COMPLETED -- "Tidycatster", the $100 telecaster challenge

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guitarbuilder

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Presenting the" Tidycatster", the $100 telecaster challenge

tidycatster.jpg


A bucketful of pine and maple gets us started in the challenge. Hopefully I've met the initial requirements. No cats will be harmed in the making of this guitar. More to follow I hope. I'll try and get a litter done this week.
 

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These are leftovers from the planks and blanks I've been making this last year. The planks I get usually run about 15 to 20 inches wide. Occasionally I can make a 2 pc body or a 3 pc body. These pieces are just too good to burn or toss out. They accumulate and take up space. I figured that someday I'd glue them up for a cheapcaster and this contest prompted me to start now. These pieces are related to your pine bodies out there maybe you'll see something familiar looking :)......I arranged them with alternating rings to minimize warpage and numbered them. .
tidy2.jpg

I also put a slash mark to help me put them against the fence in the correct direction so that any fence error would correct itself in the next piece
tidy3.jpg

I proceeded to joint each glue surface on my jointer.
 
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guitarbuilder

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tidy4.jpg


After jointing I arranged them together to check the fit.
I generally use a metal scraper to remove any knife marks left on the surfaces. I did that on all the glue surfaces and then proceeded to glue up the blank.
tidy5.jpg


I use 3 clamps during a blank glue up and tap the boards down to the clamps. Now I'll let the stuff dry for a few hours.
tidy6.jpg

I like to see some glue squeeze out between the boards. You don't have to squeeze the daylights out of the clamps to get this part done, in fact you can squeeze out the glue, making for dry joints.
My jointer is one of the first generation Jet jointers from the early 1980's. They've come a long way. This one isn't perfect, but gets the job done. The thing that bugs me about import jointers is that the fences move with fairly light pressure. I'm pretty picky about my machines.
I've bought and sold over the years a Sears jointer, Grizzly shaper, Ryobi Radial Arm saw, Ryobi Drum sander, and a Delta 13 in planer ( the big boy). All I ask is that they cut straight and don't snipe too much. These didn't work out. Currently I have a Jet Planer Molder soon to be replaced by the Dewalt 13 planer in the box next to me. My original Delta 14" drill press, Delta drumsander, Sears occilating spindle sander, countless routers, and assorted hand and power tools. Forgot my Delta bandsaw with the height extension. You can collect a bunch of stuff over 30 years.
 

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Round 2
cnctidy1.jpg

This is my homemade CNC router. I'm really kind of proud of this thing. I designed and fabricated all the parts myself. The linear bearings are made from roller skate bearings, but in a more complex manner than you see on the CNCzone. The machine is made from aluminum angle and bar, High density Polyurethane, MDF, and some pine tongue and groove for the table. I made it a number of years ago. It can do roughly a 13x 24 area. My knowledge of electronics was limited, so I bought a motor and controller system from Maxnc. That ran about 8 hundred dollars. It came with software to run it. Not a horrible learning curve, but poor documentation for the newbie. I bought a version of BobCad to draw parts and convert to what is called G code, which is the machine language that the system understands.Basically the router moves up/down, left/right/ and back/forth corresponding to the X, Y, and Z axes you would find on a graph.

A line or two of a program looks something like this:
G01X 6.5Y12
G01Z-1.0

That tells the computer to spin the motors enough to make it move 6.5 inches on the x axis and 12 inches on the y axis. Then a G01z-1.0 would move the cutter down 1 inch into the wood.
 

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cnctidy2.jpg


cnctidy3.jpg


I planed the blank down after scraping off the glue and attached it to the MDF with some drywall screws. I align the dremel tool to the centerline at the 16th fret. I drew all the individual routs in BobCad and placed them all together into one program.
I wrote the program to locate the holes and incorporated that into the program as well. It actually takes longer to rout the body the way I have this set up than it would to use templates, but I love to watch it run so I haven't revised anything in years with the exception of a tweek or two at the neck pocket. The tweek makes for a nice and snug PIneMart mortise.
The pic of the monitor shows the software set at the starting point of 0,0,0
 
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guitarbuilder

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It takes longer to narrate this thread than it does to make the body :).
This pic shows the cutter set at the zero point too.
cnctidy4.jpg


I decided to make two bodies since I had the scrap and since the computer has hiccuped a few times since I reloaded the software. It runs on DOS and this is a faster chip than I think it really can handle or need. Either that or it doesn't like the sawdust..... Actually I'm on computer #3 since I've had this router running.
 

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cnctidy5.jpg



cnctidy6.jpg


I'm not sure how many pics photobucket will allow me to store, so I'm not putting them all in here.

The router cuts out the lead pup rout, the control cavity, neck pup rout and the neck rout.

I change back to the dremel bit, reset the depth and it marks the hole locations in the neck rout and then locates the bridge holes.
 

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cnctidy7.jpg


It really did take me longer to put the photos and text in here than it did to set it up and rout it out.
Rascal the cat didn't mind me taking his picture with the wood. He is my daughter's cat... she is off to college and now he likes me a lot more than he used to.

Total Cost so far...just glue...
 
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wikur

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That homemade CNC router looks impressive!
Would be worth a thread of itself.
Good luck on your build!!
 
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