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December 15, 2016 Kevin Tully

How We Take A Block Of Wood And Make A Guitar Body

In this post we’ll explain how we build turn a piece of alder wood into one of our guitar bodies.

Moniker uses alder wood because of its unique weight to tone ratio. In other words, its a nice dense piece of wood which helps create tone but its not so heavy that it will break your shoulder. It also has a nice natural blond color that allows us to use lots of different colors of finish on the wood.

The wood arrives at Moniker is part of a 12 foot long board. It comes to us by way of the Pacific Northwest. When we receive it, we cut the board into smaller, roughly 2 foot sections. We then store it and allow it to dry for a period of time.

Two cut pieces are then selected to be glued together to give us the width needed for the body. The glue we use is stronger than the actual wood fibers. If you were to drop the guitar body off a roof it would be more likely to split along a grain line than along the glue line.

Why not use a single piece of wood? Single pieces of alder wide enough to make the body are rare because it would require a very large tree.

You can read more about this by clicking this link to the Seymour Duncan forum.

Guitar Body Blank

After the glue dries, we’ll remove the clamps and plane down the body. We typically plane it from 2 inches to about 1.8 inches. A semi-hollow body will be sanded to about 1.75 inches as a top will be glued on later. From there, the piece of wood is sanded on the top and back with a wide belt sander.

After being sanded the guitar blank is ready to be shaped by our CNC machine. Ahh… the FUN part!

Click the button below to go to the next step.

Comment (1)

  1. Patrick Brady 1 year ago

    I’m interested in a twin neck ( 6 / 12 ) , based on the design created for John McGlaughlin by luthier Rex Bogue. Ibanez issued a copy in the late 70’s but I’m afraid I don’t have that model number. There would be some marked differences between the two, specifically neck / fretboard build, and the axe needs to be left handed. If you would consider taking the commission, please get back to me. Look forward to hearing from you, PB

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