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Re-Topping a Body

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by LajoieT, Sep 2, 2004.


  1. LajoieT

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

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    OK so I'm wondering if this will work. Suppose I buy a basic pre-routed body from Warmoth/Alparts etc, Ash or Alder bassic body. Would it be possible to plane say 1/4 or 1/2 inch off of the top of the body and then laminate a topwood to it? *IF* my thinking is right I should then be able to drill a hole into the already existing pickup routs and with something like a laminate trimming router bit (bearing guided) be able to route out the pickup cavities and neck pocket to match the original. I can immagine that I would need to be carefull not to remove too much over the control cavity or it would be too thin to get the laminate top to adhere, or I could remove the wood over the control cavity completely and have just the laminate top cover the cavity. Are there any unforseen difficulties in this process? Might the planer rip up the wood around the areas that have already been routed?

    Once again, Thanks for all the expert advice!!!
     
  2. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Yea, of course you can do something like that...
    Any rough spots you create can & should be sanded down...

    In fact, here's a link that'll help you do just that, minus the planning down.

    http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/veneer.htm
     
  3. The ash will be worse for tearout in this after-the-fact topping. Alder would work better. If either might be to much of a problem, I would find someone with a thickness sander and do it that way.
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    You should also keep in mind that the body will be rounded over and will have a forearm cut. You'll have to figure out how you'll go about reshaping it.

    Why would you do this rather than just have Warmoth send you a body with a top already laminated on?
     
  5. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Yea, good point... BUT...

    Warmoth doens't always offer the tops you might want, & I'm not sure how flexible they'd be when it comes to allowing you to supply your own top...

    However, in that thought, I know for a fact, Tommy & the
    guys over at USACG are more than willing to let you supply your own tops, & body blanks.
     
  6. LajoieT

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

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Cause I'm thinking of doing something a little different
    ;) ;)

    BTW HELLOOOOOOOOOO to FBB Custom!!! I've driven by your shop a few times but I've never had the time to stop in and say "hi!", plus i always kinda figure you're busy buiding somebody's dream... Anyways, I'm nearby, live in Agawam and work for a local health system which keeps me travelling around the area which was how I happened across your local shop. I didn't even realize you were on TB till the interview last month. Well, just wanted to say howdy to another Western Mass Local and thanks for the advice.
     
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Well hello western mass.

    You can just never know why people want to do the things they do. There are good reasons and bad reasons for DIY bass projects. Wanting something different than what Warmoth offers seems good enough to give it a shot, but maybe you should just go ahead and make the whole body...