Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Flat Top Tele - Dust In The Wind

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity

In addition to this being a prototype build, I have been developing forms and learning new ways of doing things.  With so much of this project expanding my skills, there is an underlying angst with this project. One bad slip-up, and all of my work would be worth no more than sawdust in the wind. I've already had some bad results that have led to doing things other ways, and I've had some good results that have confirmed my intuition.  So, I have decided to make use of some of my practice work on the Flat Top Tele that went well, by using it to build an thin-body electric semi-solid version of the Flat Top Tele.

Yes, this project scope just got doubled in many ways, and hopefully is getting at least twice as better for it.  This will give me a chance to work through some of the body assembly issues on cheaper laminate woods before performing them on more expensive solid tone woods.  This guitar will be part Les Paul's "The Log" and part Fender Broadcaster, and built with Fender-type hardware, bolt-on neck and pre-wired electronics.

The success I had with bending the laminate sides inspired me to try making the sharp curves at the cutaway, using my steam box and a four-part bending jig.  I'll also try using my bending iron and some joinery to produce the distinct upper bout curves at the neck-to-body joint.  These also seem a lot more doable with a narrow 2-inch thin-body design.  Here is a sketch and partial parts layout of the jig for forming the sharp cutaway curves from steamed side wood.

If all goes as planned, I'll use a small interior block to splice the cutaway potion to a section that makes up the rest of the waist and the treble-side lower bout.  That's enough for now, on this warm summer evening, with This Old Guitar.

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