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3 Or 4 Questions On Semi-hollow Builders' Guitars


Guest bartbrn
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Guest bartbrn

Hi --

I've been seeing some builders' bodies online lately that interest me: a Tele-style with a chambered body (separate hollowed top piece, I guess) and f-hole on the left side, and a Les Paul-style with the body chambered around the pickup mounts (a whole separate carved top piece, I ALSO guess). Anybody have any experience with these? I've also envisioned -- stop me if this is stupid! -- a through-neck (maple) guitar with a chambered body on the left (or upper) side of the neck, and a regular back-routed (for controls) solid body on the right (or bottom).

Next question(s): I've found the very interesting luthiersforum.com, which is supported by, and has many links to, hardware, tool, and wood suppliers, but mostly for acoustic builders. Is there a similar organization or list of links for electric guitar builders? It almost seems as if there's a bit of woodier-than-though elitist sentiment among acoustic sites and forums as compared to electric ones, but that's probably just my imagination!

Also, can someone tell me why '60s-'70s era Japanese-built guitars (the brand name Teisco springs to mind) are fetching such crazy (to me) prices on eBay and elsewhere? Didn't Teisco, or somebody like them, make the Sears Silvertones of the era?

Besides the plans available here, and the ones Stew-Mac has, are there any other good sources for electric guitars and basses?

Anyway, great forum, and I hope to learn much here. Thanks for your kind helpfulness!

Bart

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Hello Bart

All the body constructions you mention have been done here i think with the exception of the through neck but its the same pricipal! do a search in the forum would be my advice that would give you some ideas of what is possible.

As for suppliers etc i'd do a search on here aswell.

teisco guitars i have no knowledge to give you an answer about their pricing

There are a few books you could get melvyn hiscocks "make your own electric guitar" tells you how to design your own unique guitar and build it. thats the one most oft quoted and it is very good!\

hope it helps

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Not sure if I picked up on your first question, seems more like your giving us an idea of what types of guitars interest you.

Question #2,

Next question(s): I've found the very interesting luthiersforum.com, which is supported by, and has many links to, hardware, tool, and wood suppliers, but mostly for acoustic builders. Is there a similar organization or list of links for electric guitar builders? It almost seems as if there's a bit of woodier-than-though elitist sentiment among acoustic sites and forums as compared to electric ones, but that's probably just my imagination!

Hmmm.. I suppose it is a matter of perspective. The OLF has many professional builders that frequent the site, you will find this site does not have the same ratio. On many subjects acoustic builders may seem to go overboard to a person that has not built an acoustic, but there are often solid reasons behind these things. I know that there are members both professionals and amatures over at the OLF that build solid body guitars as well as acoustics. Actually you will find several members here are also members of the OLF also(myself included). In general you will find the membership at the OLF is a good group of people and have proven how generous and supportive they can be to other members on many occasions.

Q #3- I suppose the price of the those guitars is based on who is collecting them. I am not sure who all built Silvertones.

Q #4- There are several places to purchase plans. Do a web search you will find several. MIMF also sells plans if I recall.

Peace,Rich

Edited by fryovanni
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Guest bartbrn

Thanks for the info and the prompt responses. I checked out the GOTM entries and especially Jester's build thread, which answered a LOT of my first question/mission statement/whatever. The quality of the workmanship I've seen is beyond impressive -- you can always tell people who work for love and not just -- sometimes not EVEN! -- money.

I meant no disrespect to the people on the luthiers' forum -- I was just puzzled by the relative lack of electric guitar info, as compared to acoustic. I guess I'm old enough to remember when acoustic builders (and players) often looked upon electric guitars as slabs of unartistic solid wood with magnetic coils screwed on.

Great forum!

Thanks, again...

Bart

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I mainly make hollow bodied guitars and have made/am in the process of making everything which you have mentioned. I'll show you some photos of what I have done. They might give you some ideas.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o218/Pe...pg?t=1206025032

Here's a semi hollow p90 tele I'm making. Instead of the traditional thick body piece and thin top, I opted for two 'half thickness' halves with equally deep chambers in each. In this body I have chambers in the right and left sides, but in my first chambered body (another tele made from the same plank of wood as this one) I only had a chamber in the left side and traditional controls and no f holes.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o218/Pe...pg?t=1206025068

This is the finished guitar (with one chamber)

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o218/Pe...pg?t=1206025117

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o218/Pe...pg?t=1206025159

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o218/Pe...pg?t=1206025186

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o218/Pe...pg?t=1206025206

This is my 12 string hollow bodied les paul. It's made from sycamore (which is the same family as maple) and features a rippled sycamore through neck. The third link shows how I constructed the body. Each wing is made up of two halves (just like my tele) and both are hollowed and glued together, then glued to the neck. The 4th link shows the extent of the chambering.

I'm in the process of building a 6 string version of this guitar but using a one piece body, thin quilted maple top and set neck. The chambers will be much the same as the 12 string, but I may join them behind the bridge. That's not been decided yet. Anyway, I'm sure everything you were thinking about has been covered in those photos but I have loads of other pictures of these guitars if you want to see more.

Pete

Edited by PeteBuchan
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Besides the plans available here, and the ones Stew-Mac has, are there any other good sources for electric guitars and basses?

I'll give a plug for the Building Electric Guitars multimedia set from Martin Koch available at stewmac.com. If you are new to some of the woodworking skills required for guitar construction (as I am), the video demonstrations of the construction process, on the included cd, are excellent.

Have Fun,

Dave

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Hi Bart,

here's a couple of images of a neck through semi hollow pre finish.....the wings are chambered out to about 20 mm from the edges, the area to the front of the neck pick up has been left solid. The wings have been glued at a very slight angle to the neck, so to facilitate carving and shaping. It is possible to put a complete top on, but this requires a little more planing,and a lot more carving!

Cheers, Doug.

Picture925.jpg

CopyofPicture061-1.jpg

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I've done several semi-hollow strat bodies that are awaiting necks, they all have the chambers routed in the large main piece, and have a 1/4" cap on top. I tend to leave the area between the bridge and the end of the body solid though, so basically chambers on either side of a solid central block that runs down the middle of the body.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest bartbrn
I mainly make hollow bodied guitars and have made/am in the process of making everything which you have mentioned. I'll show you some photos of what I have done. They might give you some ideas.

Thanks, Pete! I found the neck-through 12-string photos especially helpful. I'd like to ask a couple-three questions about the top: First, what wood is it; and second, how thick is the piece you made the top from? I'm assuming the top is in two -- at least -- pieces, and that you milled or carved the top's fallaway from the neck (the slope down to the sides and the bottom). Do you have any pics of the inside of the top pieces?

Very nice design and workmanship. Where will the tone controls and switches go?

Thanks very much for your help!

Bart

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Guest bartbrn
I'll give a plug for the Building Electric Guitars multimedia set from Martin Koch available at stewmac.com. If you are new to some of the woodworking skills required for guitar construction (as I am), the video demonstrations of the construction process, on the included cd, are excellent.

Dave -- thanks; I saw that StewMac item and wondered if it was worth the jingle -- I guess I'll have to check it out. My woodworking skills are fair -- I was an experimental machinist for many years, and head of my college woodshop -- but certainly not at the "experienced cabinetmaker" level. I have, or have access to, quite a bit of equipment: planers, milling machines, lathes, bandsaws, jigsaws, drill presses, routers, Dremel moto-tools, and pretty much any number of ways to irreparably mangle perfectly good slabs of wood!

Speaking of wood, I'm sure there are other threads on this topic, but in the USA, are there wood suplliers people have had particularly good service from?

Thanks again for your help!

Bart

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The wood on the 12 string is scottish sycamore. I made each wing in two equal halves of roughly 25mm depth each. The body is therefore 50mm deep with both halves glued together. I routed the chamber into the lower piece on each side to a consistant depth of 21mm and the top was routed in a series of steps in order to follow the top carve and maintain a consistent thickness. I tidied this up later with a chisel and sandpaper. I'm afraid I don't have any pictures of the inside (of the top at least).

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o218/Pe...pg?t=1207936252

In this picture, there are a number of holes around the right hand f-hole. The series of 4 holes following the shape of the f-hole are for volumes and tone controls, and the 5th hole at the opposite side of the f-hole is for the toggle switch.

Hope that's of help.

Pete

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Guest bartbrn
The wood on the 12 string is scottish sycamore... The series of 4 holes following the shape of the f-hole are for volumes and tone controls, and the 5th hole at the opposite side of the f-hole is for the toggle switch.

Thanks, Pete! What part of Scotland? My grandmother was born in Dundee (she was a Wallace).

Regards

Bart

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Guest bartbrn

Another question: In most of the tutorials and books (Melvyn Hiscock's and Martin Oakham's) I've seen, an arched top seems generally to be accomplished by contour routing (outside, and sometimes INside), then finish sanding. Has anyone ever accomplished this by using a fairly thin top piece and steam-forming it, instead of starting with a thick piece and hogging it out? Just curious.

Thanks!

Bart

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