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Thinline chambering questions

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Yonatan, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Holic

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    Thinline experts :), I'm looking at the diagrams in the file "Fender-Telecaster-Thinline-Bodies.pdf" and have a few questions:

    1. The file mentions that "the area around the f hole on the inside of the cap is routed to a thickness of 1/8 so that the edges of the cutout aren’t the full thickness of the cap"
    Are people actually doing this in practice (e.g. if the top is 1/4 inch to begin with)?
    If so, how much area around the f hole is supposed to be reduced to 1/8, and in what shape?

    2. Just wondering, why is the chamber on the controls side divided in to upper/lower portions with a "wall" in between them and not just one continuous chamber as on the f hole side, like suggested in the picture in the first post here?
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/thinline-chamber-blueprint.204368/

    3. The chambering isn't changed if I wanted to use standard Tele control plate, right?
     
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  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have left the f hole area full 1/4...and I've thinned it down from the inside to 3/16. I'd would think 1/8 would be asking for the tips to break off but YMMV. That inside shape is up to you. You want the visual effect for it to be thin when you look through it...

    The chambers can be whatever you want them to be. Leaving material would impact the unplugged tonality I'd guess. Sometimes you want some wood to reinforce an area or leave a place to put a screw in a pickguard or hardware item.


    Go look at the thinlines here:


    Schablonen und Zeichnungen - GitarreBassBau.de

    one example from the German link

    thin.png




    f5.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  3. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    1. I think it's good practice. Here's two Strats I did. The first I didn't thin out around the f hole and the second I did. I think it looks much better thin, though it makes no difference to the sound or anything like that.

    20191214_230242.jpg 20191214_230316.jpg 20201126_193216.jpg

    Kind of a bad angle on the shell pink, but it's 1/8 thick around the f hole. The sonic blue Strat is 1/4" or more.

    I wish I'd taken a picture of the underside, but what I did was just set my router depth and just draw around it. Be careful not to cut too close to the edge. That's valuable gluing real estate for gluing the top to the body.

    2. Since thinline Strats aren't as common I just made up my own hollowing plan! And you can too!

    20200209_124835.jpg

    As you can see I basically made one continuous cavity. I did leave some little half walls behind the bridge because my brain told me they'd be good for support. I doubt they're really necessary at all from a structural standpoint, but they make me feel better. If you use the plan youve got you can do the same thing by just setting the router deeper and freehanding through those walls.

    3. I don't see why not. The control cover is held on by pickguard screws. So if you have a quarter inch top there should be plenty of meat to hold the cover and controls in place.
     
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  4. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    Build a bunch and no on thinning f-hole. Just no reason to. Also no reason to divide control chamber unless you are hell bent on trying to shielding somehow.

    This is the common thinline route. 20180608_121556.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  5. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham TDPRI Member

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    Everyone's entitled to his opinion. A lot of people's is that an f-hole in a 1/4" thick top looks clunky, even ridiculous. Instruments with f-holes are for the most part acoustic and the tops are usually no more than 1/8" thick. Things like 335s at least look acoustic, even if they aren't. A Tele doesn't even look acoustic. I even think that the Tele's stylised f-hole is ugly - but that's only my opinion.:)
     
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  6. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham TDPRI Member

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    By the way, if, for some reason I wanted to cut an f-hole in a Tele top, before cutting the hole I would route an area inside, covering the hole by at least 1/4" (like in @guitarbuilder's photo) and glue a cross-grained veneer onto that area. That would considerably strengthen that area where corners might get broken
     
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  7. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    A tele thinline has no acoustic properties to it. The guitar may sound "different" than a solid body but not in any predictable way in my experience.

    Not sure what the official poll count of "A lot of people" is as it is the 1st time I have heard it in my years of building.

    This is not a tele but was requested as a thinline that I chose to use the 1/4" thickness as a faux binding opportunity to match the body faux binding. It is all personal preference. If someone requested the edge around the hole thinned down I would. No big deal to me either way. If people don't like a 1/4" get one that's an 1/8 or buy something they do like.

    20210321_153215.jpg 20210321_143107.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  9. Fuelish

    Fuelish Tele-Holic

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    I like Thinlines.....OK, no, I just enjoy saying “f-hole” ....heck , my Wildkat has 2 f-holes... my BMG is chambered/semi-hollow/whatever and has no f-holes... nothing of import to add, but my post let me say f-hole, what, like 4 times? Good times. :)
     
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  10. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I think the Tele F looks patently ridiculous but that's me. I prefer the reversed Ricky sharks tooth hole. Either way I thin the inside around the hole and reinforce with gauze and CA. This makes for a very tough edge
     
  11. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    I left my top at 5mm,

    IMG_20210330_153137.jpg
     
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  12. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Give serious consideration before you chamber the area behind the bridge.

    I have built several of these and found they all sound better when I leave that spot solid. It gives the guitar more bite and helps to better establish it's place in a live band mix.

    I built two Rick-type 360's from scratch, and leaving the area solid behind the bridge made them sound much better too.

    It's a personal preference of mine, but I'm sure you'll find many others who agree.
     
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  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yonatan, I have the 2005 Jamie Unden thin line plans but have no idea how accurate they are. He shows the top plate 1/4 inch thick but says nothing about thinning it at the f-hole, so I assume he does not.

    Here is my opinion. First, I don't care for an f-hole on a slab body guitar like a tele but if you want to put one (or two) that is your business. I do put them on guitars where I think they have a traditional reason or are necessary for air movement.

    When I built my tele I did chamber it, that makes a dramatic difference in weight. I more or less used the thin line chambering layout

    IMG_4632.JPG

    My top plate is a hair under 1/4 thick, remember that 1/4 is the standard height of binding and many thin lines are bound. A thinner plate doesn't matter, a thicker one will be hard to bind.

    When I have cut f-holes into tops they are almost always pretty thin - usually around 1/8 thick. I almost alway bind f-holes, I think that looks good on traditional guitars like 335's and archtops. I have also seen cracks around the stress riser points on f-holes so I like to reinforce them on the inside - particularly if the top is a thin piece of solid wood. Here is the inside of a guitar with bound f-holes and a spruce top, the area around the holes has been reinforced against cracking

    IMG_1617-1.jpg
     
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  14. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Holic

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    Exactly the type of thing I wouldn't have thought of!
     
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  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I always make the areas of short grain wider....Have a look at how many SG control cavities have cracked and you'll see why.


    3rguitars
     
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  16. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    Yes! My old, otherwise-perfect SG has a cracked cavity. It happened under a previous owner and had been easily fixed (for the same reason it easily broke) but wow, is it obvious that this is a point of great weakness. There's rarely stress in that spot, but if there is, breakage occurs easily.
     
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  17. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

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    For what it's worth, the routed area on the face of my 2005 MIM thinline is a 5.5mm (approx. 7/32") thickness overall. No step down around the F-hole.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  18. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    I thinned mine down (~1/8") strictly for looks :).

    All of the F-holes that I've paid attention to - mostly Gibsons, have always had thin edges.

    I'm not really worried about strength in that area - it can be reinforced.

    I think that when you use a decorative feature like an F-hole, an aesthetic touch, it's designed to attract the eye, and I want it to have a light, airy look :).

    Otherwise, I'd just leave it uncut ;).


    edit:

    It's very easy to thin that edge :).

    After the F-hole is cut, simply use a router bit with a larger O.D., like 1/2" or 5/8", and let the shaft of the bit follow the template line.

    That way the cutting edge of the bit will thin the edge back far enough 1/4" or so) so all you see from the face is the thin edge.

    No touchy free-hand routing required ;).


    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  19. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    I've no idea why I'm posting this ..

    IMG_20200923_170156.jpg
     
  20. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Here is an example of what I was talking about - using the router bit's shaft to follow the template line -

    [​IMG]


    You can vary the distance that the F-hole edges get thinned back by the O.D. of the bit you are using.

    Although the picture isn't very good, it should give you the idea.

    In hind-sight, I wish I had used the same technique to thin the edge around the control pots - it would have looked much cleaner than the sloppy free-hand job I did.



    [​IMG]


    .
     
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