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LuthiDan

Supplies To Build A Semi-hollow Body?

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Hey there everyone,

I'm new to this forum and building guitars in general. I know the anatomy of guitars and know how to wire/solder so that is not a problem. However, I could use some advice from more knowledgable folks about shortcuts I could take to make it easier on me with the structural part. I'm not sure how hard it is to build a semi-hollow body versus a solid or straight hollow but I love the sound and I'm willing to dedicate my time to it.

Basically what I am hoping for is:

1) A supply checklist (what items I will need such as a router, sander, drill - things of that sort... even small stuff)

2) Places to buy expensive supplies cheaper (such as wood and maybe the router)

3) Schematics, dimensions of other hollow or semi-hollow body guitars.

4) Advice, frustrations, lectures, shortcuts.

Please help me out with some pointers, I know it is going to take hours and hours of forum scouring regardless if I have shortcuts or not. Any help is appreciated.

-Dan

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www.muxguitars.com then go to the lutherie resources section, then click and download the eBook PDF. Goes over building a semi-hollow with minimal tools.

Chris

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www.muxguitars.com then go to the lutherie resources section, then click and download the eBook PDF. Goes over building a semi-hollow with minimal tools.

Chris

Thanks! This should point me in the right direction for an es-335 copy.

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Hey there everyone,

I'm new to this forum and building guitars in general. I know the anatomy of guitars and know how to wire/solder so that is not a problem. However, I could use some advice from more knowledgable folks about shortcuts I could take to make it easier on me with the structural part. I'm not sure how hard it is to build a semi-hollow body versus a solid or straight hollow but I love the sound and I'm willing to dedicate my time to it.

Basically what I am hoping for is:

1) A supply checklist (what items I will need such as a router, sander, drill - things of that sort... even small stuff)

2) Places to buy expensive supplies cheaper (such as wood and maybe the router)

3) Schematics, dimensions of other hollow or semi-hollow body guitars.

4) Advice, frustrations, lectures, shortcuts.

Please help me out with some pointers, I know it is going to take hours and hours of forum scouring regardless if I have shortcuts or not. Any help is appreciated.

-Dan

I have everything except a design. I'm just building my first 2 archtops. Just got an order for one more, but they want a thinner semi-hollow.

The only tool I had to buy was a convex-sole plane to carve with. Got the Lie-Nielson for $95.

You can save money on wood by buying lumber instead of blanks cut to size for specific parts. You'll probably be using maple which can be bought from the same hardwood suppliers that cabinet and furniture makers use. You don't have to use Master Grade wood. A well made design will sound great and look very good even if it's made of plain wood.

Advice? Frustrations? Here's a lecture: There are no shortcuts. Take your time. When you make a mistake, decide quickly whether you have to scrap that part and start all over or live with the mistake and forge ahead. Don't expect perfection. But don't hesitate to do something over if you know you can do better.

Good luck. If I find a design I'll let you know.

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Hello Dan,

2 highly recommened books to have,

Lots of what you requested is covered in here:

Melvyn Hiscock's 'Build Your Own Electric Guitar' see Amazon for a copy.

Do a search here on his name and you'll have lots to look over, He also stops in now and then.

-And other book covers just about everything on wood finishing questions:

Flexner's Finishing Wood, here's a thread where I reminded members:

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=43104&st=0&p=458394&hl=melvyn&fromsearch=1&#entry458394

Take care, Vinny

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books are definitely the way to go if you have a good supply of tools. and im sure there are some about minimal tools as well.

in my sig is a link to my webpage with numerous workarounds and tips for building a guitar (and actually more specifically a semi-hollow) with minimal tools. the last few links are currently dead because im updating the page every few days as i continue my second build. but theres still some decent stuff on there!

my number one tip is... post pictures as you build! why? because we want to see :D

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There's so much to say here, but it's been said over and over. Read through old posts, pick up a book or two, and as Ken said, take your time. Understand that it's about the process and the learning more than the finished product at this point. The way to build a nice guitar is usually to build ten lousy ones first. I'll give you a couple of pieces of money-saving advice.

1. Buy wood locally if you know enough to pick good stock. Don't go buying a "body blank" from a parts supplier. This isn't a commercial, but I actually supply guitar woods from time to time myself, with very limited selection. Let me know if you need help, but I still say local hardwood is your best option.

2. Don't buy any parts or tools until you need them. As you go, you'll be researching more and more. You may think at this point you want a set of Seymour Duncan P-Rails and then change your mind later. Be patient. It will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Also, I can't think of much you'd need for a semi-hollow that you wouldn't need for a solid body, except maybe a forstner bit. Don't give up. It hard to build a guitar, but rewarding.

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