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Making a poplar thinline

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

  1. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This is an excellent idea, IMHO. And that slight overhang might be a great visual feature, too.
     
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  2. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    So true.
     
  3. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Thank you for all the suggestions, including the bandsaw setup videos. I will check that out.

    I guess I'm leaning towards a plastic wood fill for the fix, that will be easy. I could buy Bondo or epoxy but maybe just the stuff I have is fine for this application.

    I may do a 22-fret neck with an overhang... For this particular guitar, since the friend I'm making it for is only about 5' tall, I am considering making it a 24 3/4" scale conversion neck -- I have such a fretboard on order. We'll see. ;) I'd like to get the feel of making a few and see which one works. Currently I'm psyching myself up by reading all the invaluable threads and guidance here.

    For colour, now that I'm definitely thinking opaque, I will have to suss out what she might like -- stealthily, since this is a surprise. I'm likely to do a duplicolor spray colour, and I've picked up some CrystaLac Brite Tone instrument finish (water based) to try out as a clear coat.

    I'm definitely thinking something other than the '69 thinline pickguard. I'm planning to use a standard tele control plate, and so a cut down version of a standard tele pickguard might be just the ticket. For inspiration, I'm thinking of something like RS uses on its juniors. However, I'll have a standard tele bridge, and likely a standard neck pickup too...

    Luckily I'm building slowly enough to think about it all!


    rs.jpg rs 2.jpg
     
  4. devrock

    devrock Tele-Meister

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    This is the answer here.
     
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  5. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Holic

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    If going to paint it a solid color, I wouldn’t worry about it. Mix up some epoxy with some poplar sawdust, scoop it in there, sand it, and if necessary, re-route the pocket.

    My friend is a full-time luthier, and he says, “We all have those spots of epoxy.”
     
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  6. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Great build thread, Rivers. I'm a big fan of Thinlines because of the weight reduction.
     
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  7. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I llike the opaque finish. I like thinlines. Good choice rivers.
     
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  8. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    So little time lately. When I have bought a little time, it has been clear that I am ON THE CLOCK. Not ideal, but I haven't made any egregious mistakes while rushing. Plus side: if you can overlook the parts that need touching up, I now definitely have a guitar shaped object.

    Did my inside and outside shaping with power sanders. Not as perfect as a router table but at least I have nice square edges:

    20190623_111343.jpg

    Placed and started my control and bridge cavities:

    20190623_111406.jpg

    And routed them. Need to go a bit deeper on the bridge, and place a neck pickup cavity:

    20190623_111448.jpg
     
  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hey, it may be not perfect when you sand it, but a grain tear out that you have to repair on the router table isn't perfect either :).
     
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  10. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Back in the saddle. Partly I've been busy, but a certain amount of the delay is that everytime I look at the wood filler I get a little discouraged. I'm sure many of you can relate!

    Anyway, I did a few things to press forward. Marked out my neck holes (lately I've been using a cutout from the T. Downs drawing to mark my place along centre line):

    20190714_122133.jpg

    Added a humbucker route. I still think I'll be using a single coil but always nice to have options under the pickguard:

    20190714_121313.jpg
    I did the rear roundover too. I wanted to try a 3/8 instead of the standard, to make it nice and curvy. I really like it!

    20190714_122214.jpg

    20190714_114818.jpg

    This wood grain on the back is really interesting, imo. I'm thinking a darker brown clear finish for the back (and probably solid white for the top).

    I didn't do a roundover on the top as I'm thinking about faux or real binding. Hmmm.
     
  11. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Great idea for the HB route...you are spot on that it gives you choices that the pick guard will deal with visually.

    I chose to use a dark back and white binding on my TL-inspired body that will be number two. I think it looks nice that way for a thinline type body. Classy since f-holes have a more formal feel, at least to me.
     
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  12. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    P.S. An update on the jazzcaster: got it cut out, shaped, routed, and did a 1/2 roundover.

    20190714_122924.jpg

    Wouldn't be one of my builds without having messed up some of the routing (in this case the neck humbucker, and ran the forstner bit too deep). That'll be covered though. :p

    I think the roundover is my favourite step. Changes a block of wood into a curvy guitar! Looking forward to carving the rest.
     
  13. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Two months in. One to go. Better get moving on the finish! Not leaving myself much time for he traditional screw up, sand down, restart ;)

    I decided against binding and a tinted clear on the back - couldn't decide on a scheme (plus I have a technical question I'll ask separately). I'm going to do a solid colour.

    Liberated of that decision, I rounded over the top. I did 3/8 on the back, so did the same on the front. I dont know what tele models might have this, it's much curvier than traditional spec... but I quite like it:

    20190805_174819.jpg

    Did the output jack with a 7/8 spade bit, gripping the guitar between cardboard protectors on my portable table (yikes). Nice enough:

    20190805_181619.jpg

    Aaand it's just about a completed guitar body.

    20190805_175007.jpg
     
  14. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    I completed the remaining drilling with a hand drill and put on some amber shellac as sealer.

    20190809_211707.jpg

    From here I will prime, pick a duplicolor shade, and plan to clear that with crystalac/brite tone water based instrument finish. I have to get a modest HVLP gun running and, of course, test. Wish me luck or words of caution.

    Also working out a pickguard pattern...
     
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  15. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Technical question on binding gear:

    I picked up this Whiteside 7/8" diameter bit plus a 3/4" bearing. That should give me a 1/16" channel which would seem to match some binding I have.

    20190809_212831.jpg

    I should be able to use an Allen key to get the small bearing off and add the new one... enough resistance though I'm nervous of stripping it. But if I do get it off, the new bearing is thicker...

    20190809_215214.jpg

    Does this look like a problem? Anyone do something similar? Thank you.
     
  16. epizootics

    epizootics Tele-Meister

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    They must have put a drop of thread locker in there, but the screw should release without stripping. Those black Allen-heads are high-tensile strength. If it does break, you're entitled to a refund from your supplier.

    As for the the thicker bearing, it shouldn't be an issue, as long as the inside diameters of the two bearings match. The screw should be long enough to reach enough of the inside thread to hold things into place. If anything, the bit should be more stable with a larger contact surface, and the distribution of the pressure will reduce the risk of leaving bearing marks under your cut.

    Make sure you hold the shaft in a vise (protecting it with a piece of cardboard) to hold it while you remove the screw instead of holding it in your hand and risking your fingers...Guess how I know that? :)

    Looking really good and neat by the way, you did a very clean job on those two guitars!
     
  17. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! I'll give it a shot.
     
  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I see several potential problems. First, I do a lot of binding and years ago I bought the basic StewMac binding bit and set of bearings. You are right, you simply remove the allen bolt, and replace the bearing with the correct size. All of the bearings in the set have the same ID and the correct height. I can't tell if yours will work without either trying the bearing or measuring with a micrometer.

    If the bearing is interchangeable the next problem will be the depth of cut. Most standard bindings are 1/4 inch tall and range from 20 to 80 thousands (or more). Plastic binding comes in 20, 40, 60, 80 thousands, wood is almost always 80 and you want to make the depth of your cut match the binding. When I am setting up to route a binding channel I always lay a piece of binding on the bit and make sure when it is resting against the bearing the cutting tip is exactly at the side of the binding. I always make a test cut in some scrap and try fitting a piece of binding to make sure.

    You want a pretty accurate fit with your binding. I try to make the side flush with the side of the guitar and the top of the binding stand a few thousands proud of the top (or back). I want to scrape binding down to the top, not vise versa. I want to do as little scraping on the side as possible, if anything take a hair off the binding, not the side.

    The second part of cutting binding channels is that frequently I will have purfling lines that are sandwiched in between the binding and the body - that means making multiple passes with different size bearings. If you are only doing simple plastic binding then one pass is enough.

    The last concern I have is whether you have shot yourself in the foot by doing the roundover. As I said, binding is 1/4 tall and 0.080 thick, you want a flat square surface to make your channel. And last, but far from least, I like to install binding before doing the neck pocket rout so that the transition is smooth.

    Here is the StewMac setup

    IMG_1107.JPG

    And here is a tele with wood binding installed but the neck is not routed yet. When I do that the binding will be treated like the body wood and cut out at the correct angle

    IMG_4662.JPG

    And routed

    IMG_4691.JPG
     
  19. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Unfortunately, the binding gear doesn't work. The bearing is too thick, making contact with the bottom cutting edge of the bit, such that it wont spin independently.

    Not the first time I've outsmarted myself! Maybe I can find a thinner bearing. The stewmac one is $71 CAD which I can't rationalize... yet.

    Thanks for the detailed reply, Freeman. I am only hoping to do simple plastic, at least for now, but as above I'm back to the drawing board!

    Yes, I decided to do the roundover since I had decided binding wasnt going to happen on this one. Partly that's because of the last point you made - about doing the binding channel before the neck pocket. I think I caught that in one of your posts in another thread. Excellent point :)
     
  20. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

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    I know what you mean about the steep price of Stewmac stuff sent to Canada considering shipping and exchange rate. But there is a lot of Stewmac tools I would not be without. That binding bit is one of them.

    The Tele looks really great.
     
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