Thinline build - "The Freddy"

Barnaby

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Right then…

…I am still struggling to deal with my cocobolo allergy, but want to build when I can. Therefore, the Drama Queen is on temporary hold and I am working on another couple of projects. I started making a thinline telecaster for one of my brothers and put the thread on the sister site for luthiers here. It’s mostly done, but the strongest feeling I’ve felt throughout the build is of wanting a guitar just like this.



Therefore, I decided to make a second one of these for myself, using similar materials and almost identical construction and layout. The specs are as follows:

Honduran mahogany neck with quilt at the back of the heel and headstock
Macassar 22-fret fingerboard
African mahogany body
Quilt maple top (on the way)
Bound body and f-hole
Hipshot bridge and tuners
My own pickups – tele at the neck and humbucker at the bridge
A rather special nut

One other thing – we all have our heroes. People we look up to and admire. There are many luthiers on here who I see as far beyond where I can ever travel in terms of skill, and many who have offered advice, encouragement and inspiration. Roman Rist is astonishing, for example, and it’s not hyperbolae to say that we all owe him a massive debt. The same is true of BCR Greg, Doug Kauer, DGN, Tom Bartlett, Bruce Bennett, HEL Shane, Sully, Gator, SG Lou, Black Water, Jay Jillard and dozens of others who I won’t attempt to list for fear of missing names and excluding someone. The closest thing I have to a mentor amongst this pantheon, however, has always been Freddy G.

He’s a perfect example of what a craftsman should be. Honest, skilled, hardworking, humble, multitalented…the list goes on. He’s a professional sound engineer, player, repairer, refinisher and builder of superb acoustics and electrics – there’s very little he can’t do. He’s given me great advice on my pickups and building in general, both on the forum and via PM - never mind the fact that I was just some dodgy guy starting out in my apartment. This amazing luthier, who has worked with Jeff Healey and Alex Lifeson, amongst others, has taken the time to offer his wisdom when I was stuck and help me (as well as many others) to stumble down the guitar building road.

Therefore, this build, in which I hope to make an instrument come to life using the best materials and techniques I possibly can, is dedicated to our own Mr. Gabrsek. The resultant guitar – should it be suitably worthy - shall be known as “The Freddy”. :cool:
 

Barnaby

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This is not going to be a particularly fast build thread. The top isn’t here yet and I’m thinking of getting a thinner truss rod than normal just to be safe. Also, I’m in “work mode”, which means six days a week of lectures and meetings. Therefore, there’s not much time. Still, I’m hoping to have something ready for lacquer by the end of June. In fact, I’m hoping that all three of my builds – the Drama Queen and the two thinlines – will be ready for lacquer by then. I can then spray, unless the humidity is too high. The reason is that I am away in August and my wife will be here in September/October. I figure I will need all of July to clean the apartment so that it is completely free of dust, which gets everywhere…ah, the life of a home builder!

Here’s the wood for the body, anyway – a nice piece of African mahogany. It’s my first time to work with this wood and I’m curious.



It seems very similar to Honduran mahogany. Slightly longer pores, a touch lighter (than the Honduran blanks I've been able to get, anyway), but the smell and feel of it when working it are close. I can definitely understand how there can be confusion between the two and the debate about whether or not the original '59s were made of this makes a bit more sense to me now. Not saying they were, but I can see that it could be possible.

I mark the body shape and cut out with my bowsaw.





Note the candle in the first photo. That's a little trick I've picked up over the last couple of years - waxing the blade every so often ensures better, cleaner, easier cuts and less breakage.

Material is then taken off the sides down to the lines with a block plane, a rasp and, in the curves, a gouge.



After this, my chambers are marked and I take out as much of the material as I can with a bit and brace.



Then, it’s in with chisels, scrapers and sandpaper.



The rear cavity is also marked on and then the inner part is cut. This gives me a reference point to check that the back doesn’t become too thin.





Here’s the body as it stands.



The cavities need to be cleaned up a bit yet, a small maple block will go in near the bottom of the body for the strap button to have extra 'grab' and 3-5mm will be planed off the top of this piece before the maple is glued on, but everything is more or less in place. Weight right now is 1.4 kg. I’m expecting the final guitar to come in around 2.8 kg, or under 6 1/2lb with all the parts on. That’s the weight of the other one.
 

poro78

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Freddy, eh?

250px-Freddy_Krueger.JPG


Oh sorry, my mistake. Freddy G, not Freddy K.
 

VictOr358

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I still can not comprehend how you make forsteners go with a crank drill... It's HSS, for Jimy's sake! High Speed it is! Coffein? Tаurin? :naughty:
 

Barnaby

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I still can not comprehend how you make forsteners go with a crank drill... It's HSS, for Jimy's sake! High Speed it is! Coffein? Tаurin? :naughty:

Downward pressure and pure thoughts. That's why the workpiece is on the floor. Also, I use diamond files to keep the edges sharp. :D

I do admit that, if I had a proper workshop, I would definitely do this with a drill press. It's be much faster and more accurate. In the apartment, however, such a thing is simply not possible. :(
 

poro78

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I still can not comprehend how you make forsteners go with a crank drill... It's HSS, for Jimy's sake! High Speed it is! Coffein? Tаurin? :naughty:

High Speed? Oh crap, I'm also doing it wrong. :shock:
 

Freddy G

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To say I'm extremely flattered would be an understatement.
I am humbled that Barnaby would lump me in with the likes of the guys he named.
Barnaby, I think you'll do a smash up job on this guitar. By the sounds of your recipe I'm sure it will be an outstanding axe!
On with the show!
 

Barnaby

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To say I'm extremely flattered would be an understatement.
I am humbled that Barnaby would lump me in with the likes of the guys he named.
Barnaby, I think you'll do a smash up job on this guitar. By the sounds of your recipe I'm sure it will be an outstanding axe!
On with the show!

The man himself! :wave:

Hopefully, you'll get to play this one sometime. I imagine a fun-filled afternoon of beer, lounging about and me feeling vaguely embarrassed because you can play the guitar...and I can't. :cool:
 

Spotcheck Billy

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Count me in for this build. It is always a treat and the guitars come out nicely as well.
 

jpbturbo

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I still can not comprehend how you make forsteners go with a crank drill... It's HSS, for Jimy's sake! High Speed it is! Coffein? Tаurin? :naughty:
As a child I was allowed to use any of my fathers non powered tools, the only power tools would have been a drill and a circular saw so I wasn't missing much.
I used to make all manner of toy guns and swords with hand saws, planes, chisels, and ye olde brace and bit.
I used to drill holes for the "trigger guard" with a brace and a 1.5" paddle bit.
As Barnaby already mentioned, keeping them sharp is the name of the game.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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perhaps i'm missing something with this 'high-speed bit' deal. If the comment was posed anywhere else, i'd get it, but this is barn, fellas. all he has to do is turn the brace faster. He probably has a tachometer on the thing and had it brought to a machinest and had it balanced and blueprinted.

as usual, you leave me intimidated and intrigued with your builds. this is yet another.
 

Barnaby

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lol Awesome Barnaby :) always love your builds

Cheers! :wave:

Count me in for this build. It is always a treat and the guitars come out nicely as well.

You're too kind. :cool:

As a child I was allowed to use any of my fathers non powered tools, the only power tools would have been a drill and a circular saw so I wasn't missing much.
I used to make all manner of toy guns and swords with hand saws, planes, chisels, and ye olde brace and bit.
I used to drill holes for the "trigger guard" with a brace and a 1.5" paddle bit.
As Barnaby already mentioned, keeping them sharp is the name of the game.

Absolutely - sharpening saws was a big step for me. Once I could do that, forstner bits were easy. :thumb:

perhaps i'm missing something with this 'high-speed bit' deal. If the comment was posed anywhere else, i'd get it, but this is barn, fellas. all he has to do is turn the brace faster. He probably has a tachometer on the thing and had it brought to a machinest and had it balanced and blueprinted.

as usual, you leave me intimidated and intrigued with your builds. this is yet another.

Thanks, FDP! We'll see how we go - it's all just lumps of wood right now...:D
 

Barnaby

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The neck was started today as I had a few moments. Basically, I cut the piece from the same blank as the last one. There’s a third one left for some unspecified build in the future…

I started the cut with a dovetail saw, then went in with the Japanese ryoba.



Once that was done, I planed both faces flat and parallel with the Stanley #6.



 

Barnaby

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oh, dear. i'm glad such a gorgeous piece of timber is in such capable hands.

Actually, I think they ran it through some sort of electric thicknesser. It's got tearout that you wouldn't believe...but there's enough still there to get it under control, I hope.

Super-sharp plane blades only for this stuff. And yes - for the record, I'm terrified of ruining it. :shock:
 

Barnaby

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The top has been jointed and will now sit for 24 hours. I clamped the pieces in two bits of maple and ran a #6 along.





Then, I spread some Titebond between them and clamped them flat. These plates are thinner than I’m used to, so I put lots of weight on to stop them curling up when clamped.



Now, we weight and see…:naughty:
 

Barnaby

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Top jointed...looks nice!



F-hole cut and holes drilled for the ground wire and controls.

 

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