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New Mahogany Post (less the arguing)


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Since I started that Mahogany post where everyone got pissed, I ended up getting a pretty good deal on a body blank. I went down to a local Building supply in Staunton, VA and they had a very small amount of mahogany left from a job. The guy cut and glued me up a body blank to my specs for only $28.35! Sure, it's probably not the best quality... and it is a 2 piece, but that is still really cheap. I still have to follow up on this organ maker that said he would cut me a single piece body out of figured mahogany.

I do have another question however. I am still in the planning stages, but I was thinking of maybe carving a contour into the back of my Tele similar to the one found on the back of Stratocasters. Has anyone had any experience, or thoughts on this idea?



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theres nothin wrong with payin less then what you see on the net and what not, i usually pay bout $20 - $30 for a mahogany blank at my local store, no way would i ever pay $65 or more especially when i can select the piece and check the tap tone before i buy it

rear body contours are great, many of the companies use them, esp especially uses them quite a bit, hey if it makes the guitar more comfy to play i say go for it


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You say the the wood you are using is bigger than normal. What is the size? I have a blank (not mahogany) that is almsot 2" thick. I too was thinking of doing a tele shape and carving the back. Although, I thought maybe this would be a good piece to make the tele shape and then carve the top - before trying with a nice figured top on say an LP style. I have seen some really neat pictures of tele style guitars with a carved top.


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This is the way I do my rear contours:

1) Decide how deep on the side you want the deepest part of the contour to be. Say your body is 1 3/4" thick, and you want your contour to come up to, say, 1 1/2", leaving a 1/4" edge.

2) If the body is raw, you can mark this out in pencil. Take a ruler and start making marks at 1 1/2", across the entire area where the contour will start and end, on the side of the body. So you will wind up with either a long pencil line (if you made one long continuous mark) or a series of little hash marks (the way I do it)

3) If you already have a guitar that has a rear bout, use it as your model, this is what I did for my first one.

4) On your real guitar, find the centerline of the body and throw a piece of masking tape all the way from bottom to top on the backside. Then with a straightedge or ruler, lightly mark the centerline on top of the tape with a pen or pencil. Go lightly, you don't want to mar the finish on your guitar.

5) Now, using your ruler, start making marks across the centerline at every 1/2" all the way from bottom to top.

6) Now, take a piece of paper and number it, say, one to ohhh, 25 maybe.

7) Now take your ruler at the first 1/2" mark and measure across to where the curve of the contour is. Your contour may not start until you get to number 5 or so, you diggin' me?

8) Let's say at the 5th hash mark you finally hit the beginning of the curve. Make a note on the piece of paper at #5 the distance from your centerline, maybe, oh, let's say 5 7/8".

9) Now go to the next hash mark (number 6) and measure across and note that on your paper.

Once you have gone all the way up the body in 1/2" marks and noting the distance, you will be able to mark out your project body with a centerline mark going all the way up from bottom to top, make 1/2" hash marks all the way up, and just transpose your figures onto your project guitar with dots. Make the dots very noticable so when your sanding or shaving wood, you can always see them and refer to them and not lose them.

Now you have the continuous line or hash marks across the side for depth, and a series of dots showing the outline of your curve. You can now see the outline of your rear bout!

Now... if transposing a stratty guitar bout over to a Tele, you'll have to modify the upper area a bit to suit the contours of the Tele shape, but that's easy to do and should be pretty obvious what you want to change accordingly.

10) Now, use whatever you're going to use, spokeshave, sander, whatever, and start in the middle. Don't come anywhere near any of your marks, just start in the midle until you start to get comfortable with what you're doing.

Believe it or not, once you get a good groove thang going in the center, the rest will start to naturally 'just happen'...the shape sort of invents itself...you'll know what I mean when you actually do it. But you still have your marks to guide you when you're really hunking out a lot of wood and getting close to your edges.

BTW, your sideline contour will not continually follow your pencil line. It will only meet that line in the center and for a little ways on each side, but not all the way down both ends. Look at your strat, the side shape is curved too, and you will want to curve yours the same way, but you never want to cross your lines of reference.

That should keep you busy for awhile. :D

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Well, with your new body, it will obviously be the join line between the 2 pieces going down the middle.

On an already-built guitar, sometimes it can be a little tough.

A 'clue' will be the strap pin, they usually center that, and look closely at your neck pocket from the rear. measure side to side the pocket, then cut that in half.

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