Ya, it's been a long time. I want to get three done. This is the hardest of all three. Thought it would be awesome to get the fun one first. This will be a piezo semi hollow guitar.

The guitar will be made in four layers. The top is 1/4 ply. The second layer down is 1/2 ply. Third layer is 3/4 maple from a table top. This layer will support the neck. Bottom layer is another layer of 1/4 ply. 

First. Each layer will first be cut into 13 11/16 x 17 7/16 rectangles. Each piece of wood will get a 3x3 inch grid. There are three patterns. Each patter has 3x3 grid markings. So they will line up in the very same spot on each piece of wood.

The bottom layer gets two recessed plates. The will be cut out of and sit flush in the 1/4 ply. I'll have to start each with a knife cut. Then use a jig saw to finish them. These tow access plates will screw into the maple layer above them.

The maple layer will get three cavities cut out of it. One for the pots and jack. One for the three way toggle switch. And one large one on the left side, as your looking at it in a stand, of the guitar. 

The 1/2 ply layer is mostly one large cavity. There will be support for the output jack. And a block of the same wood for under the bridge.

The top layer will get holes for four knobs, the output jack and three way switch. There will also be a sound hole.

At this point the four layers are still rectangles. I'll first glue the top two layers together. Then cut the neck pocket out of them. Then glue the rest to make one block. Once dry I'll cut the body shape out. 

The two piezos. The one at the neck will be permanently sealed within the guitar. the only way to have access to it is to make a plate on the face of the guitar. Choosing looks over function. The second piezo will be under the bridge/

Two pics. The first pic is the maple layer. The second is the 1/2 ply along with the block for the bridge.

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Wouldn't know how to change the shank on my drill press. They do make 3/8 mandrels. Don't know if they'd fit these bits. Was looking at getting a few individual bits. But for the price of three of them I could get a set. If I go this route I'll have the saws all the time. 

Usually I think of something. Make it way harder than it should be. Then bring it back down to reality so someone could actually do it. : ) Do a google search for danelectro guitar plans and you'll see guitars being made this way. Guess the only real difference is they cut out all their parts. Then glue them together. 

Changing the shank isn't easy and not all drills have a changeable shank, so you'd have to check the manual if you still have it.

Dano made great guitars with Poplar, Pine and other woods for the center, MDF, Ply, fiberboard and Masonite for the layers.

Also made Tube Amps for Sears and other Department Stores. My 65 Silvertone 1482 amp was made by Danelectro.

Paul. I'm not a mechanic. I would have to have someone come over to do it for me anyway. Dano made some awesome guitars. 

Richard, and we're comparing this to cigar boxes? : ) 

I know ply gets banged up quickly. Then I'll call it relict'.  I'm using quality necks, electronics and hardware. If the body should fall apart I'll still have the goods to make a new one. My all ply AutoRATic has held up very well over the years. It's chrome pin striping is another story...

We have a music store over in St Louis that has a lot of old and even antique stringed instruments. Including some very early Danos. All are in great shape. I know there's plenty of old unplayed guitars out there. Possibly the reason for their condition. I fell in love at first site with one like this,

I have tried to reconfigure this design so you can use the 12th fret on up. But everything I did didn't do the look justice. Anyway, that's for a different thread. 

There is a lot of folks right here who put a huge amount of heart and hard work into CBGs. Knowing that box for a body will wear out. But that's OK. Because the work they did can be refitted into another box. Both it's life and the music goes on. 

the journey continues. It's time to learn. I've had a 16 inch table scroll saw sitting in a box for 15+ years. It was a Christmas gift, i think. Been so long I don't remember. Today I looked up the owners manual and learned how to change blades and operate the thing.  Also watch some vids on youtube on how to use it. This guy's three vids. Plus one on stretching the blades are the best ones I found.


I have an old router I bought at an auction for $5. Remember the price because they had two up for bid at the same time. The other sold for $100+. Forgot what brand it was but people really wanted it. This one is an old Craftsman. I got it knowing fully why it was selling cheap. The body at the base is warped. It wobbles. Ive had it for a good 15 years as well. Plan on turning it into my spindle sander. Mount it upside down under it's own table. The shank is only 1/4 inch. So I'll have to keep my spindles short. Nothing over three inches tall. I'll make them so the bolt going up the middle is replaceable. That way when they bend it'll be easy to switch them out. I do have a Milwaukee hole saw set coming. Cheaper to buy a set than it was to get the few saws i was looking at. 

My experiments with piezo are still happening. Really like the sound of the two I wired up like a humbucker pickup. However, unlike a humbucker it's still noisy. 

The work on my guitar so far. First the reason why I'm learning to use my table scroll saw. Plan on having both the plate in the back and the pickup mounting ring cut out of the body wood. That way they will sit flush with the body of the guitar. The guitar will have a single pickup. Center strat position. Because i like how it sounds. I'll redo the top template to add this feature. Make a templet for the single coil pickup body cutout. As far as the finish. I want it to look like really old wood. Folks nothing has come close to it. Not any of the steal wool. Nothing. So I'm going to paint one on. 

I know this is a bit off topic. Tone wood. Watched a guy on youtube use four different types of wood. Each one was pre drilled and set up for the neck pickup and bridge. Each one sounded different. So I contacted him. He admitted using a cheap microphonic pickup. Might as well of used piezos to get his point across. 

Great about the tools.

I played my Strat middle pickup the most or with one of the other pickups. I have a couple guitars with one pickup placed in the middle. They sound great and you can adjust the tone control to simulate a pickup in other positions like people have done for decades playing a Tele Esquire or Gibson LP Jr. 

Tonewood. My take is that all types of wood have their own unique tone. Their cell structure is different from one another, they grow differently, they're subject to different enviroments, so why would they sound the same?

There are variables in each type that make them sound similar to other types in some cases, which is why many have come to doubt tonewood.

A scientific test to fully explore this would be very large and very expensive. There have been several small tests that point this way and that way because they didn't expand the test for all the variables. Then some do a test to prove their own beliefs other than the real result. This debate will likely go on til the end of time.;)

Yes tone wood is a real thing. Just no longer real in the world of electric guitars. The problem is there have been very scientific tests to prove that. Unfortunately people want to believe in 'mojo' and hype. And, like the guy I contacted, will use microphonic pickups to prove their point. Because using an expensive modern pickup would have proven him wrong. There is really no debate. There is the truth and those who will do anything, including underhanded tricks, to refuse it. Sustain is a different story. The amount of energy a structure can hold is a result of the density of that structure. Plywood will have bad sustain. I know that from experience. My AutoRATic has less that half the sustain of my mahogany less pauls. However there is plenty of hype over sustain as well. My question has never been taken seriously by anyone preaching the wonders of sustain. "Of all the songs you play. What is the longest beat count of a sustained note or chord?" Apparently real world applications are not as important as hype. 

There is another drawback to plywood. And this is very prevalent in my AutoRATic. It's not a structurally stiff material. Ply at 3/4 of an inch flexes under the tension of 6 and even 3 strings. That's why I'm going with a solid hardwood core. Using the ply to fill out the body. There are different types of plywood. But at 50+ a sheet I can get used tables cheaper. I would be interested in trying OSB. It's supposed to be stronger than ply. I have some 1/2. May have to try a stress test between it and 1/2 ply. Kind of thinking as I'm typing. Use two guitar strings each, two tuners, something to bring the strings through and a piezo with an output jack. Cut each piece of wood the same size. Use the piezo to see at what tuning the boards bend at. Still thinking... make the size of the wood a bit longer and about as wide as the thinnest part of most electric guitars to simulate the body. Anyway this would have to be for a different thread. But it does sound fun!

I can understand the wanting or needing to believe in mojo and mystery of wood. The belief in the mystery behind music is important. Anything that helps to center someone and bring out their best is very important in music. I don't hold it against anyone who plays. it's those who say you will never achieve this state without these expensive materials I truly dislike. And those who use underhanded tricks to prove this point get not respect from me. 

The experiment between OSB and ply will not work. The OSB board I have, when glued together is 1/8 thicker than a 1/2 piece of ply. When measuring for stress that's HUGE. It would give a big advantage to the OSB.  I don't have a thickness plainer. 

this is what the experiment would have looked like

the leveling blocks and neck would have been out of the same 1.5 x 1 oak. the neck would have been 18 inches long. Bridge would have been a topload hardtail and electric guitar tuners. I would have tightened two Low E strings evenly spaced on the neck. Would use the piezo going to a tuner to check their tuned pitch. Then write down at what pitch rocking accrues between the neck and bridge blocks. I got as far as glueing the OSB together when I realized the thickness difference. I was even ready to sacrifice four brand new low E strings to make this as fair as possible. Was fun wile it lasted.....: )

For you scientists. Yes. I realize I would have to repeat the very same experiment 50 to 150 times. Building each one exactly the same. Then averaging out my findings to get a more accurate result. I'll let someone else do that. 

Pickups do one thing - convert vibrations to electronic signal. But that signal gets changed with effects and gain and the original signal gets covered up.

This why people say it doesn't matter, and to them that is true. If a electric guitar is played clean(especially in a Jazz setting), the wood tone comes through more.

But for most of us electric players, the amp and effects is most of what we hear and most of us are enjoying the sound and the music too much to try and listen to what sound is coming through. I was listening to a Bad Company concert on AXSTV channel last week. The guitar player was playing a PRS Single Cut guitar with 2 humbucker pickups. Custom 24 model Mahogany body and neck with Flame maple cap on top of the body. Second half of the show he changed over to a PRS Mira guitar with Mahogany body and neck with 2 humbuckers. The second guitar had a noticeably darker tone that I heard. But without knowing all the evidence, it could've been different pickups or the absence of a maple capped top that was responsible for the change in tone. The effects used were the same as far as I could tell. 

You'll probably only be able to tell any differences playing your guitar clean or maybe not. ;) 

Not much at the moment. I did oder more piezo for CB Gitty. I'm still experimenting with the ones I have. Only have three left that i haven't destroyed. 

I've sat down in front of my table top jig saw. I've turned it on. Now I have to get over my complete fear of power tools to actually use it. Yes, I have to do this with every tool i have. Guess that makes me mental...: )

woking overtime doesn't give me much time to do much else at the moment. But once I get started this should finish up really quick. 


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