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Making A Template From An Existing Guitar...


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I thought I saw a topic on this a while back but I can't seem to find a phrase to match me to it in the search engine...

What is a good way to make a template from an existing guitar? The outline I could see as being fairly easy but what about the routes in the body? Is there a "no duh" method for easily/accurately doing that?

I have a 61 Jazzmaster I was thinking of cloning for a backup(so I don't gig with the real thing) and I was also thinking of building a tele template using a friend's vintage correct tele body. Is there an easy way to capture the outline of the routes into the template?

Thanks for your help!

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It depends on what you consider to be 'easy'.

Just trace the body shape carefully with a sharp pencil and go to it.

With a template, you only have to put the hard time in ONCE, then you're gold, but for that one time you really have to work towards sheer perfection.

The centerline is of extreme importance tho. :D

And no, there is no way to transfer a front or rear body bout onto a template, I trace the outline and carve every one of them by hand, but with a grinder, it goes very quick.

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You could try a 'brass rubbing' technique. Lay a sheet of paper over the body, and find a way to secure it in place, so it can't move, but it won't damamge the body.

Then, use the long side of a wax crayon, graphite stick, or piece of artists charcoal to 'colour in' the paper. This will produce dark lines over any edges, like those of routes in the body, and light patches where the hollows are.

Once you've completed the front, flip the body over (without removing the paper) and trace the outline using the magical 'half a pencil'.

The route outlines will be a bit fuzzy, but you can then clean them up with a ruler and french curves, and transfer them to some ply or MDF to make your template.

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I take a pencil and use a craft knife to remove all the wood from one half of the pencil which means you can run it at 90 degrees to the body with the pencil lead (well, not lead really) tracing the outline on paper underneath as close to the outline as possible. You might gain a mm or so on the outline, but this is much better than losing one after all :-)

Another one would be to stand your guitar against a sheet of MDF - both vertical against the ground - and detonating a small nuclear device a few miles away. Bandsawing around the resultant shadow witll get you excellent results. This may - however - affect the finish in the donor guitar. You mileage may vary, natch :-D

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Another one would be to stand your guitar against a sheet of MDF - both vertical against the ground - and detonating a small nuclear device a few miles away. Bandsawing around the resultant shadow witll get you excellent results. This may - however - affect the finish in the donor guitar. You mileage may vary, natch :-D

You forgot to mention Minimum safe distance, which would be on the moon :D Also, if you wrap the guitar in silver foil and move the MDF board closer toeh detonation, the foil would reflect the blast and leave a guitar shape without spoiling the guitar :D

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Sounds like a plan but nuclear devices are actually out of my budget range. I guess I'll just have to stick with the rubbing technique....

:D

By the way - thanks for all the responses. I just wanted to be sure there wasn't some obvious method I was missing outside of the rubbing technique. It seems like every now and again I read a post here on techniques and someone comes up with a really easy and obvious solution that works well - just thought I would try it for this subject. Thanks!

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