COMPLETE : JVIN248's TeleCasso Traveling Tele 2015 Build

Discussion in '2015 TDPRI GSM Build Challenge' started by jvin248, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ben Crowe is a master at setting up his planes and can free-hand the fretboard. Not something I'd try yet :eek: I'm getting tearout on the flat parts of a knotty pine Tele body (non-challenge build) that I'm planing. Ben originally studied at making violins in the 'old masters' methods to match Stradivarius techniques and I think that's where his plane skills were developed. He got bored making 300 year old violin copies and went into custom guitars.
     
  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Remembering the sanding thread I started with all the great suggestions on scraping I search around in the bins for scraper-like metal bits.

    Best candidates I locate are some computer panels and an electrical box cover (highly recommended in that previous thread).

    I end up using the stainless steel backplate on the left. I sharpen the left side of the metal with a file to make the cutting burr. Then I scrape down the neck.

    I searched around for much too long trying to find the large rat-tailed rasp I know I have but gave up. So I had this carpet-roll tube cuttoff in the sanding paper box and used a bit of coarse sandpaper. It worked. A flat maple block with the sandpaper also did the final smoothing on the neck after the scraper.

    Last image I put it on the body template I have for comparison. I was also nicely surprised at the slip fit but not loose fit in an actual factory body I had handy.

    .
     

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  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The wide board I have for the body is not quite wide enough for the body. Either I can glue on some side strips or put a strip down the center. I opt for the center strip.

    Table saw cuts the wide board in half and sizes the center strip wood.

    Scissors trim through the cardboard template I drew up in the first couple of thread posts and I lay the template waste over the boards to see what the best wood orientation will be to minimize knots. Invariably a knot ends up in a popular area of the body...
     

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  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I build a glue box, line the bottom with cut up plastic shopping bags.

    In goes the wood with a few pipe clamps and wedges. The wood chisels are not the preferred tool for this job but they were handy. I get good glue squeeze-out and while I wipe some of the excess glue away, I'm not terribly worried as I'll plane the surfaces anyway.

    While the glued planks dry I transfer my sketch to plywood and cut that out for my body template.

    I used my bandsaw to trim out the windows. I won't do that next time as the cut ends, epecially the one by the output jack, flex when I'm using the router, causing chatter on the cut surface.

    I spend a little bit more time in the shop and cut out, hand plane, and initial sand a couple of Tele body blanks I glued up a few days ago (I have someone asking about relic finishes). Plans for these are an Esquire-like setup, one with a single bridge pickup and another with a single (split) humbucker. White-wood knotty pine.

    Possible interesting note: The bench used as the backdrop in all these pictures is one my grandfather used. I think the story is he got it at a farm auction in the 40'-50's. I had to repair the one dog-clamp jaw as it was split and while partially fixed at some point with a few nails, it split more and had been unuseable since before I got it fifteen years ago.
    I took the vice and the jaw completely apart, reglued the jaw, and reassembled it. The vice pressure plates are cast iron and say Ohio Tool Company, Columbus OH. A little digging on the internet and I learned this table was most likely built around the late 1800s/early 1900s. I took pictures I can post if anyone is interested. The Ohio Tool Company was renown for its high-end wooden cased planes. A flood in 1913 wiped out their Ohio plant, they were acquired by another tool manufacturer and moved production south and by 1920 the combined company no longer existed. The table survives.
    Now I can clamp the bodies to the table top and hand plane them.
     

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  5. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The headstock gets trimmed back and sanded. My sanding station is a cardboard moving box. It seems to be just the perfect height. I sometimes put a piece of plywood over the top of it. I should make some saw horses or a little folding table.

    Marking for the steel stop-head (functions like a stop-tail) using the neck itself.
    Cutting the plate with a hacksaw.
    Grinding with SPARKS!
    Next time I'll plan on using something to protect the steel from the grip-pliers.
     

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  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I mark out where the strings should start from and then figure out the width of the wrapped end of the string so I can select a drill bit to make the holes. I use a little file on the holes after drilling to remove burrs.

    I will need to notch out space for the tool to adjust the nut, and why the string holes are not all in a straight line. I did some pondering on how to get this area to work. I can make a new plate if I find problems later.

    The sanding of the fretboard to neck transition in the previous post can be seen in these pictures.
     

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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some body cutting progress:
    -Draw around the template outline.
    -Trim off the ends to reduce the blank length when cutting on the bandsaw. My bandsaw is a 12inch size, too narrow to slide a body through the throat area.
    -Finishing up the bandsaw cuts in the tuner slot.

    I want to test the glue strength and the cut-off ends give me a quick peek. The end grain wood is weaker with this short section than other parts but the wood tears before the glue. I'm not worried with glue strength but more cuious and the pieces were going in the scrap bin.
     

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  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Now getting more of the interesting body routing.

    -Control cavity, it's a little one for just a volume and the jack.
    -The open loop that helps define the headstock has a secondary benefit of acting like a handle. Maybe I'll "Jem" it up?
    -Lightening cavities cut on the back. Not entirely set on how I'm going to cover them.
    -Trusty plane levels both sides. I mess with making the mouth opening smaller as suggestions given earlier and I could only get it closed by making the blade deeper and then it didn't cut at all. So I reset where I was and surfaced the other side. I'll have to look into a lower angle plane at some point as advised to better cut knots.
     

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  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I mark out the "headstock" where the tuners will be mounted. Tuners need a thin board to work through.

    To cut the front of the body detail I need an inverted Tele headstock template. I drill a hole in scrap plywood and use my ancient jig saw to follow the lines around. A little cleanup with a file and sandpaper to smooth the cuts.

    I get a scrap of wood and clamp the template down and run the router, checking for depth. Seems to work on the scrap.

    I clamp the template to the body and take a deep breath and route the profile out. I also route the back but use a straight edge to cut enough for tuner machine body clearance.
     

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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Body routing results.

    I put the neck on the body to get a better idea of the finished guitar. I see I came close with matching the angle cut on the headless end of the neck to the angle of the upper and lower body horns - that is what I hoped. I eyeballed the neck angle cut.

    Picasso-style rendition of a Tele-style guitar.

    .
     

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  11. jimdkc

    jimdkc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    So cool! I love this design for a travel guitar!
     
  12. btgulledge

    btgulledge Tele-Meister

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    Great build with lots of neat tricks and ideas! I like the way you used the router to make your sanding block. Glad you didnt stick with 5inch radius but I bet cowboy (open) chords would be very comfortable.
    The fist time I saw a truss rod like that was on a vhs tape "Dan Erlewine How to build a solid body guitar" from like 1982. It must a decent design if prs is using it.
    your design reminds of a guitar I saw a few years ago:
     

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  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's a cool design. I'll have to study that picture some more. Thanks!

    Lol! someone had a "broken headstock" mishap and turned lemons into lemonade.
     
  14. btgulledge

    btgulledge Tele-Meister

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    I think it came from a review for stewmacs banjo tuners, iirc
     
  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can see how the banjo tuners could help. I looked at those to fit on this type of build before but decided, with the price, I could figure out a way to use standard tuners.
     
  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Next up is drilling holes for the bridge. The bridge is centered at the 25.5 scale length and then a three degree offset is added to the bass side of the bridge. This is what "The Internet Told Me To Do". Will it work out? We'll see. I may have to plug and redrill when I get to intonating.

    Note: Since this bridge is spaced for a 24.75inch scale and I'm using it for 25.5inch the string spacing will be slightly narrower than a typical Fender.

    I originally anticipated that I would have to recess the bridge to accomodate the flat neck to body angle of Fender-styled guitars compared to the "8 degree" angle of the neck to the Gibson-style LP guitars. Taping the neck in place (tape has some thickness) and measuring with a ruler, I seem to have plenty of height by just recessing the bolt flanges so the base of the bridge bar rests on the body.
     

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  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Testing finishes in parallel to the other work.

    I have yellow dye, golden oak stain, and ebony stain in the mix.

    Possible candidates:
    1- ebony stain, sanded back to show grain, yellow dye for the burst-region going all black around the rim. I like this because it shows off the grain but it might be too heavy.
    2-yellow dye, sanded back to show grain, golden oak stain in the center, ebony stain around the rim and onto the front+back faces. This lost all the grain definition

    I have another test case where I fire treated some wood with a torch but it was too hard to control. Either wide barely touched areas, hot points or strips, or the wood caught fire and burned a lot. Post sanding did not improve the splotchy-ness of my burning technique.

    Part of the question is do I want a primarily black guitar (#1) or a lighter burst (#2). I'll have to spend some time over the next few nights going through the "Finely Finished" thread looking for inspiration and techniques. I'll probably do the ebony and really sand back, dilute the yellow dye more, then touch up with a little golden oak and more ebony around the rim but not much on the faces. I have a little while to ponder this as more build work is necessary.
     

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  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Test fit the tuners to the scrap wood.
    Did not like the variation of the hole drilling nor the split out.

    Devised a temporary fixture on the drill press to keep the headstock aligned and the body square to drill each hole. An awl mark at each spot kept the bit from wandering.
     

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  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Holes drilled straight and no split out.
     

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  20. mkster

    mkster Tele-Afflicted

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    Really interesting build !

    Mark
     
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