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telecaster clone build no pickguard no rear access panel

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:20 pm
by Mike Ryan
I am getting ready to put a finish on a tele clone. I have a no pickguard curly/quilted top mahogany back with center padauk/walnut lamination and have not routed an access panel into the back. I have the regular mounting plate for tone and volume control for the top. Both sides are chambered. Can I get away with just wiring all thru the front tone/volume plate opening??
Probably kind of a dumb question.

Re: telecaster clone build no pickguard no rear access panel

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:42 pm
by Mark Swanson
I just don't get it. That's how it's done on almost every telecaster since 1952.

Re: telecaster clone build no pickguard no rear access panel

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:44 pm
by Warren May
Either way will be fine. You could Google the specs and see lots fo examples both ways in the images. I like chrome Tele plate with chrome knobs and the usual Tele style bridge/pickup assembly. It has a real functional look, I feel. With the fancy top, it's also pretty standard to declutter the top and use a rear access. The 3-way switch is about the only challenge in routing from the back. Since you have no pickguard, you might want to recess the control plate flush with the top if you use a front mount. When doing chambers like on a thinline, I like some sort of "f-hole"-like design and I think it looks great with the control plate. I usually mill in the control route at about 1" and leave about 1/2" sides surrounding it to give it some support and a place to screw the plate to. Since you've chambered the body, I would probably add some support around the control plate by gluing in some blocks between the top and back but that depends on your top thickness. You will need support at least at the ends where the plate screws onto the top.

Re: telecaster clone build no pickguard no rear access panel

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:06 pm
by Mike Ryan
:roll: I just noticed most of them have big pick guards covering big cavities and all I have is the plate for the volume/tone knows but I don't see why I couldn't wire it with everything out on the top then stuff it back in kind of like doing a bowel reconstruction or anastomosis. The top is 1/4 inch thick.

Re: telecaster clone build no pickguard no rear access panel

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:40 pm
by Warren May
Mike, it would help if you post a picture of your guitar to aid in trying to understand what you want to do. If you are using a Tele style bridge and Tele bridge pickup, that routing gets covered up and it's easy to drill a hole from the pickup cavity to connect the pickup and run a string ground wire. The neck pickup is a little different but you can route the pickup cavity and use a long drill to get the wires from the neck pickup to the wiring cavity. The routing can be covered with a special pickup ring or you can make one easily enough from some nice contrasting wood. Or are you trying to mount the pickups directly to the top?

Re: telecaster clone build no pickguard no rear access panel

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:33 pm
by Mark Swanson
The neck pickup is a little different


Another way is to use a long drillbit, and drill a hole from the neck pocket into the neck pickup cavity and on to the bridge pickup cavity.

Re: telecaster clone build no pickguard no rear access panel

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:18 am
by Mike Ryan
I have holes from neck p/u and bridge p/u cavities to the sound chamber on the treble side. Have hollowed both sides of center-line. Send a photo tomorrow.