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To angle or not to angle? That is my question...

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Hi, this is my first post here... :D so go easy with me!

I'm currently making an LP style guitar with my dad (several homemade guitars worth of experience there...). Initially I was fine with just having it flat top (I'm not giving it a maple cap or anything), but my dad's suggested that we can try and shampher (sp?) is to roughly the following design...

Keep the center of the body flat to give maximum strength, and then just sand all around a basic rectangle shape (down the center of the body) to the edges. Obviously we're going to have several practice attempts before doing anything drastic to the body, but my problem is this: One of the things my dad used as a referance was a PRS single cutaway. Now, for some reason I really don't like the look of the body 'shamphering' on PRS single cuts, and really don't want my guitar to look like that. So I'm not sure whether to suggest we try and go for something more like an original LP in a violin-like arch, or just go for a flat-top. So, any suggestions/advice?

Thanks alot... rock on! :DB)

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if you're building a LP-style guitar, I'm guessing that you will be using a slight neck angle?

if you plan on using a neck angle I suggest going for a LP-style carved top. if not, keeping it flat seems like a good option to me.

using a carving you don't really like seems like a bad idea. besides, the PRS design looks best with heavily figured tops, and since you aren't using one...

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I think with a gibson style bridge, you need the neck pitched back at least a little, even with a flat body type, otherwise you could end up with the bridge adjusted to it's lowest point and the strings will still be too high off the fret-board. But if you over-do the pitch-back, you'll have the opposite problem ( strings too high even with bridge down at it's lowest.)

I like a flat top, with the strings kind of high at the bridge (but with low action on the fret-board). The first good guitar I got was a Fender with a kahler/floyd type whammy that put the strings off the body, similar to a tune-o-matic. I didn't realize the difference until years later when I got a guitar with a vintage fender type trem and didn't like the strings being lower over the body, which is how it has to be with a vintage fender bridge. With my current favorite "hard tail " strat, I have the neck pitched back with a full-sized tapered shim and the bridge saddles at their max height. I like the attack I get on the strings this way.

Don't build a guitar design you are not totally happy with. If in doubt, put it off. Bring an abused guitar back to life, if your hands are aching to do some guitar work. Just an idea.

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Thanks for the comments. I really don't want to put it off, as it seems to have taken ages just to get this far... and I'm really looking forward to not only the finished guitar but also actually building it...

I think I'll try out a couple of different styles of arching on some scrap wood beforehand, and if I can't get one I like I'll just leave it flat-top methinks...


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Good luck and Welcome to the forum :D

Be sure to let us know how things are turning out for you :D

Thanks. I'm trying to make a photo diary of the building process, and when I'm finished I'll make a website about it (with the photos as well), so of course I'll let you all know B)

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I've actually put up a very basic website, there's not a lot on it at the moment. Just a few details of what the finished guitar will have, and a couple of concept images I made by editing a picture of a Gibson LP. The address is:


Nova being the "company" name, the guitar itself I'm calling Firefly. And the other page on the site - which isn't currently there - will eventually have details of the amp I'm planning to build when I'm done with the guitar :D.

Also, which of the two colours do you all prefer? I'm fairly undecided between the dark blue and dark red, which of the two would you pick?

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