Semi-Hollow Build

JPOL007

Senior member
Messages
461
I have liked the look and sound of Gibson and PRS semi-hollow guitars for a long time. This is an attempt to build a semi-hollow electric. It will have just enough material down the middle of the body to ensure no structural warping. The body will be routed so that the side walls are ½” thick. The top will be carved so that space is added to the inside chamber of the body. The overall body thickness will be about 2 ½” from the face of the black limba top to the mahogany back.
It will have MojoTone low output 59 clone humbuckers and a L.R. Baggs tune-o-matic piezo bridge with x-blend controls.
I have a Vortex style Warmoth mahogany neck with Indian Rosewood fret board and 22 SS 6100 frets for the build.
The plan for finishing right now is lemon oil under Danish oil covered with teak oil. Shooting for a natural wood feel. This may change as far as finish goes.
The back is mahogany. A layer of flame maple, a layer of padauk then black limba with a strip of wenge for the top will be laminated to the back. The maple, padauk and limba will be carved and routed so a ½” sidewall is left for good surface adhesion to the back.
 

Attachments

  • Routing semi copy.jpg
    Routing semi copy.jpg
    125.4 KB · Views: 25

JPOL007

Senior member
Messages
461
rick2 said:
I'm going to be following this.  I've never used teak oil.
Saw Ben Crowe from Crimson guitars use it on a walnut build and liked the way it turned out. He has a multi episode group of videos on youtube about the build.
 

ragamuffin

Senior member
Messages
1,004
Ooh, I've been planning out a carved top build in my head for a while now, can't wait to see how yours goes!
 

JPOL007

Senior member
Messages
461
ragamuffin said:
Ooh, I've been planning out a carved top build in my head for a while now, can't wait to see how yours goes!
I have to write down what needs to be done, then put the items in order so I don't do something before it should happen. Seems to be a lot more steps in a semi-hollow build :icon_scratch:
 

vetteman

Senior member
Messages
273
Great idea for a build!  Right up to your finishing sequence.  I would not mix three different types of oil finish, it's just asking for trouble.  My understanding of lemon oil is that it is just mineral oil with lemon scent added.  Not a great base if the others are supposed to penetrate and/or stick to the wood.  The simplest oil finish is pure tung oil, which can be tinted if desired.  Lots of videos out there on the web.  Tru-oil is also an option if a bit more gloss is desired.  Wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing the completed project.  :icon_thumright:
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,455
Yes also on the oil I cannot see what mixing them would achieve. Perhaps just use the Danish oil.

As Vetteman said lemon oil is just more of a cleaner or mineral oil with added scent, so it will not do much. Once you have the Danish oil on you will be able to achieve a good finish and teak oil will not add anything.

I have used over the years a lot of teak oil, but on garden furniture and not on guitars.
 

JPOL007

Senior member
Messages
461
stratamania said:
Yes also on the oil I cannot see what mixing them would achieve. Perhaps just use the Danish oil.

As Vetteman said lemon oil is just more of a cleaner or mineral oil with added scent, so it will not do much. Once you have the Danish oil on you will be able to achieve a good finish and teak oil will not add anything.

I have used over the years a lot of teak oil, but on garden furniture and not on guitars.
The reason this forum will always kick YouTube's butt is guys like you and Vettman. Real life experience feedback is way more valuable; and that is what you guys supply :eek:ccasion14:
 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,661
As a FYI, if the “hollow” areas are merely routed out areas, then with a top cap applied, it is not truly a semi-hollow; it’s just heavily chambered. 

A semi hollow (IE 335) is made with a back, a top, 2 sides, and a center block. The construction method is radically different.

A true hollow, omit the center block.
 

zebra

Senior member
Messages
498
I've used pure tung oil as Vettman suggested, and to good results.  It's really thick stuff, so if you go that route you want to cut it 50/50 with some thinner (I used a citrus solvent).  It yields a "natural wood" look and feel, and if you want a little more "glow" out of it, you can apply some carnauba wax to it and buff it up a bit. 

Looking forward to the build - I've always loved things with arched tops and f-holds...I've been hankering for a fully-hollow body for the last few months after not having one for a couple of decades.
 

SeaGroomer

Senior member
Messages
208
Interesting project, I'm curious to see how the sides look with that laminating - should be pretty cool.

I am really digging the way Warmoth does their semi-hollows - i.e. routed out of essentially a normal body so it's still a thick strong guitar from a big block of wood, just hollowed out. It leaves nice thick walls that makes the body feel more substantial and gives it more mass. Mine is still at the builder though, so I haven't had a chance to play it yet!
 
Top