Jump to content

Need help designing new body

Recommended Posts


Im in the process of creating a new body for a beat up 2nd hand guitar, and I’m curious about the technicalities of a few things. Basically im creating a new shape, but I plan to recreate an identical (duh) neck pocket and cavities. My main question is, how much freedom do I have in moving things from their locations on the old body, more specifically, the bridge? AFAIK moving the pickups is just a matter of personal preference in sound (correct me if im wrong there plz), but if I shift the bridge I would be changing the bridge to nut length of the guitar…

Now my common sense is telling me that wouldn’t be too much of an issue provided I don’t move it far, but I’m really not sure on this so that’s why im here asking :D

The reason im asking is because the shape I’ve come up with is significantly different from what the old shape was, and im not sure if im going to need to move the bridge at all, cause it may be too close to the back of the new body (i shoudl be right if i make hte curve at the back a bit more shallow). Come to think of it, ill post what ive done in the way of a shape. Ive tweaked this a fair bit since I did the CAD drawing, because when I drew it onto my sheet of wood I changed some things I thought needed to be changed (e.g. I made the inner part of the shape a bit wider).

Still, im a huge beginner at this, and although my shape isn’t exactly groundbreaking, I did draw It from scratch so if I could get some pointers im all ears B) Im happy to run with what ive got and just see how it goes, but i sort of based my initial size off the old warlock body (including my general model for upper fret access), which im sure is smaller than the general 'average' size, so im a little worried its going to be a bit small and this size isnt really goign to be right with this style body.

Here it is:


and here is the guitar before i took it all aparnt (the pink body had a few big cracks in it in the neck joint):


Thanks a lot

- Dan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

by the way i like it...it looks like it will feel like playing  v

thanks wes - I guess i sorta started with a randy rhoads style V in my head and worked from there :D

Thanks for the advice on such short notice too, so basically, i should definitely maintain the exact same nut-to-bridge length as the old guitar, and the rest is up to me, provided it fits?


- Dan

ps: rats! it just had to look like something didnt it B)

not that i wasnt expecting it, cause its really just another variation on a classic theme.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The relationship of the nut, frets, and bridge placement *IS* the guitar. If you don't have that right, you don't even have a guitar to start off with. The body shape is completely an incidental to the guitar itself, and if the bridge isn't in the EXACT correct place, you just have a body, a neck, and some strings, but you certainly don't have a guitar. :D

So ask as many questions as you need to ask about the placement of all parts so you got a guitar in the end B) .

You need to be DEAD certain of these things:

Scale length of fret placement match the scale length of the nut-to-bridge relationship. (You have a 25 1/2" scale neck, your distance between the nut and bridge needs to be 25 1/2" exactly. You have a 24 3/4" neck, the distance between the nut and bridge needs to be 24 3/4" exactly...just coming 'close' don't intonate)

And we're talking about the bridge SADDLES in particular, not just the overall bridge itself.

The left-to-right placement of the bridge in relationship to the neck so your strings travel correctly down the neck and don't waunder off to the left or right. A 1/16" off to the left or right will yield a wall hanging, unless you want to have 2 sets of nut slots in your bridge saddles.

The height of the neck sitting in the neck pocket in relationship to the bridge height so you get a decent action from it. Too high or low = wall hanging (or a decent slide guitar maybe B))

The bridge placement distance-wise from the nut to insure the guitar will tune up and INTONATE correctly.

The height of the nut and the neck relief.

There's more, but it's all about the strings, nut, bridge, scale length.

The shape of your body can be pretty much anything under the sun, but those things above have to be DEAD ON or you got no guitar, you got a cool wall-hanging. :D

So ask away, anything you need, we're here for ya. B)

...just ask first and drill second, not the other way around B):D:DB):D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok so im almost ready to make cavities and drill holes, so how exact are we talking for bridge placement here? :D

Just say ive squared it up perfectly, so the strings will run through the length of hte guitar nicely, but i need to set its 'vertical' position on the guitar. If on the old body I measure from the holes for the screws that connected the bridge to the body all the way up to the bridge, and use that measurement to drill my new bridge mounting holes would that be ok? Because its a matter of intonation obvioulsy now i understand its very critical, but how exact do i need to be? Are we talking 1 or 2mm off and goodbye guitar?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everybody has their own way of going about their operations, here's my basic rundown:

1- mark the centerline of the instrument first. This is always the very first thing I do, everything hangs on that centerline. If the guitar is already finished, put some tape down. If not just mark it with a pen or pencil straight down the center of the guitar, top to bottom.

2- neck pocket is the next thing I do. You can hold a 4' rule up against the left and right sides of the neck when held in place, see how it lines up to your centerline, adjust as necessary so the neck is centered. Mark it and route it out. I use a template to do this, don't know how you're doing yours.

3- standard depth is 5/8. give or take a 1/16". Route it out, fit the neck in, check it for centerline trueness, bolt it down.

Don't drill any bridge holes until you have the neck secured down and you're sure it's centered to the centerline.

Post back when you've got that done :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...