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Body blanks - how many pieces are too many?


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So I have a local source for Honduran mahogany. The problem though is in order to have a big enough piece for a guitar body it will take several pieces to make the blank. I know there are plenty of guitars made with 2 or 3 boards glued side by side so that’s not really my concern. What I am concerned about is having to use multiple boards to gain the proper thickness. Like 3 boards side by side with 2 or 3 more side by side glued on top of the first set or 3 boards. 
Is there a problem with making body blanks like that?

2 Answers

It's not ideal - but you can in fact join as many pieces as you like, or need.

Few guitar bodies are 1 piece as it is:

  • hard to get large enough bits
  • expensive
  • prone to warping

..for these reasons most guitars are 2 pce bodies or even more...

More pieces will likely be more stable - less pieces might look nicer but is also MUCH easier as there is less joining.

Joining two 'plates' to make full thickness would be hard without a 'sander thicknesser' - better to find full thickness pieces unless you are planning to glue on a cap to make up the difference.

If you cannot find full thickness you could just turn them sideways and use more?

That is the beauty of making it yourself - use what you have, or can get...there is no law about this.




Measure twice, cut once...

@markbailey thanks Mark, appreciate the help.


Structurally speaking, you gain an advantage against warping, but asthetically it's not ideal. As Mark points out, use a thick cap (single piece or book matched) to make up the difference for both top and back if needed. And of course, you can always hide the Frankensteinish composite with paint.