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07. November 2011 · Comments Off on Control Cavities, Wire channel, and back roundover. · Categories: Guitar Builds

We will start by mounting the control cavity template to the back of the guitar using double side tape. Make sure and using the center lines drawn earlier to help with alignment of the template. We will use a forstner bit to remove most of the material before using the router to finish the job. To make a vintage looking bottom do not go all the way through. Leave about 5/16″ of material at the bottom of the cavity. You will use the router to get the final depth of the bottom. If go to deep with the forstner bit, the bottom will be littered with the center marks from the bit.

Hogging out material After removing majority of the material with the forstner bit you will use the router with a top bearing pattern bit. Do not try to remove all the material in one pass. Go down about 1/4″-1/2″ at a time and go slow. Leave about 1/16″ at the bottom of the control cavity and 1/8″ at the bottom of the switch cavity for the vintage look.

Attach the control cavity cover template using double side tape. Using a top bearing pattern bit, route the control cavity recesses. Check your control cavity thickness and go to a depth of the cover plus about 1/32″ to account for the paint thickness. You don’t want your control cavity to sit above the finish. Test fit the covers.

Backplate test fitMount the wire channel template to the front of the guitar using a screw in the pickup cavity area. Route the wire channel to a depth of 1/2″.

Wire channel routedHere are two pictures of the back, you can see the wire channel entering the control cavity.

Finished control cavityCloseup of control cavityPut a 3/16″ radius bit, with the bottom bearing, on the router. Route the roundover on the back edge all the way around the guitar.

Back with roundover doneAt this point I would want to weight the guitar body. A good weight for a blank at this stage of the build is less than 5 lbs. This one came in at 4 lbs 13 oz. Perfect. If it weighted more that 5 lbs I would consider either drilling large holes (swiss cheese) or chambering the body. There is many pictures online on how Gibson did this to the Les Paul to keep the weight down on the guitars.

Next we will start on the maple top.

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