Wooden Control Cavity Cover

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by xonebass, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. xonebass


    Feb 17, 2005
    Orange, CA
    At the risk of being redundant I would like to ask about different techniques for making a matching wooden control cavity cover.

    I know this has been covered somewhat in prior posts, however, after having read these posts I'm still confused on the details of the following methods:

    It seems that the main way that wooden cavity covers are done are either 1) by removing a portion of the rear laminate wood to use as a cover or 2) by planing off a portion of the body to be used as a veneer. Also some mention was made about making a wooden cavity cover from a body blank that was in 2 pieces or more (I don't understand this). Another method that was mentioned that I don't understand is making a wooden cover when you have a front laminate wood on a body blank? How does this work? :help:

    I would like to know what the advantages and disadvantages are of the above methods plus any other methods that can be used. Also is there anywhere I can find more information on this (most of the guitar and bass building books do not seem to have this information)? Thanks.
  2. xonebass


    Feb 17, 2005
    Orange, CA
    Bad question, huh?
  3. I'll take a shot.

    One method that Elrick uses (probably others too) is to cut a veneer of the back wood off before it is glued up. Then the veneer is cut about in half so that the cavity is one piece and the other piece can be glued to the body. This can also be easily done if there is a back laminate wood.

    Here's an example.

    Also, if a back veneer is done, the cavity could be carefully cut out with a scroll saw. Then the body is glued up and you're left with the cover. This method is probably a bit more difficult and requires some skill with a scroll saw.

  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  5. others (like nordstrand) have their backs cut out the control cavity cover with a laser cutter, that makes a great fit. I don't bother with grain matching since almost always I'd use a piece of the front laminate or another different species than used in the whole instrument. I had a couple of control cavity and cover templates cut out for me by guitarbuildingtemplates.com, I use those and they fit very good.