Make a thicker body pinstripe 2x veneer

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chinjazz, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Hi folks,

    I'm curious if I wanted to double up on a veneer for a body pinstripe, is that fairly common to do? I have a Wenge veneer (about .7 mm thick), and I'm contemplating making it thicker by layering 2x. I thought I saw someone say they've done this before, but I may have been dreaming.

  2. It shouldn't be a problem as long as you move quick with the glue up and get good pressure across the whole body. Glue up the whole body at once, don't try and glue just the laminate, it will warp. Vacuum bags work great for this, alternatively a good caul.
    chinjazz likes this.
  3. Thanks!

    I'll take a small sample and glue it up 2 sheets to see how it will come out (thickness visually speaking).

    I wish I had the funds for the vacuum bags this go round! Seems so simple and great.

    I'll sandwich it the body, veneer, top between two 3/4 plywood boards and run 3-4 steel Beams across hz with 4-5" hex bolts clamping that down and a bunch of clamps (all at once).
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  4. Thanks for the guidance Jisch..

    I ran a test with some end pieces of maple then ripped it to get a visual.

    1.25 mm is decent enough thickness for this build (glad I'm designing to my liking).

    IMG_0348.JPG IMG_0351.JPG

    Staring to think I need a 4 tpi 1/2" blade for my band Saw :)
    William Shafer likes this.
  5. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    Great idea! And yeah, glue the laminates along with the rest of the body. Clamping pressure requirements don't change with more glue points, as pressure is evenly distributed from clamping point to clamping point. Looks good!
    chinjazz likes this.
  6. Thanks! Yeah, it was a mini rehearsal.
    The main show is already sketched out for the whole glue up. I'll dry run it a few times.
  7. Hey @Jisch or @Teacher,

    I'm wondering about one thing. Since I have two sides of veneer 8" each to be jointed down the center. Since I have two layers can I masking tape each side to be jointed? Blue or plain masking tape? I do wonder if the build up of tape (two layers) will be bad, or the pressure of the clamps flatten it out?

    I've searched up and down LC and didn't find anything, also when web searching I mostly get veneering in the context of on top and not sandwiched pinstripeing.

    Anyway, of course I don't want to jack up my first try at this technique :)
  8. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    If you plan to build a few more basses after this one, you may want to invest a little time in building a body clamping platen rig. Here's the one I built for my Scroll Bass bodies, but it works for lots of other shapes and sizes too.


    In this picture, I'm gluing up two bodies, using three platens at the bottom, middle and top. Each platen is made from 3 layers of 3/4" MDF, bandsawn and glued together. The bottom platen has the two crosswise boards attached to it as feet. They hold it up off the table enough for the clamps to easily go underneath. I believe I have 8 platens, including two bases, enough to clamp up 6 bodies at a time. But you can just make two, a base and a top.

    It's a simple design that works very well. Because of the thickness of the platens, the clamps around the perimeter still get plenty of pressure in the middle. I usually use about 12 clamps. The white sheets under each body are rough cut from that thin white foam packing sheet. They keep the squeezeout off the platens, so there's no cleanup. The sheets are reuseable many times; glue doesn't stick to them.

    The platens don't have to be the exact shape of the body. They can be a rough shape, a little oversize. I made these specifically to fit my Scroll Bass bodies, and have been using them on every one for about 20 years. But I've clamped some smaller bodies in them too.
    mapleglo and chinjazz like this.
  9. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    The secret magic trick is to lightly pre-glue the two pieces of veneer together. Joint the edges so they fit together nicely. Lay them down on a flat surface (like a clamping platen above) on a piece of waxed paper. Use a couple of dots of soft glue like Titebond to stick them together. A small piece of waxed paper on top of the glue, and a light clamp to squeeze the glue down flat. After it's dry, gently peel it off the waxed paper and lay it into the stack for the real glue up.
    Teacher and chinjazz like this.

  10. Wow, that's a giant clamping jig! I think I've got my clamping for the actual glue up planned good. I'll get a preliminary picture up here in a few days.
  11. It doesn't surprise me it was a sort of simple solution :). Sometimes I get into over thinking it a bit. Thanks again Bruce!
  12. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    Waxed paper is a sort of cheap wonder for glue-ups.
  13. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Speaking of which:

    Does anyone know where to get 18" or 24" wide waxed paper? Normal rolls from the grocery store are only 11 1/2" wide. I've done some searching around, and have only seen the wide rolls available by the case (like 100 rolls). Has anyone seen the wide rolls available individually online somewhere? 18" wide waxed paper would be really handy for our work.
  14. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    I haven't for waxed paper, but I wonder if butcher paper would work as well.
  15. I was just wondering about wider waxed paper as well.
  16. Having looked at your glue up jig, I now realize why you have 3 layers of 3/4 " MDF, or at least one reason. To provide even pressure across the entire body. Pretty smart idea!

    Because I don't have as many long clamps, my current plan is to sandwich the whole thing with 3/4 plywood or MDF, I've got 14 6" quick clamps from HF, and a 8 8" deep clamps for the middle sections with just enough height. Then take 4 of my bar clamps that have 2 foot length and run them vertically (holding down some cut bed frame steel horizontally across the body width wise), and under those another strip of 3/4 MDF to add additional center pressure. This would be the highest point in the clamp jig. I'll experiment with it tonight and post a pic.
  17. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Waxed Paper Roll 1500' x 18" 30 lb

    Waxed Paper Roll 1500' x 24" 30 lb | eBay

    I buy Coroplast from these guys at my job. I know nothing about the paper, but they are a good vendor.
    William Shafer likes this.
  18. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    possible helpful ideas:
    in acoustic builds we use go-bar decks for clamping vertically:

    for gluing up top and back plates we use one of these guys:
    mine looks a quite a bit different but you get the idea.

    -at the day job we use teflon sheet from mcmaster-carr for epoxy molding. pricey, but will last years and nothing sticks to it.
    -vacuum bagging is a really good way to go for lamination work though and you don't really need a pumping motor. you can use a hand held pump and a shut off valve and get the same result.
    -early skateboard deck pioneers would drive a car up onto their molds in the garage to clamp up a deck

  19. The go bar deck image freaked me out for a second there :)

    The second image is what I heard about but never saw it. My solution is like this one but using steel beams over a strip of wood or two and clamped down on the sides with bar clamps. I'm itching to get home from work to stage it up and snap a pic :). Thanks for replying!
  20. I know I sound like a broken record, but a vacuum bag is 100% pressure on all points. I have found it be so useful in doing glue ups. Bruce's tip sounds like a good one (as usual and expected). If you're impatient, like me, you can also do that tack gluing with super glue. I use that stuff with accelerator for a lot of quick glue type things that are not super critical. I've never had CA fail on me, but I trust Titebond for the critical stuff.
    chinjazz likes this.