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mmoncur's 2012 Challenge Build Thread -- COMPLETED

Discussion in '2012 TDPRI Tele Build Challenge' started by mmoncur, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    Started smoothing the edges on the ROSS. My bandsawing was sloppy so I had to remove lots of material, but it's still easy. Note the cool random square pattern the yardsticks create on the side, and the subtle blue stripes are all that remains of the inch markings.

    IMG_0354.jpg

    Also started on a neck. Here's the truss rod channel... one yardstick was sliced before gluing to avoid having to use a router.

    IMG_0357.jpg
     
  2. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    Finished the body on the ROSS today.

    IMG_0359.jpg

    The spindle sander is a lot less forgiving of sloppy bandsawing than the belt sander. I had as much as an inch of extra material to remove in some spots, and the belt sander made it easy, but it took about 20 minutes with the 3/4" spindle to finish the inside curves.

    I'm not going to rout the body or even do a roundover, since I'm still scared of ruining it with the router and I don't have time for repairs. It's a thin guitar anyway, so I'm just going to round the corners manually with a sanding sponge. I've already started in the pictures.

    I also hollowed out the control cavity. I had to remove 1.25" to fit my low-profile switch, leaving only .25" of guitar at the back, and one router slip would mean a hole in the guitar. So I hogged it out gently with a forstner bit and finished with a chisel and file. It's a bit sloppy but the control plate will cover it...

    IMG_0361.jpg

    (I moistened it a bit for these pictures to show the wood color. I'm going to do a natural tru-oil finish so it will look pretty much like this!)
     
  3. Allthesound

    Allthesound Tele-Afflicted

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    Looking good keep at it!
     
  4. fretman_2

    fretman_2 Friend of Leo's

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    The body looks a little like bamboo. Great build so far.
     
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hey...great idea...I love this one!
     
  6. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    I do my roundovers with rasps, files, and sandpaper. It's a less agressive approach if you're afraid a router will get away from you (I always am).

    Looks good!
     
  7. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    Here's the neck in progress...

    IMG_0365.jpg

    And a fretboard in progress.

    IMG_0366.jpg
     
  8. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    Cutting the neck down to the right thickness... First poorly on the bandsaw.

    IMG_0371.jpg

    Then cleaned it up on the ROSS.

    IMG_0374.jpg
     
  9. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Your router is starting to think you hate it. . . . ;-)
     
  10. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    I don't hate the router, I just fear it... Especially since I took a chunk out of my neck pocket template and a chunk out of my workbench when I did the cavities. So I'd like to learn to use it properly before I trust it with the most visible parts of a guitar...

    Meanwhile, on the fretboard. Here it is sanded, showing a jig I made haphazardly using a pre-cut fretboard I had handy, a square, a ruler, some clamps, and some double-stick tape to mark the locations of the frets.

    IMG_0378.jpg

    Frets marked.

    IMG_0380.jpg

    Finally I used the square and a Harbor Freight pull saw to cut the fret slots. I'm just guessing at the depth at this point, but they seem lined up pretty well so far.

    IMG_0382.jpg
     
  11. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Keep pluggin; this is fun to watch. I'm living proof that you can do this enjoyably without a router, though it's needed for a trussrod and nice to have when you're binding. Other than that...

    Nice FB.
     
  12. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    Lots of progress last night, but not much time to post pictures. Here's a test fit of the bridge, pickups, pickguard, and controls...

    IMG_0399.jpg

    (with a borrowed neck)
     
  13. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    OK, the body is finished, aside from wiring. Here are the final pictures:

    Drilled holes for wiring using a ridiculously long 25" Harbor Freight drill bit. I thought the extra length would make it difficult, but it actually made it really easy to line up and kept the drill far from the guitar body.

    IMG_0385.jpg

    Routed (With extreme trepidation) the neck pocket a bit deeper. The neck was a bit high before, room for 2-3 pickguards. No problem at all.

    IMG_0387.jpg

    Drilled a 7/8" hole for the output jack with a forstner bit. THAT was scary! It took about 10 minutes and I don't like how close it came to the top of the guitar, but everything's fine. I also drilled a hole from the control cavity to the bridge pickup through that hole.

    IMG_0390.jpg

    Finished the body with two coats of Birchwood Casey sealer and filler, sanding with 220 and 400 grit in between, and a thin coat of tru-oil. I might stop right here, I like the satin finish and the grain showing. (Tru-oil is still wet in the picture, it won't really be quite this shiny!)

    IMG_0410.jpg
     
  14. junk mutt

    junk mutt Tele-Meister

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    Looks great! Keep it up, your almost done.
     
  15. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    Neck progress...

    Testing the fretboard placement. I also traced a rough headstock shape from a neck I had lying around. HUGE MISTAKE - it was a 24.75" conversion neck. Almost made the headstock an inch short. I should probably print a template before I finish this neck.

    IMG_0401.jpg

    Attached a piece of yardstick to the fretboard end to mark the lineup of the 22nd fret extension with the neck.

    IMG_0403.jpg

    Truss rod test. It works!

    IMG_0404.jpg

    Gluing on the fretboard. This didn't work extremely well, I had to re-clamp each side later because it separated a bit at the edges. I think it will work though.

    IMG_0407.jpg
     
  16. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    By the way, thanks for all of the encouraging words! I'm amazed I've made it this far, and I think I can finish by the deadline! Keep your fingers crossed.
     
  17. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    OK, I printed a template for the headstock and the nut location and stuck it on. In retrospect I wish i hadn't done that because it took half an hour to remove the adhesive from the fretboard later.

    IMG_0412.jpg

    Rough cut the shape on the bandsaw.

    IMG_0413.jpg

    ...and started to shape it on the belt sander.

    IMG_0414.jpg
     
  18. mmoncur

    mmoncur Tele-Meister

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    Headstock thicknessed (also on the ROSS) and spindle sanded to be a bit more Tele-shaped.

    IMG_0416.jpg

    Radiused the fretboard and started installing frets.

    IMG_0417.jpg
     
  19. Allthesound

    Allthesound Tele-Afflicted

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    Hurry!... No pressure :D
     
  20. Sasz

    Sasz Tele-Meister

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    You've got an amazing amount done in the last few days!
    Fingers duly crossed for you :cool:
     
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