Fat Tele with stripes - first electric build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by MezesM, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Hey folks, I've been reading the forum for a while, but hadn't posted anything yet. My only experience in instrument making is this little guy :)

    [​IMG]

    It figured out much better than i expected, so i decided to begin an electric build. It will be a Telecaster with 2 humbucking PUs, a single-sized hot rails humbucker in the bridge position and a regular covered by the neck. The controlls will be a bit different than the usual, as i decided on a Les Paul-ish switch selector on the upper 'horn'. I'm gonna make a CBS style headstock like on the '72 Delux Teles, because i mainly play strats, and like this design much better than the Tele headstock shape. Here's a pic i made to have an idea how it will look like.;)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    I got almost all the hardvare recently (Xmas presents...) except the bridge pup and the truss rod. I also picked up a nice alder board before the holidays on the local lumberyard, it will make out 2 other guitars at least. Today i had some time, so i cut the 2 pieces which will make the body, planed and glued them up. The planer took off more until it get flush than my calcuclations, so a narrow maple strip was used to make the body blank wide enough. I'm gonna post pics tomorrow when it is dried and taken out of the clamps.
    Please share youre thoughts or advices, they are always welcomed :idea::)
     
  3. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Welcome!
    Sounds pretty sweet!
    If I may make a suggestion since I to am originally a strat guy as well. Arm contour, it make your tele look unique in my opinion but more importantly IMHO it's something your strumming arm is use to. The belly cut is nice too, although I like the one that's on the deluxe verse the strat which is probably splitting peas but I like what I like.
    I've also been doing my teles with larger than normal radiuses on the edges. I like it cosmetically and from a finishing stand point as well, as the smaller ones can be sand through hell.
    Lastly do the neck first, at least 90% of it anyway. Then make a routing template from it's heel, for the neck pocket. This will give it nice snug fit. After that do bridge placement. These 2 things make assembling the guitar a breeze and it helps with the overall set-up.
    Good luck!

    Good luck!
     
  4. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Thank you, i definitely gonna rout the neck pocket after the neck heel is done, i've read to do it this way before, but it just got out of my mind, so i'm afraid i would do it the reverse and harder way if u wouldn't mention it. I considered to double-bound the body, right now i'm leaning to the single-side binding with belly cut and no arm contour, but i might just leave the binding-thing, i dont wanna make it to complicated for the 1st time, and comfortability is more important than fanciness ;) The binding also would be just to much with those stripes, i am aiming to make a guitar, not a christmas tree :cool:
    Have any of you built a guitar with double binding AND painted stripes?
    If yes, pls post some pictures of it :rolleyes:
     
  5. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Did some progress today, as we got 20 cm snow over the night, and there was nothing better to do :)
    The glued pieces, still clamped

    [​IMG]

    Out of the clamps, tracing the outlines on the wood. I could avoid that knot, but it was a matter of a few millimeters.

    [​IMG]

    I cut the body shape with the bandsaw. The area by the lower horn was pretty challenging, so i asked for some help from my dad, who's a pro woodworker :cool:

    [​IMG]

    The alder is easy to work with, i could smooth the sides with the belt sander, there was no need for make a template and rout it around.

    [​IMG]

    I measured it, it's about 2.3 kg, but the cavities and neck pocket will take out some weight. Is this weight allright for an alder tele body?:confused:

    [​IMG]

    I'm gonna continue tomorrow, we'll see how long can i progress without the yet missing truss rod and rosewood fretboard blank. They will hopefully arrive in the beginning of January.

    Please tell me your thoughts & opinion, feedback means a lot to me as a beginner builder :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  6. onenotetom

    onenotetom Tele-Afflicted

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    I like what you are doing and think it is going to look real good when it is finished. Really like that you smoothed it without a template. Agree on the arm and belly contours.
     
  7. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Thank you :)
    You kinda convienced me about the belly cut, because it can't be seen when you're playing it, and really makes a difference in comfortability, but IMO the guitar would loose that typical Teleish look with the arm contour, so i dont plan to make one, just like on the '72 Deluxes.
     
  8. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    This came in the mail a few minutes ago, I picked it up on the ebay.
    IMO solid enough for half of the price (with shipping) for i could buy a decent fretboard blank from any of the contributors in my country :)

    [​IMG]

    I'm still waiting for the truss rod to arrive, that's what i need to make some quick progress on the neck.
     
  9. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Today i worked on the neck. It is a sandwich from maple and an exotic hardwood called "cement wood", which originates from the Castle of Keszthely, my dad got it years ago from a guy who worked there as a wood restorator. He told that it's more than a hundred years old. It's hard like hell, the bandsaw had to work on it for a while until it was cut. Still left enough for a couple of bow grips and guitar fretboards :)

    Here are the 3 pieces cut & planned.

    [​IMG]

    Glued up and clamped down until tomorrow.

    [​IMG]

    2 little "wings" will be added to make it wide enough for the CBS headstock after the truss rod channel is routed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  10. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Routing fthe truss rod channel

    The truss rod i ordered from ebay arrived yesterday, so i could carry on with the work on the neck. The first step was planning the blank. Then i measured and marked the exact location of the channel.

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    Here is the routing setup.

    [​IMG]

    As you may see, i messed it up a bit, when i tried to fit the rod in, i figured out that the channel is too shallow, cca 0.5 mm of the rod was hanging out, then i deepened the rout, but it went just a bit too deep.

    [​IMG]

    After the first shock, i calmed down and had the idea that i can plan the surface down to get the right channel depth, because the blank is thicker than the requiered 3/4". The planing went well, the rod sits tight in it's place, and the blank thickness is exactly 3/4" now. I guess this was the beginners luck :)

    The other thing i did was gluing to 'wings' on the sides of the neck blank to make it wide enough for the CBS style headstock.

    [​IMG]

    I hope i'll have time today for some progress, i'd like to play this axe before the end of the month :p
     
  11. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Plain and simple, you got skills, nothing to do with luck. :D

    On the body weight, yes. That's a great starting weight you'll probably end up around 3.5kg when it's all assembled.

    The body looks very good. I probably would have incorperated the not, but that's just me :cool:

    I dig the neck blank and I did something similar in terms of routing too deep. I instead put a filler strip in then planed it flat. What I hadn't noticed on my neck was that the access channel for the rod near the tuners was too low I had it 90% shaped and then the rasp went straight through when I was working on the transition to the headstock on the back. :oops:

    Planing it down was a smart idea, not a lucky one, sounds to me like you should trust your instincts when comes to these sort of things.
    But remember it's just wood and maybe a few bucks if something doesn't pan out, learn from it and move on.

    I love the look of the fret board. It's going to look super nice on that neck blank.

    keep up the good work!
     
  12. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Neck outlines & first mockup

    Thank you for the encouragement, DrASATele, it is really good to know that others make mistekes too, not just me ;)
    I was really impatient to see how the neck will come out, so when i got home from the school, i went straight to the workshop :rolleyes:
    First i cut the the blueprints up, and traced the outlines on the neck blank, trying to keep it symmetric to the center line.

    [​IMG]

    Then i rough cut it with the bandsaw, staying always outside of the pencil lines. The headstock had some sharp curves, which i was a bit afraid of, but it went much easier than i excepted. I skipped making an MDF template for the neck and routing the outlines, i evened them out with the belt sander just like i did on the body. Some fine sanding on the headstock with a thin sanding drum is needed, though. This is how the neck looks like now:

    [​IMG]

    I did some quick mockup with the bridge and the pickguard. I am getting even more convinced that it's gonna be an instrument, and not a cutting board :eek:;)

    [​IMG]

    As soon as i get back the other router from my uncle who borrowed it, i'm gonna carry on with the cavities & neck joint.
     
  13. dtermined2play

    dtermined2play Tele-Afflicted

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    you are off to a very good start. Looking great so far.
     
  14. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, i hope it will go as smooth as it was so far :))
     
  15. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    There's not a single person here who hasn't made a mistake when making a guitar.


    There are some people - me, for example - who lots of make mistakes. But the mistakes are always good lessons.
     
  16. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Routing cavities

    I continued today with routing the pickup & electronic cavities and the neck pocket. I could have made templates, but my dad offered to rout the outlines for me, and he is skilled enough to do it without any template :rolleyes: What i've done was cleaning out all the material after the contours were routed. This saved me a whole lot of work, and despite all my worries, came out as even as it would be if templates were used.

    Here are the areas to be routed marked up on the body.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't take a lot of pics, 'cuz i was working or what ;)
    This is the result of today's work. The only bad experience i had is that the router bit broke, and the other one i found was an old, blunt router bit, which burned the wood, making a very bad smell. At one point, the dust gathered in the cavity started to glow, so i had to use the compressed air pistol often to get rid of the dust.

    [​IMG]

    Notice the switch's place, it is routed from the back, but i found it easier to do it in a quadratic shape, unlike on the Les Pauls.

    Some smoothing was needed in the neck pocket with a sharp chisel, the result was an acceptable fit, but i will refine it later, i think i can make it still better. It looks quite good IMO :cool:

    [​IMG]

    I have a question to you: shall i shape the neck before or after gluing on the fretboard? It would be good if it could be done before applying the fretboard, because i'm gonna get the radius sanding block only at the end of January :mad:
     
  17. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Belly cut

    After some days, i managed to make some progress again. I've finally made up my mind and decided on the belly cut and only one-side binding, so it was obvious to continue with the belly cut. Although i have acces to a range of power tools, i've seen a simple method on the forum what doesn't requieres power tools, so i gave it a try for fun, and it just worked well IMO.

    The first task was to mark the location on the back & upper side. Then i started to make parallel cuts in that area with a Japanese handsaw.

    [​IMG]

    After the whole area was covered with these cuts, i used a chisel to remove the wood. My laziness took revenge on me, because i did not sharpen the chisel be4 using it, so i just got a 'pretty' little tearout on the end by the upper horn. Most of it will be routed out for the roundover, but i fixed it with sawdust and CA glue, anyway.

    [​IMG]

    I smoothened the cutout with a rasp, then i did the sanding by hand, i just didnt feel it OK to go for the belt sander after the work with all these hand tools :)

    [​IMG]

    The tearout can be seen easily on this pic, it's still quite ugly :(
    My luck is, that it will not be seen through the solid color paint, so i dont need to look at that mistake for a long time :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Good use of the saw cut method on the belly cut.
     
  19. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Neck carving

    The thread is not dead, it was just sleeping for some time :rolleyes: Yesterday i had some free time to work on the guitar, so i did someprogress on the neck. First, i carved it with a rasp, comparing to my stratocaster's neck, which is really comfortable IMO. Then i sanded it smooth with a sanding block by hand, i just like it better that way, even if it would be much faster with the belt sander :cool: It was quite easy even for the 1st time, i am satisfied with the result.

    [​IMG]

    As the next step, i'm gonna make a radius sanding block, what i really need to complete the neck.
     
  20. MezesM

    MezesM TDPRI Member

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    Radius sanding block

    It's always good to have access to a CNC router when it's about saving some bucks. Today i've cut these from MDF.

    [​IMG]

    Then i clamped and glued 'em together like this. Notice the ukule template what i grabbed when i needed somithing with an even surface :)

    [​IMG]

    As you can guess, it's gonna be a 9.5" radius sanding block, hopefully i can try it out on the fretbord tomorrow :)
     
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