PRS Semi-Hollow Body Guitar Building Project

How to Build a PRS Guitar

I have always liked the way PRS guitars looked. They always seemed high end and classy to me. When I was younger, I could never afford to get a real high end PRS guitar like a private stock or Modern Eagle. Now that I am older and have much more knowledge about guitar building and construction, I don’t really want an actual PRS guitar. I know it sounds bad, but I have found many flaws in their designs. If you wondering how could this be, keep reading my articles about this project. I’ll point them out. This is why I decided to build my own PRS (look-a-like) guitar. I wanted to keep the same exact look of a PRS but fix the flaws in the design. Check out my articles from start to finish.


 

Planning the Build

PRS Guitar Building PlansTaking the time to design your guitar project before you jump into it is the most important step in building any guitar. Before you can design your guitar, you must figure out exactly what you want in your new guitar. Your guitar’s design will be shaped by the playing style, hardware and overall feel of the instrument. I decided that I wanted to build a semi-hollow electric guitar for a few different reasons…


 

Choosing the Right Wood

PRS Guitar Building - Choosing the WoodChoosing the right wood for any guitar project can be tricky. Different types of guitar wood provide different types of structure and also create many different types of tones. Your choice of guitar wood should not only reflect the type of guitar you are starting to build, but it should also reflect your playing style. I decided to go with a Honduras Mahogany back, highly Quilted Maple top, and a beautiful Macassar Ebony neck…


 

Cutting the Body

PRS Guitar Building - Cutting the BodyCutting the Honduras Mahogany body out is relatively simple. First, I used a pencil to draw the outline of the guitar body onto the piece of wood. You can either make a template or stencil of the body to draw the body on body blank. I prefer to make templates of all the bodies that I have made. This gives me a chance to make a full size replica of the guitar. I can hold the actual shape in my hands before I make any cuts…


 

Book Matching the Top

PRS Guitar Building - Making the TopAlmost all guitar tops are book matched. The book matching process starts by splitting a piece of wood in half. The wood is then opened like a book showing symmetrical grain patterns. Book matching is not only used for looks, it is also used because it allows the builder to make guitar tops with smaller pieces of wood. Once I book matched my piece of quilted maple, I had to get it ready to glue…


 

Routing Semi-Hollow Body Back

PRS Guitar Building - Making the TopRouting out the body cavities will give the PRS guitar its semi-hollow body. Designing these body cavities is important. I use a template and a flush cutting router bit to help me route out two different cavities and follow my design in the top of the PRS guitar body. I leave enough room for the neck pocket to be routed and the electronics cavity to be routed in the back. After the cavities are routed, all I have to do is…



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