Spruce source for thinline top?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by blackbelt308, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. blackbelt308

    blackbelt308 Tele-Holic

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    Hi all,

    Trying to find a source for the top wood for a future project... I want to build a chambered Tele with a book matched spruce top, sort of like the chambered '52 that Fender released several years ago (pictured below). Easy to find lots of beautiful figured book matched spruce for acoustic tops, but I obviously want something that is both thicker (1/4") and not necessarily selected for its perfect tonal qualities! Beautiful figuring (bear claw! silking!) would be a plus! :)

    Thanks a bunch,
    Rick

    spruce top 52 tele.jpg
     
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  2. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
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  3. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Part of the problem is that woods selected for acoustic tops will be considerably better than you need for an electric guitar but you can still shop the stores that sell to acoustic builders

    https://rctonewoods.com/RCT_Store/soundboards-c-3/

    http://pacificrimtonewoods.com/

    https://alaskawoods.com/

    https://www.lmii.com/

    https://www.gilmerwood.com/categories/31-musical-instrument-wood/products

    http://www.notablewoods.com/woods/sitka-spruce.html

    Anyone cutting archtop blanks will be thick enough for you.

    However there is also no reason not to use an acoustic top blank. Most are resawn to 1/8 and most acoustic builders take them down a bit from there, but frankly that would work fine, your binding would cover the edge nicely, and would look good with an f-hole if you decide to put one in.

    Bear claw runs the price up considerably since it is valued both for appearance and strength across the grain.

    One last thought would be to contact some of the custom acoustic builders who buy lots of tops, sort thru them and reject the ones that don't meet their stiffness or density standards, but would work fine for an electric.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
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  6. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Your choices get large if you choose to use veneer; either thinner veneer on a thicker substrate or to use a spruce top bookmatch originally intended for an acoustic as thick veneer on a compatible substrate.
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Consider pine too, quarter sawn white pine from home depot etc can look pretty much the same with some amber in the finish.
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here’s a body made by a friend using some pine i had.

    526E5D3F-E151-43FC-8265-A1C366C5CEF7.jpeg image.jpg
     
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  10. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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  11. blackbelt308

    blackbelt308 Tele-Holic

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    Really appreciate all of the replies and links!! Following up on a few of these...

    Thanks!
    Rick
     
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  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    My personal tele clone is chambered like a thinline but doesn't have the f-hole. I used a standard 1/4 inch drop top (not spruce) but would easily have dropped to 1/8 inch - there is plenty of support.

    IMG_4632.JPG

    The chambered guitar is significantly lighter than a solid one, you will like that when you play it.

    You will proably want to bind your guitar to protect the delicate edge of the spruce - it doesn't look like the one in your picture is bound however.
     
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  13. tomasz

    tomasz Tele-Meister

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    it's a waste of spruce if you ask me, but hey, what do I know ;)
     
  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    One option not mentioned is to comb through the spf piles at the home center. You will find boards that are quartersawn among the flatsawn pieces in the bins. I regularly do this for quartersawn white wood. A few times I could get 1 x8 and 1 x 10 with mostly vertical grain.
     
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  15. blackbelt308

    blackbelt308 Tele-Holic

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    Binding (and purfling!) is planned, and I will confess to aiming to build something like this...

    Fender HB Telecaster.jpg
     
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I look for nice clear pine like that, but US home center lumber seldom has fir and the spruce is usually full of knots.
    Vertical grain clear white pine is pretty easy to find if dropping in regularly, and with a bit of amber in the finish it looks really nice.

    FWIW, pine top guitars are around here and there and even Stradivarius made one!
    Soft stuff for sure but looking at all the pine and paulownia solid bodies today, players don't seem to mind.
     
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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice looking guitar. They sprayed some amber or aging toner in the lacquer and I'm not sure what the body wood is. Mine got a spanish cedar top and rosewood binding

    IMG_5277.JPG
     
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  18. blackbelt308

    blackbelt308 Tele-Holic

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    I believe the body wood on the Fender Herringbone Tele is roasted ash. Ebony over roasted maple for the neck. Beautiful guitar although I'm not really digging those steel-in-ebony saddles!
     
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  19. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham TDPRI Member

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  20. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham TDPRI Member

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