The "STARTING" template is actually a guitar core position plan,
drawn e.g. on a hard, 1/8" (3 mm) thick base in 1:1 representation. Its purpose is to clearly show the fit of individual assemblies and parts and to be able to directly scan all corner, support and control points.
The picture shows three STARTING templates for the standard Fender and Gibson scale lengths.
Three "STARTING"-Templates, made of 1/8" (3 mm) thick HDF
"S" = scale length 647,7 mm for Stratocaster
"T" = scale length 647,7 mm for Telecaster
"P" = scale length 628,65 mm for Les Paul
As a beginner, it is worthwhile to create a starting template for each of the most frequently used guitar scale lengths: 25.5"; 25" and 24¾" (648; 629; 635 mm) as an exercise. This allows e.g. clarify quickly whether a replacement neck fits the existing body and its neck pocket.
When making (sawing out) the other templates for guitar parts, you often have to compare the progress with the positions on the STARTING template. 1.4 mm pins for 1.5 mm holes, which fix the template positions of the same name to each other, help to make the controls faster, safer and more precise.
In today's mass production of guitars, the demand is for CNC data rather than manual stencil production methods. In any case, it is still useful to have an overview of traditional craftsmanship. And no doubt when it comes to the production of musical instruments. For amateurs, making templates and using them is much cheaper than buying them. Not to mention the effect of learning and connecting theory with practice.
Fifteen years ago, we began to develop the idea, produce and sell templates for making templates for the amateur construction of electric guitars. To avoid copying the designs of protected brands, we designed our own shapes, which the customer could change according to their taste. And only then definitely cut out and finish.
Within a year, it turned out that the interest of amateurs would be here, but mainly in exact copies of the original Strat, Tele, LP, etc. Our thought, to encourage the creativity and ingenuity of amateurs was not appreciated and it was high time to end the deal on time.
Of course, there is also a "STARTING" diagram on a sheet of paper or photo cardboard, a very useful aid in the development of templates or a detailed drawing of the guitar structure.
Here, I recommend first drawing a system of numbered tiles and their inner centimeter grid for better orientation.
Everything that illustrates the proportions of the fingerboard and the area between the fingerboard and the zero-point bridge will be drawn in such a template.
The tiled diagram below shows the positions related to the 25 ½ "Fender-scale.
Additional tile schemes for Gibson scales, PRS, and bass guitars can be downloaded as PDF.
Here you can find documents to download
PDF STARTing Templates for Guitar and Bass Proportional overview 493 KB
PDF STARTing template for guitars with 25 "or 635 mm scale length (PRS, Danelectro) 691 KB
PDF STARTing template for guitars with a 25.5 "or 647.7 mm scale length (Fender Tele, Strat etc.) 665 KB
PDF STARTing template for guitars with 24.75 "or 628.65 mm scale length (Gibson Les Paul, etc.) 699 KB
PDF Empty template for precisely drawing the mutual proportions of the fingerboard and the body area up to the bridge. You can draw and compare in any character format. For 1: 1 printing, the enlargement factor is derived from a tile size of 100 x 100 mm. 684 KB
PDF Empty template for precisely drawing the mutual proportions of the fingerboard and the body area up to the bridge. You can draw and compare in any character format. For 1: 1 printing, the enlargement factor is derived from a tile size of 100 x 100 mm. 675 KB