First T-style build

Pencilman

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Here is another source for your blank control plate -

Tele Control Plate .080" thickness NO HOLE - screws not included - Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supplies, LLC

I've used these plates and they are real nice quality :)

PLS's shipping charges are always pretty fair here in the States, and they do ship overseas.



Your idea to make one from aluminum is very doable - aluminum works pretty easily.

Stainless steel is another option, but it's a little tougher to work with :)


.

Out of stock for the chromed plate ;). I guess I'm diy-ing it.
 

Freeman Keller

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Here is another source for your blank control plate -

Tele Control Plate .080" thickness NO HOLE - screws not included - Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supplies, LLC

I've used these plates and they are real nice quality :)

PLS's shipping charges are always pretty fair here in the States, and they do ship overseas.



Your idea to make one from aluminum is very doable - aluminum works pretty easily.

Stainless steel is another option, but it's a little tougher to work with :)


.

Why do you need a blank plate? Are you doing some strange switching or pot layout? Any good metal fab shop should be able to make a plate for you but most will be out of so called "black iron" and you will need to have it plated, not a DIY operation. Aluminum is possible and can be buffed, stainless is also very doable and can be polished. Stainless will be slight different color that chrome if you are trying to match your other hardware.

I worked at a metal fab shop that could cut black or stainless on a laser cutter. We would custom cut material for outsiders but they would need to bring a CAD file (or pay one of our engineers to draw it). I made some parts for guitars but doing a single one off thing like a control plate would be a real hassle, particularly when they are available from commercial sources.

If someone is out of stock I would just get on their wait list and make a temporary one out of sheet plastic or thing wood or buy one with holes in it and fill what you don't need.
 

Pencilman

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I need a blank because I will be using non standard wiring with 3 slider switches and 2 pots. The commercially available plates either have the slit fornthe 3 way switch or. The potentiometer holes in the frong spots.
 

Freeman Keller

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I need a blank because I will be using non standard wiring with 3 slider switches and 2 pots. The commercially available plates either have the slit fornthe 3 way switch or. The potentiometer holes in the frong spots.

OK, that is all the more reason to have one fabricated for you. With a cnc laser or water jet cutter a good fab shop can make the cutouts for the slider switches and their mounting holes. You can do a CADD drawing to make sure it all fits.

Here is an example.

IMG_2518.JPG


The lattice work grills on the upper bout were laser cut from 18 gauge stainless steel, I made them. The cone cover on the bottom is a commercial item and is chrome plated. To make the grills I first drew them in two dimensional CADD and took a dxf file to the laser cutter.

IMG_0723.JPG


IMG_0724.JPG


The stainless pieces were then polished on abrasive wheel and then with buffing compound. I did not want to hassle with having them chrome plated, however if I had I would have taken them to a guy who builds custom cars and motorcycles and had them put it with the stuff he has plated.

This is a very big operation for one little piece of metal, it can be done but it will be a hassle and expensive. Good luck.
 
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old wrench

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A Tele control plate like you are describing, with slider switches etc., is definitely a one-off custom job, but with a few simple tools it's one you can do yourself :)

I believe the slider switches require a rectangular cut-out

If you have access to a drill press, it will sure make the job go a lot smoother.

Chrome plating is pretty slippery, but even if you use aluminum you'll want to mark out your hole locations with a sharp center-punch to keep the drill bit centered.

For the larger holes, starting out with a small diameter pilot hole and then moving up to the correct finished diameter, or using a stepped drill bit works real good.

For square or rectangular holes, drilling as large as you can and then finishing the corners with a square file will help keep things accurate.

Aluminum would be the easiest material to work with - you can polish it to pretty much a mirror finish, although it does oxidize pretty quickly and it scratches rather easily.

Stainless steel will also take a mirror polish, but it's considerably tougher to work.

I've also seen control plates made from brass and copper which are both fairly easy to work with.


You can also use other non-metal materials for the control plate ;)

I've made them from Micarta (same thing as Garolite, resin composites) and plastic pickguard material.

Hardwood is another option.


When you make your own stuff there are very few limitations :)


.
 

Freeman Keller

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Ok, I get where you're coming from but doing this for a single piece? I really don't think cutting/drilling 5 holes in to blank is something I'm not capable of.

You can certainly drill the holes and square them up with small files to fit the sliders of the switches. Most of the time they are mounted behind the pick guard with the slide sticking thru. There are two small mounting holes for each switch. You can buy a commercial chrome plate, you might have to wait until they are in stock some place that you can deal with. You certainly can make your own from a variety of materials. I just happen to have worked in a metal fabricating shop and know what you are getting into.

ps - I'm sure you have already checked to see if your switches and pots will fit in the standard 1.00 by 5.570 route. Switches are typically 1/2 by 1-3/4.
 

Pencilman

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Finally some progress. I REALLY underestimated how much time the new baby will take up. So progress is slow. You can see I'm doing it in the kitchen :p

The battery was just a counterweight :p

IMG_20220124_120702.jpg
 

JohnnyThul

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Usually I don't like guitars with batteries in them, but on them seem to work perfectly fine. As long, as they are above 9V, I guess :)

Looking good!

BTW: just saw that you are located in Slovenia, I visit there every year, as my wife's parents are from there. Last time I spent some time in the woods and it was really amazing that the forrests seemed to be the way, they were 150 years ago in Germany, a great mixture of different species and looked pretty untouched, was amazing! I often wondered, what treasures the local farmers may have in their barns....
 

Pencilman

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I often wondered, what treasures the local farmers may have in their barns....
A lot. But there's also a lot of rotten rubbish. A friend of mine just turned a 200 year old wine press from their old barn in to an amazing dining table for his new house. Sadly a lot of old barns are deteriorating and rotting away.
 

Pencilman

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I'm taking this one milimeter at a time 😅. I hand carved the neck pocket and adjusted the neck to the centerline. Then I used the rubberband trick I found on the forums to align the bridge. Now all I basically have left is to carave the cavities and drill the jack hole. Then it's time for testing :p

IMG_20220226_212349.jpg IMG_20220226_171814.jpg IMG_20220226_211700.jpg
 

Pencilman

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Control plate tested for fitting, cavities carved, grain filled (missed some of the grain but I kind of like the aesthetic), finished the primer coat, debating on the final colour still... Thinking of going orange because I want a warmer colour for a change.

P.S. Don't mind cavities looking all goofy. They are hand carved :p. They will be covered up anyway.
 

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Newbcaster

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Great work and all these guys are such an amazing fount of wisdom. Can't go wrong listening to them.

me however... don't listen to me. I don't even listen to me. I just ask them. They tell me everything I need to know. :p)
 

headly21

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Finally some progress. I REALLY underestimated how much time the new baby will take up. So progress is slow. You can see I'm doing it in the kitchen :p

The battery was just a counterweight :p

View attachment 943652
@Pencilman , I'm at the stage in my build when I need to align the bridge and neck.
I see that you have a process, by the looks in your photo, but could you point me in the right direction for detailed information or a procedure to do this properly?
 

Pencilman

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@Pencilman , I'm at the stage in my build when I need to align the bridge and neck.
I see that you have a process, by the looks in your photo, but could you point me in the right direction for detailed information or a procedure to do this properly?
Hi,

I'm not certain my process was the most proper method but here goes. I bolted on the neck and determined the scale lenght (so where aprox. the bridge needa to sit). Then I used rubber string. I attaced the string in the low e and high e posotions and eyeballed it from there. Moved the bridge to the left and right a bit until both "strings" seemed to align with the neck.
 




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