How To Build A Semi-Hollow Body Guitar

If you want to know how to build a semi-hollow body guitar, this article will be of great assistance. It is not easy to build a semi-hollow body guitar and if you don’t have patience and are not meticulous this job is not for you.

To build a semi-hollow body guitar, you will need:

  • Top wood
  • Back and sides
  • Wood for linings, bindings, end blocks and braces
  • Neck


  1. To build a semi-hollow body guitar firstly purchase wood that has been air dried and seasoned evenly. Make sure that the piece used to make the top, sides and bottom is cut from the same piece of wood. Cut the pieces of wood to size for the sides, and bent to shape by placing them in a mould. The mould will help give the shape to the sides till you work on the other major parts of building the guitar. The linings and end blocks are also stuck in place.
  2. The thickness of the piece used for the back is 2.5 mm but you can adjust it according to the design of the guitar and type of wood you are using. Place a supporting strip that is 25 mm wide and 1 mm thick inside the back. Then glue the cross braces which are made out of timber to the arched back. In the center of the back keep a rise of 5 mm to 10 mm.
  3. To build a semi-hollow body guitar you need to make sure that before you attach the top and bottom parts, it is necessary to first shape the sides properly. The back will have more of a dome shame than the top. After you are satisfied with the curves and doming, attach the top and bottom parts using glue. Then cut the bindings and purling and glue them to your guitar. Make sure that the heel and neck are placed at the right angles for good playability.
  4. After you make the main body, you will make the neck using strong light timber. Cut the piece of timber into various pieces and rejoin them. Then join a joint for the headstock and make the heel with as many pieces of timber as you want. The heel is made as deep as the main body of the guitar and a hole in cut in the middle of it. Attach heel cap using glue. After this the neck is attached to the body of the guitar.
  5. The next step to build a semi-hollow body guitar would be to polish the guitar and keep it in a humidity control room. Then you would attach the bridge to the body using a small vacuum clamp. Next you will add the protective bindings to the tie end block. The bridge is important for the sound and it will be glued to the top of the guitar and left to dry for 24 hours.
  6. Lastly, to build a semi-hollow body guitar, you will need to polish it using fresh polish. Make sure you use fresh polish and give it adequate time to dry. To spread the polish on the guitar, use a quality cloth. After you have polished the top part of the guitar, seal it before you proceed to other parts.


Eric, Stevens. Creative Building. Excel Publications, 1874

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