View Full Version : Body Blank Questions

07-05-2014, 03:25 AM
Currently I'm gearing up for my first scratch build, so in my preparations I need to ask some possibly silly questions.

First of all, what is the standard thickness of a blank? For some reason, this info eludes me despite quite a few searches. My guitars vary, but they are all between roughly 30mm-40mm.

Secondly, can I custom order a blank through PBG at a slightly larger size? My design needs at least 530mm length.

Third and final (for now), should I do a mock up build with pine first rather than a more expensive wood for a first attempt. I'm pretty confident with routing etc. and I will be laser cutting templates for everything so I don't expect any major stuff ups.

07-05-2014, 04:13 AM
well done Pablo, make the step to scratch world. There are no silly questions mate
Body blank width I'd start with at least 40mm thick which is the thickness of the PBG blanks.
I'm sure if you email Dingobass he can cut a longer blank to say 550mm long, may cost a bit more.
If you have laser cut templates and you are confident with a router you might as well start straight on the good timbers. Just keep checking your router bit bearing is always rubbing against the template.
Look forward to seeing this progress

07-05-2014, 04:16 AM
"Standard" thickness all depends on the style of guitar you are building. Though most places that supply body blanks usually make them around 45mm thick.

I would recommend a practice pine body just to get a feel for how the timber will act when routing across the end grain and around the horns. The timber can chip and burn quite easily around the horns where the grain changes direction in relation to the cutting edge of the router bit.

Though if your confident with a router and you get your router and feed speeds right you should be fine without a practice body. Just remember to get your first rough cut as close to the template line as you want remove as little material as possible with the router.

Best of luck with it all and I can't wait to see what you turn out.

07-05-2014, 09:10 AM
Our blanks are 45mm thick and yes I can cut a blank longer.

I have got some African Makore ( a type of Mahogany) in stock that I have not machined yet.
It is a nice rich red in colour, subtle grain but will have a nice warm tone.

This will be on the site in the next few days.

07-05-2014, 10:08 AM
Awesome! Thanks guys.

I think I'll try with a cheap bit of wood first up. I can experiment with a few ideas that way. 45mm thick, good to know.

And to clarify, I'm aiming for a scratch body only. I have a neck ready to go.

07-05-2014, 10:55 AM
I'll be interested in hearing about your journey with this project PP. I'm looking at doing something similar with a recycled (ex eBay) bass neck and making up a Danelectro style masonite & pine/plywood semi-hollow body for a first attempt. The thought of experimenting on a lovely solid wood body is a bit daunting - but I would like to do this one day - Blackwood or another Aussie tone-wood, indeed I've often thought about a 100% Aussie wood instrument build. (Probably should play with that idea on something less complex like a CBG, electric Uke, etc)

07-05-2014, 11:37 PM
Pabs, best to try pine, its better to stuff a $20 body rather than $100+

07-05-2014, 11:55 PM
yes Pablo if you have time to do a pine body first it would be a good exercise. I built about a ten pine scratch bodies before I started on more expensive timbers. Was well worth it I learnt alot(and learnt not what to do with mistakes). I got 2 x 1200 x 90 x 45 pine lengths, chop them in half, line up the best edges that leave minimal gaps, glue them with some long clamps and you have a 360 x 600mm blank, sand it fairly flat with a 40 and 80 grit orbital and then draw your body shape on.
The photo below is using 5 x 600mm long pieces as it was a wide body - mega star axe