Minimum Body Thickness Question (POLL ADDED)

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by zcostilla, Jan 18, 2020.

Is a 1 1/4” slab of salvaged spruce thick enough for a guitar body

  1. Yes, it will work fine if the heel is done right

    17 vote(s)
    77.3%
  2. Yes, but only with a shorter scale length (i.e. Mustang or Duosonic)

    1 vote(s)
    4.5%
  3. No, it will fail under the strain

    4 vote(s)
    18.2%
  1. zcostilla

    zcostilla TDPRI Member

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    Question? If I built a body from scratch, that’s the minimum thickness I should go for?

    I was given a 100-year old piece of spruce planking at 1 1/4” thick and 24” wide, lacquered on the front and back. It’s tongue & groove from an old pipe organ air box. I’m building a lap steel from it but still have a 38” long section. Thought about a super lightweight bolt on, in a Tele shape, but it doesn’t leave a lot of meat for the neck joint. Thinking I might plane it to 1” and put a thin cap, and if I go that route, I’ll probably chamber it to make more weight savings. But if you think I could go this thin, it would be neat. Might have to take 1/4” off the neck heel thickness and use shorter screws to make it work. I’ll be using a Hipshot hardtail bridge I already have in my spare parts box.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  2. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I dont think I've seen anything thinner than 1.5"ish, but theres prob one somewhere.

    Why not just sandwich it to 1.75"?
     
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  3. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have done 1.4" but the control cavity bottom is very thin and you have to bend the bottom tabs on the switch up. I made the guitar out of 2x4 from a pallet. It is the depth of the Tele switch that limits how thin you can go. You can do 1.4 or maybe less if you use a Gibson type switch like on a Cabronita.
     
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  4. zcostilla

    zcostilla TDPRI Member

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    So if I went one pickup, like an Esquire, and eliminated the switch, do you think the neck pocket would hold up?
     
  5. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I routed a .625 deep neck pocket in a Couple of 1.4” thick pine bodies and had no problems.
     
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  6. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Im confused. 1/4" and you want to build a solid body?
     
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  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Body thickness depends on switch use. SG's were around 1-3/8" thick with the SG style toggle. Hagstroms may have been thinner due to slide switches. The other thing to consider is control depth and neck cavity depth. A typical F body has about 1-1/8" of wood under the neck. You could go lower, but as you get thinner there the chance of flex is greater...again Think of an SG. There are bolt on SG bodies out there with probably 3/4 or even less wood under the bolt on neck. It depends on the wood species too. A denser wood would yield less flex than a less dense wood might.

    You can see how thin this Hagstrom neck cavity is if you scroll through the pictures.

    https://reverb.com/item/29405601-ha...tar-baby-blue-1960s-needs-work?show_sold=true
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  8. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I believe the OP meant it to be 1.25" (1 1/4") but fat-fingered it.
     
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  9. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My main problem is body thickness also.
     
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  10. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Ahh...the ol fat finger.
     
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  11. zcostilla

    zcostilla TDPRI Member

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    This is exactly what happened. Sorry. I corrected my OP.
     
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  12. zcostilla

    zcostilla TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the Hagstrom comparison. The fact that it’s spruce was also my concern. It is a lot denser than soft pine you find in the lumberyard, but it’s also definitely not quartersawn.

    Zac
     
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  13. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  14. zcostilla

    zcostilla TDPRI Member

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  15. zcostilla

    zcostilla TDPRI Member

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  16. zcostilla

    zcostilla TDPRI Member

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    Weight is a big factor for me, because I have spine, knee, and shoulder injuries from my military service. I pretty much have to play sitting down if I play more than one song, unless I’m using my Godin 5th Avenue. It’s the only guitar I own that’s light enough to play standing up for any length of time, but I have it set up as a jazz box (D’Addario chrome flatwound strings and a custom Charlie Christian pickup).

    Also, I added a poll to collect responses. Please keep the feedback coming. You guys are great!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  17. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    When making anything non standard, it is a good idea to get the switches and hardware you want to use and have them on hand when making the body.
     
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  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You could always make a shallower neck cavity and use a taller bridge...like a Gibson ABR-1 type too. Those are about 5/8" tall as compared to a tele bridge at 3/8" tall.
     
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  19. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    This body is pine about 1 7/16 or 1.4 thick. The bottom of the neck pocket is just under 3/4 thick. Played hundreds of gigs in all kind of temperatures, no problems.
    68D5B7DC-C5CF-4FD9-989A-BCC26FB8E73B.jpeg
     
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  20. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's why I thought about sandwiching 2 pieces. Bottom piece your full thickness (1 1/4") fully routed out minus your crucial areas, & the top piece the appropriate thickness planed down (1/2"?) gives you a light full size tele of 1 3/4", or however you want to achieve the proper width.

    Like these, specifically the tele, before your cap.
    [​IMG]
     
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