Body Blank Size

LP1865

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Hey Guys!!
I'll keep it short simple.
My grandpa's getting a house built, and hence he is buying woods in bulk.
He's buying a lot of rosewood for furniture, and seeing how much I love guitar, he asked me if I would like some nice pieces of it for guitar builds, that is if i ever start building in the future.
I readily agreed of course, but I have new clue on what dimensions a decent body blank should be.
I want to make a solid rosewood strat body from one piece, and probably an Explorer, Flying V, Randy Rhoads, or an Ibanez RGA from the other.
So how many pieces should I get?
Also what dimensions?
I'm not sure if quality guitars are made from only a single piece, so I'm asking here
 

cmjohnson

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Take your tape measure to the local guitar store and start measuring various guitars that interest you.

Yes, higher quality guitars generally use fewer and larger pieces of wood rather than having several pieces glued together to make a body.
 

LP1865

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Take your tape measure to the local guitar store and start measuring various guitars that interest you.
Thats gonna be hard for where I live.
I went through plans on the Electric Herald website, and I did measure my own Epiphone. and they all appear to be under 20 inches in length and breadth. The thickness of my Les Paul is about 3 inches, so I guess I'll get 3 inch thick planks
Yes, higher quality guitars generally use fewer and larger pieces of wood rather than having several pieces glued together to make a body.
Yes, but are they made of only single pieces of wood
 

cmjohnson

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There's a lot to learn. A typical Les Paul has a separate maple cap on top of a mahogany body. The maple is about 5/8" thick and the body thickness is about 2 inches, depending on which model. (Studios are thinner than Standards, and I'm not sure where Customs fit in.)

Google "Guitar plans" and you'll find some useful size information.

20 inches by 14 inches is big enough for the body blanks of MOST solidbody electrics, not counting angular models like a Flying V or Explorer or similar guitars. (Firebirds are longer, too.)
 

LP1865

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Google "Guitar plans" and you'll find some useful size information.

20 inches by 14 inches is big enough for the body blanks of MOST solidbody electrics, not counting angular models like a Flying V or Explorer or similar guitars.
I did, and I posted it above
 

Michael Matyas

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You might want to use a slightly thinner blank. Word is that George Harrison's rosewood Telecaster weighs a ton.
 

LP1865

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You might want to use a slightly thinner blank. Word is that George Harrison's rosewood Telecaster weighs a ton.
If chambered properly, they appear to be not more that 9 pounds.
And I'm talking Strats, which will obviously be routed for the trem, and that massive pickguard they have too.
I want to be a tad thicker so I can actually cut some of from the top to use as a veneer or even fretboards
 

pshupe

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It really depends on the wood you want to use. I usually look for body blanks in the 20" x 15" x 8/4 (2") range and that will work for LP styles and Strat and Tele. If you want to make a one piece Explorer you will need at least 24" x 18" x 8/4 (2"). Flying Vs are two pieces and you can get away with about 40" x 8" x 8/4 (2").

Before I would ask for dimensions of body blanks you may want to download some free drawings, or for purchase, of the guitar you want to build. This will tell you exactly the size you need. You're gonna need the plans to build anyway, right?


I want to be a tad thicker so I can actually cut some of from the top to use as a veneer or even fretboards
How are you gonna take a veneer or cut fret boards from a blank that is 14" - 18" wide (tall)? Get separate pieces for fret boards and veneers. Unless you have a commercial bandsaw that can re-saw 18" tall boards.

Regards Peter.
 

LP1865

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It really depends on the wood you want to use. I usually look for body blanks in the 20" x 15" x 8/4 (2") range and that will work for LP styles and Strat and Tele. If you want to make a one piece Explorer you will need at least 24" x 18" x 8/4 (2"). Flying Vs are two pieces and you can get away with about 40" x 8" x 8/4 (2").
the above website's plans show that I need the Explorer is under 20 inches long.
Same goes for the flying V.
How are you gonna take a veneer or cut fret boards from a blank that is 14" - 18" wide (tall)? Get separate pieces for fret boards and veneers. Unless you have a commercial bandsaw that can re-saw 18" tall boards.
Got it thanks
 

Tweaker

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If he's getting the rosewood locally, you might want to go to the source and see what they have available. Often times I go to my hardwood store in search of boards big enough for one piece bodies and they don't have anything big enough in stock. I'd try to stay open to the idea of a two piece body.
 

LP1865

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If he's getting the rosewood locally, you might want to go to the source and see what they have available. Often times I go to my hardwood store in search of boards big enough for one piece bodies and they don't have anything big enough in stock. I'd try to stay open to the idea of a two piece body.
got it thanks
 

bradland

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Not sure which variety he's buying but we're still talking about Rosewood not Mahogany or Ash here. Even buying in "bulk" I seriously doubt the truck will show up with any Rosewood stock (8/4) wider than 4 or 5 inches. If you do choose to pursue this and make a 3 or 4 piece body blank, make no mistake, it WILL weigh a Ton.
 

pshupe

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the above website's plans show that I need the Explorer is under 20 inches long.
Same goes for the flying V.

Got it thanks
Well I guess that would be a good indication that you need the drawings and confirmation before getting the wood. An Explorer will not fit in a 20" long piece of stock. The absolute smallest is about 18"x22". That leaves you no room for any waste.

Here is a CAD dwg, if you do not believe me?
58_Explorer body.JPG



It does not matter about a Flying V because they are two piece bodies and you can use much thinner material.

Regards Peter.

**EDIT** - I downloaded that pdf and put it in CAD and it is the exact same size.

58_Explorer body_02.JPG
 
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LP1865

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Well I guess that would be a good indication that you need the drawings and confirmation before getting the wood. An Explorer will not fit in a 20" long piece of stock. The absolute smallest is about 18"x22". That leaves you no room for any waste.

Here is a CAD dwg, if you do not believe me?
View attachment 511822


It does not matter about a Flying V because they are two piece bodies and you can use much thinner material.

Regards Peter.

**EDIT** - I downloaded that pdf and put it in CAD and it is the exact same size.

View attachment 511831
Understood.
Guess I need to buy two smaller pieces and make a two piece body
 

bierz

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Looks like you're in India? I'm curious what kinds of rosewood your Grandfather will find, and what it costs near you. Please share pictures when you get your haul. As you can see, lots of helpful people here who will continue to help if you're open to being educated.
 

LP1865

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Looks like you're in India? I'm curious what kinds of rosewood your Grandfather will find, and what it costs near you. Please share pictures when you get your haul. As you can see, lots of helpful people here who will continue to help if you're open to being educated.
I certainly am lucky to be living in India.
I will soon be sharing pics, but I also wanna know if there's any other wood I should use.
Trying to buy local.
 

bierz

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I certainly am lucky to be living in India.
I will soon be sharing pics, but I also wanna know if there's any other wood I should use.
Trying to buy local.
Do you happen to have a list of what's available locally to you? Guitars can be made from all sorts of lumber, and you'll want to know the attributes of the species such as:
  1. Density - may be important for sustain or tone, but will likely impact weight and ease of working with it
  2. Weight - if you play the guitar standing up you probably don't want a super heavy guitar, and if your body is way heavier than your heck you can have "neck dive", meaning the center of gravity is too far from the neck
  3. Appearance - Do you like how it looks? Cool. Is the grain open? If yes, you'll need to fill it which takes extra time and effort.
Flashy, heavy woods are often sliced pretty thin and glued to the top of other lumber when making guitars. If you wish to carve the top of the guitar, like on a Les Paul, you'll want this top layer to be fairly thick, maybe 3/4", but this is a very general number. If you just want the appearance and a flat top, you can glue 1/4" thick wood to the body lumber. You can use just about any wood to top a guitar, just consider the ease of finish and if it's soft, it'll dent easily if not hardened.

For the body, a lot of us like mahogany, of which there are several varieties, some likely heavier than others. If you can tell us what your options are, we can probably help steer you towards some that will work a bit better than others.
 


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