I decided to start a Tele yesterday. It's a pre-joined 2 pc blank I got from GuitarWoodExperts last year. The full billet weighs only 7.9 lbs. Hoping for a nice light one. Still deciding on finish. The grain pattern doesn't blow me away, and I like solid color Teles, so I might go opaque... Inca Silver maybe... This is my second scratch body - first one was a double-bound alder last summer. And it'll be my first scratch neck, assuming I get that far this season. Shop is unheated, and I'm already feeling the push. Mainly I started the guitar now because we're in the middle of some PERFECT spraying weather. Normally it's still pretty humid here this time of year, but not lately. So let's see how quickly I can blast through the body prep and get to finishing. Template is taped and screwed (into neck pickup and control cavities, I hope). Ready for sanding... I did a little belt sanding before realizing the table wasn't square. Crap. Not the end of the world, but there is a slight angle here and there. I don't see it, except with a square. I think that's some of the weirdness on the horn. This spiral bit cuts like the proverbial butter. I only took about 1/64, 1/32 max, and I did not do any climb cuts. Went slow, with the router speed approximately 20k rpm. Zero tear out. My template isn't perfect. There's a bit of ripple here and there, so much as I'd have liked to finish it right off the router, I needed to sand a bit. I just wrapped some 100 grit around a small oak block I normally use for wet sanding, making sure to stay flat and sand the entire width of the blank. Huh, I thought it was good, but in this photo, I still see a bit of ripple. See it? I'm using the TDowns E as my guide, but not for the perimeter. Instead, I copied my AV 58. This is what I did last year, when I made the template for the initial build. I was finding that my Fender guitar was not quite lining up with the schematic. In fact, I still see an artifact of that. My template, and thus my new body, is 3/32" longer in the butt than the AV58. I was kind of a mess last year, doing my first build, making the template. Started with TDowns, then the discrepancies began throwing me off, to the point where I figured I had this one known good AV58 in hand, and I could certainly do worse than to have all my guitars look like that one. The extra length was one of the TDowns inconsistencies. Note, I'm not saying the TDowns is wrong. I have no idea. Probably, Fender made new vintage-correct templates for the AV line, and because they were pretty gung ho about it, maybe they actually copied a vintage guitar. Anyway, I started over last year, making a second template, by squaring down and transferring the AV58 profile onto the MDF. But somehow I must have got mixed up, because it seems the extra length of the TDowns got in there. I think I saw it last year, too late, and said heck with it. And then this year, when I should have corrected my template.... I forgot. Anyway, I was pleased to see the routed and sanded body is smooth (but I gotta get those last ripples out), and that it generally follows the contour of the AV58 quite well. Aside from the 3/32 on the butt, there's a bit of extra material in the crook of the horn, but very little, and it's currently a nice transition, so I'm leaving it. I have a smoothed-out classic router hump. Not the worst thing. Finally, there's maybe 3/64" inconsistency on the upper bout, right on the top edge (in playing position). Problem is, I cut away 3/64 more than I should have (but I followed the template!), so not fixing that. Note to self: next build, start by making a better template.