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Drop Top How To

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Greenman, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Warmoth says they have developed a special process for forming 1/8" wood over a body and forearm contour. I would like to do this with 1/4", forget the binding and apply a 1/8 radius to the top edge. Is this possible? Any Ideas or links.

    laminate. :help:
  2. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Steam and a LOT of pressure if you're planning on bending it.
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Sure, but unless you have a specialised shop for this, it won't be possible :p

    There are lots of customs where the wood shows at that part.
    Second, are you sure you need a forearm contour? My new bass doesn't have these contours and it doesn't need them, either, I find it more comfortable this way (thought I'm playing chest-height, so maybe that's why)
  4. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    There is also a vacuum/gluing technique, and I believe that's what they do at Warmoth (among others, check the "deluxe" topped Lakland basses for a similar appearance).
  5. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Yea, those vacuum presses are da bomb!!!

  6. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    We do it with a vacuum bag inside a high-pressure autoclave tank here:

    It's really overkill for our 1/8" lam-tops, but we've done tops as thick as .200" with this setup. I think you'd have a really hard time doing a 1/4" top like this by yourself, though.

    When I was at Roberto-Venn I did one that was about 3/16" by routing some parallel slots halfway through the top from the underside to make it easier to bend. The slots stopped about 3/4" from the edges of the body so I could blend the edge radius in without exposing them.


    The forearm carve must bend in only one axis, meaning that it needs a shape like a cylinder, not a bowling ball. If it's even a little dome-shaped you'll have a hell of a time getting the edges of the top to lay down.

    Spray some water on just the top side of the laminate before you do the bend... it will make the top of the lam swell and bend down a bit on its own.

    Use lots and lots of clamps, and do a dry run with the clamps before you start to make sure you can get them all on before the glue starts to set.
  7. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    :eyebrow: :help: :rollno: :rolleyes:


    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

    Thanks for the info BW.

    Autoclave would be a great idea, It would keep things nice and toasty warm!!!
  8. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Thanks for the good info BW thats the way I'm thinking of doing it.

  9. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    Greenman - yes, that was exactly what I had in mind.

    LajoieT - Oops! I'm glad somebody's reading what we put up there, even if it isn't us. I just yelled at our webmaster about that. By the way, if you're looking, yes, that's my picture on page 12... :)
  10. Astroboy


    Feb 16, 2006
    That Looks sooooooooooooooo easy WOW

    What do i do?

    Take the inner side- Where the "kerf"+? is supposed to be glued- sorry never hear about it before.
    Leave some slack for surplus glue- hope not - and wind it together like boy-scout turkey?

    Or, do you, after using your saw, steamer and glue; do what?

    It looks very impressive, so there must be more than one nut around..............

    PS. I,m trying - just loking around to get a feeling from you gys, which way to start.

    Gat it sanded, it's an old Aria 2 - the wood's real nice so maybe I 'll stay with a light sllellac.

    But I'll wait for responces, off course, being in such nice company

    Michael :)

    PS: The trim i wanna put on as the latest, black or white