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I've got a 1 3/4" thick piece of mahogany for my guitar body. It's going to be a semihollowbody, so I need a way to carve out the inside without cutting through the back. It will have a top on it. I was thinking of maybe using a fortsner bit and cleaning it up on the router, or using one of those flush trim bits with a ball bering on top so I could attatch a template and rout to it? I was worried about taking out that much wood with the router. Suggestions? Thanks thanks thanks!

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I'd use a forstner bit for the general wood removal and then switch to a router to clean up. As to the router don't use a really big bit or try to cut too much wood too fast. Go slow, cut in the proper direction, and you may need to make a bigger base for your router to span the gap created by your chamber.

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If I had a drill press, I'd probably use the Forstner bits first, like Danno stated, ...but I don't :D

Forstner bits work great for making really nice, perfectly smooth-cut holes, but as an actual 'cutting' drill bit (by hand) I think they're kinda slow as opposed to a regular drill bit. But the obvious danger is that you will drill all the way thru the back with all those repeated holes being drilled...

I also, (due to my limited hobbyist resources, hehehe), use just my router for doing all the hollowing involved.

I usually will take a 1/4" pass or so at a time, and there's usually the centerline wood to support the router base, but near the widest area, it does get a little dodgy, so I will leave a 'post' of wood in the middle, about 1" wide X 4" long , not touching that piece as I route all the rest away, then wipe that out when the rest is done. I use that post as a router 'rest', to give the router an extra spot of wood on which to rest when doing the wider areas.

Safety headphones are really cheap man, and when you're running a router that long at a time, they are GREAT to use to keep you from going deaf later on.

PS, figure out what you are going to do for a rear control plate first. If you plan ahead, you can use a scroll-saw to cut out the plate from the back of the Mahogony, so you have a seamless Mahogony control cover.

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routers are loud?i guess i am already deaf :D


Seriously, I always use ear protection. As a musician, it's too important of a thing to mess up.

Using a fortner, then cleaning it up with a router is the recommended method. Don't even attempt to use a forstner if you don't have a drill with stop. A couple options if you don't have a drill press: You can use one of those little drill press attachment for your hand drill, or plunge router.


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Howdy Moojie,

I assume that you are going to put a top on this guitar, perhaps maple or something :D

The first question I would ask is how pretty do you want the insides to be? If you don't care, just use a Forstner bit and skip the router. If you do care, I would suggest one hole with the Forstner and do the rest with the router. Slower, but the results will be much better.

To avoid going through the body, use a drill press with a stop mechanism on it, and set the depth before you drill.

Also, remember to leave body where ever you are going to attach something, PUPs, neck, bridge, etc.

If you want to go through the back, click Here and then click on the Walnut guitar.

Most important of all: :DB):D before you taking any actions.

Good luck, and if you have any questions, let me know.

Guitar Ed

Advice worth what you paid for it. Nothing.

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