anyone routed out a standard tele body(to make something of a thinline)

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by darylcrisp, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    243
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    big stone gap, va 24219
    I'm sure more than a few of you have done this. would love to hear the results.

    reasons-to remove some weight, and to possibly have that slightly different tone a thinline offers up(due to the cavities).

    I received a solid standard tele body today(pretty sure its alder). thinking about going in from the back, removing wood/making a large cavity on the top half, then forming a recessed coverplate(plastic/alum/maybe a thin wood veneer).

    and probably cutting out an F hole on the top as well-just like a thinline.

    this may be a total flop, but I'd enjoy hearing from anyone else that's done similar, things you found that worked best, or thoughts after completion that you wished you'd done. and did it change much tonewise?

    a fun project for winter for me I think.

    d
     
  2. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    21
    Posts:
    767
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Location:
    Brookfield, WI
    The way it was originally done at fender was through the back, then covered with a 2 piece back, I don't recall how thick the back piece is off the top of my head, but it is thicker than a veneer. As for whether or not you should do it with the alder body you have, I'd say don't. The reason why Fender made the thinlines back in the late 60s was due to a period of supply shortages of swamp ash that was light enough for the standard solid bodied guitars, since alder is fairly lightweight to begin with, I would worry about the finished guitar suffering neck dive.
     
  3. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    243
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    big stone gap, va 24219
    this piece is a fender body blank, already routed out, etc for standard electronics placement, but its hhheavy. really needs a serious diet-lol.

    thank you for the info and reply, I just want to see what I can do with this.
    may turn out to be a fancy piece of firewood...

    d
     
  4. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    21
    Posts:
    767
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Location:
    Brookfield, WI
    How heavy are we talking? Depending on how heavy we're talking it may in fact be worth considering after all.
     
    darylcrisp likes this.
  5. GFrank

    GFrank Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    293
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2018
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have done something similar with a 3/4" spade drill bit. Drill in from the side (I drilled in from the side/end opposite the neck), move the spade back and forth to take out more material on the inside, plug the outer hole with a 3/4" x 1/4" wooden plug (easily found at Lowes or Home Depot). Worked fairly well.
     
    darylcrisp likes this.
  6. dogmeat

    dogmeat Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,888
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Location:
    Alaska
    I recently did an (unknown Asian) Strat (free dumpster find with Allparts neck). drilled the back & covered it with .10 birch ply. a LOT lighter, more resonant. installed a block of ash to mount the bridge & some backer blocking. this is the rough out, unfortunately I didn't take a pic of the cavity after the cleanup. fitted with Duncan Phat Cats. I just painted the back in black. right now I'm sourcing parts to make a Tele version with some better parts (I'll move the P-Cats to the new build). I will do the same & there won't be an F hole

    P1110259.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

    darylcrisp likes this.
  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,981
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Wyoming panhandle
    carpenter, AAT65 and darylcrisp like this.
  8. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    243
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    big stone gap, va 24219
  9. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    243
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    big stone gap, va 24219
    I need to actually weigh it, but from just picking it up I can tell it needs some cardio.
     
  10. dogmeat

    dogmeat Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,888
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Location:
    Alaska
    I used this....

    [​IMG]

    with my Moto tool to set the shoulder for the plywood.

    remove the heavy wood with Forstner bits (or spade bits). Forstner bits don't have the lead tip of a Spade so you can go deeper without braking through the other side. the space between drill holes cleans up quick and easy with a chisel. the Safety Planer is good for a flat surface but not really well suited for this idea
     
    darylcrisp likes this.
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    22,575
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    I took a full pound off a swamp ash Tele body that way, but from the back I see no reason to spend time trying to make it look like no wood was removed.
    My lawn and garden need to look good more than the back of my guitars.
    I've actually lightened three bodies that way but the last was the biggest weight reduction, and I got no neck dive.
    With my chronic pain it turned a guitar I never played into a guitar I'll pick up sometimes.
    Has a squeal issue now though due to a different bridge, and the neck needs some fret dressing, so it's not a #1.
     
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    22,575
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    C357F4E6-01BE-443E-98AB-E3D18517D926.jpeg
    I also removed some stock under the guard and then routed for a Glendale Strate Plate.
    The weight loss was actually 15oz so not quite a full pond, but pretty significant.
     
    darylcrisp and bullfrogblues like this.
  13. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    243
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    big stone gap, va 24219
    Thank you for this, and my thoughts going into this question was , "need at least a pound removed".
    Your thoughts on not needing a cover plate just inspired me to look in that direction also.
    Thank you for posting.
    d
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  14. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    243
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    big stone gap, va 24219
    Lol, I've been wanting one of these for a while also.
    d
     
    dogmeat likes this.
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    22,575
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    I think if you rout out a pound in one long bathtub it might be more annoying uncovered, which is why I went with holes.
    Also it took less than an hour including routing the round over on all the holes so they don’t catch on clothing or belt buckles etc.

    It was my preference to not weaken the area between neck and bridge, so I stayed out on the perimeter. As far as getting a new sound I was not lookin for that.
    If that is a goal you could remove more in the middle.
     
    darylcrisp likes this.
  16. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,758
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal
    Love those holes - was going to do that to a Les Paul Studio one of these days but have to find a way that doesn't chip the real finish on it.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    22,575
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    41645A4F-3CF3-4AB2-8105-5066F228E0B6.jpeg 21984161-BB83-4D69-A62A-52C7820113D9.jpeg FF4F7E37-3141-4FB1-9D7D-2F53E839E84E.jpeg 617D035E-94B8-4E54-8A8A-4CD660C9E242.jpeg
    Drill press and good quality Forster bit.
    Not the spade bits!
    Not cheap Forster bits either, these are made in Austria which is similar to Swiss and German for precision tooling.
    Routings round over can easily scratch the finish so I put painters tape on the router base but better still cover the finish to prevent scratching.
     
    Bartholomew3 likes this.
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    22,575
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    3074EBF1-11FA-4857-8D01-935EB32D4E43.jpeg I drilled this one without chipping the finish but it’s a road worn so not much risk.
    Didn’t lose a pound but there are more holes under the guard too.
    I didn’t have a postal scale to get the original weight.
    The good news is that the heavier the guitar the easier it is to lose a pound.
    My LP is a ten ponder though so it needs to lose four pounds!
     
    darylcrisp and Bartholomew3 like this.
  19. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,758
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal
    Have a 74 LP Custom Cherry Bust - must weigh about 13 lbs, like a boat anchor but I would never do it to that one.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  20. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,779
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    Kansas
    Yeah I've done it twice. Took two ash Strat bodies that were heavy and planed a quarter inch off the top. Designed the basic routes and cavities I wanted, Forstner bit to hog out most of the material and a router to finish it off.

    I put a new quarter inch ash top on to finish it off with an f hole. That took two pounds out of the guitar.

    Let me know if you have any questions. I'd be happy to share more details!

    20191117_144721.jpg 20191214_230231.jpg
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.