Tele from scratch - A Construction Diary!

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by japasul, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. japasul

    japasul Tele-Meister

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    Hey everyone!

    Decided to document the making of my telecaster, since I'm building it virtually completely 100% from scratch... Mostly i wanted to show everyone how I'm making my neck, but then Jack Wells beat me to it! Either way, mine will be a rosewood fretboard and a homemade truss rod, and information is never too much!

    (the pre-construction part is covered in my other thread: Telecaster Project)

    So here we go:

    Day 1 - Part 1 - Making the templates

    Last week i managed to make the full body template on mdf, but still have to make the one for the neck pocket and neck pickup cavity. I first made sure that the one for the neck pocket had the same shape as the other one (i printed the Tdowns PDF, glued them on MDF and jigsawed/sanded to shape).

    [​IMG]

    One on top of the other and...

    [​IMG]

    ...route to shape! Notice that i take half the height at a time (and that im using a bottom bearing bit for this....)

    Having done that, this is how i made the neck pocket template:

    [​IMG]

    This is very effective, since i used a router bit of the same radius as the curves on the pocket!

    [​IMG]

    Tadaa!

    I was very pleased with this template... But my moments of happyness stopped here...

    (more to come)

    Cheers

    André Ripoll
     
  2. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Looking Good!
     
  3. japasul

    japasul Tele-Meister

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    Day 1 - Part 2 - Starting to route the body

    After having my very first time using a router (for making the templates), i felt confident to move to routing the body. I tried a bit on some scrap wood (same wood as the body) so as to get used to the hardness of the wood.

    Here´s the body piece, after having jigsawing most of the excess away:

    [​IMG]


    Fixated the template on the body piece using some screws and some fixating-dings-stuff (which i dont know the name in english, but check the picture )

    [​IMG]

    And off i went! But uh-oh...

    [​IMG]

    Ran into some problems! When routing up-grain (if there is such a word ;) ), the routing bit was lifting up too much "splinters". Theyre not exactly chunky tear-outs, but to sand them down ill remove about 1mm-1,5mm of wood...

    Can anyone enlighten me, what can i do to avoid this? Im routing in the direction that has been discussed in oh so many other threads (in Bucko's BUTTERCASTER thread, even), but even so didnt manage to do this smoothly.

    The wood is very fragile and very open grained, so i think this MAY be normal. I also realize im taking off too much at a time, but i wasnt able to find a smaller bit!

    Any comments welcome!

    Cheers
    André Ripoll
     
  4. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    How long is that router bit?

    You should be able to shorten up the depth of the cut by adjusting the bit so the bearing is close to the top of the your template.

    Can't see for sure from you photo, but it looks like you are still standing proud of the template. Can you clean it up with another pass of the router?

    I bet somebody who REALLY knows what they are talking about will soon jump in here with some REAL advice. ;)
     
  5. japasul

    japasul Tele-Meister

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    hmm, my bit is about 1 inch, plus the bearing.... the bearing is running along the top of the template already....

    Even so, i dont think this would solve the problem (it helps against tear-outs, though).


    My brother has my camera and he is in Germany,so i was left with this crappy one... He'll be back on Saturday though, then i can make some real photos!

    thanks for the help though, Bucko!
     
  6. aznrambo481

    aznrambo481 Friend of Leo's

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    awesome thread! Can't wait to see how well it'll turn out.
     
  7. gtech

    gtech Friend of Leo's

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    Did you move the router all in the same direction for the part that you began to route?

    If so, that was the problem. But maybe it's not what you did, I can't say.

    I had the same problem when I routed some soft open grain walnut, but at the bottom end of the body where it's almost straight. But it was not as straight as I thought, and I ended up with the same result. For the second body with the same wood, I had to be VERY careful with the direction I was using the router.

    Gilles
     
  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Use an old, but resharpened but to make the first pass, and move slowly, even if it results in burning” the wood.

    A resharpened bit is a few thousandths smaller than a new bit. This results in the body being a few thousandths larger than desired. When you make a second pass with a new bit, it will remove the remaining wood. Since this is so very thin, the cut is generally quite smooth.

    A benefit, other than a smooth cut, is the new bit will last much longer since it’s removing so very little wood.

    One other thing..... make a router table... really it's the best way to do a body, and much safer.

    Ron Kirn
     
  9. japasul

    japasul Tele-Meister

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    I used different directions, according to the bit turning direction, so that it couldnt take out big chunks (i managed to avoid that even taking off so much at a time...)

    hmmmm

    thanks for the advice...

    Ill see if i can get a new bit today, and try to sharpen a little the one i have.

    About a router table, i want to build one, but i dont have much space to put it in... Im considering making a foldable tabe, but then it wouldnt be so stable... Suggestions are welcome!


    Cheers
    André Ripoll
     
  10. Lostheart

    Lostheart Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey Andre! Keep it up...it's great to see so many homemade-Teles...in a few years time noone will buy them from Fender anymore! ;-)
     
  11. ray

    ray Tele-Meister

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    I would suggest making several light passes until the bearing contacts the template, rather than chewing off the full depth of the cut all in one pass. I have had luck doing it that way.
    Good luck.
    Ray
     
  12. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sounds to me like you may be going in the wrong direction. In this picture, in the area of the arrow, the router should start where the clamp is and move "downhill" toward the narrow part.

    ......[​IMG]

    This picture that I posted in an earlier thread applies to both table routing and hand held routing. For each section, you start at the green dot and stop at the red dot. After going completely around the body you can go around it again in one direction to clean up any small areas you might have missed.

    ......[​IMG]
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Don't. . don't even try..... take it to a professional and have them do it... cost. . about 5 bux.....

    that little bugger is Carbide, and very few abrasives will cut it.

    Ron Kirn
     
  14. japasul

    japasul Tele-Meister

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    Jwells, im running the router along the right direction, acordding to your diagram. The problem im facing is not so much as tear out, but the surface is becoming rough and "hairy"...

    Didnt try to sharpen my bit, Ron! good thing you warned me, though, i was about to have a go using my dremel...

    I just realized that this bit im using is perhaps 1/32 smaller than 1/2" (leaving a bit of wood still to be removed!)! So i went out and bought a nice Bosch one, exactly 1/2" diameter, which I will use after having done the first pass using the first bit.

    Rainy cold day today, so i dont think ill have much done...

    Pictures to come!

    Thanks for all the help!
    Cheers
    André Ripoll
     
  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The new bit is a good idea... and have a pro sharpen your old ones... it has to be a precision machine to do it correctly...

    Umm... what the heck it that? Seems I vaguely recall something similar, when we had a cold snap come through and the temperature took a dive all the way down to the high 90's.

    Ron Kirn
     
  16. japasul

    japasul Tele-Meister

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    hee hee

    got the new bit, and the bearing just arrived! installed the bearing - a perfect fit!


    our climate here is WAY TOO HUMID! i cant stay outside for long when its too cold, becaus e the cold and humidity penetrate any clothes.... =/

    ill use this time to prepare some tools; im making a sander, pics to come....
     
  17. Fatmanstratman

    Fatmanstratman Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thank you for sharing your experiences here, André - a very, very interesting thread, one which I shall follow with utter fascination.

    Buckocaster's documented Tele builds have also been truely inspirational, and it just goes to show what you can achieve with a few "handyman" tools, and a lot of time and patience.

    I salute all our members who are kind enough to share their efforts on the forum, and it is especially comforting to know that experienced builders like Jack Wells, Ron Kirn, Buckocaster, Arlo - and many others to whom I apologise for not mentioning personally - are always happy to offer help and advice.

    It is exactly this sort of camaraderie that makes the TDPRI such a special (and unique place). I think that far too often we tend to take this wealth of freely-given knowledge for granted, and I am not at all ashamed to thank ALL our members for the enjoyment that the TDPRI brings to me.

    Thanks, guys!....:D
     
  18. japasul

    japasul Tele-Meister

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    Left nothing unsaid!

    :)

    TDPRI represents the Utopia of the Internet... When one person shares a little bit of information, many many others benefit from it!

    And each and every single new member has been welcomed in a nice and warm way (me included!)...

    As for all these builders that documented the process, its really great to have such inspirations!

    I hope my thread can help people out there!!!

    Cheers
    André Ripoll
     
  19. japasul

    japasul Tele-Meister

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    Day 2 - Part 1 - Rounding the edges....

    The majority of the routing (all the contour) has been done! Sadly, i bumped the router into the body (the router was off), and got myself a very nice chunk out of the corner... =(
    It will partly go away with the rounding of the edge (its not that big or deep), but will need some filling. I'm beginning to consider painting this guitar...

    The new bit i got helped a lot to overcome my previous upgrain issue, but i still had hairy surfaces...

    Well, i decided it was acceptable and it would go away with some sanding, so i moved on to rounding the edges, using a 1/4" radius bit.

    [​IMG]

    Still have the same problem of rough surface, but could be avoided going slowly.

    And here i made the fisret stupidity of the day.... Rounded off even around the neck pocket... Oh, well, rookie mistake! wont be that bad in the end, i hope. Anyways, with the rounding done, i prepared for routing out the neck pocket and neck PU cavity.

    [​IMG]

    And had two tearouts doing this... One of them not so serious, quite small, but the other one very serious:

    [​IMG]

    Right there.... Well, an acceptable mistake for someone using a router for the first time, but again some filling needed! Rookies should take care here, on how they are routing. take just a little at a time! i took too much =(

    At this point, i was already tired from an afternoon of work, but decided to move on to drilling some wire channels anyways, after having the routing on the body done (one step coquered, although with many problems on the way)!

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    André Ripoll
     
  20. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Looks like the only milling left is the jack hole. What does it weigh at this point?
     
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