Hey folks,

This will be the build log for the latest project, a Thinline Telecaster.

Body: Kauri back and top
Neck: Kauri
Hardware: Chrome, probably a TOM bridge, string through body.
Electronics: 2 humbuckers, 3 way toggle, vol & tone pot, push pull tone for coil tap.

Will have a special F-hole shape, but you'll have to wait and see what it is

And since the top is so pretty there will be no pickguard. Undecided on if I'll use binding.

Some pics of the body sofar:

The top routed out:

But what is this? Why its a telecaster sandwich!

And finally, as I doubt any of you know what Kauri looks like, here is a shot of what it looks like finished, its got a strange luminescent look to it, also I expect the tele will look very similar to the plank on the right of this pic, no pretty waves unfortunately, but awesome looking timber regardless.

Would appreciate input on; Pickup type, hardware choice, will a TOM bridge look ok any other comments would be cool.
I'd strongly recommend two volume pots with independent taps for each pickup, the versatility is incredible looks like it'll be a hell of a nice build
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thanks Paddy, that sounds like a great idea; I wouldn't need a toggle switch then either, which would work well with the minimalist theme. . . I think I'll take it.

Any pickup recommendations anyone? Bearing in mind the majority of the body is 8mm thick. I'm worried it'll have microphonic feedback, any basis for this or am I being paranoid?!?!
Hey boysie the Kauri is from a plank that I found under the house. When me folks bought the place it kinda came with a whole sh*t load of wood as it was in abit of a state of disrepair. That top and bottom piece equal half a plank, and there is another 10 orso planks of the same size under the house. There is also a slab still under there that I cannot remove by myself; probably weighs 100kg+ So I'm kinda set for kauri, I don't mean to come off sounding like a braggart, I would be happy to trade/ sell it to fellow guitar builders...
Right Gandalf i'm comming to your house. I mean you keep finding quality timber under there...for free.....haha!

Looking like a quality build though...........can't wait to see the designer "F" hole you have in mind.......

Got some more work done, has been glued together, theres some glue lines were the two planks are joined which I'm not happy about, so I'm planning to do a blackburst which'll cover the sides while leaving asmuch pretty grain as possible.

Have cut the f hole just now, whatchya'll think? you recognise dss?

Also opinions on blackburst?

Got myself a HVLP sprayer for christmas too

edit playing around with a mockup trying to get an idea for how blackburst would look, not a great example but a rough idea:

Last edited by GandalfWh1te at Dec 27, 2011,
Mate that Kauri's great, I'd sure love to take some off you're hands and put some money in you're wallet for it!

Loving the F hole too, it's really different. It's just me, but it's nice timber, I wouldn't cover it up with a burst, maybe go for a black binding and black hardware to match and leave it natural? It'd really do it justice

If you have some bad glue lines, you could always pry them away slightly with some steam, or with a hot putty knife and re-glue the bad patches. It'd be worth the extra effort

Last edited by Lightbluemk2 at Dec 27, 2011,
I will get back to you about the kauri mk2, theres a solid few days work pulling it out from under house and sorting in the shed before I know what there is, and what is usable.

The glue line really isn't bad, except for the horn where theres a 1mm gap. the cause of this was improper thicknessing, the two boards didn't sit flat, I thought the clamps could pull it in, but nogo.
And unfortunately I put the 1/4in roundover bit over it, which probably means I can't go using binding, and I do agree with you on going natural, it would do it justice.

I am prone to over thinking/ over complicating things so I'll just keep cracking on trying to get the minor flaws sorted, I'm sure abit of epox and sawdust in the gap, and some finishing sanding and it'll look much better. maybe even pass my exacting standards haha.
I like the f hole and think black burst would be good if you want to keep most of the grain showing. Were did you get your tightbond from? (I sore it in your other thread haha) I've been looking for it in NZ but can't find it. Also, whats the kauri like working with? Dose it get cloged up in your router bits and stuff because of the gum?
Got titebond off tardme, just searched for it there now but nothing came up... there is some places online in NZ you can get it, just google it.

The kauri is pretty slow to machine, its pretty tough stuff. No clogged bits yet, I think the ancient kauri from petrified stumps would cause plenty of clogging though. Haven't been ambitious to try working that stuff, plus its abit expensive.

I epoxd the crack last night, but didn't sit it at the right angle and it mostly ran out duh! so third time lucky and it'll be sorted.
Have to have a massive sort out before I do any more work, but hopefully I'll find a nice bit of lumber for the neck and will get started on that next. I think I'll use kauri for the neck, its definitely strong enough and it should look nice having the whole guitar made from kauri.
Slow on the update, what with christmas and new year and another couple of builds the thinline hasn't had much love as of late,

Anyways I found some wood for a one peice neck, have 2 more blanks, but for my first neck build, I started with a one peice neck black (28mm thick), then stuck jarrah fretboard on over a martin style truss rod. Pleased with how its going.

Fret slots marked

Radiusing FB

Nice grain

Kindest thanks to the Japanese, you're pullsaws are awesome

And yes its a L/H neck, not intended for this guitar (prototype) so looks like I'll have to build a L/H tele body to go with it

I also cut the control cavity in the body

And built a cavity cover, (not final thickness yet)

Hopefully get neck profile carved and fb fretted + dressed in next couple days.
very smooth transition from the headstock to the FB! Whats your technique?

Also, just make the tele have a reverse headstock so this wasn't a waste, seems like a perfectly usable neck to me and could work well with the build.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
cheers fellas,

nowa the transition was achieved with my new favorite tool, the oscillating spindle sander.

I wasn't sure at the time I bought it that it would be used enough to justify the $400 price tag, but the amount of time it saves for so many jobs, now I don't know how I ever did without it.
ok, cool! I just have drums for the drill press right now, which should tie me over untill I get one
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
Should be ok, I used the 3in drum on my OSS.

Its probably quite obvious, but you'll want to clamp your neck to a flat board that is at 90 degrees to the nut line, So everything stays square while sanding.

and yeah, I will install the above neck on this tele, and set everything up as a lefty, but its not going to be a permanent fixture, I don't like the reverse headstock look, and intend on doing a one peice neck.
his camera is probably on incadescent lighting, but in his shop he has flourescent ones.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
The lights in the shed are 400W metal halides, they're great in aiding visibility but pics taken in their light end up green for some reason. . . I'll try change the camera settings.

The step is somewhat "prominent" those pics make it look goofier than it does IRL. The reason for this is the neck blank was going to be for a one peice, but I got impatient and installed the trussrod I had and glueing a fretboard onto it.
Ok so I went and sanded through the neck to the underside of trussrod channel , so that neck will have to be scrapped. I'm not too upset as I did learn alot. (how not to do it)

I thought I'd share with you afew tools I've built, A fret press caul and a fretwire bender.

Firstly the Fretwire bender. It took all of 1/2 an hour to build.

Fret Wire Bender ingredients:

The two fixed wheels. The inner part of the bearing presses against the nut securing it there and allowing it to spin freely.

Pencil marking the lowest point of the slot for the adjustable wheel:

Marking the top of the slot:

The top wheel getting a slot for the fret tang (bench drill + hacksaw):

All done, (wheels removed for photo):
The Fret Press Caul took abit longer to build.

Ingredients- brass bar, two brass screws, section of steel rod, radius sanding block for tracing onto brass bar:

Grinder roughing out brass bar to 9.5in radius. I made two of these.

Held together with vicegrips the two plates are spindle sanded to a flat angle:

One plate is flipped to give the V profile for the fretwire to seat into:

With two plates in vicegrips they are drilled and tapped to be bolted together:

After abit of sanding, and running dremel with small roundnose bit along the groove:

Steel rod gets a slot cut to accept the brass caul, and here it is finished:

and in action:

Brass bar-----------------$2
50mm Steel rod---------$0.50
Skateboard wheels----$5
Peice of wood----------$0

Saving $160 and sticking it to Stewie Mac, PRICELESS
Last edited by GandalfWh1te at Feb 15, 2012,
thats a good way of making a fret press! I bought the 50$ one from stewmac, to find out my drill press can't exert enough pressure to work, so I ended up just hammering them in with the radius gauges....
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.