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Making A Body Thicker?


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Hi guys, my first post!!!

Rather than give you my guitar-building history (it consists mainly of bought parts anyway :D ), I thought I'd dive straight in and ask a question....

One of my guitars is a hardtail. It's only a hardtail because when I first built it I put on a copy of a Kahler trem (remember those?!?!). After a year or two the springs lost all their springiness so I had to literally bolt the bridge's top to the face of the body :o

Anyway, the body's really thin (even though it's one lovely piece of mahogany)... I guess it's about an inch and a quarter.... would it be easy for me to attach another piece (probably on the back lol) so I can stick a Floyd-licenced in there? I know I'll need to fill in the flat-mount routing, but that's no big deal....

What kind of wood should I go for? What kind of glue should I use? How many clamps? etc etc etc

Many TIA! B)

Dave

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Hi guys, my first post!!!

Anyway, the body's really thin (even though it's one lovely piece of mahogany)... I guess it's about an inch and a quarter.... would it be easy for me to attach another piece (probably on the back lol) so I can stick a Floyd-licenced in there? I know I'll need to fill in the flat-mount routing, but that's no big deal....

What kind of wood should I go for?

Upto you - I'd opt for 1/4 inch maple on the front, stain it or spray it with tinted laquer and mask/scrape faux binding. It's a mostly cosmetic descision. If you fancy going straightforward and utilitarian use more mahogany, for a bit more glitz any 1/4 - 1/2 inch fancy wood top would be fine.

What kind of glue should I use?

For a beginner, Titebond original. Stay away from titebond II, and liquid hide glue. You can dilute a bit to help it flow out, but I use it uncut to glue on tops. I know Brian recommends Titebond II, and I respect his experience, but I've heard 1 too many horror stories about it not ever setting hard, in specifically this type of application. It's only advantage over regular titebond is it's water resistance, and you don't plan on paddling a canoe with this guitar...right? :D

How many clamps? etc etc

How many ya' got? Use them all, and try to apply pressure to the centre too - either with a long reach clamp, or a very heavy object. Don't forget to protect the wood from the clamps, or you'll mark it with nasty dents.

Good luck!

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Hi Dave and welcome to the forum :D

How's about option #2 find a local machine shop and have them cut the trem block down and re-drill the holes for the springs so it fit's inside the body without modifications. Shouldn't cost all that much to do.

Just a thought if you already have a spring cavity in the back of the body B)

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Just a thought if you already have a spring cavity in the back of the body  :D

If it's a Kahler flatmount, not much of a chance to have the spring cavity in the back.

But the idea of cutting down the block for the Floyd is a much "smarter" idea than adding more wood to the body. That sounds like alot of work!

If you add a new top, then you have to rout all the p/u cavities, match it around the neck pocket, drill all new control holes, and you would then have to flip it over and rout the control cavity deeper, so that the pots actually reach through the top. And finally, rout the cavity for the springs.

With cutting the block you only have to do the spring cavity.

I'd go for option #2........

B)

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If you add a cap to the top of the guitar, you'll also have to fill the neck pocket in to bring the neck up to the proper height. For quick and dirty, throw a pieve of 1/4 or 1/2 inch mahogany on the back and call it a day. Also, I think Brian sells flamed maple vaneer, which is very thin, and would add a bit of thickness, as well as a nice look to the top.

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Thanks guys! Some great feedback! :D

The flatmount trem is an all-in-one unit. There are two (used to be) strong springs under the bridge, and a major chunk of wood was hacked away to fit it. There's a picture of how it *used* to look (trying to post a link now...) here. You can see where I've bolted it to the body's top. The pickup there is a Kent Armstrong Motherbucker - two stacked single coils in one unit, one is a PAF+ and the other is a Super Distortion. I've rewired the scratchplate to have single/off/humbucking for each pickup ;-) The back of the guitar is smooth - no routing or cutting has been done at all cos everything is fitted into the front. And yes, I know it's pretty sad to paint such a Godawful colour scheme on such a lovely piece of wood! All I've done to it since are strip it bare and cut a big semicircle behind the bridge so it sits on my knee better (think the Steinberger Strat-style guitars).

Anyway, having a cut-down Floyd block sounds like a cool idea, although I have some power tools so sticking some more wood on the back & re-routing etc isn't a scary option either!

Thanks guys, I'm gonna have a think and see what I come up with! B)

Oh, and by the way, the guitar's a little oddly shaped cos I'm a lefty, but prefer the balance of a righty upside down! LOL

Cheers, Dave

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