Telecaster build, here I go!

Telecaster582

Strat-Talker
Feb 21, 2022
446
Muskegon MI
So I found a board (plywood) that we had laying around, and I thought, that would make a nice Tele. It is surf green, and kinda beat up, and I wanna turn it into a telecaster thinline deluxe with Fender wide range humbuckers. This is my first time making a body for a guitar, and I will be buying the neck and pickups, and pickguard. Anyway, just wondering if anybody had an idea or some advice for this build. Thanks.
 

Telecaster582

Strat-Talker
Feb 21, 2022
446
Muskegon MI
Forgot about the images sorry. I also forgot to say that it is big enough so I can make a front and a back. With the board as it is not thick enough
 

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Groovey

Dr. Stratster
Nov 17, 2016
12,878
WV. USA
The neck pocket should be 5/8” of an inch deep to receive a Fender spec’ neck. Looks like you may not have enough meat left to attach a neck.
 

Kharma Bodies

Strat-Talker
Jan 21, 2021
190
New York
Many decades ago I made guitar bodies.

I’d be happy to help you with your build.

I don’t know your skill level so I don’t know what info you need. So I need your input.

What type of tools do you have and what are you comfortable working with?

Also, you can make a tele with plywood but it’s not what most would choose. I think it’s a great way of learning how to do this type of work though.

Is your plywood, particle board, or regular bias ply? It doesn’t look like solid core ply.
Also, is that 3/4” both tip and back, or just one side?

You’ll need wood to make a frame for the in between the top and back. Most will use solid wood. Finished thickness is normally 1-3/4” you could make it 1-1/2”. It’s not a tremolo so your limitations will be how much wood you’ll need to secure the neck.

I’ll follow your thread if you have any specific questions.

If you use plywood for the frame, be prepared to use wood putty to patch up the voids that will probably show up while you’re sculpting the shape and the pickups and neck cavities
 
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ThreeChordWonder

Senior Stratmaster
Dec 2, 2020
4,091
Cypress TX
^ "Laminated maple top" = plywood top, don't kid yourself.

That having been said, I would be using no more than 3/16ths for the top and you may want to add a hardwood center block front to back to mount the neck, provide enough "meat" for the pickup routes, etc.
 

Kharma Bodies

Strat-Talker
Jan 21, 2021
190
New York
^ "Laminated maple top" = plywood top, don't kid yourself.

That having been said, I would be using no more than 3/16ths for the top and you may want to add a hardwood center block front to back to mount the neck, provide enough "meat" for the pickup routes, etc.
Could be.

I think most laminated maple tops when they’re figured are veneers not plywood. Others could be 1/4” proud or scant solid woods. The cheapest could be photo film.

And of course some of us get scammed when unscrupulous marketers refer to their products as laminated tops when they are plywood but I don’t believe that’s the norm.

Thanks for adding that we all need to be wary of those things.
 

Telecaster582

Strat-Talker
Feb 21, 2022
446
Muskegon MI
Many decades ago I made guitar bodies.

I’d be happy to help you with your build.

I don’t know your skill level so I don’t know what info you need. So I need your input.

What type of tools do you have and what are you comfortable working with?

Also, you can make a tele with plywood but it’s not what most would choose. I think it’s a great way of learning how to do this type of work though.

Is your plywood, particle board, or regular bias ply? It doesn’t look like solid core ply.
Also, is that 3/4” both tip and back, or just one side?

You’ll need wood to make a frame for the in between the top and back. Most will use solid wood. Finished thickness is normally 1-3/4” you could make it 1-1/2”. It’s not a tremolo so your limitations will be how much wood you’ll need to secure the neck.

I’ll follow your thread if you have any specific questions.

If you use plywood for the frame, be prepared to use wood putty to patch up the voids that will probably show up while you’re sculpting the shape and the pickups and neck cavities
I was thinking of putting a frame in the middle, and I was thinking that could be how I get it hollow. I have a router, but that is made for drywall type use, so I need one made for wood. I have built a partscaster before so I have drills and parts to assemble it. I am using the plywood because this is my first time and I want something cheap to learn on at first. My dad was also a carpenter for 17 years so I could use his expertise. Anyway, I am willing to mess this up for my first time. I'll post a pic of the back which isn't painted. IMG_20220311_110821910.jpg
 

Kharma Bodies

Strat-Talker
Jan 21, 2021
190
New York
I was thinking of putting a frame in the middle, and I was thinking that could be how I get it hollow. I have a router, but that is made for drywall type use, so I need one made for wood. I have built a partscaster before so I have drills and parts to assemble it. I am using the plywood because this is my first time and I want something cheap to learn on at first. My dad was also a carpenter for 17 years so I could use his expertise. Anyway, I am willing to mess this up for my first time. I'll post a pic of the back which isn't painted. View attachment 548665

Perfect so far. I like your approach.

I never heard of a drywall router. There are smaller routers usually called trim routers. In our shop we used them to trim off the ends of Formica. They’re lower horsepower motors. They can be used for thinner woods. They probably also have smaller diameter collars that have smaller capacity cutters.

If that’s what you’re calling drywall router, I would try that before buying a larger type unless you have one easily available. You might be able to get away with what you already have.

Depth of cut will also be limited so you’ll need to check that too. Because the face of the guitar will be seen, any depth you use will make a clean cut on the surface. If you need a deeper cut than your router can handle you can cut to depth with a chisel. That will be below the surface so irregularities will be hidden. The bottom though should be fairly level so it doesn’t interfere with pickup adjustment. But crucial will be the neck slot. It must be flat. So if you’re unable to get a flat level cut with a chisel, you’ll be better off getting the correct size router if yours is too small.

Just make sure the body is clamped to a flat surface and you keep your fingers away from the spinning knives or we might start calling you Django. And go slowly but not so slowly that the wood burns. You’ll figure it out if you avoid claiming that nickname I mentioned.

That bottom piece looks like it might be a solid pine? What’s the combined thickness of both woods?
 

Telecaster582

Strat-Talker
Feb 21, 2022
446
Muskegon MI
It only one board. The pics of the thickness is in my first post. Anyway, a trim router is what I meant lol I forgot the name. I will still need to get something to be a spacer in between to make it hollow and put in a center block.
 

Kharma Bodies

Strat-Talker
Jan 21, 2021
190
New York
It only one board. The pics of the thickness is in my first post. Anyway, a trim router is what I meant lol I forgot the name. I will still need to get something to be a spacer in between to make it hollow and put in a center block.
Ok. I think I understand now. You’ll need about 16” of length for a tele. If you’ve got a 32-33” board to start with, you can glue them both together for a 1-1/2” body.
 

Telecaster582

Strat-Talker
Feb 21, 2022
446
Muskegon MI
Yep, that what I was going to do. Somebody from TDPRI also told me to route the sides so it could still be a semi hollow body because the two peices together would be about the same thickness of a tele.
 

Bowmap

100 seconds to midnight
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 23, 2017
11,976
Third Door Down
1.5 inches can be a problem for controls. The 3 way switch is deep. The control pocket needs to be deep enough for it. Mount it to your control plate and measure how much depth you need. European style are a tad shallower. I had to use one of those in one of my tele build because my thickness was 1 5/8 and normal thickness is 1 3/4.
 

Bowmap

100 seconds to midnight
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 23, 2017
11,976
Third Door Down
Pots usually are not a problem unless you are using push-pull or some other with a switch attached. Most tele's use a jack plate in the edge of the body. That is also a consideration. The football style works in thinner bodies.
 

Telecaster582

Strat-Talker
Feb 21, 2022
446
Muskegon MI
Do you know anything that might be able to preserve the paint but also keep the same texture? I have boiled linseed oil if that would work or not I don't know. Also, does anyone else think that since the edges should at least be rolled a little bit it would look weird with the edges being bare
Wood?
 
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