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When Making A Guitar With A Top...

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When making a guitar with a top, should I glue the top wood to the back wood and cut the body out of the single piece? Or should I cut the Body out of the mahogony (In this case) then cut the top out of the 2nd wood and glue the two together? (After bookmatching, if I decide to go that direction)

The first way seems less labor intensive, and I have a bandsaw strong enough to cut the laminated piece, but what way is proper or better?

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I like to glue the body wood together first and then route wiring channels and a neck pocket for a long tenon neck into that. After the top halves have been glued together, the neck is set and the top is glued forming a sandwich over the neck tenon and covering the wiring channels. I then use the body as a routing template for the top which has only been band sawed close to this point.


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I have done it several ways... I have glued the halves together then joined the halves (not the best method). I have joined the back, joined the top separately, then joined the 2 and used a router and template to cut out the guitar shape.

Lately I have joined and cut out the back, routed any internal cavities that are 2 hard to drill. I join the top separately and cut it close to the profile of the body (2mm overhang). Next I tape up the electronic routes and internal cavities to keep glue out of them. Then I clamp them together.

There is more cleanup of glue if you are not careful... however if you tape up the edge of the body first it is trivial. Then I use a rasp and clean up the overhang.

I know what you are thinking... "Why don't you use a router to clean everything up?" Because the crazy burl/spalt/flame/quilt/knotty maple likes to explode when you touch it with a router. It is much easier to spend a few minutes attacking the edges from the right angles to prevent figured grain from tearing out. Plus I hate routers...

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