Tele Thinline Build

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Woltz
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Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:32 pm

New to the forum and thought I should probably start a thread here for the current build I'm working on, which is my first build from scratch. I've been on the buildyourownguitar forum quite a bit and had started a build diary there for this guitar which has already changed directions a couple of times. So I'll keep the first bit brief to show quickly where I'm up to.

Tasmanian Oak from the local sawmill.

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Slapped together a shooting board (Try to ignore the fact the end isn't straight haha, when I made it I didn't have access to a bandsaw or table saw).

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Test fit of jointed boards.

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Glue up

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The bookmatched Yaka for the top.

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Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:36 pm

Body rough cut with bandsaw.

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Acrylic master templates that I had laser cut. I'm making MDF working templates using the Acrylic master.

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Yaka bookmatch glued up.

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Router bit all the way from the U.S. for the F Holes

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Bought a lace sheoak fretboard blank...

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but it's a bit red for what I'm looking for and it'll go nicer with the piece of Australian Red Cedar I have for my next build.

Next options for fretboard. L-R - Goldfields Blackbutt, Greenstone Mallee, Wadjil, Mulga

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Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:44 pm

Tassie Oak and the Yaka clear coated to start considering what the finish will be.

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Side by side in sunlight...

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in shade...

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I'll probably stain the Tassie Oak darker to match up a bit better with the top.

Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:28 pm

Playing with ideas before I make the neck template.

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At this stage planning a 25.5" scale fender style neck but with an angled PRS style headstock.

Crafty Fox
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Crafty Fox » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:39 pm

Welcome Woltz,
I love Thinline Teles. I've built 4 so far, all scratch builds, all different, various hardware/electrics etc. I can't get enough of 'em.
I'll be following your progress with great interest. Might fire me up to build another!!!
Ken

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kiwigeo
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by kiwigeo » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:24 pm

Welcome to the forum Woltz and thanks for sharing this build.
Martin

Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:49 pm

Ran the bookmatched top through the drum sander. It cleaned up quite nicely and pretty happy with my job on the joint, particularly considering I jointed the two boards with a hand plane.

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I also picked up this piece of Queensland Walnut which I think I'll use as the fretboard.

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Here it is with the top...

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Then I cut the pieces for the neck. I've cut the blank into 3 strips and I'll invert the centre piece with the aim of better stability. I just need to clean up the joints and glue it up.

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Then I rough cut out the mdf neck templates. Just need to sand the edges now and they'll be ready to use. I also need to make a template for the PRS style headstock at some stage as well.

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And finally I've been giving the forstner bits a workout removing material from the cavities. Still some more to go and then I'll be able to get the router in there. The body blank prior to starting to remove material from the cavities was 2.95kg. So far it's down to 2.2kg. I'm hoping that once the cavities (including the neck pocket and pickup cavities) are fully routed out and the top is glued that on the weight will be under 2kg.

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Petecane
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Petecane » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:34 pm

Nice work.
I like this thread.
This is going to be superb.
I like your selections of wood.

What PUPS are you planning to use?
Pete

Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:51 am

Thanks Pete.

I have a Tonerider Vintage Plus set sitting here that will probably go in it.

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WJ Guitars
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by WJ Guitars » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:37 am

I like your timber and look forward to seeing the final product.

Wayne
https://wjguitars.wixsite.com/mysite-1

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McCreed
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by McCreed » Wed May 01, 2019 6:09 am

Great project, and nice work. Can't wait to see it when it's done.
I've yet to tackle a complete scratch build, but I'm working towards it. (someday!)

The Tonerider pickups are great value and sound fantastic. Good choice imo.

Cheers

edit to add:
Where did you get your templates?
The box they're sitting on looks like a Pitbull Guitars box. I wasn't aware they do templates.
An empty guitar case just needs fillin'

Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Wed May 01, 2019 8:19 am

Cheers McCreed.

The only issue with the tonerider pickup is the bridge pickup base plate is quite big so I'm going to have to enlarge the bridge cavity more than what the template standard size is to be able to get the bridge in the right location for scale length.

Good spot with the pitbull box. Pitbull don't do templates. The box is for a standard telecaster kit that I bought before I started this scratch build as a way of easing myself into things. Ironically the way I'm going with the two this scratch build will probably be finished first.

The templates I had laser cut by Online Laser Cutting (based in Sydney). I took a plan off the internet, edited it in adobe illustrator to get the two templates, then sent them the files to upload into their computer to cut the acrylic template. They then posted it to me.

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McCreed
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by McCreed » Wed May 01, 2019 10:25 am

That's interesting about the TR bridge pickup. I've had them drop right in on MIM Fender tele's.

re: PBG, the body & neck on the tele in my profile pic came from one of their kits. (pretty much everything else got pitched and upgraded)

When I get brave enough to tackle a scratch build, I may look into that company for a custom template for a design I have in my head.
Thanks!
An empty guitar case just needs fillin'

Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Sat May 25, 2019 11:21 am

Haven't got that much done recently. Hopefully I'll get a bit more done over the next few days. Anyway here is an update.

First thing is, I put the Queensland Walnut through the thicknesser to bring it down closer to the correct thickness for the fretboard and I can confirm it smells like dog sh!t.

MDF working templates have been routed off the Acrylic master. I just need to expand the route towards the neck for the bridge pickup cavity because the bridge I purchased needs to sit closer to the neck for the scale length to be correct.

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Book matched top rough cut on bandsaw.

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Neck blank glued up.

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And cleaned up with the hand plane and centre line drawn. You can see the centre piece in this image with the grain going in the opposite direction to the two outside pieces.

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Planning on putting a headstock cap on this build as well.

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I've been trying to decide whether to do a roundover (where you'll be able to see the join between the body and the cap) or bind it with this binding.

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And finally here is a bit of a sneak peak of the bookmatched top with the bridge sitting on it.

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McCreed
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by McCreed » Sat May 25, 2019 2:14 pm

Wow! That timber, binding & bridge are really going to make it unique. (not to mention a PRS-shaped headstock on a tele body!)
Very cool. Watching with anticipation.
An empty guitar case just needs fillin'

Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Thu May 30, 2019 5:01 pm

Just a quick minor update.

Tuesday night I finished removing material with the forstner and the body is now ready for routing.

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I also enlarged the bridge pickup cavity towards the neck on the working template and confirmed that now the bridge will sit in the required spot to get the correct scale length.

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I've also thicknessed the neck blank down to closer to the final 3/4" thickness.

And this stuff all arrived...

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Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:42 pm

Had some time this morning so thought I'd start routing the cavities. All going well and almost finished the first passes and then that dreaded sound....

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Quite a large tear out. Fortunately it came off mostly as one piece.

So off came the template. And gluing the piece back on.

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I'll clean it up and hopefully finish routing the cavities next weekend.

I've also been trying to get the neck pocket on the template right but it's gone from being too tight to too loose. So I may scrap that template and cut a new one off the master.

Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:34 pm

So clamp removed from where I glued back the chip.

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Still a bit of a cavity. Fill with some superglue and saw dust.

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You can still see evidence of it but for my first attempt at a repair like that I'm reasonably happy.

I also finished routing the cavities.

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I have a couple of little blemishes where the router tipped just slightly putting a small groove in the inside wall. I could fill them but no one will probably ever know that they are there.

Does anyone have any thoughts on natural inside of an F hole versus painted?

I also made myself a fret bevelling file that can do 35° and 90°. I can't claim the design as mine, I saw it on another forum.

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And I cut the pieces for my truss rod routing jig and mocked up to make sure the router would fit. I need to drill the holes for the t nuts and bolts to secure the necks in the side pieces and then I can glue it up.

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Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:18 pm

Started routing the body on the router table. First side went ok.

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Started second side and boom big tear out, damage the router bit...

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...and the body got thrown across the room with the end result being:

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And with that my patience for all things guitar building is almost gone.

Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:21 pm

Despite my frustration and disappointment, I am going to attempt to salvage it.

1st step. Glue the body back together.

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Lillian
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Lillian » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:04 pm

Things like this can be so frustrating. I'm glad you aren't letting it stop you.

In the picture you captioned "Started routing the body on the router table. First side went ok." Was that done with one pass or was that multiple passes?

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lamanoditrento
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by lamanoditrento » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:56 pm

Bloody routers, they scare the jebus out me!
Trent

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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by seeaxe » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:51 pm

No one else has mentioned it so I'm going to leap right in here, apologies if you already know all this!!

With two lots of tear out I'm wondering whether you're aware of "climb" cuts on the router?? From the looks of the outside tear out, you were routing from the bottom of the guitar towards the outermost part of the lower bout. If so, you are going in the wrong direction. If the router bit is moved from the outer edge of the lower bout down towards the bottom the cutter is moving towards the wood and there is no tear out. You have to hold the router back a bit as it wants to "climb" out of your hands, but this direction will not result in tear out.

There's a diagram somewhere that shows the right movements - but I always just think about the direction the cutting edge of the router is moving when it meets the wood. Acoustic builders come up against this when we are flush trimming the top or cutting binding channels.

If I'm telling you how to suck eggs, profuse apologies. I do like a nice Tele.
Richard

Woltz
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Woltz » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:14 pm

Lillian wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:04 pm
Things like this can be so frustrating. I'm glad you aren't letting it stop you.

In the picture you captioned "Started routing the body on the router table. First side went ok." Was that done with one pass or was that multiple passes?
Yep multiple passes only taking a tiny bit off each time.
lamanoditrento wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:56 pm
Bloody routers, they scare the jebus out me!
They are definitely to be respected. Very useful but can do a lot of damage in the blink of an eye.
seeaxe wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:51 pm
No one else has mentioned it so I'm going to leap right in here, apologies if you already know all this!!

With two lots of tear out I'm wondering whether you're aware of "climb" cuts on the router?? From the looks of the outside tear out, you were routing from the bottom of the guitar towards the outermost part of the lower bout. If so, you are going in the wrong direction. If the router bit is moved from the outer edge of the lower bout down towards the bottom the cutter is moving towards the wood and there is no tear out. You have to hold the router back a bit as it wants to "climb" out of your hands, but this direction will not result in tear out.

There's a diagram somewhere that shows the right movements - but I always just think about the direction the cutting edge of the router is moving when it meets the wood. Acoustic builders come up against this when we are flush trimming the top or cutting binding channels.

If I'm telling you how to suck eggs, profuse apologies. I do like a nice Tele.
No need to apologise. I am aware of climb cuts and the tear out on the inside wall of the cavity was 100% because I should've been doing a climb cut, as soon as it happened I realised what I'd done.

And in regards to the body, yeh I was torn (pardon the pun) between doing a standard cut the whole way around versus a climb cut in some areas. Some people advocate for going in the same direction the whole way around the body (probably mainly from a safety perspective) and some people suggest the diagram you mention. I have a copy of that diagram and in hindsight knowing the properties of the timber I should've gone with the suggested routing pattern.

All I can do at this point is learn from it and see how good I can make the repairs look. I did think about tossing the body and starting with a new piece of timber but this is my first scratch build so I'm going to see it through so that I've learnt how to best approach things for future builds.

One dilemma I have now is whether to use the nice bookmatched top I have on this build or save it for another build.

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Mark McLean
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Re: Tele Thinline Build

Post by Mark McLean » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:17 pm

“To err is human - but to really fuck things up you need power tools!”

Commiserations about the router mishap, but we have all been there at some stage.

Regarding the dilemma of whether to use nice wood for your top, let me relate a tale. I built my first (acoustic) guitar from a kit, so it had pre-bent sides. It went fairly well, so then I went out to Gerard Gilet’s place to buy some wood to build number two. He had some lovely figured mahogany, and some plainer stuff. I bought one fancy set, and a plain one. It was my first attempt bending sides so I thought I had better not use the good stuff. I bent the plain sides (“just for practice” I thought), and it turned out fine. So I continued the build assuming that things would get stuffed up in routing the bindings. But that went well. I ended up with a nice guitar, but then wished I had used the nicer wood. Ten years later that stuff still sits unused in my shed, and I might die before I build something with it. Moral of the story - life is short, always use the good wood

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