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Sorry but I'd have to disagree with you 100%. If mid price range companies can do it on an assembly line basis then a high end shop could do it without issue. There are a lot of companies making guitars out of plywood right now and they will sound consistent with each other. How stable does a solid body need to when when it's slathered in a ton of epoxy filler and then an acrylic or poly hard coat? No humidity can get in so temperatures shouldn't be able to affect it.

Also, I'm sure we have all built guitars out of the same billet and experienced drastic differences in each one when it came to the way the wood acted. There really is no absolute consistency in a tree!

I'm also glad to see we are getting a plywood base counter part into the mix! This is getting fun.

Your solution to throw epoxy over everything is expensive and inelegant. If you're going to coat the guitar in that much plastic/glue, why not just build it out of acrylic?

Using stable wood is a more effective method than the one you describe.

I'm not coating the guitar in epoxy, I was just mentioning that BCR did it with their platinum series guitars. That stuff was like a plastic coating. I'll use regular good ol' wood filler like I'd do with any other imperfection on a guitar getting a solid coat of paint.

I took the clamps off the top this morning and took a quick shot. Obviously this piece doesn't have the best grain pattern but I've seen some plywood with wild grain. The wings are hollow. Once I pick up my new router I'll be able to knock out the F-Holes.

100_4594.jpg

Edited by zyonsdream
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I'm not coating the guitar in epoxy, I was just mentioning that BCR did it with their platinum series guitars. That stuff was like a plastic coating. I'll use regular good ol' wood filler like I'd do with any other imperfection on a guitar getting a solid coat of paint.

I took the clamps off the top this morning and took a quick shot. Obviously this piece doesn't have the best grain pattern but I've seen some plywood with wild grain. The wings are hollow. Once I pick up my new router I'll be able to knock out the F-Holes.

I took apart and cut up a bronze warlock with my friend (we made a V out of it) and it had this gross fiberboard/particle board stuff covering the top and bottom. B C Rich sure does some strange stuff, finish-wise.

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Well I have to say that sanding on plywood is rather easy and standard tools like bastards work excellently so a beginner could get away with buying a coupe of home depot style rasps which would be a way for them to save a little cash on their initial tool investment. So far, I've basically used a few bastard files and my random palm sander.

The plys look rather cool and interestingly enough they actually feel rather smooth. There are some voids in the plys so it will be necessary to use filler but a few spots of matching filler and you could actually do a trans finish. I think the side grain looks sort of interesting. However, I plan to paint this one a solid color.

100_4595.jpg

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FWIW: I bought a combo kit from Ryobi at Home Depot. It had a 1.5hp router (1/4" collet) and a small router table for $100. If you had a 1/2" shaft router before, this obviously won't do you any good, but here it is anyway.

How is that router working out for you? I was looking at picking that up in a week or two because I like the idea of the router matched to the table and I will still be able to have my other one for freehand stuff.

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Ok - one plywood bass body. Pics below. Used a template I've used before to cut/rout it out - trying to keep it as "normal" as possible. Has a couple of coats of sanding sealer on it and some obvious sand marks right now, but progress is progress. Based on these pics - I'm open to any and all suggestions for a finish. I don't think the top layer has anything special to offer - but the arm contour looks pretty cool (IMHO)

aplybody1.jpg

I thinking maybe transparent red???

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FWIW: I bought a combo kit from Ryobi at Home Depot. It had a 1.5hp router (1/4" collet) and a small router table for $100. If you had a 1/2" shaft router before, this obviously won't do you any good, but here it is anyway.

How is that router working out for you? I was looking at picking that up in a week or two because I like the idea of the router matched to the table and I will still be able to have my other one for freehand stuff.

For my purposes, it's a great little setup. The table doesn't have a huge surface area, but it's plenty big enough for small projects like bodies. The router attaches woth three big screws, so getting it on & off is very easy. The table has a simple mechanism to raise & lower the router as well, so height adjustment is a snap. The same mechanism works when using it freehand, so it has a limited plunge capabilities as well.

They don't pretend to be contractor-level quality, so don't be surprised when you find plastic pieces where metal would be better. They're inexpensive, entry-level hobbiest tools. With that in mind, Ryobi really goes out of their wat to give the customer their money's worth. The 10" band saw I have has features that don't come standard on expensive 14" saws. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with their quality and value - plenty of bang for the buck.

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Dude... you're loopy. Why in the world would you go to that much trouble for a plywood body?

I'll not deny loopiness. Just that the only thing allowed to look like crap coming out of my shop is me :D Besides, that paint job took me a whole 1/2 an hour.

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Hence, the "almost" portion of your statement. LOL

I want a bass made from a coral reef. That should really piss off the Greenpeace guys!

Yes, I'm evil.

If you're gonna go that route (enraging Greenpeace), cover the thing with baby seal pelts, use genuine ivory for the nut & tuner buttons, and mount the wood over a smokestack of a rubber-burning plant and let the heat dry it.

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if a professional finish is posisble with plywood

Bondo is some amazing stuff

I’ve used Bondo before to skin over pickup cavity plugs and I wasn’t happy. Bondo doesn’t seem to expand and contrast with the wood so it cracks around the seams. Elmer’s wood filler seems to have very little shrinkage once dried and never seems to crack. This might just be my experience but I’ve used Bondo on both wood and metal and it reacts “long term” differently on wood.

As for my project, I’ve decided to go with a 24.75” mahogany set neck with a rosewood board. I’m trying to keep my specs similar to an ES335 since the guitar is a semi-hollow and I’ll likely be comparing it to a semi-hollow ES335 for tone. I chose mahogany over maple because it was cheaper and is just as common a neck wood as maple is. Besides, the other Guitar I made like this was made with a maple top and walnut back/sides and it was very bright sounding and after researching more about the plywood I’m using it’s made mostly with Burch which tends to respond a bit like maple so I’m trying to combat some of the brightness of the tonal response by adding a little bit of warmer wood to it.

I decided not to use construction grade plywood for the neck due to the voids between plys but I’d assume that furniture grade plywood would work well as a laminated neck with the plys running vertical through the neck. I was just not willing to try it since this build is coming out my pocket and money doesn’t grow on trees.

Should have the neck done later this week, Then, I’ll route my cavities and then it’s off to paint.

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ouch uh oh well i used some bondo as filler on a refinish i am working o well if it cracks then that means it needs redone. i can see why it would crack since it is made to file metal not wood. i guess i should have thought about that i guess i hang out with car painters too much.

any way since this is mainly a tone test why does it matter what the neck is made out of i really don't see a need in making it out of plywood. unless you just really want too.

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ouch uh oh well i used some bondo as filler on a refinish i am working o well if it cracks then that means it needs redone. i can see why it would crack since it is made to file metal not wood. i guess i should have thought about that i guess i hang out with car painters too much.

any way since this is mainly a tone test why does it matter what the neck is made out of i really don't see a need in making it out of plywood. unless you just really want too.

I've had no bad experiences with it... I know other guitar guys who use it too, so I haven't really thought twice about it.

Anyway, your neck wood can change your tone dramatically.

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