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Body Bevels

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by DougP, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i am looking for opinions on body bevels. i am building my first project and am about to the point that i start working on the bevels. on the top, i will be using a 60 degree chamfer bit, but on the back i am considering maybe a 45 degree chamfer as opposed to the 60 degree.

    what are your opinions on non-matching front/back body bevels? lets take another example: 60 degree bevel on the front with rounded body edges on the back. or what about a 60 degree bevel on the back but not as deep/pronounced?


    The reason i am considering this is because of a design flaw i made. i made the control cavity too close to the edge of the body to be able to use the 60 degree bit to the same depth as the front. i may be able to fudge it a little if i dont set the bit too deep.
  2. I made the same mistake on my first bass. I was not using a bevel, but a roundover. Afraid that I might route into the control cavity with the 1/2" router bit from the front, I left that area unrouted and then made a progressively smaller radius roundover using a spokeshave. It turned out really nice, even fancy looking (compound radius front body profile, sounds markeatable, huh?). No reason why you shouldn't do it, good luck.
  3. personally, I'd only do the front and radius the back.
  4. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i was contemplating doing the compound bevel. its the only way to get both the 60 degree bevel on the back AND work around the cavity cover.

    or maybe just sticking with the 60 degree and creating shallowed bevel around the cavity its self.
  5. Am I missing something about your design here or isn't it possible to just use a shallower 60º bevel all the way around the back and avoid getting into the control cavity?
  6. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    nah, you arent missing anything. i am just trying to come up with suitable variations. mostly i was wondering what other people thought about non-matching bevels/round-overs while also trying to figure out what i was going to do with my current problem.

    i dont recall seeing many basses/guitars that have a bevel on the one side and a round over on the other.
  7. Now that you mention it, I don't think I have either. AND, now that I've thought about it for a few minutes, I think I can tell why - it's the tooling. It probably boils down to production wanting to maintain the same tool being used on both sides of the body for contouring. This way it only requires a flip of the blank during shaping (in one manner or another). To do it with two different profiles would mean a flip of the blank AND and a tool change and that would mean a slower process to attain a detail that isn't seen most of the time.