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Building a Hollow Body

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I've always dreamed of building a hollowbody and/or a stand up bass. Now that I've had the opportunity to play with a couple this Gretsch's week I REALLY REALLY want to build one. Am I nuts? B)

I know this is going to be a lot harder than a solid body and what I really need to know (short of taking one apart) is how to do the bracing inside and the neck attachment. Basically an "idiots guide to hollowbodies".

I'm lazy this morning and didn't search the PG site yet. Maybe I should start there. I'm hoping you guys have some insight on this and know of some good references I can use. :D



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The MIMF has a forum dedicated solely to building archtops, and an archived library of information on same.

Learning how to build -any- acoustic instrument (even an electrified acoustic) will step you up several levels in your understanding of how instruments actually work and how to modify them tonally, light-years past simple chambering of electrics.

By all means, go for it, you'll learn a lot. There are guys who've built archtops as their very first instrument, but it usually takes 1 to 1.5 years, and a LOT of mold-building, and a LOT of money. You'll spend more time building molds than building the guitar, but that's how it's done, and that's how you learn. And it will not be cheap. But once you build the molds, then the second one will go faster. And there's ALWAYS a second one! :D

An easy place to start is with the Bob Benedetto Archtop video series, so you can lay back and just watch the videos for awhile and 'then' see if you still want to go ahead with it.

Between the tooling required, the mold-building required, the materials required, and the skill level required, you are making a long commitment to it, but it's worth it if you like building guitars.

Yes, there are obvious differences between archtops, electro-acoustics, amplified archtops, and hollowbody electrics, but that's all part of what you'll learn.

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