My first build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by emann, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. emann

    emann TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    first time here and first post...guitar learner for about 2 years on an acoustic and a strat, both bought as second hand and really love them.

    So I have a small garage in which I worked all house furniture and really eager to do my first try on a telecaster body which I would like to do myself. I plan to buy a roasted maple neck of which I love the look and then see what other bits and pieces are required. I have a table saw, jig saw, router, orbital sander and planer. As for other tools I have carpenter friends who hopefully can assist.

    Hence to start with, can you guide me of any topics even on this forum that I should follow as a start. Any good place in europe to buy thinline 69 telecaster templates please? Also I plan to make an ash body and top cover similar to the attached. What wood thickness do I need for both when I buy the raw wood and to what thickness do I need to plane both pieces of wood. Also any information on what depth would I need to make the pockets for the pickups, control knobs, etc....

    In a nutshell the basic beginnings to get me on the right track. I plan to do a sample on scrap wood to see how it goes and then hopefully try my hand on the actual one.

    Any answers to the above and other starting assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks to all
    Emann
     

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  2. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    The beauty of building is to do what you think is right. A Fender Tele body is 45-ish mm thick & the neck pocket around 18mm deep (those measurements from my Fender Hwy 1 Tele). Pickup pockets are 16-18mm deep & the control cavity 37.5mm at its deepest part.

    At the time I made my Thinline body I didn't own a Tele or have a template or any kind of drawings (or even Internet). Basically I traced my Strat body shape, adjusted the top bout until it looked right & actually went to the guitar shop with pencil & paper & copied the f-hole (which I ended up changing anyway). I left 6mm each for top & bottom of the hollowed area & 12.5mm for the "walls"

    image.jpeg

    The point is, that it can be an exact science if you want to be, but doesn't have to be, the body anyway. I wouldn't try to "wing" a fretboard.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
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  3. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Welcome to the show!

    Thinline bodies are typically 1.5" thick with a .25" cap.

    As far as building info, you can't beat anything from @RON kirn for build threads and info. He often freely shares some of his files write ups. Check out his tele build process at https://www.tdpri.com/threads/building-a-guitar-hummmm.88209

    Ask questions along the way. A tele is simple enough that you can make a template out of a full size blue print. You can find one if the most common used by T Downs at https://www.tdpri.com/threads/d-size-tele-body-blueprint-files-here.74504

    Search the forum for any specific questions you have.
    Post pics along the way!

    Eric
     
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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    AT the top of the main page are build challenges from years past. They are chock full of stuff to help you. Sadly Photobucket ruined many of them but they might be useful to look through.
     
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  5. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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  6. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Meister

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    If you are building from scratch(lumber), you can get all the specs from the Warmoth website. They spell it out very well. Of the bodies that I built myself, I used a ban saw to cut the body from a blank I made myself. I had to have a woodshop mill my blank down to the correct thickness. I then use templates that I bought from ebay. Be careful on the template because I receive a set at first the weren't quite accurate. It made it a lot harder as I had to improvise to get it right. There are some good templates out there but don't go the really cheap ones, they may not be that cost effective in the long run.

    You will also need to have access to some kind of a drill press. You want your holes to be accurate especially if your are going to have string ferrules. The challenge for those just building a few is to have access to the right tools. CNC or higher technology only pays off if you have the numbers. Otherwise, it all has to be hand built. Nowadays, I buy bodies and necks already made. Its cheaper for me to do it that way, but I realize there is a lot of satisfaction when you can do everything yourself.
     
  7. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Welcome emann! Lots of great helpers here.
     
  8. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    The Terry Downs drawing (eallen posted a link) is a fantastic resource. It's a full-sized dimensioned drawing.

    You can have it printed out and glue it to a piece of MDF or good plywood and make you own set of templates. Or just use it as a guide for your build.

    Welcome to the forum!
     
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  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Emann, I always recommend Melvyn Hiscock's book for first time builders (and experienced folks also). He covers every subject involved with building solid body electric guitars - woods, tools, SHOP SAFETY, design and geometry, finishing, electronics and briefly setup. He builds three guitars using the three classic neck configurations - screw on, set and thru. He has a brief discussion about using premade parts such as necks if you don't feel comfortable doing your own.

    Lots of build threads here too and lots of very knowledgeable folks just waiting to help you

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0953104907/?tag=tdpri-20
     
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  10. emann

    emann TDPRI Member

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    Hi again and thanks a lot for your input...spent most of the day looking things up various links and threads advised in this thread and also watching videos in order to learn a bit more.

    I think I will try a 1/4" inch thick top on a 1-3/4" thick body. Not sure to understand when I read body cavities are routed from the back. I understand that I will have the body onto which I will put a template to create the cavities and route from the top and then glue the top cover onto the remaining areas of the back right? Finally I will drill the pick up holes, control knobs and switch in the top cover also from the top. Is this correct please?

    Can you comment on this product...seems to be a decent template although shipping will kill me to arrive to europe as I could not find anything decent:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Thinline...Luthier-Tools-1-2-MDF-0-5-Fender/273444235566

    Also what about the neck - I am intrigued by the new fender roasted maple necks which look stunning in my opinion and on a clear varnish (or tinted to butterscotch) believe will be a fantastic combination. Fender website has these necks for approx €350 and then I found these which are a fraction of the price:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Telecast...ard-Clear-Gloss/113665072398?var=413935785859

    What would you recommend please...original fender and be it to ensure I will have a top quality and flawless neck or is the one above worth a try?

    I have also got the downloads advised in this email and note that one in particular has the thinline template with the control knobs set at an angle to the neck and not parallel to the neck (not sure if I make myself clear here). When the drawing shows control knob to be 1.5DP please confirm it means depth of cavity should be 1.5" so this leaves a 1/4" in the back or is 1.5" measured from the top cover and hence leaves 0.5" of wood on the back.

    For now I think that is all and will wait for further guidance...I think that I will prepare to start procuring the ash for the body and also some scrap on which to practice a bit. Also I might as well get the final decision on the neck to order it as well.

    Look forward to your comments.
     
  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Howdy and welcome!
    Great job!
     
  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Some brief comments.

    Download the free Tdown plans on this forum, take the pdf to an engineer or office supply business and have about five prints made (we would use Kinkos or Staples in the US). Make your own templates off of the plans. If you can make a body from the templates you can make the templates from the plans.

    If you want to chamber it the thin lines plans will work, however you can also just figure it out on your own from pictures (what I did when I chambered mine). You need to decide how you want to do the control cavity and pickguard - following the Tdown plans is straight forward.

    In theory any neck built to fender specs will fit any body built to fender specs. In theory. Get your neck and measure it carefully, compare to the Tdown plans (which are fender specs). If the neck is different then you either need to modify your body to fit or the neck to fit the body. Best to get all the measurements and ask here. I have no knowledge of that neck - it might be fine.

    I assume that you bought the Hiscock book.

    Here is a build thread of a chambered tele style guitar with a drop top. It might give you some ideas about routing the cavities - the only one I did from the back is the controls because I didn't want to use a plate.

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/a-chambered-tele-ish-sort-of-thing.884657/

    Have fun.
     
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  13. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The body should be 1 3/4" including the 1/4" top. If you are putting a 1/4" top on it, the thickness of the body should be 1 1/2". That is unless you want a really thick and heavy guitar.
     
  14. emann

    emann TDPRI Member

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    So got the prints and trying to set printing on adobe to print to actual scale on two A3 Sheets of paper but for some reason I did not manage this as yet.

    I bought the book in e format so I have a lot of reading to do here as well.

    As regards to the templates, what material of wood would you recommend and what is the best thickness to use as well please. I am reading both plywood and mdf with either 6, 10 or 16mm thickness - what you find that works best please.

    Finally, I need to buy a following router bit with the bearing on top - the one that I can readily find is 40mm long with the bearing above this length of cutting portion.. is this enough please.
     
  15. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    My best advice is to obtain the correct tools & templates, and not go the cheap route for any wood parts you may purchase. My next best advice is to go slowly & have fun.
     
  16. emann

    emann TDPRI Member

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    So if I go for 1 1/2" body, to what depth shall I go with the chambers of the thinline then please? The prints here show that the control area should be 1.5" deep - does this mean that the back is completely drilled then?
     
  17. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A thinline would have a 1/4" thick back and a 1/4" thick top as a rule. That leaves 1-1/4 for the interior cavity between the top and back.

    Here is a good source for the most popular guitar plans for free.



    https://www.gitarrebassbau.de/viewtopic.php?t=6


    thinline.png




    My first templates were made from 1/4" thick poplar ply. I still have them. I don't care for MDF, but it does sand more easily. People here will tell you to make copies of your templates in case they get dinged up. I just fix the dings with plastic wood or sawdust and superglue.


    If you use a thinner template it is helpful to have a shorter router bit, as you'll take a huge bite on the first pass without it. If you must use a 1" long bit than you'll need to use a thicker template material. It helps to hog out the wood with a forstner bit in a drill pass before that anyway.

    The better brands are Whiteside, Freud, CMT, and Amana. You get what you pay for with router bits. You should be able to get CMT in Europe.


    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=282725107332
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    This is a 1-1/2 inch mahogany body blank, it will be routed to 1/4 thick back. The maple cap is 1/4. Its not going to be a true "thinline" because I happen to think the f-hole looks silly, but it will be chambered for weight reduction (for what it is worth it came out 5# 13 oz with a mahogany neck)

    IMG_4609.JPG

    Here is the route - there were two considerations for me. Since I was making an access cover in the back I needed enough wood thickness to route the recessed cover into the back - I felt that 1/4 inch was marginally enough so I added another veneer of mahogany on the inside, and second, the route needs to be deep enough that the controls to short out against the foil in the back of the cavity. I'm going to mount my controls against the inside of the top so they will be recessed a bit inside the guitar

    IMG_4632.JPG

    Here I'm confirming that the controls (mainly the switch) have adequate clearance to the back.

    IMG_4626.JPG

    I've found 1/4 inch MDF or birch plywood to be adequate for my router templates. If I think I'm going to make more than a couple guitars with that configuration I'll probably use plywood. The Hiscock book has a number of layouts for different pickups that can be used to make templates.

    I have both 1/2 and 1 inch long bits - short ones work fine if you start with the bearing on your template then move down so its on the walls of the cavity. I also try to hog out as much wood as I can with Forstner bits in a drill press, makes the routing much easier. If I wanted a 1/4 thick back I would probably set the depth stop on my drill at 3/8 and use the router to make a couple of skim passes to remove the last little bit.
     
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  19. emann

    emann TDPRI Member

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    Hi to all,

    so I made up a buying list in order to ensure I start collecting the parts and not missing anything.

    1. Wood - plan to get some 2"pine this weekend to make a trial on it and also a piece of 2" ash which would be the final product
    2. Neck - this will be a roasted maple tele neck 22fret as per the link i sent above
    3. Tuners - thinking of fender locking tuners and string tees
    4. Neck plate and relevant screws
    5. String ferrules
    6. Bridge
    7. Thinline pick guard
    8. Control panel and knobs - any ideas on using solderless systems - what can I use and from where can i buy if you have experience
    9. Pickups - thinking on 50/51 Blackguard Handwound Tele - I really like their sound on youtube videos and I know they are very pricey so not sure here. I know this can be a never ending discussion but at some point I will need to buy them
    10. Output Jack
    11. Strap pins
    12. Grain fillersand lacquers - how do I get the butterscotch finish - this will be a big one for me

    Am I missing anything? and any pointers as to the pickups and the butterscotch finish please?
     
  20. emann

    emann TDPRI Member

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    just as an update...now have the 2" pine in hand so hopefully I can start doing some woodwork..also got some 9mm plywood for the templates and have the drawings printed out.

    I need some assistance on the electronics:

    https://www.northwestguitars.co.uk/tonerider-vintage-plus-telecaster-pickups/

    https://www.northwestguitars.co.uk/...ster-tele-control-plate-hand-built-in-the-uk/

    With the items above I can have a loaded tele for about 140euro...not bad for a first build i believe...any idea on the pickups?

    also re the control plate:

    first of all is this type ok for the thinline tele I intend to make please and also am i correct in choosing 250k for the single coils? what do i choose for capacitor value as I have no clue here.

    Any help appreciated.
     
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