All these things would be more like
They were at the start of me
Had it made in 83.
It was in 1983 when I was putting the finishing touches on my first hand-built guitar, a copy of a Torres style classical.
This was an art independent study project I completed as a student in Binghamton. After roughly 30 years, some repair projects, and a recent prototype solid body build, I decided to take the plunge and build another acoustic guitar.
Well, most of it.
It's a lot easier to buy things like this now than it was 30 years ago. Instead of ordering blindly from a mail order catalog, it's also a lot more assuring to see pictures of the actual slabs of wood you're paying for before committing. A couple of weeks ago, the Honduran Mahogany rear/sides and Engelmann Spruce top I purchased online arrived at my dorrstep.
One thing I won't be building this time is a neck. This project is to be a true flat-top acoustic-electric interpretation of a Telecaster. So, I'm going with this used bolt-on Fender Strat-type model I found on eBay:
Over the past few years, I have amassed a collection of extra parts. Some of these parts were intended for one project or another and ended up being replaced by others. Some were purchases I made because I had found some deals that were just too good to pass up. The rest are the usable parts I salvaged from project guitars and replaced with new parts. Before bidding or buying anything else for the Flat Top Tele, I pulled from my parts boxes for the rest of the major components, including this preamp with a built-in tuner and 4-band equalizer, and a set of gold-plated 6-inline tuning heads.
I put some thought into how I could bend the sides for this guitar. My first thought was to build some body-clamping forms from plywood or chip board, and to use my Wagner Steamer to power a steam box, like this one:
Thinking about the sharp radii at the cutaway and where the body meets the neck, I realized I'd have to come up with something else.
After some research, I ended up with a more conventional luthier's tool, a bending iron. When I built that Torres 30 years ago, I used a piece of 4-inch diameter steel pipe with an acetylene torch. This time, thanks to some designs and demo videos shared by others on YouTube, I'll be using a commercial heat gun to warm up some 1-inch steel pipe.
For now, I'm focusing on some the design aspects of this project, and construction is on the back burner. No rush, as I suspect it will be a year-long project at This Old Guitar. As soon as I get to finishing off some smaller, lingering projects on the bench, I'll be back to this build and will post some progress pictures of my Flat Top Tele.