Bodies - where to start

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Cattytown, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. Cattytown

    Cattytown TDPRI Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    Bolton, England
    I am planning to build a T-style. this would mainly be an assembly rather than a true DIY job. I would like to do a little more than just buy and screw bits together, so have been doing a little thinking about making a body.

    For differences it makes in terms of suppliers, I am in the UK. With the current exchange rate, the comparison I am using is dollar price will be roughtly pounds price once shipped and taxed.

    Looking at prices of stuff bought from guitar places, there does not seem to be any noticeable saving money wise in making my own body - I can buy a set of router templates for £32 posted (revintage). I know I could talk to the likes of Ron for templates from across the pond, but they are likely to be costly once posted. From there the next thing I would need is obviously a chunk of wood. If I compare swamp ash, I can get a complete body from Kavanagh Customs finished for £150. No finish from guitar parts worldwide for £138. The latter looks like it is from allparts. If I look at body blanks, a swamp ash blank from allparts is the best part of £100. I have just found a straight ash blank at £58 from applestones, but I can't help but think that I should be able to do better.

    With those prices I can't see it worth the risk of cutting my own. If I had plans to make a few, I could spread the template cost across a few, or I could look at selling the templates on, but at the mo it is a single build I am looking at.

    I already have a router, so don't need to factor that in. I would probably get a nice new bit for a ob like this though!

    So to the crux of my question is where else could I look for suitable wood to make a body? and how would I select a suitable piece? If I am looking outside guitar suplliers, what would I need to ask suppliers for? and short of buying and putting aside for a couple of years how would I ensure it is suitably dried?

    Many thanks for any suggestions,
  2. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 21, 2008
    There is a 'wood-working' store where I live - if I was to start with wood and a template, I would go down there and get some nice poplar (cheap, sounds great...). Basswood is a great wood for learning on, but then again if you plane down some lumber (fir) and get that right, that's all the practice one would need.

    If I knew I was going to not make any major mistakes (like if it was my 3rd body) then I would get better wood.

    In good wood, I would look for nice straight grains if getting it from a general woodworking store, no knots. Weight is not that big of a deal you just don't want to get anything that is really heavy or really light.
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