Need advice on how to cut section of guitar body off

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Speedfish, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Meister

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    Hello,

    I am planning to modify an existing guitar body by cutting a section off, then gluing another piece of wood into its place.

    What would be the best way to proceed?

    I want to ensure a perfectly straight cut, so that the replaced piece fits seamlessly.

    I have a table saw and a band saw.

    What would be the best tool to use? Are the any jigs to help ensure a straight cut?

    Any advice on gluing the new body part on is appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Need pictures.

    The only way to ensure 100% even surfaces is to use a jointer... with great caution for personal safety.

    If you have a brand new sharp blade for your table saw, with a whole lot of small teeth, you may find the result acceptable.

    Do not use your jig saw for this. The blade bends too easily and there’s no real way to ensure a square cut.
     
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  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah cutting and gluing wood and how well it comes out depends on grain direction etc.

    If you want to cut the upper horn off a Jazzmaster body and glue on a longer one etc, you may need to cut a different section than you're hoping in order to get good results.
    If it's along the grain line it's not that hard though, and a jig or sled on the table saw would be my approach.
     
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Depends on the quality and size of your saws too.
    My table saw with a 10" 80 tooth will make a cut you can't feel any saw marks on, and glue up almost invisibly.
    Not as perfect as a jointer edge but really clean.
    Hobby or portable table saws will not do that.
     
  5. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Make a sled for your table saw. You can clamp the work piece down to the sled and ensure it stays stable through the cut. Probably want to do some test cuts on scrap first. I would probably cut it close to the actual line i want, then adjust for the final cut. Get the finest cross-cut blade you can. I would probably plan on gently sanding the surface. Search 'shooting board'. Easy to make and you can sand on it rather than planing to get your edge ready to joint.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That's what I'm talkin' about!
    I built a sled like that but even bigger, used to mitre cut wrapping grain on bedside table size cabinets with thin hardwood veneer, got 16-18" clean miter joints that way, with the grain wrapping up one side, across the top and down the other side.

    For a guitar body you could make a simpler sled, really even just a one side assembly that runs against the rip fence rather than in the table grooves.

    Is the body featuring pretty wood grain and glossy lacquer?
    Painted?
    Are you matching the new wood to the old wood (species/ color/ grain)?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  7. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Take it to an experienced wood worker. If you're having to ask questions like that, here, you're likely to get undesirable results.
     
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  8. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Double posting is for losers.
     
  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Man, I know ! I want a DEVO Les Paul too...

    8737B766-F665-4100-A807-7EB6E7C52CED.jpeg
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There's an informative thread on the Offsetguitars forum where a member restores an old Jazzmaster body by cutting off modded sections and gluing on new wood. But that was for paint IIRC and not done how I would have chosen, or how carefully as most advice in this thread suggests.

    A body can be bought for $25- $250, and in some cases get custom specs in that price range.
    Not much point in putting top quality woodworking into a bottom price body, or in modding a top dollar body resulting in losing double money paying out to make it worth less in the end.

    I've done high quality wood replacement in higer value bodies using a router for the joinery.
    That was inner sections with only some end sections reaching the perimeter.
     
  11. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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    Cut it with a guide on the table saw, then rout the edges with a canoe bit set to increase the gluing area, then glue it up and clamp it good.

    But that’s just my opinion. I approach everything like I’m building a boat. But I think it would work pretty well. Somebody else may know better. Everything is a boat to me.
     
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  12. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    If you're planning on doing an opaque paint over the modified body, the fit of the new wood to the existing wood is not as critical because you can use a gap-filling agent such as two-part epoxy to make the join.

    Standard wood glues such as Titebond work best with well-fitted mating surfaces. Gel epoxies are much more forgiving.
     
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  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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  14. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I don't see how anyone can give you a constructive helpful answer without a picture or at least a complete description of what you want to cut off of what and what do you want to glue back on there.

    We need pictures.

    .
     
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  15. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Holic

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    It all depends on the quality if your tools and how well they're set up. Your table saw with a sled is probably the best bet, but you also need to check your blade for square in both directions. A cabinet blade will give you a pretty nice gluing surface, but if you can get it on a jointer safely, that would be better. Needless to say, the jointer will also need to be set up/squared up properly as well.
     
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hahahahahahahaha! I got a lotta boat builder in my wood butchering brain too!

    Note though that in traditional wood boats, you leave gaps so the wood can swell in the water and the gaps close.
    Fit too tight and the thing will literally explode once swelled up for a day or two.
    I built WEST system boats too where the wood is saturated with epoxy and never soaks up water.

    One WEST boat I was building had a laminated keel that called for white oak, but the shop was in over their head with that contract and chose red oak that was neither straight grained nor dry.
    The customer was one of Herrshoffs former architects, this was 1983 and the feller was in his later '80s, last boat for an old boat luminary.
    I told the shop foreman the green red oak wouldn't work.
    He told me to glue up the keel regardless.
    I refused.
    Another guy made the keel.
    The boat was launched.
    It sunk.

    I'll end with hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
     
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  17. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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    I was thinking strip-built canoe. Clinker would be ill-advised on a guitar, LOL!

    Uh oh. Red Oak and White Oak are very different things, at least when it comes to boat building. It’s good that you avoided becoming involved in that!

    I’ve got lines and offsets for a Hershoff design, just a small sailing dinghy, that I want to loft up and build some day. But then, I’ve got boat plans waiting in line, tube amps to build, Partscasters, a 1937 Gibson L-00 clone that I want to build, on and on. And every time I want to start a new project, something else comes up. Sigh.
     
  18. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  19. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Meister

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    The body is currently bare wood. A firebird body. I'm going to paint the front, but might keep the back and sides natural.
     
  20. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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