This article actually is a link to another of my articles -- 
about building a big-bodied acoustic bass - using kerfed
Click here to access my simple kerfed-sided acoustic bass article

My intent is to illustrate that the very same basic 
"kerfing-the-sides" construction method used in the 
oversized acoustic bass, can just as easily be used to build 
a simple guitar, mandolin (etc) body. Not having to steam, 
heat or bend the sides makes instrument body construction a 

Granted, this kerfing method does not produce as 
aesthetically-pleasing an instrument, but it results in a 
sturdy and very practical instrument. This method is ideally 
suited to an experimenter or anyone who would like to make a 
guitar-family instrument but is aprehensive about the 
obvious complications and skill-level requirements needed to 
bend sides conventionally. This kerfing method is a virtual 

Depending on the desired instrument, you can of course
substitute thinner or thicker plywood (1/8" ply kerfs
nicely). In addition, solid wood (non-plywood) kerfs well 
with only a bit more care.

Dennis Havlena - W8MI 
Mackinac Straits, northern Michigan

Click here to access my webpage