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Prs Top Carving

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My preference is to route around the edge the depth of the carve as a gauge, then use an angle grinder with a 60 grit flap wheel to rough it out, then a random orbit sander starting at 80 and working my way up through the grits. For me, it's the fastest, easiest, most consistent way of doing it. I'm sure there are others with different approches.

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My usual method is the same as DC Ross. Flap disc grinder, then orbital down the grits.

Having said that, the last 3 carves I've done have all been done using rough shaping with a chisel, then

violin plane and finally orbital. Mainly by hand tools. Why ??.....................................

The method used is influenced by the carvetop timber as some tops are less conducive to a good clean

carve with minimal burnout using a flap disc on a grinder than others. In these cases, I'll go back to hand tool methods for the initial rough in.

Cheers, Stu

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The tutorial on the main page is for your typical strat-type veneer. I don't think could get veneer to bend well enough to fit around a PRS body. I'm going to get something a little thicker, like 1 1/4" stuff and shape it, rather thank mold it. Lets say that I don't have a flap wheel. Should I just go ahead and use a orbital sander after I rout the depth, or would that not work to well?

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The tutorial on the main page is for your typical strat-type veneer.

Look again. In the main tutorial page:


you will find these links:



Me, I use finger and palm planes and clean up with handheld sandpaper and/or a randon orbital sander

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Do you think that 3/4" will be enough for a PRS top? I contacted PRS and they said that they strat out with a 5/4 piece. Does anyone have a PRS with a carved top that could tell me how thick it is? Thanks everyone for your input!

3/4" for a maple top is plenty. I have a McCarty and the top seems to be 3/4" at the thickest point. PRS use even thinner tops for the singlecut, something closer to 1/2".

5/4" seems like the size of the billet before resawing. That would end around 1/2" (12.7mm) bookmatched.

I used a 19mm (3/4") top for my second build, and 17mm for the third, and there's more than enough material for a very deep PRS style carving. I would say that anything from 5/8" to 3/4" (16-19mm) will work great.

I use the sandpaper flap disk on the grinder too, then I continue by hand with scrapers and sandpaper. Follow the link to my second build in my signature to see some pictures and explanations on how I did that one.

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I wouldn't know about the price, but it looks quite nice to me.

If I were to use it myself I would go for 5mm faux-binding, and work the top angle to have around 10mm total maple thickness at the body/neck joint line, assuming the PRS shape. That should give you enough material for a sweet carve.

Regarding your question about the template I did it myself. I worked from a full-frontal picture of a PRS Santana from a catalog and scaled it to have the same width of a Les Paul. I think it was explained in the build thread.

@jer7440: Quite a nice PRS you've built there !!! I like the string-thru implementation.

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