Guitar Templates

I have just finished publishing all of our Guitar Templates for the Georgia Luthier Supply Plans. If you plan to make more than just one guitar, you should plan to make yourself a nice professional set of templates for each guitar size and style you plan to make.

They are located in the Georgia Luthier Supply Site, and are intended to supplement each guitar plan that we currently have for sale. Just click the link at each guitar plan labeled Guitar Template Set – Add to Cart and you can purchase one to add to your guitar plan.

Templates allow you to maintain accuracy in your plan by having an accurate Plexiglas or lexan template to repeat your guitar shape, bracing patterns, peghead design, tuning machine locations and much more.

I have a full set of guitar building templates for each style of guitar that I make. If I make revisions to the way I make the guitar, the template gets revised or remade as well. I then decide whether to keep or toss the old template, depending on the information the template contains.

We make the job of making your essential guitar building templates an easy one. The template sheet consists of one large sheet with the following templates all laid out for you and ready to go:

Each Guitar Building Template Set will include the following templates:

Top Bracing Layout Template:This Template will be one of the most used templates that you own. You can use it to layout the top and back plate outlines, locate the top brace ends and locate the reinforcement strips with accuracy. I have a one of these templates for each of the guitar shapes that I make.

Headpiece Template: Use this for headpiece contour and accurate tuning machine layouts. Carefully mark the Global Centerline on the template for reference. mark the nut location and all tuning machine centerlines on the template too. I like to drill a small hole at the centerline crossing points to correctly mark the hole that is to be drilled. For classical guitars and slotted head guitar and ukulele heads, all the layouts are provided on the top, side and bottom template layouts. You should make wooden or plastic templates of each of these elements to give you a quick cutting guide for wood. They also come in handy for wood selection for your neck and headpiece.

Neck Layout Template: When I first started making guitars I didn’t use one of these templates. I now find they are very useful to keep all the contours handy for the heel contour, marking out the neck blocks for rough cutting and marking neck lengths. Also for the Classical Guitar, it has information on the foot and head block contours. Also included as part of the neck template set are between 2 and 3 neck section templates. These will allow you to make wooden or plastic neck gages to check your progress when shaping the instrument’s neck.

Heated Bender Form Inserts: If you are going to use our Heated Side Bender to bend your instrument sides, this template will come in very handy for you. It includes both a standard guitar shape and a cutaway version (if available for that particular guitar shape). The location of the spreader rods is shown, and the connection holes, including head recesses for the connector bolts. Our Form Spreader Hardware Package is a nice add-on to this template. It will give you all the hardware you need to put together a great and accurate form insert. You just supply the wood. The package consists of (10) 1/2″ x 5-1/2″ Aluminum Rods and (2) 5/16″ x 5-1/2″ Carriage Bolts, with nuts and washers to put one of these together. See our blog post on Assembly of the Headed Bender Form Inserts for more detailed information.

Head Block Templates: Depending on the instrument plan you will receive variations for the head block detailing. We include head blocks for mortise & tenon necks that are connected with wooden pins or bolted connections, or through dowel versions. Also, on many acoustic models we include template layouts for a dovetail neck joint.

Side Contour Template: This template is worth the price of the Template Set alone! This side contour can be cut out and laid directly on your guitar sides and you can automatically cut the correct back arch and taper on your sides without trial and error. I have marked a light blue line on this template that shows effect on the side if you make a straight cut from tail block to head block. With some of the guitar shapes, there is a dramatic difference between the actual contour and this line.

Also keep in mind that this template is not an absolute. What I mean is that the dimensions for side depth are calculated at 1″ intervals around the perimeter of the guitar, taking into account the back arch. If your back arch changes slightly, so will your site contour. It is wise to always leave yourself a little bit of “headroom” so you can make some minor adjustments along the way.

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