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Alder or Ash tele-style guitar with 1.5 in body thickness?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by ald1972, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. ald1972

    ald1972 TDPRI Member

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    I have developed an "enforced preference" ;) for 1.5 in body-thickness guitars due to an injury. Traditional Tele-style guitars (as you already know) typically have a body thickness of 1.75 in.

    Sadly, most Tele-style guitars having a 1.5 in. body thickness tend to be very inexpensive guitars with basswood or poplar bodies. Examples of these would be a Squier Affinity or a Monogram Indio.

    Can anybody recommend to me an Alder-bodies or Swamp Ash-bodies Tele-style guitar with a 1.5 in. body thickness? Apart from the slimmer body I would prefer a guitar that adheres to the usual Tele-style body shape and pickup arrangement.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Some of the older Affinities are made of Agathis. Hard, heavy stuff. I think its heavier than Alder or Ash?
     
  3. ald1972

    ald1972 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion - though from what I've read earlier, Agathis tends to be closer to Mahogany tonally. If true, that is actually the opposite of the direction I want to go. I've handled a few Agathis guitars in the past - the weight seemed to vary a lot between them.
     
  4. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    My 2009 Affinity seems to be alder from what I've read. It weighs between 6 and 7 pounds after my forearm and belly cuts. Here's a pic sanded down to the wood. I am ashamed to say that as a graduate in forestry 30 years ago I don't know wood.

    affinityforearm.JPG
     
  5. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I actually took dendrology in college, just because of my interest in wood. We actually tasted wood samples to aide in identification. Those dark short streaks in the center piece, are dead on with my 2010, which I'm assuming is Agathis.
     
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  6. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    1.5 isn't impossible, and if you are more comfortable with the thinner body, then you can certainly do it, but you may need to make some tweaks. As a matter of fact, the earliest of the early 1950 pine esquires and double esquires were 1.5 inches thick, but Leo eventually changed it to 1.75, to make things simpler to manufacture. One of the bigger problems was the need to make the top of the control cavity a little bit deeper than the rest of the cavity to make room for the CRL 1452 3 way switch. Now, the modern ones are shorter than the old style ones, but you may still need to do something like that. Other than some tweaks here and there, I would just take a body and plane it down to the preferred thickness, taking material off from the top.
     
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  7. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    I see those streaks in the piece above the center too. Thanks for the ID. Still , it's a solid wood, much unlike basswood which I'm working with now. I had a wood ID class too but we never tasted it.
     
  8. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

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    Body wood is only a small part of the sound as you can hear:

    Take a used slimmer body from eBay/CL/Reverb and get decent parts for your personal guitar.
     
  9. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Holic

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    Buy a planer.
     
  10. SbS

    SbS Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I've got an agathis body Standard model from 2001. And as far as I can tell, it's on the heavy side. Full thickness though.
     
  11. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    I agree that planing down an existing raw body is probably your best bet, but definitely not from the front! Not only the control cavity, but the pickup routs and neck pocket would be affected.
    I'm not sure how far the deepest of those routs goes, but you'd still need more than an eighth of an inch of thickness on the back to avoid the danger of punching a hole in it.
     
  12. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Why not get an Affinity and upgrade the bits you don’t like?
     
  13. AmpHandle

    AmpHandle Tele-Meister

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    New Fender affinity's and Bullets are using Poplar according to the current spec sheet. Mine weighs in at 7.7lbs. Other than color choices, 3ply pickguard and neck label I don't see any difference in quality.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  14. ald1972

    ald1972 TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for the responses - they were helpful.

    BTW: I was wrong about the Monogram Indio having a 1.5 in thickness. I have one now and it has the standard 1.75 in. thickness.
     
  15. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

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    There is a nice sound comparison vid on utube, which shows very similar results on all bods except mahogany and obeche.

     
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