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Laminating A Top


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I am still in the begining stage of my build.I have two questions that I hope someone could help me with.

I am looking to use honduran mahogany for my body (flying V) I would like to laminate or cap it with either a single piece of bloodwood or a bookmatched set.My question is should the mahogany be 1 3/4" thick and the bloodwood 1/4" or should I make the mahogany 1 1/2" and the bloodwood 1/2" thick??

My other question is,this guitar is going to be an 8 string at 28.625 scale 24 fret .Is there a standard for the size of the neck at the nut and also at the bottom(near the neck pick up) for an 8 string.Does anyone know this or does anyone know how I can calculate these dimensions.I will need them to determine the neck thickness when I laminate the pieces together,is this correct??

Thank You

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As far as thickness of the wood goes, go with what you would like. A thicker 1/2" top laminate is generally used where you have carved top (like a Les Paul). Take into consideration what look you want from the sides - if you put binding on the instrument, it's generally about a 1/4" tall, and if you went with the 1/2" top, you'd still see a 1/4" of the bloodwood beneath the binding on the sides - which may or may not be a look you want.

If you're beveling the edges (like an SG) the 1/2" might prove better if you didn't want the mahogany showing up through the bevels on the front of the instrument. (Which is a look I like, but you might not.)

If you want to chamber the instrument to lose weight, I'd go with a 1/4" top, as with a 1/2" you'd want to start looking at chamber both pieces which can be a hassle.

And of course there's tonal considerations - which is a whole 'nother can of worms. There's plenty to be read here about the tonal properties of wood and how much or how little it affects the tone. That said, if you're of the opinion that the bloodwood is going to make a difference that you want to the tone, than I'd imagine more of it is going to add more of that tone.

All that said, I'd go with the 1/4" if it were my build. But it's not. :D

As far as neck width, other folks who've built 8 strings can chime in better than I can, but I'dfigure out what solution I'm using for a bridge, and figure out how much string spacing I want between all those strings, and work from there. The bridge one being the biggie. that said, I'd have a full size plan made out before I start gluing or cutting anything.

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I am planning on beveling the edges so maybe 1/2" top would be good. As for the bridge I will be using the fixed hipshot .125 profile. I have a 7 string and the spacing is 3/8" on center of each string(this feels good for me)so I guess I would just add a string and figure out the spacing that way.

Thank You for the advice

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