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I finshed a Strat for myself and I am almost finished one that I assembled one for my son. I am ready to try something more challenging. For the two guitars I bought the parts, neck, body etc. and finished them myself. I have no wood working experience other than these guitars. I bought a router yesterday because I want to build a body. I was thinking Tele since there are no contours and I would like to have an edge binding. I came across the Roukangas guitars on the web and the flamed birch tops blew me away. I was thinking Alder body with a flamed birch top. Does anyone know where I could get a piece of flamed birch. I did a search on the net but didn't get any results. Any comments on my first build. I'm not sure I could do a neck but if te body turns out OK I may give it a try. I figure I could buy the fret board pre slotted and go from there.

:D

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Hi there.Try Exotic Woods in Burlington,If they don't have the Birch you are looking for I guarantee you will walk out with something.They have woods specifically for Luthiers.Nice people and won't rush you.Happy New Year!!

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I would recommend buying a set of Telecaster router templates (several available) and some pickup templates (if not included with the body templates)

Also, practice your new router on some scrap wood before you hit the real deal.

Make sure you buy bits that will cut the entire height of your body (I use two myself, a top bearing cutter and a bottom bearing cutter bit)

Using routers is fun as hell, you'll enjoy it immensely once you get the hang of it.

Decide whether you're going to build or buy a neck early on.

When building a guitar, it helps tremendously to actually have the parts there in front of you.

Decide what kind of bridge you want to use, as different Tele bridges will need to be set a little differently to get your intonation correct. You need the bridge there in front of you to get the exact placement of the bridge so you can mark your string-thru holes (unless you want to use a Toploader bridge).

Having the neck and the bridge right there in front of you as you work out your placement measurements will make things go smoother for you.

One of the most important parts of building for me is the centerline. EVERYTHING happens off that line, just about every function I do is somehow connected to that centerline (front and back).

BTW, THE TDPRI is a great place to get Telecaster information.

It has a very active member/builder ratio, there's tons of guys who have built their own Tele there, so that may help as well for advice/information specific to building a Telecaster.

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I would recommend buying a set of Telecaster router templates (several available) and some pickup templates (if not included with the body templates)

Also, practice your new router on some scrap wood before you hit the real deal.

Make sure you buy bits that will cut the entire height of your body (I use two myself, a top bearing cutter and a bottom bearing cutter bit)

Using routers is fun as hell, you'll enjoy it immensely once you get the hang of it.

Decide whether you're going to build or buy a neck early on.

When building a guitar, it helps tremendously to actually have the parts there in front of you.

Decide what kind of bridge you want to use, as different Tele bridges will need to be set a little differently to get your intonation correct. You need the bridge there in front of you to get the exact placement of the bridge so you can mark your string-thru holes (unless you want to use a Toploader bridge).

Having the neck and the bridge right there in front of you as you work out your placement measurements will make things go smoother for you.

One of the most important parts of building for me is the centerline. EVERYTHING happens off that line, just about every function I do is somehow connected to that centerline (front and back).

BTW, THE TDPRI is a great place to get Telecaster information.

It has a very active member/builder ratio, there's tons of guys who have built their own Tele there, so that may help as well for advice/information specific to building a Telecaster.

Guys thanks a lot for the info this is tremendous. I will take your advice on the neck it makes a lot of sense. And I will practice with the router, I've never used one before. I said it before here, this forum is a treasure.

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To practice with a router, the three most often used functions are cutting the body outline, doing the roundover, and cutting out pkp holes and such, so get yourself some 1 3/4" stock and get good at cutting out an entire body.

The wood will tend to 'tear out' at different places, so you want to practice a lot with that so you are aware when it is likely to happen and doesn't happen to you on your No.1 body.

Personally, I go 'backwards' with the bit until I am VERY close to the final cut, then I move forward with the bit, that's just me (for cutting body blanks anyway). Tearout happens easier when moving forward (I have found)

Pickup holes, the most probable thing to happen is that you will cut into your template, or your template will move on you (unless you're screwing it down)

If you're going to use double-sided tape (which I do), do NOT use Home Depot carpet tape, the stuff is nasty and it will allow movement. Get the right tape if tape is what you're going to use.

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