I've been looking around TDPRI for some time, reading lots of other people's threads. I downloaded Ron Kirn's booklets and read them all twice. Last summer I got some northern Wisconsin poplar and left it to dry for a year. Now it's time to start making sawdust & scrap. Maybe I'll get a guitar out of it. We'll see.
I picked the poplar because it's a fairly light wood, similar to the basswood used in many mass-manufactured instruments, fairly easy to work. I did not know about sealing the ends of the slab when I left the wood to dry, so I got some splitting, but it also maybe dried quicker than expected. The moisture meter today read my poplar slab at about 8.9-9.2, which was actually slightly less than the cherry sticks that have been hanging out in the garage for several years. So I figured I was good to start cutting. I tried to pick the best part of the slab, away from some obvious cracking. But when I cut out my shape, there was internal cracking more than I expected. What does the assemble wisdom say? Maybe the wood is stable enough to fill this and continue?
Anyway, I was going to let it sit for a while after getting the basic shape before I come down to the outline and make it match the template, give it some time for the newly expose interior give up some more moisture. Meantime, I'll cut myself a new template for a neck pocket & pickup. The scrap end of my first piece will give me space to test-cut the pockets a couple times.
As I said in the "what's your workbench today" thread, I don't know enough to be making my own guitar, but that's part of the fun, right? At least I know enough to know I'm pretty clueless.