Trying to line up a build, new and have some questions

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by jonyorker, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. jonyorker

    jonyorker Tele-Meister

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    Hey Folks,

    I’m getting ready to do a build this winter with my ageing dad.

    neither of us have built a guitar but he’s an avid woodworker/carpenter and has built several boats and such.

    two years ago he rough milled an oak tree that has been on my family’s property for over 150 years ( several generations in that home)

    It’s a 20x70x2.5” plank that I would like to turn into several guitars.

    one I would like to build with my dad will include the 1/4 mahogany veneer that he made and used in his last boat that we had to retire a few years back.

    im thinking of using it as the cap on the oak.

    so, the questions I have I guess firstly relate to the sound. Any experience with an oak body with mahogany veneer/plywood top?
     
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  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    No experience with those wood combinations, but I say go for it! It’s a great project using some personally special wood and working with your dad. I’m thinking it’s GOT to be great!
     
  3. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Some oak can be quite heavy in weight. You might want to consider chambering the body especially since you are interested in capping it.
     
  4. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Tele-Meister

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    Agreed. Oak is usually very heavy. Also, it does not sound very lively. So any extra resonance you can get may be good.

    I usually don't go for the "tone wood" narrative, but I've played electrics made of oak and beech and they did not sound right, can't put my finger on it. Maybe it was other stuff and clearly it is not valid to generalize from a sample of 3 guitars.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  5. jonyorker

    jonyorker Tele-Meister

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    This is the man, and the boat in question that I want to honor and build this guitar with.

    N72_7710_small.jpg N72_7770_small.jpg
     
  6. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, anything I make with a glued-on top will have at least some weight-relief.

    Write this on a piece of tape and stick it to the top and/or your forehead:

    “CUT THE BINDING CHANNEL BEFORE DRILLING THE JACK HOLE!”
     
  7. jonyorker

    jonyorker Tele-Meister

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    Binding channel?

    Agreed on the chambering. The slab of wood I have right now weighs over 100 lbs.

    I was thinking thinline tele with TV jones pickups?

    Or am I out to lunch?
     
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  8. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Well, if you are going to glue a laminate to the top, I assumed you would use some binding to hide the raw edge, though it’s not strictly necessary (some people like the stripes). You’d need to route a channel around the top for the binding. If you drill the hole for the jack first, there’s a good chance that the router bearing will dive into it when you go around the top, and then you have a big highly visible divot...

    If you aren’t going to use binding, you still gotta be careful about the same thing in routing the round-over on the top.

    PS thinline with TVJs sounds great to me!
     
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  9. jonyorker

    jonyorker Tele-Meister

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    oh man, ouch.

    Thanks for the tip! How much of a pain is binding?
     
  10. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I really like the idea and would do it as a 3 piece with the mahogany down the center to give it a little more reasonance below the bridge. I think a smugglers cut would also be a good idea to lighten it up some....and add a really cool feature.

    No matter what you decide, I love the idea.
     
  11. jonyorker

    jonyorker Tele-Meister

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    the mahogany is really a plywood veneer type thing, it's a 1/4 inch thick. so not thick enough to do a center block idea.

    It's got a spar varnish on it that he applied in the 70's and that's all that on it for stain/coloring. Looking to lock in in but not color it any.

    Epoxy comes to mind, but that's not a usual guitar finish. What can one use to finish/protect?
     
  12. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    It's not all that hard, if you have the right bits/bearings. I've even done it with a plain straight bit and one of these:
    Precision_Router_Edge_Guide_lg__01081_zoom.jpg

    That gizmo takes a steady hand, but it's surprisingly effective. Or if you use the right offset bearing on a bottom-bearing bit, it's almost fool-proof. ;-)

    People use Z-poxy to seal/pore fill guitars all the time. A bit of sanding smooth and you can spray clear coat over it (acrylic, nitro, urethane, etc.). I haven't personally used it on a natural finish, but the stuff I've seen from other people looked awesome!
     
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  13. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I wouldn't worry too much about sound. You, or anyone else, would be unlikely to perfectly predict how a solid body guitar will sound ahead of time.

    I would worry about weight, using old growth air dried oak. Most oak weighs at least 1.5X as much as alder...which itself is not usually a particularly lightweight wood. However, since you are already planning on using a cap, it's easy enough for you to chamber the guitar to reduce the weight.

    Another [very effective and very ergonomic] cheat to reduce weight is to go with the old student model Fender blank thickness (about 1.5") instead of standard Fender adult model thickness (about 1.75"). This eliminates over 1/6 of your bare body weight (as well as making the guitar a bit more comfortable to handle IMO).
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  14. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    +1
    Yeah, I often make mine at least a bit thinner than standard.
     
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  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    My Dad also built boats... he's build them in the Winter... hit the water in Summer and sell them in the Fall, and start over.... I learned much "helping" him as a kid....

    the number one mistake guys make is trying to make the first guitar, the "perfect" instrument.. its simply not gonna happen, adn you wind up with something that's a study in "fixes".. you'll be much happier and learn faster if you keep the first one more humble....

    here's some "stuff" I wrote over a decade ago th assist guys just getting started.. I hope you find it useful

    rk

    http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Tele_template-illustrated-reader-spreads.pdf

    http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Tele-reader-spreads.pdf

    http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Setup-reader-spreads.pdf

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-technical/201556-fret-leveling-yer-tele-101-a.html

    http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Strat-reader-spreads.pdf

    http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Strat_template-illustrated-reader-spreads.pdf

    http://jpbturbo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Nitro-New-reader-spreads.pdf

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/stratocaster-discussion-forum/104487-ok-so-i-promised-here-ya.html
     
  16. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Tele-Meister

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    I've made a couple of guitars (from old mahogany bookshelves in my case) and I made a lot of mistakes. What I can tell you is: Doing things in the right order is crucial to avoid most mistakes. Research the correct order to do things exhaustively and plan this all out in logical steps to follow. The jack socket point above is a great example of why that's important.

    I've not used oak for a guitar, although I have worked with it on other projects and (you probably already know this) it's really tough to work with. Brian May's Red Special was made from a combination of oak and plywood. I think the neck in particular is oak. He manages to get a decent enough tone. Although his wall of hotrodded AC30s may have something to do with that.

    Good luck with the project, and please do update us on here with pics - I'd love to see how it comes along and turns out. :)
     
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  17. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Oak is heavy but solid. It does require pore filling as does the mahogany but no biggy. Plenty of reads on her on pore filling.

    Sound wise, doesn't matter. I built the oak strat below some years ago, oak neck ans all. It is a horse to carry around! If I were to cap one with a top I would chamber the oak. On anticipated heavy ones I either do a partial or full thinline body route and then glue the top on. FYI, it sounds excellent!

    As far as the need for binding, you don't unless you want to. Depending on the color choices the mating line can either be covered with opaque color or it can look fine as is.

    Read Ron's stuff in the links he gave above & you can't go wrong![​IMG][​IMG]

    Eric
     
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  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have avoided oak because of the weight issue. I have used Northern Ash and that is pretty much as heavy as oak. You are probably looking at a 10 pound guitar if you don't remove some of the bulk. You can find thinline patterns on the net.

    Here's a pile of them:

    https://www.gitarrebassbau.de/viewtopic.php?t=6

    If it were me( and it's not :) ), unless the plywood is 1/4 thick with 5 or more plies, I'd skip it as a top. and maybe make a case out of it. YMMV. Oak has some pretty good size pores, so that may be something to consider filling if you want a flat finish. A contemporary look will result with oil or semi gloss.
     
  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Here is a build thread that has a couple of things you are considering. It is a chambered guitar like a thinline but doesn't have the f-hole (you could sure add one). It is also bound in wood which is harder than binding in plastic which is harder than not binding.

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/a-chambered-tele-ish-sort-of-thing.884657/

    That may also give you an idea of tools that your dad might not have in an average wood working shop.

    Second, while there really isn't any reason NOT to use oak for the body of a guitar, I wouldn't. I personally don't believe the tone wood hype (and I'm not going to get into an argument about it here), but if I wanted to use oak I would probably resaw it to make a drop top rather than the body. Same thing with mahogany for a top - it would be a better (and more traditional) choice for the body. However we build guitars out of all sorts of woods so if thats what you want, go for it.

    And just for chuckles - way back in the '60's and '70's I built and raced small power boats. They actually have a lot in common with building an acoustic guitar - thin mahogany skin over a spruce frame. Back then I was just starting to play, it was a long time before I decided to build

    Hydro1.jpg
     
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  20. jonyorker

    jonyorker Tele-Meister

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    Thinking of building the tele like this, no pick guard to maximize the display of the boat top.

    might put a 4 switch LP setup in it.

    Dad and I are talking about it and seeing ways we can really customize this sucker.

    i think I’m going to get a neck from warmoth though.
     

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