"Hollow Tele" - The Second Build
The idea behind this build was simple: make it lighter and with a different sound. I wanted something that did not brake my back and also created a more old-school sound.
So, look around again and search for a suitable idea. This time I also wanted to make the body from scratch. Still, the neck would be a pre-fabricated one. To fulfill my
first criteria, lower weight, I planned for a hollow-body, similar to a Gibson 335. The design aren't complete hollow; the center of the body where the pickups are mounted
are solid. That body design also adds to the old-school idea. When drawing up the body, I tested some different shapes and finally ended up with the Tele. The reason? Simple -
it was the shape that gave me most body in a given space (the guitar case). With a hollow design, you want as much body as possible. But I wasn't interested in buying a additional
hardcase for this guitar, so it had to fit inside the existing one, used for the Strat. The result are a Tele-style body, slightly larger and thicker than the original.
This time, I made the body entirely from scratch, starting with three swedish ash-pieces. This ash (compared with the irish one used in the Strat) are much lighter. The body became
a three-piece design due to the avaiability of raw material. But it ended up good as there are no joints in the solid centerpiece. The three pieces are simply glued together, then
the rough shape are sawn out (the glue had to set for a week before sawing). After cutting, there was a lot of sanding to make the sides smooth. The rear edge was routed round.
The top was simply routed as a bowl where the centerpiece was left untouched. Custom templates made of MDF was used for all routing work. After all routing, a maple top piece was
added to cover up the bowl like a lid. This book-matched maple was found at eBay, the body ash was bought in a local store in Stockholm. To add to the classic style and to let some
of the acoustic sound out, a f-hole was cut open in the top, like a Telecaster Thinline. Only a single hole was made as there was no space for a second one due to all controls.
The finishing of this body became a two-tone job with a clear, bright red stain for the top (with glossy clearcoat) and a special combination of black stain and wood oil for the rest. The neck
head was painted solid black to top the design off (the red stain did not work at the hard maple the neck was made of). The top was prepared with black stain before the red to make the pattern
more visible. It only fills the grain, the rest was sanded off. The rear and the sides was also treated that way to enhance the wood pattern.
The hardware setup are taken straight off a LesPaul design with separate tone- and volume controls for both pickups. A toggle switch makes it possible to run the pickups in three different
configurations (front, rear and both together). The pickups are P90-replicas, bought at Guitar Fetish. Actually, all hardware at the
guitar are from that place, including the electronics. The quality is rather good, the prices are ok and delivery rather quick, but sometimes things are missing in the package...
The selection of bridge and tailpiece required a slight tilt of the neck, like an LesPaul or SG. So, this build is a LesPaul, dressed up as an oversize Tele with a body construction like 335. The
scale length are the same as a Strat and the neck does have 22 frets. A rather strange guitar but it works perfect and it sounds good. And everyone that have seen it and tried it likes it.
And so, the mandatory pictures...: