COMPLETED --$100 Telecaster Challenge - Ketchup Caster

Status
Not open for further replies.

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA
TDPRI $100 Telecaster Challenge - Ketchup Caster

I'm in - although I must certainly be daft! I am but a rookie and wholeheartedly subscribe to the measure once, cut twice mantra; I may at least may provide some comic relief. I have a few hand power tools, so must rely on the help of friends with real tools, like table saw, band saw, router, etc.

I do, however, have a nice big hunk of Ash that I bought about 9 months ago, right after finishing my only other build. There's enough in the two 4 ft. by 10 1/2 inch boards to get about four bodies! You may recall that I built a maple-centered, cedar topped Tele with the help of a boat-builder friend. I had hoped he and I would build lots of bodies, and get pretty good at this game. Unfortunately, he has been very heavily occupied with other tasks ... so Tele building has suffered. This challenge provided me the impetus to have a go more on my own!

I'll keep it simple and inexpensive and build a rear-mount esquire with no pickguard. Here goes with the pic of the bottom part of the ash boards that I'll use for this one:
AshBoards.jpg


Here's the obligatory entry shot - written on the envelope from the Valentine's Card from my wife - which is why my name is in reasonable adult looking writing, and the rest is a scrawl!
EntryBodyBlankShot.jpg


On to the next post ...
 

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA
Ketchup Caster Body Blank Glue Up

I coaxed a friend with an old Shop Smith machine to help me lop off the ends of the Ash, and rip and semi-joint a couple hunks to make a nice two-piece body. The Shop Smith turns into table saw, lathe, band saw, the works, but for this exercise we kept it to table saw and 10" disc sander. I did not take shots of that sawing process since I think the rules call for showing how we shape the body. Table-sawing straight boards is pretty straightforward ... But I will try to get shots of the machine tomorrow - it's a cool old beast!

Here's the body blank snugged up and ready to be glued - I'm liking the grain! Umm, yes, there's a tiny problem at the top where the board slipped at the end of a disc sander pass. That bit will have to be routed away when I shape the body ...
EntryBodyBlankShot2.jpg


Gluing in progress:
Gluingitup.jpg


And clamped up with my brand new clamps I bought today!
ClampedandDrying.jpg


The reason for the Ketchup Caster moniker will be revealed in due time ... Given the DYI home-built quality of my work, I must at least attempt to entertain!
 

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA
Day 2 - Waiting for Glue to Dry/Trying to Find a Router

I couldn’t sleep much last night – this is exciting stuff I think! But one thing that kept me awake was the realization that rear rout controls won’t have a nice, neat store bought control plate. I’ll have to build the hatch cover for the back … and build templates for cutting the rear-rout. So much for keeping it easy! At least it will be cheap!

The good news is I have a Telecaster Deluxe with rear-rout, so I’ve got a guide! Here’s the back of the Tele:
Back_Red_Tele.jpg


Here’s a layout of a new plywood template I’ll build using the Red’s cover as a guide:
Lay_Out_Rear_Rout_Template.jpg


With the big hole traced out, I did a wax rubbing of the kidney bean shaped inner hole – I cut a piece of paper to fit the big hole, laying over the inner lip, and then rubbed with the side of a pencil to capture the shape of the inner cutout:
Wax_Rubbing.jpg
 

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA
Day 2 – Page Two

Out to my workbench area in the garage :D to hog out the curvy bits with a nice 1 inch forstner bit I have:
Hogging_Out_Template_Holes.jpg


With my fancy saw, I cut ‘em out! Wow, I actually might be able to pull this off! I have some sanding to do to get the edges nice and neat, but they’re close - especially the crucial outer hole with its easy curves. Here’s the inner hole:
Kidney_Bean_Template.jpg
 

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA
Day 2 - Page Three – Back to the body

I unclamped the two piece body blank and scoped it out. Needs a nice level sanding, but I am very happy with the grain on this piece of ash!! There are of course, four ways I could lay this thing out. I’ve narrowed it down to two (I cut out a Telecaster-shaped window from a pop case box): Choice One with nice semi-symmetrical grain
Front_Choice_1.jpg


Choice Two with cool swervy look:
Front_Choice_2.jpg


Any votes?

I am still router-less and more importantly, router table-less. If I buy a plunge router, round-over and half-inch pattern bits, can I pull this off without a table?
 

IrishMail

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Posts
102
Location
Central California
Congrats on going with the minimal toolbox; boy, do I know the feeling. For my routing, I was hoping to get away with sticking a speedbore drill bit partway into the outlined cavity, then setting my handheld router into the drill hole and wandering around 'til I'm either satisfied or disgusted.

Ketchup, hmm - let me think - the red Tele is significant, but your glue wasn't in a plastic ketchup bottle, like I expected. Maybe it's the 'Heinz 57' thing. Good luck on the build, and may the best man lose his axe! (for a hundred bucks, that is)
 
Last edited:

robt57

Telefied
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Posts
23,832
Location
Portland, OR
Top pic for me for sure, the guard cover the only incongruous grain pattern and any stain would be more balanced IMO/Estimation.
 

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA
I like the top one too, but there won't be any guard, and I keep coming back to the swirly one. You'll see by my updates below that I'll have to re-assess tomorrow!
 

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA
Good news/Bad news today

Good news/Bad news today. The good news is that I scored a nice little router from a local guy on Craigs … with a dandy set of a dozen finishing bits, including the ever-popular ¼ inch round-over. The ½ pattern bit in the set is only a half inch deep as well, and has the bearing on the end. It didn’t do very well on a test board … so I went to HD and bought a Porter-Cable ½ with one-inch blades, and bearing on the shank. Then got busy learning how to use it – I finished the outside pattern on the rear route template:
RearRoutTemp.jpg


The Porter-Cable bit cut through the plywood like butter! But, then, the little keeper gizmo below the bearing came loose! Luckily I found the tiny allen head set screw, but this was the only allen head wrench I could find - just a little big:
BadBit.jpg


So I ran back to the store and spent another 79 cents on a 1.5 mm allen wrench, and re-set the bearing and keeper. Sure couldn’t get much torque on that tiny little keeper screw. But it seemed like that was the way this bit was designed, so I got busy sanding the body blank to get the glue seam smooth, then set up my routing station – using the swirly grain layout:
ReadyToRout.jpg
 

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA
Going For It!

I do not have a saw that will handle 1 3/4 inch Ash, so did some tests with the router and it cuts through just fine. So, here we go! But wait ... Not 2 seconds into it, and the bearing failed again … this time for good. The keeper came loose and the bearing wiggled up the shank and lost its brief purchase on the template. Here’s what it did:
Ouch_DamnBit.jpg


Close-up without the template:
Ouch_DamnBit2.jpg


Ouch! It’s way too much of a bite to work around. But, I can flip it over and go with the straight grain layout. That way the bad area is way off the map … Phew!!

I took the bit back to HD and the dude said he’d never seen that happen before. I’m not trying another one – I’m off to a couple other stores tomorrow to try a different brand/design.
 

Maricopa

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
Posts
3,737
Age
56
Location
Phx, AZ
Cutting that much in one take is asking a lot of a router, especially with it completely buried in the wood! A much better bet is to use a jigsaw to cut the shape out and then take out the last 1/8" or so with your pattern bit.
 

Ironwolf

Doctor of Teleocity
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Posts
10,577
Age
66
Location
Boise, Idaho
Cutting that much in one take is asking a lot of a router, especially with it completely buried in the wood! A much better bet is to use a jigsaw to cut the shape out and then take out the last 1/8" or so with your pattern bit.

Ditto.
 

Mark-00255

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Posts
999
Location
South of Seattle, WA

I know ... I know! you guys are absolutely right, and I bought the gnarliest looking 6 TPI blades I could fine today for my little sabre saw. It barely makes a dent in this ash! I think this board must have been shanghaied from the baseball bat factory! I pushed and shoved and only got about a half inch into a scrap piece. I'll have to hunt around for other options tomorrow - this piece of wood is too nice to screw up!
 

martyb1

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Posts
1,991
Location
Alberta,Canada
One thing you can do to help is stack a couple bearings on the shaft and chuck it up tighter to the collet.It's times like that when a 3/4" template helps too.Too bad.Hope you get back on track tomorrow with a new bit;)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.




New Posts

Top