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How To Make Body Templates


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Hello! As I often see, Many people are plagued with the seemingling impossible (to them) task of making a template thats the right scale size. Diriving from other ways of doing this; I have made my own, which, for me, has worked better.

Stuff you need:

1. you are going to need a printed photo of the instrument you are trying to make. You will also have to know something about the specifications of the body, and if you cant find that out, you can use the scale length (from the bridge to the nut, I beleave) which you should be able to find either one by searching the net.

2. You will need a peice of paper big enough to contain the size of the body. If you can't get a single peice of paper that big than just NEATLY tape peices of printer paper together (tape on both sides).

3. A measuring tool is absoluely essential, wheather it be a tape measure, ruler, whatever you can accurately use.

4. A calculator definatley comes in handy.

5. A couple other peices of paper; for jotting down measurements is also a good idea to have around.

6. A good straight egde (optional)

7. A little math knowlege is priceless here


1. Once you have some kind of info on the specs; say you know how long the overall body length is; then you would measure how long the body-length in the picture is. Say, for example, the body in the picture is 4 inches, and the real body length is 20 inches. Your picture would be 5:1 scale (or is it 1:5 ?? doesnt matter about that i guess) because 20 divided by 4 is 5 get it? What this means is that all the measurements you take of the picture must be multiplyed by 5 (or what ever you determine the scale in the picture is). the same logic applies if you use scale length.

2. Once you know what that is it would be a good idea to find the other measurements (how tall it is, the smallest part of the "waist" of the body ect) using the same method.

3. Now that you know the length and height, I'd advise you to make a box within the paper of the using the length and height only. If you have excess paper, which is best to have at least a few cm's of, make sure your lines are straight by measuring the amount of excess paper of all four sides, maybe you should write them down, and make sure the line is straight by measuring the distance from the edge of the paper to the line in several places and "eye-ball it" at an angle to see any curves and straighten them out. Do this with all sides individualy. Also do this on picture.

4. I would say it would be a good idea to mark at notable areas (highest points, longest points, slimmest points, cutaways, and any other place you want to mark) by measuring (on the picture) how far across from a the closest corner of your box, multiply that by the scale size (the example was five remember) then measure the multiplyed number to the bigger box and mark it on the line. Then, do the same with the height to know how far up to mark. I've been working on doing this in many place so I could have a sort of "dot-to-dot" set up. This is alot of work, just a warning. but if this is something you really want, it will prove worth it.

Well that's about it. Hope-fully common sense can continue where I left off. But if I havent made some of (or all of) it clear enough please point it out to me. By the way, any request to sticky this post would be appreciated.


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So you are trying to make an exact copy or a guitar by making it out "eye balling" and everything. It takes much more than this. Your best bet is to make a template of the silouethe of the guitar you want in CAD. Or get one that's already posted if it is easier, and got to a paque or trophy making place that have a good laser engraver machine and ask politely if they will be so nice to cut this in 3/16 or thicker plexiglas-acrylick-lexan even 1/4" plywood if they can. And all the contours and shapes are up to you. it is extremely difficult to copy those unless you have a duplicarver like Guitarfrenzy did when he made hjis strat.

I found out that shaping the contours of the body to fit me is better than trying to make them the exact shape-size as the original.

Your suggestion is nice but too much work. I do the same thing here ,and I add the dimension of all the part to make sure they will fit. the difference is that I didn't wanted to make a copy and I couldn't find anybody here that will be willing to cut the acrylik for me, I might have to call a few guys here that can to see if for a small fee they might do it.

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I dont have access to any CAD programs. And It isnt as much work as it sounds B) , Speacialy if you demand it to be very close to the original. I just finished mine a few minute before making this post and am very happy with the results of my work. I noticed that all I ever did on these forums was ask question to help mself, never having anything of my own to contribute, so this is my contribution. Any body helped by this at all? :D

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I did basically what he's talking about here in my planning. It's a PRS Singlecut shape with some minor alterations.


I got a front on image of a PRS Singlecut from the internet, I took into account that there might be some perspective in the photo.

I put it into photoshop and to do it accurately I found the exact size of a component on the guitar, I think it was a pickup ring. Then I pasted another pickup ring that was actual size as a new layer and resized the guitar in the background until the pickup ring on the guitar was the same size as the pickup ring I had pasted.

I then split up the image and printed it out in sections, cut it out, then traced the contours onto my working drawing (whole guitar takes up 4 sheets of A3 accurately taped together).

I made sure it was centered and it fitted exactly with the 25" scale neck I had already measured out precisely. Later on I found the dimensions for HxWxD of a PRS and it came to pretty well exactly the same as my drawing.

As soon as I get into the workshop I'll be making a decent template from it.

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would you make the template from plywood or Plastics? also I didnt really understand your decription of how you made yours (I'm tired and brain-dead right now). But my advice is to use a picture thats directly to the front of the body (no angle), maybe from an ad the company released. kind of obvious I guess?

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I'm just gonna make the template from whatever is left in the workshop. It could be plastic or plywood.

As for the way I went about doing it, you might not understand what I explained if you've never used Adobe Photoshop.

All I did was basically find a computer image of a guitar part such as a pickup that was actual size then enlarged a front-on computer image of a guitar I found on google. I then resized the picture of the guitar until the pickup on it was the same size as the one that was actual size. I then made sure all the other sizes on the guitar were fairly accurate and printed it out.

It's hard to explain in really simple terms :D

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