Back and forearm cut/relief w/jigsaw?

TwoBear

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Has anyone used a somewhat entry level jigsaw to cut the forearm and rear relief on a telecaster body?

It’s my mahogany body mutt, which I’ve been playing and is pretty much finished but I’d like to lighten it up and make it more comfortable.

I’ve always done that with a bandsaw before. I would hope to at least lighten it up by a pound or more.

I’ve also been thinking about adding a small Bigsby or some kind of bender so any weight off would be a good thing.
33CEDF6C-D177-42A5-82D1-1127106618C1.jpeg
 

TwoBear

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I don’t have one of those anymore. I thought I had picked up a 40 grit belt for my hand belt sander but all I’ve got is 80s and I don’t think I even would’ve attempted it with 40.

I’ll keep my eyes open for another rasp when I hit the garage sales and weekend swap meets.
 

Peegoo

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If you're working with hand tools, a simple way is to make a series of parallel cuts in the wood with a hand saw and then pare out the wood with a chisel. That removes a lot of wood in a short time.

Follow up with a large curved wood rasp, e.g., "four-in-hand," or 40-grit on a palm sander to final shape. Sand that to 220.

Tele-Body-Belly-Cut-Steps.jpg
 

guitarbuilder

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Get yourself a rasp and a handsaw. In wordworking, long grain is tougher to break than short grain. I use a short backsaw to make kerfs, and then a hammer and chisel to break off the short grain. After the majority is removed, then I rasp it, and finally sand it.

Use care if just rasping dense hardwood. I developed a repetitive motion injury from rasping two walnut strat bodies at the same time one New Years eve. That wasn't much fun and eventually I started to investigate CNC as I knew I couldn't carve a maple top with my dominant arm.

14 Years ago...how time flies. Here is my post #11 for more details about the above methodology. Don't go all the way with the saw kerfs. For a strat I copied the side view of the contour on cardboard and traced that on the wood. For a tele, it'll be shorter in length, but similar with a smile shape.



After I establish the lines of the contours, I use a handsaw on the tummy contour making kerfs about 1/4' apart. I don't saw down all the way, but probably within 1/8" of the contour lines. You need to be careful that you don't saw past your marks. Then I take a hammer and wood chisel and bust off the wood. It is short grain, so It breaks pretty easily. I then rasp and file the wood to the lines and finish off with a random orbit sander and finally abrasive paper. The arm contour I do on a stationary belt sander followed by the orbital and abrasive paper. Go slow and check your work often.
Marty



 
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Rowdyman

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darkforce

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I would not recommend a jigsaw, since the blade might deflect quite a bit. But as seen by all the previous comments, there are many ways to do this with just hand tools. I have done it with rasps before (Shinto saw rasp and Iwasaki files), which does not take all that long. On my latest build, I used a gouge to remove most of the material and a gooseneck card scraper for smoothing. Whatever removes the material and gives you enough control.
 

ghostchord

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For me Shinto rasp followed by orbital sander. The only somewhat tricky bit is to try and keep a nice line on the edges since it's easy to work a little bit too much especially around the "corners". I would say a definite no to the jigsaw, doesn't sound safe. Some people's weapon of choice is an angle grinder which with the right abrasive disk will make short work of this.
 

TwoBear

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Peegoos method..:)

after I broke the bits off, I used a flap wheel to smooth the cut lines out..just... then rasp/sanding to flatten/blend in... didn't take long..

the rear curve I did with a dinner plate and free handed the top curve, joined them up with saw cuts...

View attachment 986165 View attachment 986166 View attachment 986167 View attachment 986168
I love all these ideas! I can definitely appreciate the ones where you’ve gotten by with what you have.

Reminds me of when I added tuners to my old Gibson J50? The all mahogany counter part to that same size Gibson that came with a sunburst top, of which I can’t remember that model either.

I was out in Salt Spring island in Canada, And the second button of my original tuners (The little white plastic?) had broken.

All I could come up with was a potato peeler and a drill bit I had to turn by hand, To install the popular Shaller’s of the day.

I should be able to use my Japanese style backsaw, my jigsaw and some 80 grit and up, on my belt sander, to get me where I’m going.

I’ve got a gig coming up on the 3rd in Temecula California. Judging by how out of shape I was the other night at Knott’s Berry farm, i’m gonna need all the help I can to get through the whole night.

Thanks to all for the suggestions!!!
 
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trev333

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it was only after fine sanding that I noticed it, very symmetrical...

I don't even know what wood it is... it's rock hard, but not heavy. it came from a corner bench top I got for a few bucks at the house scrap yard....

the old makita 10" was smoking chopping it into blanks...;)

pine table back.JPG
Pine table top blanks1.JPG
 

peterg

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it was only after fine sanding that I noticed it, very symmetrical...

I don't even know what wood it is... it's rock hard, but not heavy. it came from a corner bench top I got for a few bucks at the house scrap yard....

the old makita 10" was smoking chopping it into blanks...;)

View attachment 986755 View attachment 986756
Looks like southern yellow pine to me or an Aussie equivalent.
 

Slowtwitch

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I use a jigsaw all the time, but this is not something I'd attempt with a jigsaw.

On Mahogany, I've used a disc sander (60 grit) on a cordless drill to do arm and belly cuts. Was much quicker than my usual rasp by hand way, but you need to have good control over that disc, don't attemp it if you haven't spent plenty time on the skill. Ash is too hard, then I use a rasp.

IMG_20210420_135652.jpg
 

Rufus

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An angle grinder/flap wheel works best if you're not used to doing this.
It would be easy for a beginner to over do it with a band saw or power tools.

Its obviously best to make small adjustments, a little at a time, rather than take off too much.
 




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