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One man's trash guitar build...a 40th anniversary build in 2020

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by guitarbuilder, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    40 years ago I wanted to learn how to build guitars. After quitting my first teaching job, I attended GRD in Vermont ( Charles Fox and George Morris). Charles was an Art teacher and he started what is the first guitar building school in the US I believe.


    This brochure is one of my treasures from that experience. This is what started it all. It was pre internet. I was teaching. I wrote a letter to Charles and he responded that they had a cancellation for July session. I could have it if I wanted. Send $100 to hold the spot. The session ran into the start of the next school year. This required about 10 minutes of thought. I won't go into all the details but....I quit a professional position to learn how to build guitars.... This turned out to be a great decision in the long run.

    grd.jpg





    My goal was a white strat. I ended up with a black strat shaped guitar with gold hardware, two humbuckers, a mahogany body, a Schaller bridge and a 3 on a side peghead. It wasn't a white strat. I did build that a couple years later.


    Today, 40 years later and more guitars than I can recall being built, I decided to do another build, mostly for the sake of keeping my sanity this year.

    The shed is now cold...no CNC happening unless it warms up here and there.

    I also wanted to keep the budget low and use up some of the "free" wood I got at the curbside. Much of the thicker stuff is shown here:


    free guitar body.jpg


    The 100 Dollar build challenge revisited ten years later | Telecaster Guitar Forum (tdpri.com)

    I had a poplar body blank glued up for this from the last low budget curbside wood build, but the grandchild's step stool needed a riser block, so that's what it became.

    I decided to go through the scrap bin. I had a blank glued up but it would only yield an SG type body, so I decided to make another core and glue that to the outsides of that blank.

    The panels are from a couple cabinets I found at the road that my neighbor tossed out a couple houses down. They were out in the rain. I ran back and took all the usable stuff.

    These were raised panels about 1/4" thick.

    t1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I took the one I already cut and cut that again....I jointed some edges and re-glued them.


    t2.jpg


    t3.jpg

    t4.jpg

    t5.jpg

    t6.jpg
     
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  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Next I needed a new core that was longer. I gathered my shorts and offcuts, ripped some strips, sanded them...and glued them up into a central core. Then I glued that to the wings I had already glued up. The wings were mostly some worm holey butternut that I got from a guy at a farm market in town. He cut up some fallen dead trees that succumbed to the butternut blight.

    t7.jpg


    t8.jpg


    t9.jpg


    t10.jpg


    t11.jpg


    t12.jpg


    t13.jpg
     
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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I scraped off the glue and sent both sides through the planer. It now stands at 1.50 thick. Decisions need to be made as to whether to top it or not. 40 years ago I liked a hippie sandwich....today...not so much... Back then I was the cutting board king. It was a cheap and nice gift. Some of them got bases and bearings. ( Lazy Susan). I got a chance to use up the ruined guitar making woods and turn them into cutting boards and lazy susans. Many had ebony, rosewood, maple, and paduak stripes in them. :). We all have to learn the hard way.


    So this blank is made up of 17 pieces of scrap wood. Normally I try to use the least number of glue joints...but this is 2020....


    planer.jpg

    cuttin board.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  5. El Famoso

    El Famoso Tele-Meister

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    I like stripey necks and bodies. If the wood is pretty and the layers have that bookmatched effect I say let it show.

    Also if you are doing a scrounge build I think you should own it and show it off to the best of your ability, which I’m sure is a lot of ability with your level of experience.

    Looking forward to watching this one!
     
  6. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Well, this is going to be good!
     
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  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thanks...I'm mulling it over. I have a Rosewood acoustic top from an acoustic build that got aborted. That would look good. I thinking that this will get an oil finish.
     
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  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Don't get your hopes up...lol.
     
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  9. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think that looks cool as hell. I’d play it, and it’s not even done yet!
     
  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So looking through my choices....I found this curb garbage poplar neck I started from the curb wood. I made it a couple months ago when I was thinking a Dolphin Dano bass build. It'll be perfect for this build since my work space is now reduced.

    This was from the casework of the built in the guy ripped out. It is also poplar.


    I spliced in the peghead like I do in the "let's make a neck" threads.


    I planed down the tilted part to thickness. I sanded the 14 degree angle into the long shaft part. I scraped a little glue hollow in there and then glue and clamp it on wax paper or paper towel. No jig needed. You need to ensure the angle is square to the reference edge of the neck.




    neck 1.jpg


    neck 2.jpg


    neck 3.jpg


    Here is the clamp up for a mahogany neck done the same way.
    neck scarf.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence!
     
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  12. JJLC

    JJLC Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for doing the thread :cool: I'm all eyes & ears :)
     
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  13. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Except for the Vox builds and 2009 you have my undivided attention :). You and I have disagreed on little, regular scarf neck joints, your love of the color black (pickguard, control covers and just the SGs right to exist :lol:) but when I came here in 2009 and sat and watched for almost a year before joining and over before posting I watched the first build challenge with much interest especially yours and Mike Simpson . Not that others were bad or not interesting just that I felt the kinship of a poor man scrounging and being inventive. Not that my love/hate relationship about all things Gibson has been easy to tolerate lol.
    But this reminds me why I like you, building great with anything whereas my best still have rough spots :rolleyes:. So this is my sweet spot and I'm watching close. I hope (even if the Pope plays it) I get to hear it :)

    Tootles,

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  14. El Famoso

    El Famoso Tele-Meister

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    I lurked here for at least a year before joining. I finally joined so I could get updates for Jupiter’s DPP semi hollow build that took years to complete.
     
  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Does this mean you didn't like the vox and 2009 builds or you did???
     
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  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    40 degrees in Dec...I'll take it. A good day to use the router table in the shed. First I had to shorten the neck blank to the proper length.

    shorten wood.jpg



    Then on to the sander to sand to the line.
    sand to line.jpg

    Then stop sanding when you get to the line.



    stop at line.jpg




    I'm using a cheapo one way double rod import truss rod. It fits into a 1/4" slot that is about 10/32 deep. I first had to find where to put the rod. The wood is 2-3/4" wide. The bit is 1/4 wide. That means the cutting edge is 1.25 from the edge of the wood. I set my combination square to 1-1/4 and marked a pencil line from one side...then the other.

    square from each side to get line.jpg
     
  17. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The I used a plastic triangle to transfer the marks to the fence. Then I used the triangle to draw them upwards. These are my start and stop lines.


    stop start marks with triangle.jpg
     
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  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I set the rod on the wood and marked toward the end of the rod on the neck wood and transferred that to a perpendicular line to start from. I set the bit lower and took a pass plunging downward onto the bit and forward to the end of the neck.

    first pass to get initial depth.jpg
     
  19. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I repeated that twice until the rod was just a hair below the surface of the wood.


    repeat passes to fit.jpg
     
  20. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Now if you spend the big money for a real Hot Rod truss rod from stewmac...you just rout to depth, as the slot is about 7/32 x7/16 deep....a rectangle.

    These cheapo rods aren't as nicely made, they taper and are wider at the nut end than the rods themselves.

    You end up having to remove wood with some tools to fit the anchor and nut end in there.

    That's what I need to do now.


    I chiseled out the area to make the nut end fit flush.

    fit in.png


    Now the rod is in place.


    rod in neck.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2020
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