Thinline/chambered build advice

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
Post Reply
User avatar
jmurph
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:41 am
Location: smallville

Thinline/chambered build advice

Post by jmurph » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:31 am

I'm planning on starting a Mustang/Duo Sonic build soon and was thinking of making it a thinline (no f-hole) or chambered body as the block of wood is fairly heavy and not that much bigger than the body will be. Eerything will be mounted to the pickguard (as usual) and there will be a battery compartment for a Ghost system on the back.

My question is: Should I carve it out from the top or the back? Are there pros or cons to either?

If I carve from the back, the cap will remain whole except for the small cut where the battery compartment goes. This seems like the simplest & most logical path.

Thanks in advance!

User avatar
kdanie
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:07 am
Location: On the road in the west

Re: Thinline/chambered build advice

Post by kdanie » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:34 am

I've built several thinlines including a 'stang. I always chamber it from the front though I don't really think it matters much. Other than more thought going into planning the routing sequence. If you go in from the front you can also do a rear contour if you plan it and are careful.

Here's a Mustang:

Image

A JM routed for a rear contour:

Image

JM back side:

Imagejpg images

Finished Mustang:

Image

Finished JM;

Image

ken
Life is an adventure, not something to be suffered through. Don't like your life? FIX it!

User avatar
jmurph
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:41 am
Location: smallville

Re: Thinline/chambered build advice

Post by jmurph » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:50 am

kdanie wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:34 am
I've built several thinlines including a 'stang. I always chamber it from the front though I don't really think it matters much. Other than more thought going into planning the routing sequence. If you go in from the front you can also do a rear contour if you plan it and are careful.

A JM routed for a rear contour:

Image

JM back side:

Imagejpg images
Thank you so much for the input, Ken. Your work is fantastic! I'm glad you mentioned the tummy cut because even though I won't be doing one on this guitar, my next project will be a chambered Jazzmaster. Do you do a build thread for that Jazzmaster? I looked for one but couldn't find it (perhaps I overlooked it). Any advice on planning/cutting the tummy cut on a thinline?

jas

User avatar
kdanie
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:07 am
Location: On the road in the west

Re: Thinline/chambered build advice

Post by kdanie » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:33 am

I don't remember If I did a thread on that body or not, it was maybe 6-7 years ago so I'm sure any pics would be gone by now. It was an alder body with an alder top. I built the body for member apreswho who finished the guitar and used it as his main gig guitar for a couple years. He described it as "the most articulate JM he had ever played".

The process is basically the same as a normal thinline but the area inside the rear contour is cut in several steps down then rasped & sanded smooth. The trick is to NOT cut through when doing the outside of the rear contour.

That mustang has become my favorite guitar, it's got a pair of Rose American Beauty pickups (staggered on the backside so mustang covers fit) and being a thinline it just sings. I did it with alder body & top like the JM so now I have some idea of what he was saying about "articulate".

ken
Life is an adventure, not something to be suffered through. Don't like your life? FIX it!

User avatar
ClintCC
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:29 am

Re: Thinline/chambered build advice

Post by ClintCC » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:17 pm

Great work. Stepping down the inner part of the tummy cut looked tricky

User avatar
Deed_Poll
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2554
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:24 am
Location: Brighton, UK

Re: Thinline/chambered build advice

Post by Deed_Poll » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:59 pm

Excellent advice from Ken as usual!

If you're doing a solid finish - especially with no f-hole - a belly and forearm cut thinline body could be achieved by hand doing Ken's stepped technique on the inside of the belly contour and foregoing the cavity in the arm contour area.

Here's a belly cut I did on the CNC, inside after end mill main cavity:

Image

After ball end contour cut:

Image

And after machining the back contour, neck bolt holes and ferrule pockets

Image

the front view after gluing the ply top. 1/4", machined down to 1/8" around the f-hole, f-hole cut then glued up to the back (square) before routing the pickups, neck pocket, bridge holes etc then finally the outline of the whole guitar.

Image

User avatar
74vibrolux
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:38 pm

Re: Thinline/chambered build advice

Post by 74vibrolux » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:06 am

Wow! Those look amazing.

Curious how much of a difference the chambering and f hole make in these. I love a good hollowbody, but wondering if there's enough air moving around in the body of a jazzmaster to get that feel that a 335 or 330 has.

User avatar
kdanie
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:07 am
Location: On the road in the west

Re: Thinline/chambered build advice

Post by kdanie » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:09 am

It would be very hard to determine exactly what difference it would make without doing two guitars as close to the same as possible-wood/pickups/wiring/paint (or none would be best)/neck/strings/bridge/tuners/ even neck screws.

I have two 'stangs, both alder, the chambered one above and a solid one (below) but it has a different neck, paint, tuners, bridge/trem and lipstick pickups. They sound quite a bit different. I prefer the chambered version. It also sounds MUCH better unplugged, I play a lot that way so nobody can hear me...

Image

ken
Life is an adventure, not something to be suffered through. Don't like your life? FIX it!

Post Reply