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Thickness of exotic tops

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Thomas Kievit, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Hello all luthiers!

    I've been thinking for a while now what exacly is the average thickness of exotic woods when used as a finish. I remember a while ago I read something about 22 mm for buckeye burl, sounds alright since it might be a bit tricky to work on..

    Is this the same kind of thickness for other woods?

    P.s. I'm not a luthier, I'm just curious to find out :p
  2. Really all depends on species, availability, price, weight, useability.

    A carved body will require a thicker top vs. a simple design

    I know some builders buy billets and resaw them down to preferred thicknesses. Others buy them presawn and book matched.

    So the answer is there is no steadfast rule . Ive seen a number in the 3/8" - 1/2" realm.
  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I prefer 1/4-5/16 for my tops. I've done 3/8 on occasion.
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    It depends on what I am doing, If I am going to do a bass with a forearm relief, and I want to bend the top over the relief with steam I will do no more than 3/16-1/4 inch. If I am doing a big round over Ill go 3/8.
  5. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    My minimum top thickness is 3/8" but generally I like 1/2" to 3/4". 8 do not like doing drop tops, and I do a good number of carved top guitars so I prefer thicker tops. 8 can do forearm reliefs without too much if any core show through, and I just like the look of the thicker top, it speaks to a degree of difference, and god knows I like being different....LOL
  6. Nidan


    Oct 31, 2008
    Duluth , Ga
    1/4"-3/8" for mine

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