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Making a poplar thinline

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by RiversQC, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I actually like staining dyeing poplar. IMHO it take stain/dye too well, to the point that you might think the stain was a solid color. At least that's been my experience with browns blacks and blues. I didn't have any issues with blotchiness although I think if I had bleached the wood first the color would have been more intense and deep. I haven't had much luck with using the sun for something like bleaching, I have used it to darken some lacquer for vintage build, that took 2 whole summers.
    You are off to a great start. Looking really good!
    Here's some inspiration I hope . . .

    Top made from poplar deck boards off of a pallet. I then used 14 more piece of that pallet and another pallet for the body. The stain is from HD I think Varathane brand. The little girl this went to said Aqua was her favorite color. (I sanded the front back after staining to bring out those grain lines) The pallets came from her grandpa's business where he sells and restores pallets for shipping companies in the local area. He's been super good to my Dad who works for him so I thought this would be a good thank you. As you can see it's also a hollow or thinline. Nothing like 3 to40 different kinds of wood and 5 lbs of glue to ruin a router bit . . .
    IMG_6363.JPG
     
  2. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Great point and thanks for the feedback! One of my hopes for this summer is to get a spraying rig of some kind going. I have used shellac as well as ColorFX liquid dye concentrates (Aniline dyes more or less equivalent to TransTint, I believe) mixed with denatured alcohol, but only in wipe-on applications so far. I'd like to try my hand at a HVLP gun and/or airbrush for bursts while the weather's nice (although humidity here can be bad). This may or not be the project for that, but an early thanks on the suggestions!
    Thanks! I remember seeing that one around. Looks great, and it's always nice to have a guitar with a story to it.
     
  3. collectiveoasis

    collectiveoasis Tele-Meister

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    Cool thread. Solid progress. Keep up the good work!
     
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  4. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

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    Looks nice. I enjoy watching your build. Your friend will end up with a great guitar.

    Your build reminds me of my first one with less tools. With time, Birthday/Christmas/Father's day, I was able to build it to almost everything I needed. Regarding HVLP, if you can afford it, I really recommend Fuji Spray (Canadian company). Got mine from busybeetools and really like it. I had previously used an HVLP gun with a compressor. But my compressor was pushed to the limit and the results were not as good.
     
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  5. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Holic

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    Cool build!
    Thinlines are so great guitars, makes me smile every time I see one!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  6. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    So here's about where I left off with the top. I cut it down closer to size and the machined edges are already not far off.

    20190614_195301.jpg

    A few small problems on closer inspection, maybe a little hard to see in photos. First, one board is slightly thicker (about 0.3mm) than the other. Second, there was some snipe or something I hadn't noticed at the start of the board where I have already carved my f-hole, so I'm stuck working with it (looked worse in person). It dips and there's a gap. Shoulda more carefully selected my starting point.

    20190614_195421.jpg

    Not a big deal, just took more work edge sanding/jointing. I set this up on the kitchen counter while my wife was busy with something else...;)

    20190614_202239.jpg

    Then I took it down to the basement to glue up, since I dont think she would have tolerated the pipe clamps in the kitchen.

    20190615_215129.jpg

    This morning it was looking pretty good, although despite my efforts to line it up on the top surface, that slight discrepancy in thickness was apparent.

    20190615_215219.jpg

    Nothing some sanding can't fix. After 80 and 100 grit with the random orbit sander:

    20190615_154917.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  7. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Today, then, I managed to get the new bandsaw blade installed and tracking correctly. I've never done that before but think I have it running pretty smoothly. It sure takes me some time to get hand planes, saws, etc tuned up!

    It was a really rainy day, but I managed to use the hour or so of clear weather productively.

    Cut out the body, leaving some extra surface where I'll route the neck pocket. Seems like a good idea; in previous work I've cut the cutaways closer at this stage, so this is a modest experiment.

    I then hogged out the rest of that rear cavity now that my drill press could reach:

    20190615_105157.jpg

    And routed it. Not strictly necessary but leaving it rough would have bothered me...

    20190615_111132.jpg
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    This is my recent Poplar build. I went natural with it. Hardboard pickguard. Color theme reminds me of those green canvas and brown leather pony express pouches.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Love it. This just happens to be another project I've started:

    20190615_225934.jpg

    One-piece poplar blank. I'm thinking jazzcaster...
     
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  10. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    I've just done the glue-up. Put some tape over the wiring channel before spreading titebond, removed that, positioned top and bottom as best as possible, and clamped it up.

    20190615_224423.jpg

    20190615_224724.jpg

    20190615_225325.jpg
    Need a few more clamps to keep up with the rest of you! Sure hope it looks good in the morning.
     
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Harbor Freight might have what you are looking for in clamps, if you have one in town. One of their best value buys.

    .
     
  12. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! We have the comparable Princess Auto which I will have to go see.
     
  13. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Poplar,poor man's mahogany :D
     
  14. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Kinda more like poor man's cherry...but yea... :) :D
     
  15. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    The glue-up went well, everything looks good from what I can see. Marked out the neck pocket with my Stew Mac acrylic template.

    20190616_094057.jpg

    Got it set for routing. Here's the setup I have been using lately. I'd like to use maple runners but mdf has the advantage of better machining than I can easily do. (The middle part is double-sided taped in place).

    20190616_174437.jpg

    Here's where I had a problem....

    I made the first few passes with a 1/2" deep bit, no problem. Then I switched to a 1" deep bit, started shallow so as not to take too much wood in a pass. I must have had the bearing riding too narrowly on the middle part of template (which is a hair thinner) because it took a bite partway across. Argh. About a 2mm divot.

    20190616_113840.jpg

    So what do you do? I could fill, plug, or i guess re-cut the pocket 2mm deeper into the body (which may require commensurate change to the pickguard).

    For now, at least, I made a new neck pocket template with an integrated middle piece of exact same height.

    20190616_150351.jpg

    But I'm left with a divot plus a small but of tear out to fix. Ugly. Oh well. Might force me into a pickguard and/or opaque colour. Taking suggestions!

    20190616_150521.jpg
     
  16. Jsil13

    Jsil13 Tele-Holic

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    That looks great man. What bit did you use for that carve? It looks awesome.
     
  17. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Maybe straighten the line out (keeping the radiused corners) and then glue a carefully prepared filler piece of contrasting (or not contrasting) "binding" across to fill the gap. Be sure it goes all the way to the bottom of the pocket so you get a quality glue surface to reinforce what is otherwise an end-grain to side grain situation. One fully dry clean it up by re-routing the back of the pocket. Only a tiny bit of the new material will be visible if you intend to go without the pick guard an most folks likely will not see it. (You will, of course... ;) )
     
  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    But I'm left with a divot plus a small but of tear out to fix. Ugly. Oh well. Might force me into a pickguard and/or opaque colour. Taking suggestions!

    Various options:


    I'd patch it with some plastic wood and sand it flat. I'd do an opaque finish regardless of a repair or not on poplar. Its color is just not the best even after exposure to UV.


    If it really bothers you, make a new body. Poplar wood is about as cheap as it gets.

    You could plug and reroute from the neck to the neck pickup but that's way more work than I'd go through myself.

    You could plane off some of the top and put a new top on.


    I like to cut the different routs out before cutting out the body. That gives you more support for the router.

    Teles need pickguards.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  19. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

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    You could also have a bit of fretboard overhang to hide the repair you will do. With the overhang and the pickguard, it will be invisible.
     
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  20. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Great work Rivers!..........Regarding the bandsaw, Google Alex Snodgrass bandsaw set-up. He can show you how to make your bandsaw 200% more accurate, easier to use with less blade stress......really worth the time。

    DC
     
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