Official Luthiers Forum!

Making a mold?
Page 1 of 1

Author:  Telemaster [ Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Making a mold?

This is the Jumbo kit that I purchased and am about to build. ... etail.html
I am fully aware that I should purchase a mold instead of building one, but I seriously can't afford that as of now and need to get the sides in the mold ASAP. My dad has experience in woodworking and he said he would help me. All I need is some dimensions, what tools to use, etc... Thank you!

Author:  John Killin [ Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Making a mold?

Do you have a plan for this guitar?

That would be the first thing you need to build a mold. Then make a template.

If you look at the stew mac building instructions they show you how to build without a mold. The Cumpiano book also uses mold free construction.

There are some tutorial on how to build one, but the one I used is missing the useful content. Check out the tutorial section. Lots of good ideas there. Also do a search for Molds and you'll find some examples.

Author:  Freeman [ Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Making a mold?

Take your plans to Kinkos, an architect or engineer and get two copies made. Cut one around the outside shape of your guitar.

Take a piece of 3/4 MDF or press board and cut into four piece a little larger than one half of your guitar. Clamp them together (I like to use 1/4 inch flat head bolts and counter sink the heads), true up one side (which will be the center line) and trace your plan onto the MDF. Cut out with a band saw (a saber saw will work) and you will have something that looks like this


Flip them over and put some pieces of MDF across the top and bottom to splice them together - something like this


I also put a couple of little spacers on the sides at the waist. You want the mold a little less tall than the height of the sides (again, get that from your plans, the neck end will be thinner than the tail). I keep the center pieces that get cut out and use them in my side bender, but you can also cut them into small pieces that will make the waist expander. Chisel a couple of notches and use a turn buckle like so


Many other ways, some very sophisticated but this works for me.

Author:  John Killin [ Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Making a mold?

This is how I do it. I pretty much follow what was in Todd Stock's tutorial.

I cut a template out of 1/4" Masonite. I work on getting this template right until it is perfect. If its not right, I scrap it and start over. Trace out the mirror image on paper to check what you will end up with. Looking at the front of the mold, the plywood section is 2" wide around the perimeter of the guitar. The outside doesn't have to be exact.

For my mold, I use 3/4" plywood, 3 layers thick. Cut out 6 pieces that are larger than your template. Stick the template to one piece with pins or double-sided tape and pattern route it. Do this for two pieces.
Template Route.jpg

Glue another piece from your stack of plywood to each of these pieces.
Template Glue.jpg

Clamp it. I usually use my nail gun to nail them together, but I still go ahead and clamp too.
Template Clamp.jpg

After it dries, trim the new piece close to the previously routed piece. This helps keep your router from having to do to much work. It saves wear on the bit.
Template Trim.jpg

Use the previously routed piece as your template to route the next layer in the stack. Repeat for the final layer.

Drill a Hole in the top and bottom tab areas on one side.
Template Hole.jpg

Line up the next side and use the first set of holes as a guide to drill through the second side. Bolt them together with some carriage bolts and you are ready to go.
Template Final.jpg

Author:  johnparchem [ Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Making a mold?

I thought the martin kits shipped with a cardboard template for half of the guitar. If you have it that template can be used to make your mold as described in the above posts.

Author:  Telemaster [ Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Making a mold?

The kit did come with a cardboard template so that is going to be useful. Thank you guys you are very helpful.

Author:  otherDoc [ Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Making a mold?

In this thread there is an example of someone making a mold out of insulation board. Find that and it may be a quick, low cost means of making that mold.

Author:  DickC [ Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Making a mold?

I'm using 3/4" plywood for mine, using a saber saw but not real close to the profile, gonna be hard to file it out the rest of the way!!

Dick C.

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 5 hours
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group