Has anyone ever done this?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Yonatan, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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    Now that my first parts build is nearing completion, I thought I'd graduate to cutting a body for the next one. I haven't figured out yet where to source a body blank in Israel, but in the meantime I was walking by a carpenter shop and the owner cut me out right on the spot for a very modest price a few pieces of what he called in English birch plywood, but the Hebrew word that he used translates to poplar. Any guesses by the way? Maybe they aren't all the same, the top piece is darker than the other two pieces.

    I thought I would top it off with some maple veneer, but it actually has interesting grain IMO. Or I'll just use a solid color for this one and hide the plywood on the side...

    Anyway, before I glue it up, I had an idea. I don't have a router and thought I would drill out the body routes with forstner bits and finish off with chisels. But, if the layers are still separate, why not cut them out with a coping saw?

    If I use the thicker piece for the top (18mm) it would be perfect for cutting out the neck pocket, and if I go through two boards (18mm and one of the 12mm) it would be a bit deep for the pickup routes but I don't see an issue with that... And since I don't have a drill press, I could even drill out the string through holes in each piece separately, if I could get them lined up.

    Any problems with this approach, or tips?

    plywood (1).jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Sawing should be OK. Chiseling may be a challenge, as the layers could split out. I'd just try sawing and sanding. It looks like it could be poplar or birch ply from the picture but it's hard to say for sure.
     
  3. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with Marty, Chiseling will probably just make a mess of the wood.

    Why are you even considering plywood. There must be a source for decent solid wood near you. Forum member preeb is from Israel, and he doesn't seem to have any trouble sourcing very good wood.
     
  4. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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    I did find a luthier locally, I'll eventually get better wood though I suspect that it will be pricey here, and prices are crazy on international shipping for something that heavy. So this is just an interim project. So, chiseling is a bad idea. So what about my idea of cutting out the routes before glueing the pieces together?
     
  5. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    construction sites, old fallen down buildings, scrap yards... etc

    I make all my guitars out of old roof beams or things like pine tables.. I'm making a tele atm out of the last blank from that beam... it's made a few guitars...

    expensive "guitar" wood is over rated....;):D

    pine beam2.JPG pine table1.JPG
     
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  6. SuprHtr

    SuprHtr Tele-Meister

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    The plywood looks like birch to me. I've contemplated doing what you describe for my first build, just to see how well it may turn out with minimal outlay of funds. Also, it would be an easy way to build a chambered body, cutting windows in the middle plys. I imagine a solid body made this way would be pretty heavy.
     
  7. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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    I've been keeping an eye out, but hardwood is hard to come by in Israel, it's not used as a general building material, hardwood furniture is not super common, etc. There is pine available very easily, used to build things like decks and pergolas, but I don't have a way to plane/thickness plane. There are plenty of shipping pallets about, but I'm skeptical about their quality and safety of working with them (they usually aren't marked).
     
  8. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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    Right!
     
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    You might want to check with any local cabinet shops.. perhaps you could purchase "cut-off" scraps, its just waste to them... since this is your first body. do not sweat what type wood it is... quite simply you're gonna have a few foibles and want to make number 2 soon thereafter...

    rk
     
  10. Mr_Q

    Mr_Q Tele-Meister

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    If you used plenty of glue, it would be solid enough, albeit heavy. The tricky part will be aligning the parts, getting the center line established and the neck pocket in place.
     
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    You can stack your pieces together and clamp them. After clamping, drill a few holes through the stack in waste area. Then use dowels to align them after you work on them individually and want to glue them up.
     
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  12. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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  13. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Holic

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    How much would it be to have pine shipped over? I once used some scrap for a project and it made things much harder. I did learn not to use that type of wood ever again:rolleyes:
     
  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Does anyone ever get rid of solid wood furniture?
     
  15. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    Plywood works ok, but buy a router.
     
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  16. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    if i have read it correctly there are Oak forests in Israel, good material for guitar.
    i had a hondo strat with plywood body, and it sounded fine, but transparent finish is almost a no go, ore you would want to do that on purpose.
    chiselling will be hard, sanding better and if you have a drilling machine, you could try to find a round sanding block they use for that. (don't know the word in english) i made that myself from a rolling pin and a metal bold.
    i you want i make a picture and post it here.

    maybe there are thrift store's in your neighborhood, ore little factorys that make stairs and stair steps that can be a good source for wood.

    good you try, you will learn and get better at it every day.

    o, before i forget. do look at the danelectro builds with massonite board
    https://thedutchluthier.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/making-masonite-guitars/
    top and bottom will be massonite board (no MDF)

    and here is a plan
    https://www.electricherald.com/guitar-templates/

    https://www.electricherald.com/danelectro-dc-59-guitar-templates/
     
  17. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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    Ok, so lots of down votes for this, and some "neutral" responses.

    Hmm.

    Maybe trying the basic idea out on some scrap wood (and not on my "prized" plywood!) can give me some perspective on this until I get better wood.

    scrapwood.jpeg
     
  18. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    Wow. I will totally upvote your idea. You have nothing to lose, and you’ll learn a lot in the process! I say go for it.
     
  19. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

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    There is no way where you live you do not have access to African wood.
    What have you done to look for wood?

    P.S. Yes people / companies have built plywood guitars.

    P.S.S.

    I would be calling places like this and asking if they know were to
    get African Mahogany.

    http://www.agami-wood.co.il/

    All I did was bring up google maps and search Lumber Store + Tel Aviv

    You know you''ll probably have to call a lot of places, ask around for
    who builds Instruments.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  20. epizootics

    epizootics Tele-Meister

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    Hasn't Preeb moved to the States now? I seem to remember he paid a lot of money to get all that nice wood up to his rooftop workshop...I'm sure he'd have tips for local suppliers though.

    ...yes they do. I furnished my whole flat with street finds. That includes: a big old stained beech desk for my wife, a coffee table with a 1 3/4 thick alder top (this one will be turning into guitars soon), a 1930s low cabinet made of lovely French oak, an all-pine chest of drawers, and so on. I guess it depends on where you live, but in my area it is common practice to leave furniture/appliances you don't want anymore on the street. They don't stay on the kerb for long...People leave signs on that stuff that will say 'works perfectly' or 'oven is faulty but hot plates are good', etc. I'm pretty sure the cooker I had for a few years made its way up and down the street a few times.


    In any case, as stated above...Go for it, in the worst case you'll have gained some experience and you'll be one happy guy the day you lay hands on a router. Keep your chisels super-sharp since they'll be cutting through both the endgrain and along the fibers. Hog out most of the excess with your drill, they clamp something square along the lines you want to clean up. and use that as a guide when you make your final cut. That'll make things a lot neater. You need to make sure there is very little wood left to remove, though, otherwise your chisel will get pushed outwards as it makes its way down into the piece.
     
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