Now I wanna build one!

LtDave32

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Notoriously slow notoriously sucks
Notoriously slow is right. I had the same experience.

I'd go to javelina on reverb. I've bought from them. Good quality, prompt delivery.

If you want to do this again, I'd get a half sheet of MDF from home depot and make a copy of your templates. Use the copy for work and store the original.

Ps, don't be afraid to make a neck. I'll walk you through it. ....and you will really have made a guitar.
 

DaveR

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Personally, part of the challenge and “fun” of building my first guitar was in making all the templates and jigs. I did start with the Bartlett plans for my LP, but my second build of a different style was all done on my own, plus there are a ton of digital files out there for teles.

Some people don’t want to hassle with that and want to get right to the guitar making, therefore they buy premade templates. Which I can respect, but I would probably always make my own. Templates are not even mandatory for most things but are certainly a plus for pickup routes, neck pockets, etc.

A spindle sander and a sheet of MDF are a must if making your own templates. And LT Dave is totally right about making a backup copy of any templates as well before starting the real work. It’s kinda easy to wreck your templates with a “whoops” especially your first time. And like he said, don’t be scared to make a neck. That can be the most rewarding (and time consuming) part in my opinion.
 

twst1up

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Just ordered from javelina: telecaster p90 neck with neck and back profiles.

I may go pick up some wood friday.

I did buy that beast of a jointer, I'm planning on doing other things well and got it for 250...figure i can sell any of these things if it winds up I'm biting off more than I can chew
 

twst1up

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So how come nobody bothered to tell me this wood stuff can kinda get pricey?
 

twst1up

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Yeah, went to a place and saw some 8/4 walnut at $12 per foot. I thought that could be nice but the whole thing $130. I just wasnt ready at the time. Havent settled on what kind of wood. I suppose with that much I would get at least 2 bodies out of it tho.
 

bfcg

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Yeah, went to a place and saw some 8/4 walnut at $12 per foot. I thought that could be nice but the whole thing $130. I just wasnt ready at the time. Havent settled on what kind of wood. I suppose with that much I would get at least 2 bodies out of it tho.
Profile a piece of MDF with p/u cutouts and cavity cutouts. Use it as a stencil and then when you get a router, you could use it as a template. Have fun and get familiar with your tools (be safe).
 

nuance97

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Guitar building is an expensive hobby for sure. It is not uncommon to spend $800, $1000, $1200 on all the parts to build a Les Paul EXCLUDING tools. It depends on how high-end you go with parts...

I know you’re talking about a Tele which is less, but it will still cost a few hundred if you get a good neck and other components I bet
 

pshupe

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Guitar building is an expensive hobby for sure. It is not uncommon to spend $800, $1000, $1200 ...
Or >$25,000 This was the amount for which I have insured my shop and tools. TBH I should probably up that number a bit. Can you put a price tag on this kind of fun?? I think not! :dude:

Cheers Peter.
 

LtDave32

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Yeah, went to a place and saw some 8/4 walnut at $12 per foot. I thought that could be nice but the whole thing $130. I just wasnt ready at the time. Havent settled on what kind of wood. I suppose with that much I would get at least 2 bodies out of it tho.
Walnut will make for a rather heavy tele.

And pricey. You now know this. That's why people don't make full-thickness bodies out of walnut.

Swamp ash is great stuff, but not often sold by the board foot. Other ash commonly available at harwood yards is way too damn heavy. Nothing like swamp ash. And hard as hell. Don't use that. People make that mistake frequently on the tele forum. They don't understand that it's not really suitable for guitar building. They see "ash" and think it's all the same. It ain't. Not even close.

Mahogany is rather nice, providing it's light. It can vary in density and be way too heavy, or just right. Depends on what you select. It's about $6.00 - $7.00 a board foot.

Another choice is alder. Good choice. Good on tools, good on the wallet. $5 to $7 a board foot. When Leo Fender had a bad year for swamp ash (that happens, even today harvests are sometimes skimpy), he went to alder for his strats in the early 1960's.

I would strongly recommend alder.

Swamp ash, or "punky ash" as the hardwoods industry calls it, is usually sold as guitar "spreads ", or body blanks. Already joined and ready for templates. Very easy on tools, and light. Tough to grain fill though.

That's why I would go with alder for your first build.

You can also hunt for soft maple. Much lighter and softer than hard maple.

All that I mentioned is available in 8/4 thickness.
 

nuance97

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Pine is also commonly used for Teles. I don’t know specifically what species...but that would be relatively inexpensive for sure
 

ihavenofish

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it also is dependent on your location. black walnut is a weed around here, so its actually very cheap (in relative terms).. hard Maple is also very cheap.

figure out what your low cost local woods are. I mean, fender chose alder, ash and maple because they were available, not because they scrutinised the tonal propertied of each one.
 

twst1up

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Profile a piece of MDF with p/u cutouts and cavity cutouts. Use it as a stencil and then when you get a router, you could use it as a template. Have fun and get familiar with your tools (be safe).
So, you're sayingt to make templates from my templates with 1/2 inch MDF with a router....which leads me to: what kinda bits do I need?
 

twst1up

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Walnut will make for a rather heavy tele.

And pricey. You now know this. That's why people don't make full-thickness bodies out of walnut.

Swamp ash is great stuff, but not often sold by the board foot. Other ash commonly available at harwood yards is way too damn heavy. Nothing like swamp ash. And hard as hell. Don't use that. People make that mistake frequently on the tele forum. They don't understand that it's not really suitable for guitar building. They see "ash" and think it's all the same. It ain't. Not even close.

Mahogany is rather nice, providing it's light. It can vary in density and be way too heavy, or just right. Depends on what you select. It's about $6.00 - $7.00 a board foot.

Another choice is alder. Good choice. Good on tools, good on the wallet. $5 to $7 a board foot. When Leo Fender had a bad year for swamp ash (that happens, even today harvests are sometimes skimpy), he went to alder for his strats in the early 1960's.

I would strongly recommend alder.

Swamp ash, or "punky ash" as the hardwoods industry calls it, is usually sold as guitar "spreads ", or body blanks. Already joined and ready for templates. Very easy on tools, and light. Tough to grain fill though.

That's why I would go with alder for your first build.

You can also hunt for soft maple. Much lighter and softer than hard maple.

All that I mentioned is available in 8/4 thickness.
This is great, thx
 

Brewdude

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So, you're sayingt to make templates from my templates with 1/2 inch MDF with a router....which leads me to: what kinda bits do I need?
The answer is usually "the number of bits you currently have +1"

There are several special bits for certain routines like cutting truss rods, etc. but I would start off with a small, medium, and large. You'll find that it is often a matter of finding the right bit for the job, so you may need to start with a deeper bit and finish with a shallow bit or vice versa depending on what you need to cut and the template thickness.

Like anything its best to splurge a little on a nice bit that will hold an edge longer. You may know this already but DO NOT try to make the entire cut in one pass, do multiple small passes or you risk tear out (or worse dragging your hand into the bit) especially if it is figured wood. My routine is place template on blank and pencil in the shape, rough cut it with a bandsaw, fix the template to the blank and sand very close to the template, then bring to router table and do small passes. Routers are one of the most useful tools in the shop but treat them with a great deal of respect so think safety and practice, practice, practice.

Small: 3/8" and maybe a 1/2" diameter bit with a cutting height of 1/2" for cutting small pockets and the like where you need a tight radius, and also as importantly don't want to cut too deep. Stew Mac sells nice small ones for just this need, as usual you can find similar bits from other companies for a little cheaper if you look around a bit.


Medium: a 1/2" diameter bit with a cutting height of 1" can be helpful for larger projects when you do want to cut deeper or for trimming things like fretboards, etc. A top bearing is more useful for use with templates, but a bottom bearing can be helpful for finishing cuts.


Large: 3/4" or 1" diameter with a cutting height of 1-1.5" is handy for trimming bodies with a template. You'll likely need to start the cut with the template then remove it and use the body as the new template to finish the cut as the bit won't be tall enough to get the whole thing at once.

 

twst1up

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Will this do?
 

DaveR

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Seems a decent saw. I typically don’t like to pay over 50-60% of new price for used equipment unless it’s in real good shape and that kinda looks like it. It has rails for a fence but I don’t see the fence in the pic. Make sure it has that part. Make sure the homemade base locks down. You don’t want a saw that can wander around on you (been there). Ball bearing guides are nice. I’d look to see if it has a detentioning lever on the back. The new saws like that do and I really wish my big saw had that feature.
If that were going to be my only Bandsaw, I’d buy a 1/4” to 1/2” blade for curvy cutting and a 1” 3tpi for resawing. Although it has good height capacity for resawing I would expect it to struggle a bit resawing a maple guitar top for instance. My 3hp 20” grizzly can get bogged down resawing hard maple at times. I’m sure it would do the job, you would just need to be patient and feed slow. Good luck, whatever you decide.
 

twst1up

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So that bandsaw was already gone by the time I contacted the guy.

So let me ask you guys...as far as a bandsaw, what would you recommend? I've been sticking a couple bucks away for this, not that I wanna spend it all.
 


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