Other manufacturers of bodies and necks claim to have gotten their specs directly from vintage guitars, but I actually used vintage Fender® guitars to cut my templates. For example, my ’56 Strat® template was constructed by using an original 1956 Strat® as a template. I disassembled my ’56 and then used the body and neck as templates on my pin router to create a master set of templates. Even though I did this roughly twenty years ago when the relative prices of these old guitars was no where near what it is today, I’ve got to say that it was a nerve racking experience that could have ended up going badly. These master templates are what I use to create the exact perimeter and cavity routes for my bodies and necks.
The results were well worth the risk because in this process, the tiniest details from the original guitars were picked up and transferred to the templates. Keep in mind, that when Fender® was producing these guitars back in the day, their templates would begin to wear, resulting in slight variations from the 1st guitar to say the 500th guitar. This is why a real vintage Fender® never has routes that look perfect as though a computer/ CNC machine was involved.
My templates reflect the wear and tear that the original Fender® templates had because my templates were constructed off of “seasoned” (for lack of a better word) bodies and necks.