thin wood or veneer

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by dooft11, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. dooft11

    dooft11 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    Dear all. I just acquired a blank ash J body. I want to put something on top and the back. some nicely figured wood is what i am longing for. then i have the following question
    1. As i see in ebay, those burl wood come in veneer and 3/16 inch thickness. to my understanding, the veneer shall be much thinner. so which one shall i go for?
    2. since the j body has a drop on the top - where the arm in contact. if I want to laminated the wood on it, how can i bend the wood? ( I think veneer will be easy but for those 3/16 inch.. how then)
    3. I used collect pics for future reference, when i look at Carey Nord's shop pic. i find this
    the wood top seems a big soft with the corner falling down. how is can this be achieved? the wood doesnt look like a veneer.. if i can get the wood soft like this it should not be diff to handle the drop on the j body right?
    please all master.. need help... and this gonna be my major
    christmas break entertainment.
  2. It's doubtful that that wood is soft. It has been bent by applying heat to the wood with a heating iron, most likely. Pretty much any wood can be bent in this manner (including ebony and similar very hard, dense woods).
  3. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    It's not bent - the outside edge isn't straight so its kind of an illusion.
  4. the wood can be bent with heat like already mentioned. If you are doing this it is sometimes worth adding a little saw kerf underneath the board where you want it to bend.

    I quite like it when the top wood doesnt cover the armrest. If you add a darker veneer between the body and top wood it can look really special
  5. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    One method for installing a "drop top" involves utilizing a top veneer of 1/8" (or less), a vacuum tool (, and an autoclave.

    To do this you'd utilize a glue proper for your gluing needs, glue both pieces of wood to be assembled, insert the items into the vacuum mold, insert the mold into the autoclave, add appropriate vacuum, adjust the heat setting of the autoclave and then wait for the proper curing time. Sounds complicated, but it's actually quite easy if you have the proper tools on-hand.

    Warmoth uses a similar process to make their drop top bass and guitar bodies. Unfortunately the Warmoth site no longer has linked images to an instrumnet being loaded into their autoclave.

    All the best,

  6. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    that top wood is camphor burl
    nice stuff but hella stinky!
  7. dooft11

    dooft11 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    Dear all, thanks so much for all the information. I guess at this stage i may not be able to get a vaccum set. so let me try out some heat bending method. Practice and Practice. Hey tribal, I am dan the stupid dude who bid the spalt burl from you . this is the problem i need to fix so that i still havent chose another one yet. May be you can jsut send me the spalt first and i make the second order later.
    dear Rodent, always appreciate your pro and the sharing of yo and Mr. Bone. one good news i just get some copper foil in 1000 sheet per pack in a unbelieveable price in China. so eager to share those with the builders in TB. and gyancey... so nice i can finally see you here, i had sent you tones of mail 2 yrs ago when i decide to order a bass from you..great work man.
    Tahnks more info will be appreciated or may be some good tips to share?