Next year Im planning on building a guitar (or bass, I havent made my mind up yet) for 4-H fair project. Since Ive never done a build before I was wondering how simple my first one should be. Is it easier to do a normal guitar (Fender style) or an archtop (ala Gibby LP or PRS)? If it makes a difference Im pretty handy with woodworking tools (including sanding) and can apply a pretty good finish (at least with spray paint.) Your input is appreciated, thanks.
I pride myself on my humility.
fender style guitar with a sold bridge would be easier than a gibby because of the set neck on the gibson and the fender has a flat top
An Archtop is really much harder to make.
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If you're building one yourself, you may as well use the opportunity to come up with your own design, but for a first build it may be an idea to keep body contours to a minimum.
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Fender style guitars are the best choice for a first build because they were designed to be easy to build. It has a minimum number of parts and building stages without compromising functionality.

If you can build a Fender style guitar, you can be sure that you can produce something functional, and then move on to the more complex designs.

I'm building a telecaster right now.
Once i eventually get round to it im gonna try build a les paul junior
Fender 300ce
Aria strat
Custom les paul
Another question, how hard would a semi-hollow be? (Think thinline tele.)
I pride myself on my humility.
Semi-hollow wouldn't be awfully hard assuming you know how to use a router. I will say, having almost completed my build with a carved top, that body contours make the entire thing a crapload harder. It becomes harder to sand, clamp and finish when you've got contours on the body. But if you think you're up for it, go for it! To be honest no body work compares with fretboard work in terms of difficulty (at least in my opinion).
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