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  1. #1
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    Default es-335 contour templates

    hi

    I am planning to build a gibson es-335 style guitar. I am not using laminated plates for the top and back though. I am going to carve them like an archtop. I am now trying to find templates for the contour of the top and back.

    Much appreciated if anyone can assist.

    thanks - FT

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: es-335 contour templates

    Did you end up getting the templates?

  4. #3
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    hi

    I kind of did yes. I finished the guitar in late 2012. Here is a link to the ANZLF site where I posted some pics. Australian/New Zealand Luthiers Forum • View topic - Carved es 335 Top and back are carved from solid QLD Maple and the sides are steam formed and laminated QLD Maple.

    I ended up doing alot of internet trolling to find info for this build. It is not as popular as other instruments so had to look hard. I also got great advice from a luthier I know and some other websites and es-335 lovers. I am happy to share the info and knowledge is accumulated. It's hard to know where to start. I don't have a set of instructions but here are some of the important things I learnt:

    1. CONTOURS - I noticed that there is another post on this site about an es-335 build. In there someone posted a pdf that has contours. That was the basis of my shaping. I added some contours. Attached are pics of the top (or back?) in construction.

    2. HARDWARE - buy all your hardware first before touching anything. For example, Bridge heights and adjustment may vary and this can cause differences in design.

    3. PLANS - Draw your own plan. But this I mean have a body template. Keep in mind that Gibson body shapes and sizes changed over time. So work out which one you want to build. I also drew full size side elevations to work out the neck position and angle. I think this is the best thing I did and think I did about 3 of these. Neck angles, and the height of the fingerboard at the body can vary. If you get it wrong your action may be unmanageable. This is a great site to view different models up close and see what I mean - Gibson ES-335 | Vintage ES-335

    Hope this helps. More than happy to help you out with any questions.

    Paul.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #4
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    I remember that guitar well Paul.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: es-335 contour templates

    Well done. I was the one who designed those contours, based on an article by R.M Mottola in 2002.
    Due to moving houses and not having a place for woodworking put my project on hold until now.
    Thanks for posting the pics. It's great to see my contour design used in real wood. My turn over the next few weeks. I'll post progress in here. The top and bottom Tassy Blackwood blanks are shaped and ready. I have all my hardware, except for pots.
    Do I need to correct my contours? Around the edges? What angle for your neck did you end up with?
    Cheers,
    Mark

  7. #6
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    hi Bill, nice to see you again. I really like the look of your tenor. Paul

  8. #7
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    Default Re: es-335 contour templates

    Added a couple of questions to last post. Looked at your finished pucs. Wonderful job. What did you use for the finish?

  9. #8
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    hi Mark - your contours are excellent. Think I added some because it seemed like it "looked" better - even before I started. You could add many more. You just have to calculate the amount of each depth of cut so they are even (if that makes sense). Glad you mention the edge. You want it flat at the edge because of the binding. I remember leaving about 5mm from the edge and then using a wagner safe-t-planer to clean it up and get a consistent thickness. I will dig out my plans and stuff tomorrow and let you know the neck angle but I strongly recommend drawing the side elevation. The burst finish is sprayed tinted shellac with a nitrocellulose lacquer top coat.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: es-335 contour templates

    What is the max height of your contours and how thick is your guitar at the bound edge?

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GourmetSaint View Post
    What is the max height of your contours and how thick is your guitar at the bound edge?
    hi again, the total body "thickness" varies in the 335's over time. As does the thickness at the "edge". I think anywhere from 42-45mm for the edge thickness. So this is really personal preference - I went with a total thickness (at the bridge area) of 66mm, and 44mm at the edges. The top and bottom blanks were both 16mm thick prior to starting. They were carved to plate thickness of 5mm. Don't make it anymore as you may have problems with securing input jacks and switches etc (I did !)

    I made the sides by heat bending and laminating 4 X 1.58mm thick QLD Maple to a form - total thinkness 6.35mm. I finished them at 34mm wide - plus top and sides @ 5mm gives you the 44mm thickness.

    I drew a rough side view plan to full scale before I started to help me determine the neck angle. I came up with 5 degrees. BUT PLEASE DO NOT use 5 degrees because I say so. By drawing the plan I quickly realised that the angle can change by altering various dimensions - ie the setting of the fingerboard height at the body, the body thickness, the bridge hardware. I came up with this taking into account fingerboard thickness, fret heights, action, strings, bridge dimensions. The final angle is around 4+ degrees - things change in the build process !

    hope this helps - Paul.

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