I want to make a telecaster body, but I have no idea how to get started. I feel as if I need a MDF template for routing the channels (see pic) Do I? Any other tips on solid body guitar making? Anyone out there made one?
my dad does. basically the part you're talking about you need to either make or buy a jig. you predrill to the correct depth and then route it with the jig with a plunge router (is that what it's called?).
I happen to be building an acoustic for my first time right now. I personally started with a full scale blue print, made a simple mockup with a wooden railing, and went from there. There's just so much I could get into though about building. Maybe following someone else's build in a blog would help you as a way to get an idea of the challenges ahead.
I don't mean to discourage you. It's just there's way too much to explain even fundamentally. You'll probably have to do a lot of reading.
Find a template for the outer shape online that is to scale. Either find someone with a printer big enough to print it at scale or use something like BigPrint to print it.
Use a band saw or even a jig saw to cut out the rough body. Finish by sanding down to the exact shape and outline.
As for cutting bout for wiring, picups and controls, this is mostly covered by plates and shrouds so it shouldn't be such a hang up.
If you did want to use a router and template just follow the exact same process.