This week, I finished up my template. I logged a lot of hours with the spindle sander, getting the edges smooth and getting the shape just like I wanted it. I am pleased with the result.
This is not necessarily the hardware layout the guitar will have - I just put this Tele hardware down down to envision the shape of the template as a guitar and not just a shape.
I just got a 24" x 12" sheet of tortoise shell pickguard material in the mail, so I will make the pickguard out of that. I haven't settled on a pickguard shape yet, but trust that it won't come up as high on the upper bout as the Telecaster pickguard pictured above.
Also, I rough-cut an awesome, awesome slab of mahogany to the shape of this template last week, and I'll be routing it this week. The mahogany is so light I can't believe it.
My mom got the slab of mahogany for me from USACG as a Christmas gift. She told me that Tommy at USACG asked her what kind of finish I was going to do. She figured I would do some sort of a see-through finish, and so Tommy picked out a very nice looking piece of mahogany. She also got me a gift certificate to USACG (to buy more wood), and on the gift certificate where it has the To / From lines, it says "To: Hunter, From: Your Very Cool Mother." He thought it was so cool that my mom was helping me build guitars. I think it's cool too --- thanks, Mom!
More to come as I do some routing this week.