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How to make contrasting thinline accents?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bassic83, Dec 6, 2004.


  1. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I am planning on a poplar core with myrtle burl top, my question is this- I want to have some thin, dark accent stripes between the core and the top/back. I'm thinking it's a veneer that is used, but what would be a good species to use? Or do you just dye a light wood black? I can't afford to go with Gaboon Ebony veneer, it's hellishly expensive if it can be found at all. I do have some wenge that I'm using in the neck and for the fingerboard, but I don't know if I could get enough yield out of the board I have to make body-wing sized thins. What does everyone else here use for this purpose?
     
  2. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    BTW- it doesn't necessarily need to be a black line, I would like it to be very dark. I may go with several alternating lines, i.e. dark-lite-dark-lite-dark or something...
     
  3. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
  4. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Thanks for the reply, Tim- I've been looking, but I'm at a loss as to what I should go for. My thing is, I know it will widen the line cutting out the edge of the body with a roundover bit, but is veneer going to be thick enough, or do I need something like a 1/32" layer to have a nice bordering effect? Any advice?
     
  5. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    It depends on how subtle you want the accent line to be. Wenge would work fine, and a standard veneer would be a very subtle line, or you could go as wide as 1/8" if you wanted.

    Constantines sells a ton of different types of veneers, and will take custom orders for specific length, width, and thickness measurements. I've ordered maple, purpleheart, and wenge veneers from them in the past.

    http://www.constantines.com/
     
  6. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Thanks, Grandon! Appreciate the link.
     
  7. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    LMI offers plain wood and dyed (yellow, black, blue, etc) wood veneers. The price can add up if you plan on doing a lot of stacking though.
     
  8. LajoieT

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

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Hmm, I wonder what that would look like???

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I think it would look better if it had a little color to it...I hate plain basses... :p :D
     
  10. schuyler

    schuyler

    Aug 5, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    the bass i built for jairaj used this very technique. i put wenge laminates between the walnut core and the padauk top and back. if i remember correctly they are 1/16" thick... i resawed the lumber on a bandsaw to roughly 1/8" and planed them down to final thickness. (when planing pieces this thin, they must be attached to a thicker backing so they don't shatter in the planer. i used 1/2" mdf and stuck the wenge to it with heavy duty double stick tape.) 1/16" gave a nice fairly wide line which widens a bit more at the arm and belly carvings. 1/8" will probably look more like a distinct layer than a line.

    the wenge should appear black in contrast with the poplar and myrtle. most veneers are .020" thick... i've sucessfully planed pieces down to about .040". i don't like using dyed or stained wood in my work, so my preference is for the wenge.

    more pics of the bass are on jairaj's site: http://www.jairaj.net/photos/SSW/ssw003.htm
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Here's my latest - This is a walnut top and back in a chambered design with an ash/makore/maple/makore/ash layer. The 2 top pieces and the veneers were glued up to the back at the same time in the same process.

    A word about ash - beware of the grain pores in small veneer thicknesses. They can make the continuity of the line appear jaggy or broken because they introduce dark spots where the pores are sliced open at an oblique angle.
     
  12. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    This accent is done with regular 1/42" wenge veneer. It looks thicker where it is cut on a slant.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    those laminates add a really nice visual effect Hambone! Very well done, even better than 'binding'! One question, why'd you choose ash over, say , maple?? Seems like ash veneer would be very difficult to work with.

    TimmyB......is that bass one of yours? Very nicely done!
     
  14. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I know about the line getting wider when it is cut on a slant, but that's only a 1/42" veneer, huh? Looks kinda sorta like the thickness I'm looking for. I might go a little thicker, like 1/32". Since I have a dark top and light center, I wanted there to be a good boundary betwixt the two. I may go with Hambone's idea and do the multi-lam thing. Depends on how much glue I have left. I'll eventually get around to taking some pictures, haven't got anything but the neck blank done at this point. I'm not in any kind of hurry on this project, I want it to come out nice. I figure 6 months of building and finishing...it's a learning process for me. My myrtle burl has some cherry stain in the Danish oil I'm using- comes out really pretty, almost like a walnut burl on a Jaguar dash.
     
  15. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    Hambone, +1 on the wood binding effect, very cool!

    JSP, thanks, yes that is one of mine.

    Just for giggles, here is one that I used 1/8" purpleheart on for the accent:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I wonder if I can persuade Warmoth to use a thicker (.030" is standard) accent for my bass, at an additional fee, of course.

    Or at the very least, a thicker (1/4" perhaps?) top, without the accent.

    They're really picky about special requests like that.
     
  17. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I have a good bit of Wenge veneer I think it is 1/40th I haven't used it yet because I can't figure out how to cut it. It splinters and tears. What are you guys using? Once it is in the bass and you go to round the edges with the router doesn't it leave gaps or does it cut evenly?.........Nice layering by the way guys....t
     
  18. bwbass

    bwbass

    May 6, 2002
    WA
    The maple and black fiber veneers are the only stuff we've got. We can use more veneers, though, if you like, like a maple/black/maple sandwich for example. We can do 1/4" tops on any of our bodies but you've got to either omit the forearm contour or accept that the contour will cut through to the back wood (we can't bend 1/4" tops.)
     
  19. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    Wenge veneer is a total pain to work with. Once it's glued into the sandwich however it works fine.

    Best way I have found to cut the stuff is dampen it slightly and use scissors.
     
  20. Thanx for the compliments. :D

    I got a ton of ash veneer a coupla years back. It's been here in the shop in a press for that long. When I saw that my maple wasn't going to go the distance, I got out the ash and wailed away. Not the best choice now that I've seen how it routs and sands out but it will look good nonetheless. The other thing that made it work good was that it was very wide - 16"+ - so I could do this without the problem of a center seam.