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Template For My Carve


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So, I've finished a template for my body and a template for my top carve. I just wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions/could see any issues with it before I got too far.

I was thinking the back will be Mahogany and the top Maple. The back: 1" and the top: 1/2", thus the whole body would be 1.5" before the top is sanded. The width is that of a standard LP, 17.25" long and 12.75" wide. I'm not sure if this is the most accepted method for outlineing the carve for a top, but the idea came from John Fisher's LP build.

Anyway, here goes:

** PLEASE NOTE: These files are large as they are full size. If you guys want smaller ones, I'll try 'n shrink 'em. **

Thanks to anyone who has anything to say!!

Edited by Brad Heller
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A 'drawn' template is all well and good, but how is it going to be executed with the router? Freehand? If so, best know what you're getting into. Routers don't like being freehand! If not, what will the guides be, and how will you know you have enough surface area for the router base?

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A 'drawn' template is all well and good, but how is it going to be executed with the router? Freehand? If so, best know what you're getting into. Routers don't like being freehand! If not, what will the guides be, and how will you know you have enough surface area for the router base?

Well, my plan was to first turn each into a ply template, then each template can by clamped to the top as I route it, each one getting progressivly smaller as I get closer to the center of the body...I hope that makes sense :\

It would be a little more expensive, having to make a ply template out of each tier, but much more acurate. So that with a handy dandy sander should turn out a nice carve :D

Edited by Brad Heller
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I just draw a line on the side of the guitar for the final thickness around the perimeter, and draw a line on top of the guitar where the carve will stop, and just freehand it with the grinder from there.

Once you do a few, you simply 'get the hang of it' and you know what to do and how much to grind off to what shape.

Take a few pieces of plywood, glue them together to get a rough thickness of a guitar, and do what I said above, and do 2-3 practice runs on the ply (cheap poplar would be better, you only need about 1" to do some practice runs).

Trying to carve a top on a real guitar without ever having done even one before is a recipe for disaster and a very real possibility of a loss of good wood. :D

Get some experience carving with a grinder wheel, you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly, it won't take too long, you'll thank yourself in the end.

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Clamping could be problematic, but you could use a pair of screws holding the template down in areas where there will be wood removed later (ie. pickup cavities).

Good idea :D What do you do for carves, if you don't mind me asking?

I only wish I had the time and resources to do my first carve. The top is still sitting there untouched. :D However, I did use a router for various wood-removal functions including chambering the body. I found that clamps got in the way, so I just used screws in places where the wood will get removed eventually. Make sure that you've countersunk the screws, of course, so that they don't catch. I also found that depending on which part of the template I was working with, I had a hard time getting enough surface area for the base. I look at the "top" levels of your contour map, and I'm not sure there's much of a stable surface there.

That said, I offered the suggestions only because you seem to have decided on the Jon Fisher way of doing it. I myself have long decided that when I get around to it, I'll use either of the 2 above suggestions-- the "Jon Fisher" way but with the Setch jig... or the angle grinder. Leaning toward the latter.

You're going to beat me to it, so let me know how your chosen method goes!

Greg

'

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Take a few pieces of plywood, glue them together to get a rough thickness of a guitar, and do what I said above, and do 2-3 practice runs on the ply (cheap poplar would be better, you only need about 1" to do some practice runs).

This is a really good idea, as you carve down through the ply, the different layers will show you how far down you've gone, like lines on a topo map.

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