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Contouring the body?


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Contouring the body on the back of the guitar where it hits your stomach (so it's comfortable) how do you go about doing this? I assume you could just sand it down, but is there an easier way? It's mahagony and It's an ibanez jem shape, really want to contour it so it's more comfortable to play.

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I draw 2 lines: 1 on the back of the body, and the other on the side, guiding where i want the contour to go. I then take my belt sander and shave down into those areas touching both lines using the drum portion of it. I dont worry about it being rough the first time, because i always go back again and then by hand with sandpaper etc.

See the middle of this page for more. This is KINDA how i do mine, basically the same way, just I dont take out the huge chunks like he does. Matt makes a very nice belly carve though :D

-Mitch

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Another way is to outline the whole contour and draw a saw to almost the lines in a series of small cuts.Chisel it out and rasp/sand to level.You could also use microplanes.A large bandsaw is best.Several,(carefully planned),passes with a router,(almost like a handheld milling machine),could also work.Just be very careful with the router.

And DON'T try to do body bevel's with a jigsaw.I've seen people try it and the end result isn't pretty,dangerous too.

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I draw 2 lines: 1 on the back of the body, and the other on the side, guiding where i want the contour to go. I then take my belt sander and shave down into those areas touching both lines using the drum portion of it. I dont worry about it being rough the first time, because i always go back again and then by hand with sandpaper etc.

See the middle of this page for more. This is KINDA how i do mine, basically the same way, just I dont take out the huge chunks like he does. Matt makes a very nice belly carve though :D

-Mitch

Thanks, I was just gonna say check my thread.

I used to do it with a spoke shave and chisels. I would actually take a hand saw and saw right in the middle of the curve, so when i used the spoke shave, when it got to the middle and the grain would be reversing, the shavings would fall off.

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The rounded rasp doesn't take long either, but you're in for a workout. If you're angry at anyone that's the perfect time to use the round rasp. It cuts aggressively, and makes a great "aggression reducing" sound, too! :D I use the rasp and then finish on the edge of the belt sander or with a random orbit sander. You have to finesse the random orbit sander so you don't get uneven dips and lumps, but its not hard once you get the hang of it. I've done them on the belt sander but it takes too long and makes too much airborne sawdust. The shavings from the rasp just fall to the ground.

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Several,(carefully planned),passes with a router,(almost like a handheld milling machine)

If you mean freehand, this is a really, really, nasty accident waiting to happen. By all means explain more, but I can't think of any way to do this operation with a router that doesn't involve several complex jigs, or several less fingers afterwards...

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