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Shaping body early in process

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Hi folks,

I'm new to the forum and to guitar building. I've been a furniture maker for 25 years but just recently got inspired to make an electric guitar. I've watched lots of videos where makers route the body shape before they cut the neck pocket or any of the recesses for electronics. In furniture making, I make lots of curvy stuff but always cut joinery while the wood is square and straight if at all possible. What are the advantages of shaping the body so early in the process? It seems to me like the disadvantages include relying on a center line for lining up jigs and risking damaging the edges during the build, among others. Interested to hear what experienced builders say.



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The way you do it probably makes the most sense. I suspect most of us just want our builds to look like guitars as soon as possible.:) I cut the body shape after it's been flattened, (read square and straight). I route all the cavities while it is still flat and only start contouring after all the routes are done. I always want to set the neck before locating the bridge and pick up cavities because even with the best laid plans your neck can end up a mm or so off from where you planned, say maybe a degree off square. Not a problem what so ever--if you base your bridge and pick up locations on where it actually is rather than where you planned for it to be. (Yes, ideally it should be the same. but why scrap a build if you are a thousandth off?) So for my process, I need to set the neck first, and with the neck set I can't band saw the perimeter shape, so I need to cut it so shape before setting the neck which happens before locating the bridge and pick up cavities. If you are building a bolt on neck, I see no reason why you cannot locate the neck, then the bridge ect., and then take the neck back off, make your routes and then cut it to shape.


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