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Thread: guitar side thickness

  1. #1

    Default guitar side thickness

    I'm starting a steel string acoustic guitar. It's based on an OM size and will have mahogany sides, back and neck. I just read that mahogany is lighter and softer than rosewood and the back should be around 1/8 " thick, but didn't mention the sides. Anyone have some knowledge about thick the sides should be? Thanks, Danny

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: guitar side thickness

    I make mahogany OM sides about .070" to .080", unless it's really tough mahogany (mahogany can be hard to bend!), then they can go closer to .060". Back around .090" to .100".
    Hint: As we make instruments smaller, we need to make plates thinner. An OM isn't really much smaller than a dreadnaught, so only a little thinner.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: guitar side thickness

    John, Thanks a ton. Your advice is always right on. Ever think about doing classes or a school or something? Danny Gray

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: guitar side thickness

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan of SC View Post
    ...Ever think about doing classes or a school or something?
    I had a job as a tutor soon after college, tutoring community college students in some of the same classes I had taken before I graduated. The main thing I learned from that experience was; if you think you know a subject or you think you understand something, try teaching it to someone else! Then you'll find out how well you know the subject, and then you'll learn it thoroughly. I'm still learning about instrument building and hope to continue to learn for life, but I know that I could learn more by teaching others, so yes, I have thought about doing classes or some kind of teaching. It's hard to get organized enough to do it though.
    (Also, even wonder why I'm on this forum so much? I've learned a lot here!)

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  7. #5
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: guitar side thickness

    I thickness mahogany sides to .10" or just under an 1/8". I have some original Gibson spec sheets from the 1920s and that's what they used for the thickness of their sides.
    Visit www.fox-guitars.com - cool Gibson & Epiphone history and more. Vintage replacement mandolin pickguards

  8. #6
    Butch
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    Default Re: guitar side thickness

    How about dread thicknesses? I've just got the materials to start a mahogany D-28 build and would like some opinions on sides/top/back thicknesses.

  9. #7
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    Default Re: guitar side thickness

    I shoot for .080" final on my mahogany dreads. My most recent build, I bent at .095" which left me lots of room for final sanding as I cut my bindings shy of the wood and sand the wood up to the bindings.
    I have a Martin 2008 golden era D-18 and those sides measure .070". Unless you are doing a cutaway, .080" should be fine for bending. I use a fox bender with lightbulbs for a heat source and there have been no problems yet.

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