Guitar Build: Part 2 - Shaping The Body

Continued from Part 1 - The Poplar Burl top has now been glued to the Black Limba body, with a piece of black veneer sandwiched in between. The next step is to cut the body to shape.

After rough cutting on the bandsaw, the body is trimmed to size using a router. The spiral cutter leaves a very good finish, the edges only require a few passes on the spindle sander and some light hand sanding.

Next, I drill the holes for the 3-way switch + volume/tone controls and then route the rear control cavity.


With the sides on the body sanded smooth, I can now route the edge profile. The top is routed with a 45 degree bevel, and the back is routed using a 1/2'' roundover, apart from the inside of the horns, which are routed with a chamfer and then blended into the rounded sections by hand.

After routing, I use a spokeshave to carve out a bevelled armrest, followed by some shaping with an Iwasaki file and sandpaper.

The carve on the rear of the body is done in a similar fashion.. I sketch out a rough outline and then start removing the waste with chisel, before switching to various rasps, files, scrapers, etc, until I'm happy with the shape of the contour.

That's all for now.. more updates coming soon. As always, feel free to ask leave any comments or questions in the section below (or via email), and don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.