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Acoustic Body Mold?


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I have build 4 solid body guitars, and i am getting quite comfortable in the art to the point where the last one i made is a great joy to play and has replaced my boughten guitar in terms of the one i play regularly. I am now ready to jump into acoustic building to see where that may take me. I dont even own an acoustic guitar so building one that plays well would be a real treat. Anyway, first place to start i guess would be the body mold. So i was wondering what you guys do for the body mold, since it is so important in the bending of the sides and stuff of that matter. I have read 4 sheets of 1/2 MDF makes a great solid mold, but i have also heard of other methods. What ones do you guys use, and reccomend? Thanks!

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I use a full thickness mold (or as near as dammit). They're made up of stacked MDF, and around 1/3 of it's thickness is removable (screwed on rather than glued like the other joints)

This allows me to have the sides fully supported when bending (and allows me to ensure the side is perfectly bend across it's whole height), but then remove some thickness to do jobs like glueing on linings etc...

http://www.darkmatterguitars.com/siteimage...g/241007/01.jpg

That image shows one of my guitars in it's mold (at 2/3 full thickness). Note the screw holes to attach the final ring of MDF to take it up to full height.

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Hey, Im so close to getting this started i cant wait. I just have some solid bodies to finish and on to make for someone. But i found a good source of cheap wood locally. Martin guitar factory sells their wood for cheap and i live about an hour from them. But yea i havea side bending jig go bar deck radius dishes molds blankets etc.(Ive made ever jig before i started.) Also rich, i was reading kinkades book again and i noticed he usd gobars that appear to be oak, would this be a suitable replacement for fiberglass. Also, i have a vacuum press coming so i might try that for bracing. And i just glued up a back and it went good.

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sweet dude! sounds like your coming along nicely! it's always nice to have everything (or most everything) ready before you start.. :D also it is very possible to make molds out of plywood, as it will last longer and is stronger.. Make sure you keep giving us updates on your progress.. I'm really interested :D

Good Luck!

Scab

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its awesome to see so many people are into building guitars. Ill have to post some pics of my tele style i just built, it came out awesome, and plays just as good. Check out my sig for my first guitars, a bass and a strat. The bass i am very proud of. Started building my body mold today, ill post pics when it is done.

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is there any advantage of a semi solid over a solid mold? i may be silly, but the semi solid molds look like they would take a bit more time to make.. considering you gota make sure everything is lined up and in square, and then (nail or glue?) all the little braces in. Whereas a solid mold, you take a bunch of mdf, glue and screw it together, cut out and shape your shape, and your done. So before i jump in and make one or the other, which one will be better in the long run? I have a large pile of 1/2 thick MDF, so materials is not an issue.

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I know people that prefer solid plywood, some that prefer to space two sheets with blocks and people who prefer to use adjustable dowels. They are all good. Just be sure to check everything with your machinist square and make sure everything is solid. Outstanding link in Daniels post, very clean effective jigs. Good jigs will keep your build under control. With sloppy jigs you will spend ten times as long trying to fix or true things up, hopefully not making an unrecoverable slip.

I really like talking to other builders about jigs and methods they use. Even if just about every method they use is the same as yours, there is always something they do a little different that may be something you want to think about using.

Peace,Rich

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