How To Plane/Thickness Tele Body Blank

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by JDawg0427, May 27, 2020.

  1. JDawg0427

    JDawg0427 TDPRI Member

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    Hi all, some of you may have seen my previous posts about the walnut tele I am building for my grandpa. I cut the big chunk of walnut in my woodshop and now have a beautiful center matched two piece body blank. My issue is that the blank needs planed to have a flat top and back. I do not own a thickness sander/planer and I don't know anyone who has one large enough for my body blank. I originally was planning on paying a local cabinet maker or wood shop to run it through their planer, but with the world in the state it is currently, I cannot find anyone who is open. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do or who I can go to? (I live in the Columbus area of Ohio). Thanks!
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Either a router or the old fashioned way, with a smoothing plane. First a jack plane, then a smoothing plane. Or maybe first a jointing plane, then a jack plane, then a smoothing plane.


    router pro: Fast, precise
    router con: takes fairly elaborate jig, extremely dusty, more dangerous

    plane pro: quiet, makes nice shavings
    plane con: slower, takes skill
     
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  4. reddy2300

    reddy2300 Tele-Meister

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    I think that Woodcraft on Bethel Rd has been open this whole time. Not sure if their wood guys are doing any work, though. I would contact them to find out. (I frequent the place...frequently. I like to just go in every week or two to find out what new wood has arrived.)

    I might know a guy that has a plane that will do up to about 13" wide. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

    BTW, I live on the NW side near Dublin. If you need anything, let me know!
     
  5. rocket-caster

    rocket-caster TDPRI Member

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    Question regarding router jigs for thicknessing... could a router table serve the purpose of the jig as long as the dimensions of the board were appropriate? I’m thinking similar to routing out a trussrod channel, just do that on multiple passes to create a central area on the board of smaller thickness. I was thinking about doing that for my own body blank since I’ve got about 2 inches of waste area on each side. I haven’t come across anyone doing it that way though, so I’m assuming there’s a downside that I haven’t thought of yet?
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Your router table would have to be about 26-30 inches wide to do something like that, with the bit in the center of that width. You could probably hot glue the blank to some thin runners on the edges to keep it from rocking too. Once you had one side done, iI think it would be more difficult to get the other side co planar. It might be just easier to knock a simple jig together. The important part is a long router base that stays dead flat. You can use most anything for the rails for that to move on that are thicker than the wood you are trying to "plane". Guys have used pvc pipe for the rails.
     
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  7. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use 2 1/2" pvc on mine
     
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  8. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    this is always an issue for me. I have a router planer jig I built. and I have a couple of hand planes too. The main thing it takes is patience, and tenacity.

    and straight edges...and thoughtfulness, and a little information.

    I found this video to be instructional and inspirational, even though it has nothing to do with a router planer jig.



    I liked how he would evaluate the board for pivot points, and how he used the straight edge of the plane to sight down the service. I had been fooling with a body blank earlier, gave up in disgust, watched his video, and then I went back out to my blank and had it flat in about 10 minutes.

    If I can do it, I'm sure you certainly can.
     
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  9. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Great video!
     
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  10. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Both Stew-Mac & Woodcraft sell a surfacing tool for the drill press. It works okay, but expect to do lots of extra sanding.
     
  11. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Holic

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    Here are a couple of pictures of the one I built. I have a planer but it is 40 minutes away at my in-laws outbuilding. To big to fit downstairs in my shop. I just pull this out and use it most of the time.
    E20B114D-F587-44CC-9B10-64C78A5EBE2A.jpeg 468E1E6B-005F-42B8-B600-5E5B85231C06.jpeg
     
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  12. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Holic

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    ...and yes it makes a lot of wood chips.
    02F3D27A-84E9-46D8-AA2E-B6275FB54DD6.jpeg D641CC3E-8591-4B0C-B91D-BC1B6503FAC7.jpeg
     
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  13. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you are going the planer route , there are some things you need to know first .
    Above all , you must begin with a true surface . If you do not , a planer will provide you with an opposite surface that is as untrue as you began with .
    The simplest way to accomplish this is with a jointer large enough to handle the billet that you are working with . I have a 16" jointer and that will handle any Tele or Strat body blank .
    Once that first surface has been trued , you can now proceed to the planer or thickness sander and have good results .
    Thickness sanders are not planers and are not intended to remove more than a few thousandths at a pass . They are sanders . Planers are not jointers .
    Patience in getting this done just might pay off greatly in the end in finished results .
    You can accomplish your goal with hand planing , but the chances are that you will stumble through a learning curve at first , so practice on something you consider to be throw away wood until you have the confidence and skill set to attack the real thing .
    Good luck .
    Router sleds also work . Keeping the billet stable and stationary are key to making them work in order to het that first surface right .
     
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  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The reality is that most people don't have a jointer wide enough to handle a body blank. You are probably lucky to have a 6-8" one. Gluing up a blank that has 2 or 3 pieces that were jointed and thickness planed to a thickness then becomes the next best thing. Scraping the glue off and then taking alternating light passes through your lunch box planer will leave you a decent result. If you don't have a planer or thickness sander, then the router planer jig is another alternative to get one side flat. Once that is flat it'll make a decent surface to flip over and repeat the other rough side. Many people here do it with good results. Use a good bit in a good jig and you'll just have to sand out the tool marks.
     
  15. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am in Manheim , Pa . Bring it to me and I will run it across my 16" jointer at a minimal fee . PM me if you are interested . I do not have a planer , but I can provide you with a suitable starting point .
     
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  16. tweeet

    tweeet Tele-Afflicted

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    If anyone has one of these near you it will do the trick...but you'll have to cut it in half again first !! Then re-glue it ! I had one when I was building and twas great...but you have to plane then glue the two halves. I did also copy someones router jig which also worked a treat...just like the ones above.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

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    router sled works like a charm, and can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it.
    first run might require some shimming, depending how rough the blank is now, but, done halfway decently, the subsequent run on the flipped over blank, will bring it home.
    my sled/jig cost me about $10.
    2 screws up thru the bottom in the waste fields hold it steady.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. gabeNC

    gabeNC TDPRI Member

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    Here's mine

    [​IMG]
     
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