Router hump

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by KokoTele, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Does anyone know exactly how that router hump came to be and what caused it? I've seen it written many, many times that it was a limitation of the pin routers that Fender used to cut the bodies, but that just doesn't make sense. Pin routers follow a template outline and are fully capable of cutting a curve that intersects the neck pocket without that goofy hump.

    I've seen two actual early 50s bodies that didn't have the hump, and Ron Kirn's templates (which he says he copied from a '54 body) don't have the hump either.

    So now I'm curious to know what really happened. I don't think it was some pinko left-coast commie plot, but I suppose it could be.
     
  2. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Nobody?

    Thought I'd clarify that the two actual early 50s bodies I mentioned before didn't have the hump. But I only thought to look at it for those two and don't really know what other early 50s bodies are like.
     
  3. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm really not sure I know what the router hump is. Is it mentioned in the Duchossoir book?
     
  4. telex

    telex Tele-Holic

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    My guess is the diameter of the bits on the pin routers were larger. That would show up only on the tightest of the curves........right there where the neck meets the body. Just my guess.
     
  5. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Here are two examples I found online.

    The router hump is a little hump in the cutaway area right where the curve of the cutaway intersects the flat of the neck pocket. On some they are actually rounded humps, on some they're more just flat areas. The blonde example I attached is more of a hump, the bound sunburst is more of a flat spot.

    Any router would be able to cut that without the hump, so I'm wondering how it came to be in the first place. It would have had to have been on the template.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Jellecaster

    Jellecaster Friend of Leo's

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    I gave a lot of thought to this when I was shaping my first Tele body. Could it be that, in order to get the neck pocket flush with the neck, it is necessary to sand in the "hump" to get the wood to line-up?
     
  7. DavidE

    DavidE Tele-Meister

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    The little hump is basically a "defect" in the templates used to route the body and has nothing to do with the pin routers themselves. Remember, this was the early 1950's and the templates used to make this stuff were laid out on 1/4" steel plate and cut & ground to shape by hand. There was no CNC or lasers to assure absolute perfect radii and curves. The reason the hump shows up in varying degrees on different bodies is because there was more than just template, and bodies were final sanded by hand using spindle sanders. We've all come to know and love the funkiness of the Tele's neck pocket but in all truth it's not very well laid out. They attempted to correct it to some degree around 1955 when the treble side of the floor was altered to become parallel with the neck instead of 90 degrees to the centerline, but it's not a big improvement.

    cheers,
    David
     
  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    They were apparent in some and others were devoid the little quirk, I don't have a clue as to why... here is a 55 P-Bass I made templates from. You can see it's quite apparent.

    Ron Kirn

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. 0le FUZZY

    0le FUZZY Former Member

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    ...I alwayz thought it waz leff in air tew add a liddo meat tew that thin area that comes tew a point.

    ...Erry old won I haff handled had it and the protrudin lip tew.


    0le FUZZY
     
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  10. BroadMaster

    BroadMaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm inclined to think this is a functional explanation.( in short, I agree with ole FUZZY......a-g-a-i-n. this should not surprise me, he's wise!) Many vintage teles that have the 'hump' sanded away by hand sculpting, also have a crack in the thin sliver of wood left. You can stabilize this with superglue and accelerator: apply a small drop in crack and polish smooth.

    Poly paints on modern guitars preclude this from happening as it WRAPS the instrument in a relatively thick plastic sheath that precludes the slight cracking, the majority of the time. (It is still a weak link in an otherwise brilliant design.) I've had to repair poly painted ones too. They had no hump! No, not all of them crack. Poly also kills rich vibrant unplugged tone, the true measure for me of whether I am interested in any brand or home-rolled guitar...how it sounds unplugged.;)

    Lacquer is just better for how it works/bonds to wood and becomes one with it, as opposed to the heavy, thick glove of Poly paints. Progress sometimes is not necessarily always better, just quicker. I personally long for the day when there was no poly put on guitars. Unfortunately with the demand for at least 5-6 gazillion guitars worldwide, they had to find a faster way to paint. NOBODY( 'cept a few here and there) likes the wait on lacquer dry/cure time, as witnessed in another thread currently being discussed on this forum.
     
  11. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The explanation that the extra meat right there helps keep the pocket from cracking makes sense. I do wish there were some definitive history to be found, but I'm not having any luck with that.

    Thanks for the thoughts, guys.
     
  12. BroadMaster

    BroadMaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, I looked in the Duchossoir book and the pic of the proto type (snakehead/ 3 to a side model) has a pronounced hump. I order my bodies that way and I DON"T sand it away.
     
  13. DavidE

    DavidE Tele-Meister

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    Have you guys looked at the original snakehead prototype? The "hump" is very pronounced there too. Like I said before, it's there because they screwed up and forgot to account for the fact the heel of the neck tapers on both sides of the pocket. The bass side is done correctly but not the treble side.

    If you were to simply redraw the treble side of the pocket floor with the correct 1-1/2 degree taper then you would have lots more meat at the little pointy part you guys keep talking about. Post-1955 bodies display this. The amount of radius on the body edge can also thin that little point out too much as well, and some early bodies show the radius stopping before that part completely. And another thing....the pickup cavities and neck pocket were routed with a different template from the one that cut the outer profile. These things were simply screwed onto the back of the blank and so any misalignment at all could shift the neck pocket left or right relative to the outer profile of the pocket. This accounts for the huge variance you see in how much "shelf" is peeking out from under the neck on the treble side. Lots of shelf equals a wider pointy part, and vice-versa. The first P Basses were exactly the same way for what it's worth.

    It might be more fun to think Leo Fender was doing this stuff to make things more interesting, but the truth is he most likely didn't even make the tooling himself. That's what he employed Race & Olmstead for.

    cheers,
    David
     
  14. BroadMaster

    BroadMaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Router hump pics

    Jack, if you look on page 9 of the book, the pic of the proto has a clear view of the hump. I haven't found written text reference yet, but I'm looking.
     
  15. Dave Sparrow

    Dave Sparrow NEW MEMBER!

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    Very very very late to the party but I've experimented bit with routing body / neck pocket interfaces an if I route right up to the pocket, it leaves a very thin and fragile strip and will also tend to shorten the treble side wall. In order to avoid this, you need to stop right on the intersection with the straight section. Get it spot on with immense care and there's a nice transition but move it along at a "production rate" and you either route too far (thin wall and cracking) or stop short of the pocket and guess what? A hump.

    Aside from being a genius God, Leo was a tight a***d mass production guy who used every trick in the book to reduce costs and by all accounts hated waste. Hence the body and neck blanks were all stock sizes, originally no truss rods, no profiling, car paint .... etc.

    I firmly believe that the hump came about as a result of speeding up the manufacturing process.
     
  16. ecosse

    ecosse Tele-Meister

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    "Very late" would be an understatement haha. It's been 10 years mate. This may be a zombie thread revival record?
     
  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Zombie yeah, but is was good reading 'Ol Fuzzy's posts again.... God, the great guys that have left.... :cry:

    rk
     
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  18. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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    It sure was! What a guy. :)
    I had to do a double take and then realized it was from 10 years ago. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    yeah you 'n me both.. I've done it several times as old threads get recycled and I see Fuzzy's name.. I'm thunking OMG Fuzzy's back....

    rk
     
  20. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I always wonder if it was hard for him to write like that all the time. Did he ever forget and accidentally write "laugh" instead of "laff"?
     
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