Depth of belly carve

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mangus, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    Hi there.
    I'm building my own take on a LP and I would like it to have a sound-hole and a belly carve..

    My question lies with the belly carve. how deep are they usually?

    Regards
    Domingos
     
  2. DarthPaul

    DarthPaul Senior Member

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    Not as deep as some would have you believe.
     
  3. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    Thanks but I need a more exact figure... half an inch?
     
  4. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Since this is your own take on an LP, and Gibson LP's dont have sound holes OR belly carves, I'd say make them however you like them. There's no "right" number.

    I'm assuming that by sound-hole you mean like a semi-hollow with an F hole?

    If it was my build I'd keep the belly carve fairly shallow. The edge thickness would normally be 1.75" of mahogany plus whatever the binding height, maybe 1/4" so a total thickness of 2" on the edge.
    I'd probably make it 1/2" - 3/4" deep at the most, but again, there is no right answer here.
    You said this is "your take" on an LP, so make it whatever you like :)

    Of course if you are doing semi-hollow, you dont want to go so deep that you are too thin on the back
     
  5. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    And to make mathers worse I'm doing it on a piece of 1 1/2 mahogany body which is going to have a 1/4 " flat sycamore top on top of it.. and it's going to be weight relieved... It's going to be tricky, maybe 1/2" is more than enough. I was planning to leave 1/2" on the hollowed parts after all..
     
  6. cmjohnson

    cmjohnson Senior Member

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    A "typical" LP's maple cap is just about 5/8" thick when carving is started. It ends up being just about 1/4" thick at the rim and in the recurve, maybe 1/16" less.

    I've done shallow carves on tops as thin as 3/8" and more dramatic carves on tops as thick as a generous 3/4". They all look good. It's the carve profile and consistency that matters rather than the depth of it.
     
  7. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    He's talking about the belly carve, like a Strat, on the back face of the guitar, not the top carve. He has a 1/4" top. Not much to carve there! ;-)

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  8. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    I did think about creating a carved top(before planing it was 3/4 thick) but I've got no chops for something like that..
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  9. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    I meant like in a Les Paul lite.
     
  10. PierM

    PierM Certified Naysayer Premium Member

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    @mangus Belly carve on my two Les Paul Custom Lite it's ~0.253" (6.42mm)

    Let me know if you need more measures.
     
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  11. BPW666

    BPW666 Senior Member

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    Carving a top isn't all that hard, if you do your research. But that's not what you asked about, is this a semi hollow build? If so I'd think hard before doing much to the back, if your hollowing out the body from the top you need to make sure you stay well away from the back as Chris had already pointed out. You'll either need some careful planning and jig construction, or to leave most of the back very thick, or just hollow out some big chambers and keep away from the carved area on the back. I've got a really nice PRS SE semi hollow body, there's no back carve there, just a generous round over to give comfort, I'd be tempted to go that way, but hell you know what you want plan it out carefully and go for it.
     
  12. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    thanks
     
  13. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    does it have a long tenon? If so, is it the same size as a normal tenon(width and height)?
    Thank you for your generosity
     
  14. fatdaddypreacher

    fatdaddypreacher V.I.P. Member

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    i agree on the carve being more to your liking as compared to a technically correct or incorrect approach. the think i'm curious about is pot clearance. never thought about it, but what is the minimum thickness you can work with and still have enough left for a pot cavity? looking forward to pics on this as you make progress. sounds nice.
     
  15. PierM

    PierM Certified Naysayer Premium Member

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    They both have a short tenon.
     
  16. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    well.. the neck I have has a very long tenon so I'm going with it.. how do you usually carve the neck pocket and angle it?
     
  17. PierM

    PierM Certified Naysayer Premium Member

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    I’m not a builder, I’m a lurker here, and as you asked about the carve I’ve in 2 Gibson LPC, I jumped in to give you my small contribute. :p:D
     
  18. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    just out of curiosity, are they heavy?
     
  19. Who

    Who I'm back. Back in the New York groove.

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    My thought on the belly-carve would be how do you hang your guita, and how big is your belly?

    I'd need a belly-carve that would make the back of my guitar look like a spoon.
     
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  20. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    If you go look at old strats through the years, you'll see they're all over the place. I'm with the other guys here in saying whatever looks/feels right to you, the builder. As for real world examples, PRS is probably the best example of the slight/subtle end of the spectrum, where it's kind of just slightly rolled away from the plane of the back.
     

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