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"Drop top"

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by brothernewt, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    Can anyone tell me how Warmoth does their "drop top"? ...where the 1/8" top is formed to follow the countours of the forearm countour of the intrument body? ...and if that can be done with slightly thicker laminates?
  2. They actually bend the top over the forearm contour and glue it in place.
  3. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    Actually, this is quite a bit of overkill for most lam-tops. With this setup we can do tops as thick as .2"

    We also steam and pre-bend (with a plain old steam iron) really hard woods like rosewood and bloodwood before they go in the tank.

    While I was at Roberto-Venn, I did a 3/16" maple drop-top on a bass with no vacuum bag or pressure tank. I routed the underside of the top with parallel slots in the contour area. They went about halfway through and were cut with an 1/8" bit, stopping about 3/4" from the edges of the body. Then with a little water from a spray bottle on the top, the maple curled down to meet the contour on its own. About a million cam clamps later... voila! I bursted the edge of the body to obscure any small gaps, but on the whole it looked pretty good, as I recall.

    The real trick here is to carve the contour on the body so that it only bends along one axis, if you know what I mean. You need to be able to hold a perpendicular straightedge flat at every point as you go down the curve or you'll never get the top to lay down properly.

    Attached Files:

  4. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    ok.. the info was on the website and i just couldn't find it... thank you for the extra input.