How would you do this?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by boredguy6060, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm planing on cutting an access panel in the back of a 335 style guitar.
    It's nothing collectable at all. In fact without some new electronics it's worthless.
    I've rewired several semi-hollow bodys by accessing the F hole, but this one has very small F holes due to some 2-ply binding.
    Someone has stripped everything off this guitar so all I'm starting with is a neck and body, which has some decent appointments, like binding, 5- ply on the front and back, 2-ply on the neck, headstock, F holes.
    I don't like mini pots, just my preference, but I don't care to use them. This guitar won't even allow for mini's.
    I think that someone gave up on this project after realizing that rewiring was going to be a real pain unless, you cut an access hole in the back.
    My plan is to use the piece I remove as the cover, so here is finally my question.
    How would you make this cut? I have a template to guide a rotary tool, but 1/16th is the smallest bit I can find, which I think will be ok.
    Obviously the smallest line possible is what I'm going for.
    Having never done this before, I'm not sure that my plan is the best way to approach this, so I'm open to any advice on how to best achieve this without mucking it up.
    My friend bought this off CL for 30$, but like I said it's got some features that are worth putting some time and money into.
    I told my buddy that if I can do this, then I can put in some nice componants, 50's style wiring, then it's worth going the effort to refinish it and install all new hardware, nice pickups, tuners ect.
    So whether this project goes on to be restored or goes back on CL comes down to getting this access panel done right.
    Any help is highly appreciated.
     
  2. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    Well, obviously the panel will end up being smaller than the cutout. You can compensate for this by putting binding (plastic or wood) around the cutout so the cover fits well.
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  4. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hadn't even thought of that, most helpful, Thanks
     
  5. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good luck on the project!

    My question goes with it, how to measure/cut the plastic (or wood) cover for an existing access hole?
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  7. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had planed on putting some kind of ledge in the cutout to accept some screws.
    Thanks for the link on the bit, exactly what I need.
     
  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If that router bit isn't deep enough, you could probably use an xacto knife on the rest of it to pop it out.
     
  9. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    In a magical world in would cut the access with a laser, then add a shelf of some kind, and use the cut out as the access cover. But it's not a magical world so I have to find the most practical way to accomplish the same thing, and it looks like I'm getting there.
     
  10. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Guitarbuilder, thanks for those links.
    Stewmac has some very small bits all the way down to 1/32.
    I must admit that I'm not router literate. I made a template out if some ABS which is 1/4" thick, I can make one out if wood if needed.
    But I was going to use that as the guide, so if I order a bit in say 1/16 to 1/32 which bearing would I order to go with it?

    Edit: I ordered the bit and bearing, I'm going to make a new template out of wood.

    Thanks for the help !
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  11. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

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    If I were you, after cutting the cover, I'd bind the cavity walls instead of the cover itself, that'll give you a wee more room for fitting the cover better. Just my two cents...
     
  12. Ed Miller

    Ed Miller Tele-Meister

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    drill through the side of the center block in the back pickup cavity. then pull the harness through.
     
  13. slinger

    slinger Friend of Leo's

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    dremel....with a cut wheel
     
  14. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, here's what happened.
    Ed mentioned cutting a hole through the bridge pickup cavity and feeding the harness in that way. Well that's what I ended up doing, so thanks Ed.
    It's a real pia to keep your strings from getting tangled in the process, it took a couple of very frustrating tries before I got the harness and strings straightened out.
    As my luck would have it, after I got the harness in the body and started pulling the pots through the holes and getting the nut and washers on, I get to the output jack and it won't come through the hole. After fishing around with a lite trying to see what's up with the output jack, I see that I left the nut on it!
    So I hung it on the wall for a few days, then got back into it and finally got everything in it's right place and anchored down.
    Now I'm going to get this baby finished and be very careful what I get myself into in the future.
     
  15. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm glad you found a way to make work. I was hoping to see how the panel worked out as I've been considering putting one on my Epi Dot.
     
  16. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I think what you did is way better than what you were planning to do! ;)
     
  17. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah there is really no easy way to cut a hole in an arched back. The possibility of screwing it up weighed on me for a day or two, then I decided to try going through the bridge cavity. Better to cut a hole you can't see, then to cut a huge hole that's going to be seen.
    I had made a template that I thought looked ok, then I laid it on the back, after that I knew I was over my head.
    I'm more into rewiring, refinishing, not anything like this.
    Let no good deed go unpunished! I called my friend and told him to come and get it.
     
  18. Brandon mac

    Brandon mac Tele-Holic

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    Could you just enlarge the f holes just enough to make it work?
     
  19. StuR

    StuR Banned

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    Great it got fixed up "the traditional way". Reading the thread I wondered whether, being a semi, having the back cut open - even if it is replaced later, would that affect the resonance of the guitar tone afterwards? Not so much as you'd notice, or not at all - or not so much as if it was a higher end brand?
     
  20. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ed had the best solution on how to cut up the back of a semi hollow arch top - i.e. don't. A drill and chisel can be used from inside the bridge pickup cavity to create a notch in the block, and it's how most ES-335's are made (Epiphones and some older 335's are the exception).

    When rewiring an f-hole guitar like that, I use aquarium tubing that fits on the pot shafts (half of a split shaft holds just fine) and inside the jack, makes a very useful tool for snaking the parts. Better than dental floss or fishing line.
     
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