The guitar workboard shown below was the first thing I actually built during my guitar project. It was highly recommended by Natelson and Cumpiano and it seemed like a good idea and looking back it was a very useful, I would definitely do it again. I made it by gluing together to sheets of 3/4 ” plywood and cutting it out bigger than my actual guitar body so that I would have at least 1/2″ of room to play with on the sides.
The body template was the next task I accomplished. I made it using a piece of plotting paper. It actually worked out pretty well for a template, its cheap and easy to cut and I’d use it again. Of course it would be ideal to have a nice big plotter and plot it straight from my AutoCAD drawing file, but I was able to translate the shape fairly accurately by hand with a ruler, compass and a calculator as shown below. One point of interest was the curve of the waist. It wasn’t a circular arc so I couldn’t use a compass to draw it. Somewhere (either from Natelson and Cumpiano or Sevy) I got the idea of using a piece of hardened springy wire to act as a guide for drawing the arc and I found that that worked really well. I simply marked out a point on the waist curve and used it and the end points of the waist curve as the three points to define the arc (I had to get help holding the wire in place while I traced the curve).
Then I carefully cut out the paper template with a utility knife and set it aside to move on to build the neck and the body plates.
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Planning and Design | Fret Spacing Calculation | Template and Workboard | Building the Neck | Making the Body Plates | Soundhole Rosette | Soundboard Bracing | Bending the Sides | Gluing Sides to the Soundboard | Creating and Installing the Back Plate | Binding the Body | Making the Dovetail Neck Joint | Carving the Neck | Making the Fretboard | Making the Bridge | Creating the Headstock Inlay | Finishing | The End Product