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Help Removing The Lage Sections Of Wood.

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Hi, to give everyone an idea of my project i'll write a brief overview.

Right, I'm building a strat style guitar because I want to get the sort of sound that I hear artists like John Mayer and Clapton have. I descided however to go for an Ibanez Jem style body however because I like it more in terms of aesthetics. The body is made of African mahogony and has a very red colour( I know that this would not give a typical strat sound but I really like mahogany and it was either that or basswood). Unfortunately this guitar is wrouted for two hummbuckers and one single coil. I wanted to go for 3 single coils since I already have a Gibson Les Paul custom that would sound similar.

To overcome this I thought that I would route out the entire pickup area, like the swimming pool cavity that are on some strats. I would thiem fill this with a block of magohany and start again (I should add at this point that I want to use a maple neck that I have but is slightly to small, so this conversion would involve replacing the neck socket with the mahogany).

The plan was then to plane the top of the guitar down (by about 5mm) and putting another wood top over it (about 5mm thick) to cover the filling.

However when I measured the width of the planing machine it only goes to 30cm and my guitar is 32cm.

Could someone tell me how I should remove this wood so that the surface will be flat and easy to attach the top. I have access to most hand tools and also a power belt facer, however these wouldn't give as good a surface.

I should also add that the colour of the new mahogany that I will use is very dark since it is old Brazillian Mauhogany, completely different to the red colour.

I would also like to do a sunburst finish.

Any advise on the project would be really useful. Thanks.

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Hi Will,

This sounds like an awful lot of effort. Won't the pickguard cover the pickup routing? In which case, just leave the swimming pool!


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Make a template of the area you want to fill, and glue in some wood, rather than route the whole area out and glue. I had a RG with a HSH config that I filled the single coil with a piece of basswood, worked fine. Plus Dennis is right, if the area is to be covered by a pickguard, why fill it in the first place? Seems like a lot of work just to cover it up.

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You are right, that seems like the logical thing to do, however the thing is that i'm not to keen on RG style guitars with pickguards since they enhance the aggressive shape. I wouldn't mind putting on a normal strat pickguard but would it look ok?

Cheers, Will

Oh and I should add that i've got a vintage fender tremelo that I want to use for it and the routing is for a floyd rose, this helps to show why I want to cover it up when I fill in the spaces.

Edited by Guitar WIll
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Would it look OK? Thats a matter of opinion. Mine might be a bit biased, just look at my name.... As far as the trem, you could fill the trem cavity the same way, and route it for the trem you have. If your putting a cap on it anyways, you wont see the area your filling. I dont have a planing machine, but my local hardwood supplier does. If I need something like that done, I just go there and have them do it. I am now on a first name basis with them by now, and every once in a while I go in there with a Pizza as a thank you....works out well for all of us.

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