Rosewood build musings..

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Mr. Freddy, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Let me first say what a great resource this forum is, I have suddenly come upon the urge to build a rosewood tele. I have owned several teles in the past, including a 50's reissue, American silver sparkle, and a plain black MIM. I also built an Esquire for a friend (using a MIM neck) with the original circuit and a period repro pickup.

    So now I am moving on to this, my friend has a wedding in Oct, and I want to make a rosewood tele for him as it has always been something he wanted. Having done the research, I know want one for myself as well. So I am making a pair of twins.

    So a few questions to those who know more than I: Does anyone know the amount of chamber to route out? I am planning on routing around all the control cavities and leaving about 1/2" on the outsides. My main concern is a neck heavy guitar if too much is taken from the body.

    Also, any chance there is a pdf neck plan like the body I found? Otherwise I will just make my own but was wondering if one was out there. I am planning on using a rear route with maple skunk stripe one piece and a hotrod truss rod so I can just do a straight route as this is my first neck with a rod.

    Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. motor_city_tele

    motor_city_tele Tele-Afflicted

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    couple of things to keep in mind

    When gluing up rosewood always give the surfaces a quick wipe with acetone before applying the glue. Rosewood is an oily wood. I've also read that you should do the glue up immediately after and joining of the edges.

    As far as your cavity routing. I don't think you will have any issues with the guitar being nose heavy.

    If you are going to finish it with lacquer, I recommend an acetone wipe prior to spraying a vinyl sealer, then the lacquer.

    There are a couple build threads of rosewood teles floating about on this site, including my 2010 build challenge thread - the RooftopCaster.

    [​IMG]

    One safety note - rosewood sawdust is even more of a hazard than most others. Wear a mask when cutting, sawing, shaving, filing, sanding, drilling, and or altering the shape of the lumber.

    good luck - jb
     
  3. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Rosewood Tele Updates (An Itchy Adventure!)

    Well, about the time you replied to me I planed and sanded my rosewood blanks. Shortly after I had a severe reaction not unlike a bad case of poison ivy. I suspected it was from an old desktop I had sanded, but after sanding and poly on three floors in my house I didn't have a problem. Then the next day I went and sanded and routed my blanks, and had the same rash issue (but caught it early and took measures before it got out of hand).

    So for those of you who will be working with rosewood, here is what it felt like: It started in my fingers, they itched like no other itch I have ever felt. So I scratched them. A lot. And they swelled up and got bumpy. It then spread up my neck on to my forehead, red and bumpy and itchy as all hell. Also it climbed up my arms and since I was wearing chacos (fancy hiking flip flops) my toes were in the same state. The next morning my head was smooth, but not in a good way. It had swelled up over my eyes making me look like a caveman. Then it started to push down on my eye.

    My wife works in the ER, so I went in and they gave me lots of steroids. I still thought it was from the desk I had sanded, so I went on working with the rosewood. Same problems came up again. This time I had a lot of stuff to put on the spots, but I did some research and found that rosewood has a tendency to do this....

    Number one thing I learned that may help: Since it is a poison ivy-like reaction, I tried an old home remedy. After you are certain you have washed all the oils out with COLD water (takes a few washes), get the itchy areas under HOT water, as hot as you can stand. The itch will become incredibly intense, more than you have ever known, for a few seconds. And to be honest, it feels pretty awesome. Then you can feel it fade to nothing. You will remain itch free for 3-6 hours (at least for me).

    So I have a tyvec suit on the way, barrier cream, my brother in law's full face respirator, and some sweet gloves, and I am going to finish this darn guitar and then clean the workshop from top to bottom in my hazmat gear. And then I will probably never attempt a rosewood guitar again. Or maybe I will, I have enough for one more, who knows.

    On to the pics!
     
  4. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Doin' Up The Blanks

    I got my hands on some Honduran rosewood for a very good price, enough for two guitars for under $200. Couldn't turn it down. The top and bottom are 4 pieces, and they will have a 1/8" maple layer down the middle. Hand planed to thickness and sanded them down, which is when my troubles started.
     

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  5. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    The Big Wait..

    So, while I was on my meds waiting for the swelling to come down, my wife insisted I stay out of the workshop. I was bored out of my mind but managed to record an album and picked up a ton of extra gigs and studio work, so it wasn't all bad. The blanks had over the course of three weeks cupped and that was a problem. Since the workshop is in the humid basement, there is a dehumidifier on all the time, so I took the wood outdoors, wet the grass down, and set the cupped sides down on the wet grass in the sun. Did this for a few days and then weighted them down and they straightened right out. Now I could cut and route the body shapes. I am using plans from MIMF, figured the 70's profiles would be close to the post Harrison rosewood teles. I will sand out the water stains after routing the cavities since they will eliminate a lot of the surface area anyway.
     

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  6. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    And Then..

    Cut out the neck and routed to my template. It is flatsawn, but again I got a great deal and so couldn't really complain, and I don't foresee any issues given the double acting truss and natural stiffness of the rosewood. I was going to laminate to get the grain to run up and down the neck, but if I did it this way I could squeeze two necks out with only a small joint needed for the outside of the second headstock. So there you go.

    I also planed and joined the 1/8th inch stock for the creamy maple center..

    The joins came out very nice for the most part, when the hardware is on it will be hard to tell it is four pieces from the front. This is about the time where I put two and two together and figured maybe it was the rosewood making me itch through my skin.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  7. mr newhaven

    mr newhaven Tele-Holic

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    Rosewood telecasters are my favorite!
     
  8. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

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    +1. I've been itching to build one for a few years but rosewood is really hard to find up here.
     
  9. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    My Funky Template

    This is the template I made to route the body cavities. I know from other posts that it looks like they used a thinline pattern and then sandwiched the maple, leaving some free floating wood in the cavities, but to be perfectly honest I wanted something stronger and different. I went for this pattern to create some "braces" for the top and bottom. After the initial route I will shave down the braces to about 1/4", which should stiffen the top considerably and protect it (I am a working musician and my instruments work as hard as I do). The neck pocket is for reference to the center line.

    I will glue the maple down to one of the rosewood halves and forstner/route the cavities right through both layers and then join the halves, lining the center lines up with index pins. Pics coming soon.

    Have to start thinking of finish, was leaning towards using z-poxy to fill and seal, and then a nitro clear. Saw Sully from Sully's guitar garage (youtube, look him up, cool dude) using the z-poxy and it looked more durable then shellac like I was initially planning. Any thoughts? Not sure about the neck, might just finish the front of the headstock and tung oil the rest. Still pondering, I know there are a lot of opinions on the matter, including nothing, being such an oily wood. To be honest I would like the look of a uniform finish on the whole instrument, but I don't know if I want a lacquer feel on the neck. Hmmm....
     

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  10. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    BTW that is a beautiful tele JB, I took your advice and was good about wearing a mask, the rest of my body didn't really think it was good enough though..
     
  11. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Cavity Drilling..

    Actually, I forstnered them suckers. THEN I routed them. The creepy costume is my makeshift tyvek suit until mine arrives. I have barrier cream everywhere, and layers upon layers and even some plastic bags in my shoes. The rosewood will not defeat me!!!

    The guitar is dull with dust and such, you have to imagine what a good sanding and a few cans of lacquer will do.
     

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  12. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Some closer shots

    More of the same without me there. You know what is funny about this pattern? It looks pretty cool, I worked pretty hard on it, and the person getting this (wedding present) will never know it's there. Oh, I will give pics, but how can you know if you aren't one of us.... Well at least I know YOU know, and knowing is, of course, half the battle.
     

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  13. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]

    I thought they took care of that guy. :p
     
  14. ievans

    ievans Tele-Meister

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    Nah, that's clearly Osama's wife. Didn't know she was into Teles, though.
     
  15. Mr. Freddy

    Mr. Freddy TDPRI Member

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    Oh you guys...
     
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