"Clamshell" Thinline Build in two halves?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by LoudTele, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. LoudTele

    LoudTele Tele-Meister

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    OK - I have a couple of nice pieces of wood just crying out to be a Tele. I've done a Tele and a Strat build already, so I'm thinking this one should be a Thinline.

    Both pieces (one is Ambrosia Maple, the other is Poplar) are 7/8" thick. I'm thinking I could route out the lower piece (the poplar), then do a mirror image route of the chamber on the bottom of the upper piece. If I do it right, I'm thinking I could glue and clamp the two halves together, then route the F-hole, pickups, neck pocket, etc.

    Has anyone done this? Any thoughts? Am I missing anything? Am I about to make some really nice kindling? Or might it work?
     
  2. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think the Fender Rosewoods are done this way.
     
  3. Jason Jillard

    Jason Jillard Tele-Meister

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    even IF noone has ever done it, doesn't mean it wont work.

    give it a shot.
     
  4. LoudTele

    LoudTele Tele-Meister

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    Oh, I will, Jason - Just looking to see if anyone has encountered any pitfalls along the way.
     
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I would think that wood movement might be a concern after you start hogging out material from each piece. You probably want to leave some material for flattening out after that is done.
     
  6. SPetrie

    SPetrie Tele-Meister

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    I've done this, and as long as you index the cavity template on both sides correctly, the 2 cavities will line up. What I did was on the "top" piece of wood to drill all the way through to the pickup cavities, and on the "bottom" piece only deep enough to put on the template. Then used the same templete for both pieces but flipped over for the second piece. When the cavities are routed and you're ready to glue the 2 pieces together, you can use the indexing holes that exit the top piece to line the two up together, with a couple of screws. You then also have holes which to attach your body template to. When you route for the pickups, you are left with a couple of small holes in the pickup cavities. It's alot more work than using a solid blank, but I managed to lose a lot of weight by doing this.
     
  7. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I hadn't really thought about it but NickJD is right. The Fender Rosewood Telecasters are done this way.
     
  8. blindsagacity

    blindsagacity TDPRI Member

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    aren't some PRS hollowbodies done this way?
     
  9. Stubarber

    Stubarber Tele-Meister

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    Not the 3-4 I've owned, but I have never played one of the earlier models.
     
  10. gsoutherland

    gsoutherland Tele-Meister

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    I have a some sapele that I was thinking of doing the exact same thing with.
     
  11. LoudTele

    LoudTele Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. I will definitely keep the thread updated once I get started.
     
  12. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Cool. You could possibly sandwich a layer of contrasting veneer in the join like Fender does. It kinda says, nothing to hide here, proud of the sandwich!
     
  13. LoudTele

    LoudTele Tele-Meister

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    Great idea, Nick - I was thinking about bursting it, so that I could use an opaque black on the edges, but I kind of like that thought!
     
  14. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    My thinline was done just like that.
    A friend who's a tree surgeon gave me two one inch thick chunks of very rough cut (i.e. chainsaw) ash, which were just big enough to make a tele. I had to wait a couple of years to let is season as it was pretty fresh cut wood.

    The routing process produced a LOT of sawdust... I have a small workshop and no workshop vaccuum so it felt like I was up to knees at times...

    I didn't get a perfect fit between the two halves (there is a visible line where the joint is), but the result works and sounds great (if you're in the UK I can't recommend Wizard Tweed pups more - particularly the neck). It currently gets more play than either my Ric or my US Tele.

    Obviously enough, it's the red one in the pic...

    I'm now just in the process of collecting bits to make an ES335 copy in teh same way.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
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