Harebrained Thinline Idea

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Steve Holt, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey gang. So a few years ago I did a triple strat build. The thread is around here somewhere but I never finished it so I don't want to link it. You know how it goes.

    I got 2 of the three done, one was great, the second was pretty good, and the third, well, I gave up.

    In the meantime I built a thinline jazzmaster. That turned out to be my best build to date and I ended up really liking the thinline style, mostly because I usually play unplugged, so I get to play an electric guitar that rings a little better.

    Anyway I have the neck done, the body was done, I have all the parts and pieces for the most part, might end up with a different pickguard depending on the color I end up with.

    The body is made of ash, not swamp ash, but baseball bat ash. So it's heavy. I didn't really know better when I bought the lumber, actually I did, but I thought, how heavy can it be? Well it's heavy too heavy.

    So here's my harebrained idea. Plane it down a quarter inch, hollow it out, and glue on a new maple top with the thinline cutout. And keep the contours. It should be a fun winter project. What do you think??

    Here are the before shots. It was sonic blue. I might keep it that say, but I'll have to see.

    I didn't do a great job on this one. My grain filler job was lacking and I could have paid more attention to the finer details, but with two others, this body just kind of became the runt of the group. 20191110_133657.jpg 20191110_133642.jpg 20191110_133648.jpg

    And after some planing... 20191110_134144.jpg
     
  2. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    Here are the two finished ones from the original build. I came inside with this body in my hand and my fiance gave me this look and said "where the #$!!" Did that come from??" Next thing she asked "Are you keeping that one?" I had to explain, remember that time I built three guitars? Yeah this is number 3. So at this point it's kind of like a free guitar! 20180619_231629.jpg
     
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  3. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    It can be done but realize bending a 1/4" top over the forearm cut will be difficult at best. I have done it by making relief cuts in the forearm area and slow bending with moisture. Normally I stick with 3/16" max top.

    Look forward to seeing more!

    Eric
     
  4. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    I thought about that. I don't think I'll be bending it over. I'm just going to glue it on top and then blend the two pieces together with my right angle grinder. That's the plan at least. I still have plenty of the same ash out in my shop that I might use for the top. I'm not really worried about the wood matching as I'll likely do an opaque color.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  5. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    It's a perfectly reasonable idea as long as you can do the planing without destroying the body...you may want to build a sled that security holds the things so it doesn't get wonky as it passes the rollers. Once you hollow and put the cap on, the original body contour can be used to carefully pattern route the edge of the cap with a bearing on the cutter. (saw the excess off with a bandsaw or other similar blade so that there is only a little bite required for the pattern routing.

    I honestly have a cherry blank that I'm considering doing similar to for similar reasons...it's way too heavy, IMHO.
     
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  6. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a jazzmaster I made out of locust that I did as a thinline. It's about the weight of a normal light bodied guitar even as a thinline. So I'm glad I went that direction. The jazzmaster body is bigger to begin with, so I can't imagine the full weight had I left it solid.
     
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  7. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    I loved the thinline Jazzmaster, particularly the f-hole, will this one have similar?

    Now that it's too late, I think I'd have planed the back and tried to hollow it out from that side.
     
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  8. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow do I have a fan? Haha. I want to do something similar on this one for the F hole. Not sure yet, but something cool and unique.

    I also debated for about 30 seconds whether to plane the top or bottom. I settled on the top because that made the most sense to me. I also want to fix and redo the neck pocket so planing the top down gives me a chance to do that on the new pieces that will be glued on.
     
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  9. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

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    Perhaps a really silly suggestion. But! Why don't you leave it like it is after the planing. I think it looks so different like it is. It would certainly be unique.
     
  10. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    Weeeelllll...that's a good point. But doesn't really solve the weight issue, or make it a thinline like I want ;)

    But I agree that it looks cool the way it is. I'm not sure how squier does it with their thinner bodies, because I feel like to deepen the cavities anymore I'd be cutting through the tremolo cutout to get the pickups right.
     
  11. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    Something else you might try 1st if weight reduction is simply goal is doing a bathtub route and seeing how the weight turns out. I often do it in heavy bodies since with a pickguard no one knows the difference.

    Eric
     
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  12. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    Sorta too late for that as it's already planed :)

    But I'm probably going to do that as well. On the first 2 strats I did I made one with alder, because I had some, and then I bought ash for the other 2 because that's all I could find. And the weight difference between those two was a pound and a half. At the time I didn't think that was too much but on the finished guitars the difference was really noticable.
     
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  13. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Another "now that it's too late" idea would have been to clamshell it - split the body in half, hollow out each half, then sandwich them back together. Some of the earliest pine Esquires were semi-hollow sandwiches.
     
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  14. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    Once again defeated by my impatience. I hatched this idea in the first quarter of the Chiefs game today and went out at half time and planed it down. Oh well. I'm not out anything if it doesn't work or if there was a better way.
     
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  15. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    Got some work done tonight. I was considering the swimming pool route for the pickups but I think I got enough weight out it with the work I did. I'd like to do some more routing in the belly contour but that will take some precision work. Any advice welcome there. I think I need to route out some more up there to be able to work in an F hole.

    I think I had something else to say...but I forgot. Maybe I'll think of it later.

    20191110_134144.jpg 20191114_190121.jpg 20191114_221654.jpg
     
  16. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    Is it going to have a f-hole?
    I love thinline teles but haven't seen an f-hole strat that looked quite right to my eye.
    I'd be tempted to do a sound hole in some other shape, maybe a crescent like a Johnny A guitar or a graphic design like Samantha Fish's thinline teles.
    Or maybe find the exact right size, shape, and location for a strat f-hole?
     
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  17. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    I use the term f-hole loosely. This is a jazzmaster I made last summer and I didn't like the traditional f-hole I'd seen on Jazzmasters so I made my own kind of inspired by a Rick 360. I'd like to something interesting on this build as well. 20190712_210802.jpg
     
  18. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    That's coming along nicely.

    The challenge with the "f hole" is coming up with both a shape and size that looks right proportionally with that particular body shape and in the position you have available based on how you hollowed it. I think you have your work cut out for you...pardon the expression. :) :D
     
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  19. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    some fun stuff in here... looks like it'll be a cool guitar. I'd be interested to know (if you know) how much weight you removed. On my current project I'm trying to keep track as I go... using ash for teles and we are starting at 7-8lbs rough cut at 1 7/8". One of the builds will be a solid broadcaster type and am considering a smugglers route and going as thin at 1.5". I can't handle heavy guitars... so have my work cut out for me! Anywho, looking fwd to seeing this progress.
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Are you weighing before and after?
    I just bought a $20 postal scale so I can keep track of weight reduction through stock removal, partly because the question comes up here a lot but answers are fewer and foggier.
    I think it’s pretty well agreed that a swimming pool rout under the guard just doesn’t make much weight difference, while it does leave the guard a little floppy in the middle.

    I’m just looking for less pain from my guitars, not making anything pretty!

    Was your thinline JM build the one with stepped relief cuts under the front arm contour? I remember one like that but I think it was a CNC build and it got pretty complicated inside where nobody sees all the work.

    Anyhow, I’m interested in this one and would like to know how much weight was dropped.
     
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