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Telecaster rear access panel

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by dobrojoe, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. dobrojoe

    dobrojoe Tele-Meister

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    I am thinking of putting a blank chrome Telecaster control plate on the back of a Tele I'm about to start. The body is a Hosco Sunburst Finish, it hasn't arrived yet from Japan. The idea is that I continue the control cavity right through to the back and then recess the control plate flush with the surface. I am not sure how to go about this but, off the top of my head, I would drill two pilot holes centered on the semicircles at either end. Use a 1 1/4" drill to cut two shallow holes on the back. Use a craft knife to join the edges of the two circles and score deeply into the finish. Then I need to remove the rectangle of wood between the two circular holes somehow (I don't have any fancy tools or workshop). When that is done, drill through into the control cavity from the back with a 1" bit and remove the rectangle of wood between. I'm sure someone has done this before, how did you do it?
     
  2. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    image.jpeg not shure you need to do this, in my case, I needed room for more components, yet keep the front stock.
    I router is the only recourse.
     
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  3. dobrojoe

    dobrojoe Tele-Meister

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    A router, yes, but I don't have one and I would be very nervous about using one on a new finished body.
     
  4. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    You shouldn't be more nervous than what a drill and chisel might do to a finished body.
    I don't get any finish chips at high speed.
     
  5. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    If it's only going to be the same size control plate, but blank.

    I'm not seeing the need. Please elaborate as to the end game.

    I'm sure you have your reasons.o_O

    With no actual woodworking tools, you might rethink this. Or find someone that does have the appropriate skills in this area. Maybe?
     
  6. dobrojoe

    dobrojoe Tele-Meister

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    I'm planning on putting some tone shaping circuitry in there and it will be a matter of trial and error as I change capacitors and chokes about. Easier to do from the back. I may end up fitting some slide switches DPDT to the blank back panel. I have never used a router and I don't know anybody who has. All the craftsmen round here use chisels.
     
  7. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

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    The hardest part is avoiding chipping the finish at the edges of the new hole. Get a new sharp razor blade or hobby knife blade and score the line all the way through the finish with repeated gentle cuts. Before you do that, experiment with the knife in the middle of the cutout. Quite often you can tilt the blade and then the finish will chip off on only one side of the line. Some finishes will not chip at all and some seem to be possessed by a demon.
    Get yourself a sharp chisel and a sharpening stone. Practice chiseling on scrap wood. The idea is to take off many small chips of wood gently, with full knowledge of the grain of the wood and how it is likely to split. If you want to tap the chisel (gently) use a wooden mallet, not a metal hammer. The mallet can be any chunk of wood that works.
    Never put your fingers where the chisel could slip and cut you. Blood causes tools to rust.
     
  8. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Simply unscrewing the regular control plate (while you're playing, because it won't interfere with the pickups like a strat pickguard would) is an easier way to swap out caps, etc. In fact, I'd think it would be rather difficult to get down in there from the back to desolder anything since the cavity is narrow and deep and there's only so much room for a soldering iron.

    And besides, you're going to wind up needing stitches if you try to do any woodworking with a craft knife.
     
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  9. danpan

    danpan Tele-Meister

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    I agree with Vizcaster!!
     
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