So I am currently in the research/learning/planning stages of my first pseudo build. I would like to start it after the first of the year if possible. I say pseudo build because for my first foray into building, I want to start with the body only. I figure if I try to do too much, too fast, then I will get overwhelmed or discouraged and not finish it. The plan is still in progress, but this is what I know so far. Jazz body shape, bolt-on neck, rear cavity. The wood I intend to use is an alder back, with a burr oak top. The oak actually came from my wife's grandparent's farm. It was a very old tree, likely around 150 years old, that sat in the middle of their field. [sappy] They would each lunch under it while working the farm, and my wife also has many memories of playing under it as a kid. (they lived next door) The tree was struck by lighning a number years ago, kind of sad really. [/sappy] My father-in-law had the biggest limb (it really was a monster tree) sawn into boards. Its been drying for last 4 or 5 years. [sappy] I actually already used one of the boards to carve 'the big question' in, and had it displayed for my then girlfriend, now wife, so it has some meaning to us both. [/sappy] So hopefully there will be some interesting grain to work with, and even though its not exacly a great wood to work, I want to give it a shot. So this brings me to my first set of questions.....what is a good ratio to go with for top thickness vs. back thickness? Is there a rule of thumb or a starting point? I'm pretty sure the rough cut is 4/4, so less than that to work with once surfaced. My 2nd set of questions has to do with the veneer between front and back. Will a sheet of any veneer I choose from the local woodworkers shop do, or are there specific woods that work best in that secenario? When you buy them, they seem somewhat wavey. Do they flatten out appropriately when glued and clamped, or is there some additional prep needed for those veneers? Then finally it has to do with the number of strings. Is the Jazz body the same size as a Jazz V body, and then only the neck route and pup routs are different? I am planning on using a Warmoth Deluxe 5 neck, if a 5 is possible on this body size. Thanks a lot for the help! I'm really excited to get this process started!