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Slimming Down The Tickness Of A Tele Body


Lostheart
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Hey guys!

I've long been lurking here and always come here first when I encounter a problem but I have rarely posted on this board.

I really hope you fellas help me out with your fast knowledge anyways.

Anyways...I am in the process of making two Tele bodies from Pine...folks over at the TDPRI have been raving about Pine and I really would like to see what the fuzz is all about. I got the edges of both bodies routed and only then it occured to me that I really would like one body to be 1.5 inches instead of 1.75.

Now I wonder what's a safe and fast way to bring the thickness of the boy down to 1.5 inches???

When I cut and glued the pieces of Pine together I took em to a shop where they planed the glued-up blank for me.

I'm sure you guys know what kind of machinery was used for it...since English isn't my native languaege, I don't know the proper name of some of the machinery involved. They basically push the blank in on one side and it comes out in the required thickness on the other side.

Now I wonder if the same can be done with the shaped body?

Or is there a chance of some major f***-up when non-squared piece of wood is inserted into this machine???

The only other way I can think of to slim the body down is sanding...and I really don't want to sand for days to get to the thickness I want.

Any help is greatly appreciated...

Cheers

Sascha

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The tool you're mentioning is most likely a thicknessing planer. It's not ideal to run a fully shaped body through a planer, but it is most definitely possible. The main issue with this is that planers will leave just a little bit of snipe. Sniping is when the planer thicknesses just a little bit more on the ends, which may lead to issues on a fully shaped body. When the body is in square form, it's easy to work around the sniping.

Just explain to them what you're trying to accomplish and it shouldn't be an issue.

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The main issue with this is that planers will leave just a little bit of snipe.

Thanks for the fast reply, Jon!

Yes...a thicknessing planer...that's the tool I was trying to describe.

And that's the machinery that really scares me because I really do not want to ruin the body by pusing it through the planer.

Mind if I ask you if the "sniping" (just in case it does occur) will disappear when I rout an edge radius on the guitar?

Or will it still be prominent after all?

Isn't there a safer (and fast) way to remove some wood from the top/back of a solid-body?

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You can use a hand plane. With a sharp blade, it won't take more than a few hours to remove a quarter inch and smooth it out again. Your arm may be a little tired when you are done, but I really enjoy the sense of accomplishment from seeing something come together that I made by hand.

Thanks for the suggestion...I actually thought about purchasing a hand plane but for this project I need something a little faster got get the project going as I have only the remaining week to get the majority of the work done...

I would use a router and clean it up with a sharp, fine-set plane, or sandpaper. It would probably take ten minutes to remove 1/4" of wood from the whole body with a router.

Gee, never actually thought about using my router for this task. Thanks for bringing this up.

Maybe I could combine the router- and the hand-plane method and come up with decent results!

Really appreciate all the suggestions so far...anything else I haven't thought of???

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You can use a hand plane. With a sharp blade, it won't take more than a few hours to remove a quarter inch and smooth it out again. Your arm may be a little tired when you are done, but I really enjoy the sense of accomplishment from seeing something come together that I made by hand.

Thanks for the suggestion...I actually thought about purchasing a hand plane but for this project I need something a little faster got get the project going as I have only the remaining week to get the majority of the work done...

I would use a router and clean it up with a sharp, fine-set plane, or sandpaper. It would probably take ten minutes to remove 1/4" of wood from the whole body with a router.

Gee, never actually thought about using my router for this task. Thanks for bringing this up.

Maybe I could combine the router- and the hand-plane method and come up with decent results!

Really appreciate all the suggestions so far...anything else I haven't thought of???

if you make a jig for the router you can do it very well.

the jig consists of 2 rails which the body can fit between.

something the router can sit on that will allow the router to be put onto the rails and be moved across the whole body without falling into it. this could be a piece of plywood with pieces of wood either side of the router to stop it from sagging under the weight of the router.

i made a permanent one that i will get around to posting, but it wont be tonight as its 3am here, and i need to get to bed. might do it tomorrow if i get all the work i want done on the bass i want to do.

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Lostheart,

I would not attempt to run an already shaped body through a thicknessing planer, unles your comfortable with the possibilty of ruining the body. Unless the operator of the planer has invested a lot of effort in their machine setup, or the creation of specialty jigs to overcome the problem, it is extremely risky. To better understand what causes snipe, have a look at this image:

http://www.woodezine.com/08_2004/08_2004_i...s/snipeCADD.JPG

If the body you are trying to run through the planer already has the neck pocket route, I'm quite sure it would be destroyed aa worse case scenario, or as a least case scenario the depth of the neck pocket rout would be affected.

I've never yet seen a planer that does not do this to some degree. If you want to try it to see for yourself, I would make a "sacrificial" body to run through as a test to see what happens.

If you are making your own body blanks, you could have possibly started with thinner stock. Or, run your stock through the planer before gluing up the body.

Good luck with it.

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the Safe T planer would be the perfect tool for this job.

That's a neat little tool...I once saw it on the LMI site...and basically forgot about it! :D:

Might take a couple more passes than using a router but it actually looks like a safe way of trimming some wood off the back!

CHeers for the suggestion!

if you make a jig for the router you can do it very well.

the jig consists of 2 rails which the body can fit between.

something the router can sit on that will allow the router to be put onto the rails and be moved across the whole body without falling into it. this could be a piece of plywood with pieces of wood either side of the router to stop it from sagging under the weight of the router.

i made a permanent one that i will get around to posting, but it wont be tonight as its 3am here, and i need to get to bed. might do it tomorrow if i get all the work i want done on the bass i want to do.

The router jig sounds great! Hector suggested a Safe T-Planer which I'm probably going to use for the task but I sure would love to see...after you've had your good-night rest of course! :D

Lostheart,

I would not attempt to run an already shaped body through a thicknessing planer, unles your comfortable with the possibilty of ruining the body. Unless the operator of the planer has invested a lot of effort in their machine setup, or the creation of specialty jigs to overcome the problem, it is extremely risky. To better understand what causes snipe, have a look at this image:

http://www.woodezine.com/08_2004/08_2004_i...s/snipeCADD.JPG

If the body you are trying to run through the planer already has the neck pocket route, I'm quite sure it would be destroyed aa worse case scenario, or as a least case scenario the depth of the neck pocket rout would be affected.

I've never yet seen a planer that does not do this to some degree. If you want to try it to see for yourself, I would make a "sacrificial" body to run through as a test to see what happens.

If you are making your own body blanks, you could have possibly started with thinner stock. Or, run your stock through the planer before gluing up the body.

Good luck with it.

I hear ya...although the body has no routs atm, I already dropped the idea of taking it back to the shop and have the guys there push it through the planer.

They already messed up a body blank once (long story...maybe I keep it for a thread entitled "Why you should do all the work yourself"!) and I don't really want to have another piece of firewood at home.

Hector's suggestion of the Safe T-Planer sounds really promising and I need one of those gadgets anyways, so I'll probably place an order with the LMI and try my luck with it.

Thanks to all of you for the help and guidance...much appreciated!

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the Safe T planer would be the perfect tool for this job.

Might take a couple more passes than using a router but it actually looks like a safe way of trimming some wood off the back!

CHeers for the suggestion!

I don't think it'll take more passes than using a router. In fact is the exact opposite. once you do the job you'll know what I mean. the safe t planer is one the most used tools on my shop. I love it. you won't regret buying it.

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If you have a local cabinet shop nearby , take it to them and have them run it through a drum sander .This will elininate the possibility of tearout of the grain and will leave you with a nice smooth finish .

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I started a similar thread some time ago. Check it out here, some guys posted pics of their jigs: http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...=30367&st=0

There's a photo of a pretty cool jig...I understand you made a similar one...did you have any troubles with tearout?

Man, my Pine wants to tear out at any given chance!!!

I made a VERY simple jig out of plywood. Took me literally 2 minutes to "build" it.

All I used was a sheet of plywood, a bunch of books (yes, not a joke) and a couple of clamps.

It worked like a charm and there was no tearout at all.

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You could always use a hand held power planer, that'd get the job done in no time.

I have a hand-held power planer and I definitely do NOT recommend it for thinning down of bodies.

If you are extra careful, MAYBE you could use it for the rough part but it always makes fullers in the wood.

It is just too narrow and digs its own groove in the blank and you can never achieve an even surface on a piece of wood that is wider than the planer's active width.

Heck, it is pretty hard to achieve nice, even surfaces without screw-ups on narrow blanks too.

I hear that it is much better to use a regular hand plane (not a power planer).

Use the router jig. It's much more secure and fool proof.

Edited by DrummerDude
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I've been away for a couple of days and wanted to thank everyone else who came and chimed in...I got the T-Safe-Planer in the mail today and I'm gonna try it out in a couple of days...

just make sure that you do the first pass (the one that has the edge of the body), going with the rotation of the planer, and the other ones going against the rotation. turn the body around and do the same to the other side, this avoids tear outs.

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