COMPLETED --$100 Telecaster Challenge - Ketchup Caster

Discussion in '2009 TDPRI Tele Build Challenge' started by Mark-00255, Feb 14, 2009.

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  1. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    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:
    [​IMG]

    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!
    [​IMG]

    On to the next post ...
     
  2. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I am going to get censored if I keep saying this, but nice ash...
     
  3. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    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 ...
    [​IMG]

    Gluing in progress:
    [​IMG]

    And clamped up with my brand new clamps I bought today!
    [​IMG]

    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!
     
  4. mobman924

    mobman924 TDPRI Member

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    that is some fine ash.
     
  5. Taipan

    Taipan Tele-Meister

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    Mark-00255 - nice job so far and bonus points for recycling the Valentines Day envelope.
     
  6. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    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:
    [​IMG]

    Here’s a layout of a new plywood template I’ll build using the Red’s cover as a guide:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    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:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    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[​IMG]

    Choice Two with cool swervy look:
    [​IMG]

    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?
     
  9. IrishMail

    IrishMail Tele-Meister

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    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: Feb 15, 2009
  10. Skrik

    Skrik Tele-Holic

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    I say swirly.
     
  11. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Top pic for me for sure, the guard cover the only incongruous grain pattern and any stain would be more balanced IMO/Estimation.
     
  12. Crawfish

    Crawfish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    +1 - if it's not too late to vote.

    -Kevin
     
  13. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    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!
     
  14. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

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    Top one. The bottom one looks odd to me.
     
  15. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    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:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    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:
    [​IMG]

    Close-up without the template:
    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  17. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

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    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.
     
  18. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Ditto.
     
  19. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    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!
     
  20. martyb1

    martyb1 Tele-Afflicted

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    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;)
     
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