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Inexpensive Body Blanks

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by kwp503, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. kwp503

    kwp503 TDPRI Member

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    I've got a couple of questions. I am wanting to experiment with cutting my own bodies. Is there a type of wood that is easier to work with more than others? That is, a type that would be better for someone just starting out? And then, where is the best place to get blanks without spending a lot. I foresee screw ups and would like to be able to have a few on hand for the inevitable.
     
  2. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

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    Practice on cheap pine or MDF or ply to start with. Once you are comfy with your method then use some real wood.
     
  3. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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  4. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

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    Whilst MDF and ply are cheap and are great for starting out, one of the key skills to learn is how to deal with the grain, so my advice would be have a go with at least one practice body with real wood. Depends what you can get cheap round your neck of the woods I was going to echo macaroonie's suggestion of pine but if, as flatfive suggests, you can get reasonably priced poplar then that would be good too. BTW: For these practice bodies I wouldn't worry about getting pieces that are big enough for one-piece bodies, learning how to joint the timber is another useful skill that is worth the time to practice.
     
  5. Guitarnut

    Guitarnut Friend of Leo's

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    Basswood is another good option. Very easy to work and plenty cheap.

    Mark
     
  6. Tom Pettingill

    Tom Pettingill Tele-Holic

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    Poplar is a great low cost wood. It machines / works very well and can make for a fine body. Really, about the only downside to poplar is that most of it is kind of ugly and best finished in an opaque color.
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I just bought some maple yesterday for necks. Poplar and Basswood are in the $2 and change range per board foot in 2" thick (8/4) sizes. That puts you in the 10-12 dollar range per body if you get widths close to 7" wide and glue them up. Even pine was more than that.
     
  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have made 2 or 3 bodies out of pine 2x4s from a shipping pallet.... one of them is my main gig guitar and has been gigged over 150 hours in the last year. the body cost me nothing but my labor and a little titebond. The body is 1.5" thick, you could cap it if you wanted full thickness.

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  9. bajaasdad

    bajaasdad Tele-Meister

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    2x4 joining question.

    Most 2x4s have rounded corners.. how did you get them to join up so nice? Did you use a jointer prior to gluing?

    I still say that pine is some of the best tonewood around.

    Light airy and resonant.
     
  10. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    PingGuo likes this.
  11. andrewdoeshair

    andrewdoeshair Tele-Meister

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    Basswood is very easy to work with, and is cheap. Same with sugar pine. Poplar is cheap, but isn't any easier to work with than alder, IMO. I've gotten 8/4 basswood slabs for like $17, and have gotten sugar pine in the same dimensions for like $20... It's Chelsea enough that I never worried about ruining them. Working on a $65 piece of walnut, though, that can feel like disarming a bomb.
     
  12. Guitarnut

    Guitarnut Friend of Leo's

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    Jointer, planer or hand plane will do it. Could also use a router with a straight guide. A table saw or band saw will get them close then you can clean them up with a sanding block or beam and 220 grit.

    Mark
     
  13. goldguitarguy

    goldguitarguy Tele-Meister

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    Popular and basswood are the cheapest around here anyways,I bought enough wood for 4 popular bodies,6 maple necks and 6 mahogany set necks for $150.But when selecting the wood be picky,look for knots,how straight it is,warpage,how much is usable,etc…
     
  14. mgaut051

    mgaut051 TDPRI Member

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    Lauan from a pallet - free but not the clearest or the most pleasant to work with.
     
  15. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I use a little Delta jointer I bought used on craigslist.

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  16. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a table saw and finish the faces with 80 grit paper on a long flat sanding block.
     
  17. oldsoultroy

    oldsoultroy Tele-Meister

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    If ya wanna get real cheap about it- get some 2by4's and 1/4" tempered hardboard. Search TDPRI for Danolectro builds. Whatever you do, please don't stack up plywood and make something. Poplar, Alder and Yeller Pine are all completely TONEWORTHY choices, so don't think of it as "budget" wood, think of it as cheap and awesome! If you want a transparent finish on Poplar, go with a nice Dark Brown.
     
  18. oldsoultroy

    oldsoultroy Tele-Meister

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    I just seen this, and wow, never seen luan in board form. did you ever do anything with this?
     
  19. kwp503

    kwp503 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and insight. All I have locally as far as lumber goes is a Lowes. I have no planer or jointer so I need to find a blank that is ready for my template. Where should I look for the most wallet friendly blanks. I've checked all the big name suppliers, just wondering if there any smaller companies or individuals that I may not be aware of.
     
  20. oldsoultroy

    oldsoultroy Tele-Meister

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    ebay.
     
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