Iron-on veneer as side wood?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Simski, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Can pieces of iron-on veneer be used for guitar sides instead of bending thicker pieces of wood to shape? The veneer is of course much easier to bend and put into shape but will there be any unwanted side effect of gluing together three pieces of veneer to form a side than to heat bend a 2 mm thick piece?
  2. Smilodon


    Feb 18, 2012
    The iron on veneers have a hot melt glue that stay slightly flexible, and is quite thick. Structurally that will probably cause trouble. You could use normal veneer and wood glue to make a form of plywood. If you do you will probably need to clamp the pieces to their final shape to prevent the wood from cracking.

    Also keep in mind that if you sand through the outer layer of veneer it will most likely be noticeable.
  3. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    I have never tried it on sides. Generally I am very impressed with paper backed veneer. I veneered a couple of guitar tops. I use a process which is incredibly easy, at least on flat tops! Couple of issues. . . It will be difficult to iron this on edges. Vacuum bagging would be ideal! Assuming a natural finish? If you veneer the side you will see flat grain like an acoustic instead of end grain like a solid body.

    if I were to try this it would be with contact cement and a thick poly finish. I believe getting tight, square glue edges will be challenging.

    Let us know how it comes out!
  4. My idea was to glue and clamp three or four pieces into a mold and press it into shape. My guess was that several layers of regular glues would fix the shape. However, sanding could be an issue.
  5. Worked like a charm on the edging for my Viola bass, but the maple veneer was not the iron-on glue type. Just good quality veneer and wood glue worked fine. We also used some veneer softener and got the veneer softened up for some radical bending in advance:

    14RK_V_Carved_Back_04.jpg 15RK_Viola_SofteningVeneer_01.jpg 16RK_V_GluingWaistVeneer_03.jpg
    Will_White likes this.
  6. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    That bass is you avatar!? Right? Sadly i never really paid attention until right now. Its awesome.

    Cool info too.

  7. Hey thanks Early,

    Yeah, I transplanted a Line Six Variax coffin for the electronics, so there are 24 modeled basses in there.

    Build thread here if you want to see more.

    My Viola Bass Build

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