Jump to content

Drop Top And Routing Help

Recommended Posts

i want to put a drop top ( i think thats wut its called) on my guitar. the main body wood will probably be mahogany or maple not sure though.

i want to put either a rosewood or a Cocobolo on it. my main question is how would i do this. what im guessing i do is make the body out of the main wood and then make the same shape on the top wood and glue them together. where can i get some of this wood (maybe a different peice but i want it to look like it).

if this is right what kind of glue do you u use?

also i dont have a tool to route the pups and neck pocket. would a jig saw work and how would i would i do it with a jig. i no u can use a router tool but i dont no where to get one. ill go down to a rent-a-center to see if they have one (doubt they will).

Whats the difference between a one peice and a multipeice? like would the tone change?

i plane on using an oil finish so it will look like the natual wood. and do u think this might be a little complicated for a first timer?


this is wut i kinda want it to look like

Edited by Haggard Cky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as the top goes the guitar in the picture appears to have a carved top. That requires a thick set of topwood. Usually between 1/2"-3/4" depending on the carve. A flat top is usually in the 3/16"-3/8" range. If you want to use Cocobolo or a variety of Rosewood. It will be a pretty expensive top set. Those types of wood are much more expensive when you buy a wide enough piece to re-saw for a top set. If you go for a carved top count on paying twice as much for the set. As woods go Cocobolo tends to be oily and you will need to be sure to clean the surface that is to be glued (I have had good luck with Naptha). As for the glue, I usually use Titebond (not Titebond 2 or 3). As for Rosewoods it will depend on what variety you get but I would clean it and glue it in a similar fashion. These woods are going to be tuff to carve (if you do a carved top), especially because you are new to this.

One piece is one piece of wood and two piece is two pieces joined together.I would opt for a one piece body. Although there is nothing wrong with a two piece, one piece will just look better. Tone... Debatable as to how much of a difference, but one piece should be a better choice ( I doubt it will be a significant difference).

It sounds like you need to use the search feature and do some research on tools, and study up on how to go about building.

I never want to tell someone they can't do a project. I would strongly urge you not to use such expensive, and difficult wood on your first build. There are several tools you will need to have in order to build a complete guitar. There is a lot to plan and learn. Before you start buying stuff, do your homework. A good book would be a great place to start, as well as searching through posts and tutorials here. If you haven't read through the information found on the home page. I would start there.

Best of luck to you, Rich :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay.....not there to flame you.....but use the friggin SEARCH function on top of this page willya!!


Most information you need is hidden in the threads.......spend some time reading other people's threads, will ya.

Get the idea that you need some information on the basics. Maybe great sugggestion to buy one the great guitar building books. Search for books (to get titles)

The LP and PRS threads maybe of great interest to you. (Yeah, know search button probably doesn't take the words PRS as words need to bigger then 3 letters).

And yes, I would invest in proper Router. Go to Harbourfreight.com (or others) and order their $39 router......


You will need it. Renting one is no option. You need it more then once. I got my bits from mclswoodworking.com.


Looking at attached pic......that guitar uses Wenge top.

Please read-up about Wenge before starting carved top with this wood.....it's an interesting animal.


But again..... read-up on the basics........you don't seem to have'm down.

Good threads to start with:



Edited by RGGR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The actual procedure is no different, I wouldn't think. It's just that the hardware is still a bit more specialized and trickier to find; hence, possibly (I don't know for sure, not having built one myself) a bit more expensive.

Not all drop tops are that expensive-- maybe you just need to pick a different kind of wood?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

ya i guess and i found a really nice peice of wood on ebay i might get im not sure though.


but im not sure on a body design yet. might be a seven string not sure.

that is very,very nice...but keep in mind that blank is already glued up,which means you would ruin the top by trying to make anything other than a flat top...the top is not thick enough for a carve or an armrest.it would make an excellent flat topped soloist or rg..or a flat topped strat...but that is about it.

i thnk it would make a VERY nice warlock

i think for what you want that is no good

by the way..the dimensions are not enough for a v...19" is not nearly long enough for any v i ever made,regardless of what the guy claims...and a les paul carve is too deep for that top

i think that guy doesn't know what he is selling

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just quick reality check........cause your ideas seem to be all over the place.

First you state you want drop top?? And post pic of guitar you want.

In process you give some pointers of having abolutely no clue how to build (or go about building) an actual guitar. Meaning.....you don't have the basics down.

You seem all hang up about great looking pieces of wood. That seem expensive.

Then you want RG 6 or 7 string guitar........

And then you come up with nice looking Cocbolo piece on the net.

Okay. Here is my advice.

1. Get good guitar building book. Get basics down. Essential. Without this.....the whole process is accident waiting to happen.

2. Spend time reading through the threads on the board. (again to get the basics down). It's absolutely essential.

3. Make up your mind what kinda guitar you want to build. And stick to it.

You built guitar to make your dreams come thru. You built guitar to have something special......to have something that others don't have. If you want your regular strat, LP, RG,.....buy one......Japanese, Mexicans, and Koreans can build these puppies rather cost effective.

4. Research resources..........cause you're looking at all these nice pieces of wood on the net. While good wood supplier may be around the corner where you live.

Part of buildig process is finding these suppliers locally. Same with tools....you could buy all the fancy big tools.....you could also spend afternoon on phone calling woodworking businesses in area and see if they can help ya out.

5. For first build.....I wouldn't go overboard with lavish expensive woods. Only more reasons you could screw up. (And two piece mahogany back with Wenge top, at my local dealer probably would set me back $80-$100 so not really the great expense...)

Get basics right first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ya u r right i do need to do a little bit more research and i do plane on getting a book but i havent ordered it yet. the drop top will be a little hard for my first. and i do think u r right about the body blank on ebay. i did find a bandsaw im going to buy at a pawn shop for 50 bucks and im prolly going to get a router. but thanks for the help and im not going to start this until im 100% sure on wut i want. but once again thanks for the help

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ya u r right i do need to do a little bit more research and i do plane on getting a book but i havent ordered it yet. the drop top will be a little hard for my first. and i do think u r right about the body blank on ebay. i did find a bandsaw im going to buy at a pawn shop for 50 bucks and im prolly going to get a router. but thanks for the help and im not going to start this until im 100% sure on wut i want. but once again thanks for the help

Again....not trying to flame you. Proper planning and reading up on stuff will save you tons of headache down the road. Too many newbies dive in .....only to screw up nice piece of wood.....just because they were trigger happy and didn't plan the thing through. If it takes year to build puppy....so be it. I'm one year in my first too. (So just be sure you have guitar to play on, on the side!!!)

A "drop top" guitar....as you call it......is not more difficult then your "regular" non-capped guitar......a drop top....just means glueing 1/4"-3/8"-1/2" thick piece of wood on top of your two (or one) piece body blank. Proper clamping and it's done. Not really rocket science.

What makes this drop-top-stuff hard is the carving that needs to be done on this top.

A PRS or LP carve is where the trouble starts. It's not easy to route, it takes some practise with electric sander, dremel, or some other tools to get the carve right.

Good suggestion when going this route is to practise on piece of cheaper wood. It's always good to practise on cheaper piece of wood to get your technique right and to master your tools a bit more. No need to f*ck up $100 piece of mahogany just because you wanted to get going......

Again.....take your time.....read up.....and dive in. The right books do wonders, reading right threads on this board too. Almost all specific questions will be answered.

Your "Hey, I know nothing, wanna build cool guitar, help me out" threads mostly don't get many great responses........

Threads like these....http://home.asparagine.net/ant/blog/?page_id=8 are pure gold.

Edited by RGGR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...