Birch ply vs masonite Danelectro build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by HockeyPop98, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. HockeyPop98

    HockeyPop98 Tele-Holic

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    I just picked up a Dano 59M NOS for my son for Christmas, and am thinking about building one after the holidays. (always wanted to but have seemed to stick to Fenders and Gibsons...).

    I was wondering if anyone who has a Dano build under their belts has gone with birch ply instead of masonite. I may wanna go with a woodgrain under deep trans paint, maybe a veneer. I've never tried centering masonite, not even sure how well it would bond.

    Love to throw these ideas off the TDPRI crowd before jumping in, to see what sticks.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    In the mid 90's I did a Dano convertible strat. I used off the shelf masonite. I'd guess the hardboard formula changed over the years. It didn't have the rigidity of "vintage" Masonite. I used yellow glue.

    I have all the parts for a dano build and am just waiting for the inspiration. I'd use thin solid wood myself and would have a hard time making a plywood guitar after living through the '60's-70's poorly made plywood/ crappy guitar boom.
     
  3. pemaleto

    pemaleto TDPRI Member

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    I´ve made three dano style builds and I´m finishing a fourth. The first was the most faithful to the original with modern masonite, a sparkle finish and lipstick pickups, the others were made with plywood. The first is my favorite, the only problem I encountered was that while the faces were smooth and hard, the sides and pickup routes were prone to swelling during wet sanding of the top, it´s also a good idea to scuff the smooth finsh with coarse sandpaper when gluing to the frame. The one I´m finishing now has solid top and back.
    Since all my builds use reclaimed materials it´s easy and cheap to experiment. Masonite, plywood, solid wood, aluminum, clear acrylic try them all, they are so cheap to make that If you don´t like one outcome, try something else. As long as you´re having fun it´s all good.
     
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  4. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I've done a bunch of them. I prefer mdf to masonite on the basis that masonite is a pain to clamp up - it goes a bit soggy when you put water based glue on it so you have to wait for both the glue and the masonite to dry before unclamping. I can't hear any difference bergen the two and from what I can see on the reissues they're made from mdf.

    I've tried one ply build that seems fine - easy to work, looks good (I'm a 335 fan so I don't feel at all bad seeing maple ply) but it feels a bit wrong if you're going for an authentic Dano build. If you're not fussed about it being close to the real thing then there's no reason not to use ply.

    Danelectro made a deluxe shorthorn in the late 50s and early 60s with a plastic wood finish on the outer face of the masonite - that might be fun to try. It's easy enough to find, just look for the stuff that gets used for the back of cheapbookcases with melamine type finishes.
     
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  5. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    A guitar made of MDF ? any pics
     
  6. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]

    Here's a batch of bodies - otherwise vintage Dano construction with pine frames and poplar centerblocks.
     
  7. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with Jay - I'd use MDF over Masonite if I did another one similar. I find the Masonite too heavy and clunky compared to MDF. But for a more wood style finish, definitely go with the ply idea. (I assume you're meaning for the top and back??)
     
  8. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, that's how I'd do it. And use pine frames, not ply. I feel it's lighter and so much easier to work with, plus you don't have to fuss around with a side binding.

    Cool stuff Jay! :)
     
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  9. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's

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    another fun Dano build!
     
  10. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been thinking of building one with the wooden frame, MDF top and back and finished with a Formica front and back, sort of Rick Turner/Dano thing.
     
  11. jonathanfdean

    jonathanfdean TDPRI Member

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    I have built three Epi Coronets "Dano style" using birch ply front and back and on two the sides as well. It's a real joy to work with and the sides can be oiled up to look all stripey
     
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