Making a Guitar from One Board – Guitar Making Tips

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While you would have a hard time making an entire guitar from one board, you can make the overwhelming majority from one board. The top, back, sides, and neck can all be made from just one board depending on the species. For my all Mahogany dreadnought, that is exactly what I did.

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Guitar Making Tip No. 1 – Making a Guitar From One Board

making a guitar from one boardHere is a look at my all Mahogany dreadnought that was made from a single piece of wood that I found in a bin at a woodworking store.

It took a while to search through the bin to find this gem. However, it was time well spent. After going through dozens and dozens of pieces, I was rewarded with this one.

The customer for this guitar wanted an all Mahogany guitar, and I was very happy to make one for him.

The the part that I was really excited about was that the majority of the parts for this guitar were to be milled from one single beautiful board. This made every part a dead match for the rest.

See Also: 10 Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making an Acoustic Guitar

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Measurements and Convenience for a One Board Guitar

making a guitar from one boardThe convenient thing about acoustic guitar measurements is that they work well for getting the main pieces from one board.

acoustic guitar making how to make tools templates and jigs book beginner book for new guitar makers

The back is made from a couple pieces that measure 8-1/2 inches wide in most cases. This is great, because the width of the sides and the width of the neck added together are about the same.

This means that once you find a 8-1/2 inch to 9 inch wide board, you have what you need. All you need is enough length for your plates and your neck/sides. If your plates are 21 inches long, and your stacked neck blank is 38, then you only need 80 inches of length for a single species body and neck.

Working Together in Nature and in Sound

making a guitar from one boardThe attractive thing for me about building a single board guitar is in the history. Most of the time, acoustic guitar making wood is taken from everywhere and brought together.

In this case, the opposite is true. For the majority of the body, all the parts come from the same piece of wood.

It is even more interesting because at one point all of these pieces were working together as one to make the tree function. Now they work together to make the guitar sound beautiful. From beauty in nature to beauty in sound. The transition is fun to think about.

See Also: 10 Step Guide to Wood Finishing

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Making Your Own Guitar From One Board

making a guitar from one boardIf you are interested in making a guitar from one board, you have options. There are several species that have good track records for guitar tops and backs.

Mahogany, Sapele, Koa, Bubinga, and Padauk are all examples that have been used to make acoustic guitars from one species.

Mahogany guitars are the most common, but Koa has been used successfully for years too. A high end Ukulele will be made from Koa, and many many acoustic guitars have been made from Mahogany. If you are interested in trying it out, then start with something that you have seen on a guitar before.

Deciding on a Species and Proof of Concept

A quick Google search will reveal if a guitar has been made from the species that you are interested in using. For making a guitar from one board, search “X acoustic guitar” with X being the species name. If you can see some of these already made, then you know there is at least some track record on the species. This is a good indicator.

I hope you enjoyed the very first in a series of acoustic guitar making tips that will be posted regularly on the website. I plan on posting several more.

If you have any questions about making a guitar from one board, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work with your friends on Pinterest! Happy building.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

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