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Guitar Body Question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Worshiper, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    So I've been getting a lot of requests from my friends to attampt building a guitar. I understand the scale is different and everything, but I don't know the size diffference of the body. Can anyone tell me the size difference or the average body size of a guitar? can I just use a template from one of my bass designs or do I have to start from scratch?
  2. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Myself I would say anything goes. I'm in the design stage of my new bass and it is very close to an Ibenez S470.:)
  3. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    Depends on what you are making. Most solidbody guitars: strats, etc. are about 12+" wide. Some hollowbody's are much wider (16" or so)
    For a typical solidbody (strat/les paul), I'd recommend somewhere inbetween 12"-13" wide at it's widest point.
    One thing to watch out for is the placement of the bridge. It sits much farther in from the back of the body than on a bass.
    I came up with a guitar design built off the bass I built and forgot to take this into consideration, so the bridge was very near the back of the body, and it just doesn't 'rest' against the player's body right. It doesn't look right either. I'd say the bridge needs to sit at least 4-5" in from the back of the body.
    Just make sure you draw it out first.
  4. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Model it after a guitar body you like
  5. You can buy Les Paul plans from either LMI or Stewmac for like $15 and make modifications to the body shape from there. Just a thought!

    Typically you just want to draw out your scale marking nut, 12th fret, and intonation lines. Then from there figure out where you want the body to meet the neck. My telecaster is at the 17th fret up top and 21st at the bottom. My electrics have between 4.5 and 5 inches from back of bridge to the butt.
  6. Strats are typically a little under 13" wide, about 20" long (to tip of upper horn), and if you want a tremolo bridge, make sure the body is at least 1-3/4" thick to accomodate the trem block. Strats typically have the neck-body join at the 16th fret and are 25.5" scale.

    If I were you, I'd make one modified after one of your fave basses.
  7. Hollow bodies and archtops are much wider, from 15" to 18", most archtops being around 17" wide.
  8. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    wow..thanks guys, that's very helpful. I am thinking of a les paul like shape, so I'll do a little more research and keep you posted. Oh, another question. Where the neck meets the body of the guitar, how is the width of the neck in comparison to that of a bass?
  9. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I'm in a smiliar boat - friends wanting me to build guitars for them. I brought the jazz bass I built to drama practice last night (i run the lighting and sound), and got a request for a Jaguar and a "Jagoustic" (like the Stratocoustic, but Jag shape).
  10. Width...a 6-string guitar is roughly as wide as a 4-string bass (and 7-string about the same as a bass-5). But they both vary widely (pun).
  11. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    haha. So that means that if I use one of my old "benchmark" design, I don't have to adjust thye horn placement, just the neck pocket? that would certainly make this project easier.
  12. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    that's probably the route I would take
  13. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    cool. That makes my job easier. If I do build one It'll be a cheepo home-depo guitar. I don't have the money to invest in something I know nothing about. I don't even own an electric guitar. I'm a bottom end guy :)bassist:) :D . Teh truth is, I'll prob make 3 more basses before I can motivate myself to make a guitar, but I can always design. That's prob my favorite part of lutiery anyway.