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gluing a laminate body...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JSPguitars, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    I'm planning to build a bass body using many different little strips/laminates of wood, sort of a la Carl Thompson, and I have never done this before.
    Was wondering exactly how to glue the pieces together, where to start, etc.??
    the core wood of body will be mahogany, but i want to put thin layers both on top and on bottom of that, and those layers will be multi-layered in themselves, if that makes sense.
    the top will have wings of bookmtch jujube wood, with a thin strip of bloodwood in the middle of them, and the back will be canarywood and bloodwood, most likely........so should I just start gluing each individual layer together first?
    or should I glue the whole top layer to the core mahogany wood all at once, then vice versa?
    Thanks in advance
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I'm assuming you're referring to layering from front to back vs. a side to side lamination like the Les Claypool Carl Thompson?

    When I am glueing up a multi-layer body, I usually do one layer at a time (ie: two pieces of wood at a time). My reasoning for this is that sometimes, when you start to apply pressure, the two pieces of wood can slip a bit with the glue acting like a lubricant. This is only accerbated by trying to glue more than 1 layer at a time, at least for me, anyway. Also, it keeps the glue from starting to setup on one piece before I get a chance to get glue spread around on the other pieces and lined up. This might be slighly unique to my climate, as the humidity hear is usually VERY low and things dry out fast here.

    I have made my own "veneer" press from plywood and 8" x 3/4" bolts, nuts and washers. I use it for laminating figured tops to bodies. I put several braces on both sides of the press to keep it from flexing.

    If you wanted to do a side to side lamination like the Les Claypool bass, you could probably do the whole thing at once, you'll just need to rig up a press system that will clamp the pieces from front to back to keep them in line, and then apply pressure to the sides with a whole bunch of pipe clamps to squeeze it all together.

    You could use the same trick to keep the pieces lined up that we use for glueing down fingerboards. The "put a staple in it and then clip it off really close to the wood" technique.
  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I laminate everything all at once - generally no warpage to deal with.

    I pin the pieces together after they are glued and then clamp them.

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