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The Super-thin Thread

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I am going to build a few super-thins, and I thought it would be nice if everyone who has done them or has information on building them would share their information with everyone else and have it all condensed here in one thread for reference' sake.

My first basic concerns:

1. What is the thinnest you have built and got away with?

2. What did you do to use a Floyd with a super-thin?

3. Body weight issues, as in neck-heavyness, your experiences and recommendations?

4. Please share any special tips or tricks you have, like using small pots, right-angled 3-way pkp selectors, things like that...

5. What is the typical neck style used with super-thins...neck thru?

6. Any special considerations when using a bolt-on with super-thins?

Stuff like that, just trying to gather a general consensus of what works and what doesn't for this special application, I'm looking forward to building a few.


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I don't know if this is really a "super thin". Bass- 1-5/16" thick (PurpleHeart w/Maple top & back.). Neck thru, no neck angle, hard tail.

Neck thru worked nicely as it transitioned to the body, not as much step.

I used short shaft pots, and it does have an on-board pre. No real issues with depth.

The balance feels good, probably because the wood was a little heavy. I also used a very thin neck profile and ultralite tuners.

Probably not much help but thats all I gots.

Peace, Rich

P.S. Drak, You sure do build some nice lookin guitars mister.

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go for a neck through and taper the sides like a jem, even more so... just make sure your core is thick enough. not having done it just a suggestion =)

as for electronics:

for tight space I have a set of mini electronics, pots ect that are about 1/2 the normal size. we have fit these on arch top pickguards. that way you can get around the 3way switch size. If you want a 5way switch you maybe sol, I can't rememeber seeing one in mouser.

hope this helps


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The only way I can think of balancing neck and body would be to use a denser body wood, mini tuners on the headstock and short scale will help a teeny bit. Of course, there are pros and cons to everything you do. Denser wood and less body mass will affect tone.

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I'm gonna build one (a superthin), and I don't even know why, except I have some excess wood lying about, and it will be yet another 'something different' guitar to have.

I'm gonna see if I can carve the back on a convex (concave?) curve, ...you know where the whole back of the body curves/arches inwards?

Tum te dum, something else to build now. 

SWEEEEET!! I was hopeing you would start One soon :D

So Are you still planing on the concave idea?

Now Have You got A design idea Yet? Because the first thing I thought when saw this http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v488/ZADOKGUITARS/g15.jpg

Was FLYING V and how Dam cool it would be to try it that thin.


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I think if I made a super thin guitar, it would remind me too much of the templates I use to build other guitars. Everytime I picked it up I would have to do a double take to make sure it's not mdf.

On another note, why not make a neck thru with a convex carved top and a matching concave carved back. That would give you the belly carve and a really interesting profile. Having the carved top would allow you to have thin sides and plenty of thickness for a straight through neck. I say get the knobs that you mount flush and then push to have them pop out like on some of those (ibanez i think) effects pedals. Mount them along the outside parimeter of the body by the upper horn.

Edited by thegarehanman
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I'd say neck thru is the way to go, but i could see a problem joining the sides. Usually with neckthroughs alot of companys don't do biscuits or anything, the wood is thick enough so you can get a good joint, but for this thin of a body i think some form of biscuits would be the way to go.

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Have a look at this:


It's a deep set neck. The neck goes to the bridge humbucker cavity. The body is +/- 1 1/4" most of the way. It's a Maple bent top over Mahogany. So the Mahogany has the arch in it and the Maple is 1/8" throughout. It was cut from larger stock of course, and the thinness was carved into it from the back. I don't know if you can tell from the pic, but the back follows the arch of the top, but flattens out around the recessed electronics cavity. Plus it's thicker by the neck joint, too. You could almost consider that like a real shallow "volute" where the neck meets the body. So the Mahogany stock was probably normal 8/4, or perhaps I used 6/4 because I knew I was adding the 1/8" top. But the thinness was absolutely perfect for that guitar IMO. The low B string was tight, with a clean attack and no mud on the decay. Part of that was the string through and the custom bridge.

I have another 7 string that's 1 3/8" solid quilted Maple, to be finished this summer. That one is an AANJ bolt on with 5 bolts. If it weren't Maple I wouldn't have done that. I'm making a 6 string bass from that same stock some time in the next year, but I'll do a deep set neck on that one.

The trem has to have a shorter block. You can get one or cut your own. I also cut grooves in the blocks so the springs sit flush with the block. You can round the back edge of the block too. Ibanez angles it already, but the OFR is squared off. Also usually on an OFR you can do away with the metal plate between the block and the tension piece for another 1/32". When you dive bomb, the springs actually arch out away from the body a little because of the angle of the trem block. So actually instead of flush, I recess the springs in the slot a little.

For a bolt on, I'd recommend a neck plate over ferrules because you don't want to lose any more wood than you have to, unless it's really hard like Maple. And all my super-thins have a neck angle regardless of the attatchment method.

Electronics all fit, minus a strat 5-way. The import box 3-ways are shallower than the right angle gibson types. Mini toggle on/off pickup selectors work great, or build up a piece for the 5-way as on the Ibanez S series. If the strings will sit closer to the body I like the short metal dome knobs. Use a flush panel output jack, traditional jacks take up way more width.

Use forstner/brad point bits for your bridge studs so you can drill deeper without risking coming out the other side. I've never had balance issues, but I use longer bass horns than normal. I have one Ibanez Saber with a 5-piece Maple & Ebony laminate neck I made, w/Ebony board. That neck is very heavy, but the guitar balances fine. You only notice it when you go back to a "stock" Saber afterwards. Use mounting rings if you can, there's not as much wood for a direct mount pickup screw to bite, and it can come out the other side.

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I feel like im on hes street-team!!!, but....


7 string body shot


Honduras Rosewood. Grain aligned with Ebony fillets on laminated necks.

Two way Gotoh trussrod.

Scale length 650mm(Fender) 22 or 23 frets

43mm nut for 6 string, 48mm for 7 string.

Fingerboards and headstocks in Honduras or Indian Rosewood or Ebony.

Cream, Ivoroid or Black binding.

Dunlop 6000 jumbo fretwire or spec'd by customer.


Swamp Ash 28-30mm thick depending on weight.

Optional 2mm Ebony front.

Cream, Ivoroid or Black binding.


e-mail doug@blackmachine.co.uk if you need more mate. Im sure he will be happy to help.

Edited by Digideus
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If you use a shorter tremelo block, I think you'll have to use more springs. It's still early in the morning so I'm not firing on all pistons, but I'm pretty sure that shorter block would decrease the leverage force the springs have.

You're thinking clearly, but I just route the trem cavity a little longer. Then you have more travel on the spring claw. The traditional trem cavity cover leaves a good 1/4" or so of room for expansion. I do that on almost all the guitars I make regardless. Nothing is worse than finding yourself bottomed out on the trem claw when you can't or don't want to add another spring. Also some claws are deeper than others, so find a short one.

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