One piece Body blank weight relief

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,458
UK
this weekend I intend to do all the routing on a one piece body blank for a tele I’ve prepared, still unsure of species but I think it’s bubinga.

It. Is. Heavy.

The blank rough cut to shape and without any routing done on top weighs in at a back aching 4.6kg (10.141 lb)

Currently it’s at bang on 1-3/4 thickness, I’m going to reduce this to a lot closer to 1-1/2 which will at least lighten it by 1/7th haha.

Going to route the control cavity and bridge pickup cavity to within 1/4” of the back of the guitar, probably leave a bit more under the neck pickup for strength but take more out than is standard.

Also thinking of doing a belly cut, I was keen on this for comfort before I knew what a monster this bit of wood was so the need to loose weight has pretty much made this one a no brainier.

I’d like to avoid a forearm cut on the front, I’m not sold on the look of them on a telecaster.

Other than this are there any clever ways to reduce weight? I had considered doing a swimming pool route if needed, and maybe sending the forstner bit in for the Jack as far as I can before I interfere with anything important.

I’m making a neck out of the same timber, which I’m assuming will be heavier than a maple neck so I’m genuinely worried that this guitar is going to be too heavy to be practical.
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,959
KC
That is about on par with the Northern Ash body I am working on. I thought about doing a body cut but decided against it. I am now planning on chambering it from the edges in 7 or 8 places then cutting some patagonia covers for them to give the edge a unique custom look. Plus it will cover a place where I ran into some router bite.
 

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,458
UK
That is about on par with the Northern Ash body I am working on. I thought about doing a body cut but decided against it. I am now planning on chambering it from the edges in 7 or 8 places then cutting some patagonia covers for them to give the edge a unique custom look. Plus it will cover a place where I ran into some router bite.
I saw a video on that today, although the dude didn’t then plug the holes which looked pretty weird.

Would you be sending a 3/4 bit into the perimeter of the body and then plugging them? Or how would your covers work?
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,959
KC
I saw a video on that today, although the dude didn’t then plug the holes which looked pretty weird.

Would you be sending a 3/4 bit into the perimeter of the body and then plugging them? Or how would your covers work?
I plan to use a 1 1\8" Forstner bit then I will be cutting either some square or oval pieces that are about 1\4 inch thick and using a fine chisel to cut the shelves for them to sit in. Glue them in place then sand the edge to it's final shape on the belt and spindle sander and finally route the edges. the body on mine is right at 1 3/4" too. I am also thinking about putting the switch in the upper bout like a 70s Thinline normally is with a Gibson style switch. All said and done I think I can drop almost 2 pounds from it. I also routed it for 2 P90s and went a little on the deep side for them to help with the relief too.
 

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,458
UK
I plan to use a 1 1\8" Forstner bit then I will be cutting either some square or oval pieces that are about 1\4 inch thick and using a fine chisel to cut the shelves for them to sit in. Glue them in place then sand the edge to it's final shape on the belt and spindle sander and finally route the edges. the body on mine is right at 1 3/4" too. I am also thinking about putting the switch in the upper bout like a 70s Thinline normally is with a Gibson style switch. All said and done I think I can drop almost 2 pounds from it. I also routed it for 2 P90s and went a little on the deep side for them to help with the relief too.
That sounds like a good way to make a feature of a weight saving solution.

Do you know what the rest of the gubbins for the guitar weigh? Do you have a target weight in mind?

I’ve not got any of the bits for my guitar yet to be able to weigh, I’m thinking of reducing overall body thickness, routing cavities deeper than necessary and cutting the belly cut and seeing where I’m at. I like the idea of plugging the holes with another complimentary timber, I’d considered routing a 1/2 wide, maybe 1-1/4 deep rebate around the entire guitar and then glueing in a thin bit of maple to look a bit like the rosewood telecasters maple band but I’m not sure if the weight saved would be worth the effort and risk
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,959
KC
That sounds like a good way to make a feature of a weight saving solution.

Do you know what the rest of the gubbins for the guitar weigh? Do you have a target weight in mind?

I’ve not got any of the bits for my guitar yet to be able to weigh, I’m thinking of reducing overall body thickness, routing cavities deeper than necessary and cutting the belly cut and seeing where I’m at. I like the idea of plugging the holes with another complimentary timber, I’d considered routing a 1/2 wide, maybe 1-1/4 deep rebate around the entire guitar and then glueing in a thin bit of maple to look a bit like the rosewood telecasters maple band but I’m not sure if the weight saved would be worth the effort and risk
Do that then drill out your chambers before adding the ribbon. It is basically the same thing I am planning on doing but i will only be using basically rosettes. All said and done I would like to keep it between 7 and 7.5 pounds. I still haven't got the neck figured out yet. I had on I wanted to use on it but the staining situation snaffued. I am also thinking about changing the neck pocket route to better fit a strat neck heel because I have a beautiful roasted maple strat neck waiting on a worthy project. If I do change the pocket I will also use some of the patagonia to fill in and reshape with. I am currently working on making the soapbar covers from the rosewood too.
Here is what I am working with now.
20220915_155135.jpg
 

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,458
UK
Do that then drill out your chambers before adding the ribbon. It is basically the same thing I am planning on doing but i will only be using basically rosettes. All said and done I would like to keep it between 7 and 7.5 pounds. I still haven't got the neck figured out yet. I had on I wanted to use on it but the staining situation snaffued. I am also thinking about changing the neck pocket route to better fit a strat neck heel because I have a beautiful roasted maple strat neck waiting on a worthy project. If I do change the pocket I will also use some of the patagonia to fill in and reshape with. I am currently working on making the soapbar covers from the rosewood too.
Here is what I am working with now.
View attachment 595720
That looks great, beautiful bit of timber. Rosewood pickup surrounds will look great. What roundover have you done?

and that’s a much better and easier idea than mine! Drilling and then rebating for a ribbon of maple.

I too am making a strat neck for my tele body, although I’ve just copied my strat neck template and am going to modify the 2nd template heel to fit a telecaster neck pocket, mostly because it will mean I can buy standard tele scratchplates and there not be a gap around the neck heel. Otherwise I’d absolutely modify the body.
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,959
KC
That looks great, beautiful bit of timber. Rosewood pickup surrounds will look great. What roundover have you done?

and that’s a much better and easier idea than mine! Drilling and then rebating for a ribbon of maple.

I too am making a strat neck for my tele body, although I’ve just copied my strat neck template and am going to modify the 2nd template heel to fit a telecaster neck pocket, mostly because it will mean I can buy standard tele scratchplates and there not be a gap around the neck heel. Otherwise I’d absolutely modify the body.
Thank you!! I thought it was just too pretty to cover with a pickguard which is why I decided to go guard-less with a transparent finish. I also used a piece of a mandolin fretboard for the control plate.
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,959
KC
That looks great, beautiful bit of timber. Rosewood pickup surrounds will look great. What roundover have you done?

and that’s a much better and easier idea than mine! Drilling and then rebating for a ribbon of maple.

I too am making a strat neck for my tele body, although I’ve just copied my strat neck template and am going to modify the 2nd template heel to fit a telecaster neck pocket, mostly because it will mean I can buy standard tele scratchplates and there not be a gap around the neck heel. Otherwise I’d absolutely modify the body.
Just realized that I didn't answer your question about the roundover bit. I have an 1/8" and a 1/4 inch. I am thinking that I will use the 1/4 on this one. Most teles have the 1/8 though.
 

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,458
UK
Just realized that I didn't answer your question about the roundover bit. I have an 1/8" and a 1/4 inch. I am thinking that I will use the 1/4 on this one. Most teles have the 1/8 though.
Is the mandolin plate rosewood? And is it rebated flush, it also looks great. Yeah I’d read that the standard was 1/8 but I may go a bit bigger too
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,959
KC
Is the mandolin plate rosewood? And is it rebated flush, it also looks great. Yeah I’d read that the standard was 1/8 but I may go a bit bigger too
It is rosewood for sure and it is flush. I also used the dust from sanding the rosewood to darken the grain in the ash. When rubbed in it really brings out the definition well. Plus, It should help with keeping the body smooth once it's sealed up.
 

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,458
UK
It is rosewood for sure and it is flush. I also used the dust from sanding the rosewood to darken the grain in the ash. When rubbed in it really brings out the definition well. Plus, It should help with keeping the body smooth once it's sealed up.
That’s a great idea, last ash body I tried (ultimately failed) a trans finish on I used natural grain filler and the grain that looked great before finishing pretty much disappeared by the end. I was going to get a tin of darker grain filler but using rosewood dust is a very cool idea.
 

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,458
UK
Do that then drill out your chambers before adding the ribbon. It is basically the same thing I am planning on doing but i will only be using basically rosettes. All said and done I would like to keep it between 7 and 7.5 pounds. I still haven't got the neck figured out yet. I had on I wanted to use on it but the staining situation snaffued. I am also thinking about changing the neck pocket route to better fit a strat neck heel because I have a beautiful roasted maple strat neck waiting on a worthy project. If I do change the pocket I will also use some of the patagonia to fill in and reshape with. I am currently working on making the soapbar covers from the rosewood too.
Here is what I am working with now.
View attachment 595720

Mine is pretty much all routed, just a lot of sanding to do now.

body is thinner, cavities are deeper and there’s a belly cut. Once I drill out for the Jack it’ll be sub 3kg, still heavy but I’m probably going to stop there. It’s currently exactly the weight of my entire SG haha.

I also ended up with a wall at the treble side of the neck pocket, which hasn’t happened before… I made the neck template fit the neck pocket template perfectly and it pushes in beautifully but before I get to far along with the neck I might increase the heel width to get rid of that wall…

C4CF2AC1-78C2-4312-82B1-152CED4D71CF.jpeg 8579C911-98A2-495F-A999-C7DF63FA1FD6.jpeg 7F49B316-C96F-4404-934F-4246D82169C2.jpeg
 

Tsjackson

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2016
1,458
UK
LP Jr's have that bit to the right of the pocket, although it's probably twice as thick.

How did you do the belly cut?
I marked it out on the back and top side and with a handsaw cut to the back mark and top side mark every 1/2” or so, then chiselled out the timber between the cuts and tidied it up with razor rasps.

I was worrying about how to do it as I’ve not got a big bandsaw that I think some people use and I’ve done it before with a chainsaw (seriously) but it wasn’t easy or pleasant. I was going to get one of those planer/carving things for a 4” grinder but last night just tried how I mentioned and it was easy
 

wooders

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 19, 2021
1,773
Kent
3kg! Gulp! My ash strat HT had a 2.5kg body and that finished up 8.8lbs. solid rosewood neck was a bit heavier than maple, but you're looking at about 9.5lbs of axe there dude.
Does look nice though.
 


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