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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Side Thickness

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Balsanova - Posted - 01/27/2023:  18:09:05

Does anyone know what a typical side thickness is on a modern maple body reso? It needs to be thin enough for bending to form and also strong enough to survive .

docslyd - Posted - 01/27/2023:  20:56:53

oooo. No, can't help.

Mike Conner - Posted - 01/28/2023:  06:11:27

The sides, really for most any guitar body, should be 0.075" to 0.080" thick.

For curly maple, it helps to treat with Supersoft 2 overnight to help minimize faceting or breaking.

I bend on a 2" pipe heated to 350'C, spraying lightly with distilled water to provide the needed steam.

I use reverse kerf linings on my builds and spruce side braces to increase the side stiffness but not add too much weight.

Here is a photo from my 2021 reso build. 

Edited by - Mike Conner on 01/28/2023 06:13:56


Balsanova - Posted - 01/28/2023:  16:49:43

Thanks for the information Mike. I'm down to .084 right now. A couple of light passes with 320 grit on my orbital sander and a little lightening in the waist area should do it.

Once the bending is done (my first attempt) the rest of my project should be "easy". 

I also use reverse kerfing and I will bend using the heat blanket option.

Edited by - Balsanova on 01/28/2023 17:04:50

Mike Conner - Posted - 01/28/2023:  17:45:14

Don't worry about sanding too fine before bending, the heat and moisture will raise the grain anyway.

Mike Conner - Posted - 02/02/2023:  04:02:08

Just realized a typo/error in my prior reply:
I bend at 350' _Fahrenheit_ not 350' _Celcius_ !!!!
I deeply regret any confusion or shop fires causes by my error ....

Balsanova - Posted - 02/02/2023:  09:02:16

You mean like this Mike (LOL)?

Not to worry, this was entirely my mistake.

PS; I like the way you installed the side uprights.


Edited by - Balsanova on 02/02/2023 09:05:05

Mike Conner - Posted - 02/02/2023:  09:43:54

Yikes! Fortunate that didn't cause a fire!

Thanks on the side braces. They are installed to line up with the back braces, and the linings are notched to capture the ends of the braces. In the attached photo I am gluing the back plate to the rims.

Edited by - Mike Conner on 02/02/2023 09:46:16


Zach Hoyt - Posted - 02/04/2023:  07:02:36

For acoustic guitars I aim for .93" (3/32"), but my Beard resonator guitar plan shows the sides at .110" so that's what I do for those. I just bent a mahogany side set at that thickness last night, from some kiln dried African mahogany that's been in the shop a long time. I use a piece of 3" copper pipe with a bolt in it as a bending iron, and heat it with a propane torch turned down pretty low. If I get the temperature right I can bend the thicker sides without burning, but it's a bit harder than the thinner ones.

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