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Questions about decorative laminates...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by reverendrally, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Hi all, couldn't find a "how to" on this.

    Got a few questions.

    I bought some decorative laminates today to build a baritone for my brothers birthday. Then I realised, I have no idea how to glue this down properly. I heard say something about soaking it in water first or something. Can someone fill me in pls? Also, if I need to join two bits of decorative laminate to "bookmatch" them. How do I do it? I heard say something about "sewing them together". Is this correct?

    Secondly, I've seen a few builder a thin layer of black laminate to create a "pinstripe" accent. What do they use for this laminate? Black cardboard? Thin pine that is dyed? And where do you get it from?
  2. SaintMez

    SaintMez Commercial User

    Jan 3, 2010
    Meridian, idaho
    Blood Brothers Guitars - Luthier, Porter Guitars - Contractor
    Hey Rev,
    The black fiber veneer you mentioned I have found at luthiers mercantile international in Northern California. They also have white and both come in varying thicknesses. They also sell thin maple veneers in various colors. The fiber veneer is sturdy stuff and easy to use. It may be available other places but that's where I get mine. Hope that helps.
  3. Nomad98


    Dec 13, 2005
    The black veneer I have used has been an eBay purchase. I get a huge roll for $20-$30 bucks. It will do about two basses depending on how you use it. It's not the fiber stuff but you have to check occasionally to find it.

    As far as joining two pieces...

    I have sandwitched two pieces together buy stacking them and clamping a straightedge to the side that will be joined.

    Then take a sharp x-acto knife and trim along the straightedge.

    Open the two pieces, clamp one piece down and put a small bead of glue on the other piece.

    Then snug that piece (with the bead of glue on it) up to the other piece that is already clamped. It should be a perfect fit from the x-acto cut you just made. Clamp it in place.

    Then I clamp a piece of wood over the glue joint to make sure that the joint doesn't warp.

    The joint should have wax paper on each side or you will be stuck (pun intended). Also don't put a lot of glue on AND don't wipe any excess off before the final third clamp is applied.

    If there is an up side to the the veneer make sure it is face down when clamping the veneer pieces.

    Hope that makes sense.
  4. Nomad, could you post a link to the rolls you buy on ebay pls? I can only find carbon fibre style vinyl and the like.

    P.s. thanks for the how to!
  5. Oh, what sort of glue should I use? Titebond?
  6. Nomad98


    Dec 13, 2005
    Well this is the seller that I usually buy from "a2zveneer". You can search for him and see his products for sale. As of today he has no veneer, just your lucky day I guess!

    I usually search for "black veneer" or "dyed veneer" on ebay. I have been looking today after I posted in this thread and there are no great deals to be had but there are deals that are better than Luthiers Mercantile International in my opinion.

    I don't build a lot so I look out for this type of thing and when I find it on ebay I buy it, save it for a rainy day. It may come up for sale tomorrow or in a month. You just have to keep at it unless you don't have the time to wait.

    Titebond is the glue.
  7. Thanks, I'll keep an eye for it.
  8. Nomad98


    Dec 13, 2005
    You could email a2zveneer and see if be has some stock to sell? He has a good rating and it would save some time (just a thought).
  9. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Rev, you can also try my good friend Richard at Carlton McClendon's rare woods in Atlanta. He ships internationally and has very good prices on black dyed veneer. He usually has 2 thicknesses, 1/16" and 1/32". I like the dyed wood veneer, usually some form of poplar. My experience with the black fiber veneer is that it has an unfortunate tendency to swell slightly and make a glue line show. I only used it on one bass and thankfully it was for me and not a customer. Of course, operator error is always in play but I'd like to think I could operate a piece of veneer by now.:D (famous last words, eh?) ;)
  10. SaintMez

    SaintMez Commercial User

    Jan 3, 2010
    Meridian, idaho
    Blood Brothers Guitars - Luthier, Porter Guitars - Contractor
    Good point Brandon. I hadn't noticed this when I used it but it's surely possible. I've only used it in neck laminates but have plans to use it on an upcoming build as an accent for a body. I may rethink that...
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Ben, Can you explain--Did you end up with a thicker black line, or did you end up with a thicker glue line alongside the black?