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The Veneer Store Question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Spambusta, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Spambusta


    Jan 11, 2012
    So I've doing some online searching, thinking of adding a cool burl veneer top for my upcoming 6 string build, and i came across theveneerstore.com. Now to my question, why on earth are these veneers here so cheap? The dimensions on some of them are huge, and the patterns look great, is there some kinda catch i'm missing?

    Edit- Does anyone have experience using their veneers as tops?
  2. powerbass

    powerbass Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    Veneer is wood sliced very thin (1/26, 1/16") so the yield is good hence the "lower" price. Yes you can use veneer for a top. The highly figured and burled veneers are often not flat when you purchase them - they can be very curled and brittle too, so before you try to glue them down they may need to be flattened first. If you have never worked with veneer it is worth doing a bit of research into flattening, joining and gluing veneer.
  3. Spambusta


    Jan 11, 2012
    Ah i see, so its like the "rough lumber" of veneers? i'll definately look into flattening it....as i thought i was going to have to plane it! Thanks a ton for saving a helpless noob!
  4. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    This is perfectly good veneer. I walk in a grab the veneers that I like from them. They're cheap because of the volume that they process.

    M. Böhlke Veneer
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Make sure you do not get paper-backed veneer. Also, as powerbass says, working with veneer presents its own set of challenges. Among them: They are obviously very thin, so you do not have the luxury of being able to sand them very much. They may also not be flat - but not because they are "rough", but because they are cut wet and may deform as they dry.

    If you want to work with veneer, you should definitely get a book on veneer work - either from the library or from a book store. Although veneer gets a bad reputation because of its use in cheap furniture, it is not always easy to do a great job with it.
  6. If you've never worked with veneer before,it may be a good idea to do some practice on something less critical first.I've only veneered a couple things in my house and had mixed results.I think a vacuum bag setup probably makes it easier to get good results but they're expensive.I used titebond and a Goodwill $2 iron and the bubinga I did bubbled in a couple spots,the figured maple worked well.
    I'd personally want more skills before I tried using thin commercial veneer on an instrument,I think the wilder the grain,the harder it is to get flat,you can have problems with the glue bleeding through and it's easy to sand right through it also.The veneers I bought were way less than 1/16",they were more like 1/32"or 1/64".
  7. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    Veneers come in many grades and thicknesses. Like FBB Custom said,don't use a paper backed veneer. If you don't have a lot of experience with veneering,I would recommend a veneer with a cross-grain backer. That means it's the top you want,with a thinner layer pre-pressed onto the back,grain rotated 90 degrees. This makes a MUCH more forgiving material to work with,as non-backed veneer is very brittle and tends to split along the grain very easily.
  8. Spambusta


    Jan 11, 2012
    Thanks for all the advice guys! so heres my plan for the veneer, im gonna buy some glycerin and plastic glue and make a softening solution and then sandwich it and put weights on top, now can i do this to get it flat, then when its still a little wet/soft clamp it forming to my body top, with maybe some newspaper in between so it doesn't get anything on the body, and THEN let it totally dry before gluing on to the body? It sounds like a good plan on paper at least :p
  9. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham

    Dec 19, 2005
  10. bassmanhamilton

    bassmanhamilton Commercial User

    Nov 21, 2007
    Owner, J. Hamilton Guitars
    +1 for Super Soft 2. I've been bending some figured wood with this stuff and it works great. Sides and bindings. I don't do any veneer work but my supplier said the his veneer customers love it.

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