that my guess is that the jump to doing it yourself is much easier than you think. And in my opinion isn't so tedious it takes the fun out of it.

    But... If somebody asked me to make them a 25.25" scale guitar and just wanted "rosewood" or "maple" without any caveats I'd just go to lmii. So there, I think I've hedged out just about everything I've said.
     

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  20. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    That top is beautiful. Really looking good.
     
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