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Using veneer. . .

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Wolak, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. If I were to use veneer (walnut) on top of an ash body, is there any downside to it? I've read where it is better to use a thicker top because you will get a better or more solid sound due to the thickness of the top. Does a thicker top vs. a veneered top really make a huge difference in sound?
  2. At the risk of pissing off a lot of purists, I'll give you my take on it.

    IMHO it will not affect the sound at all. If you put a 1/42" veneer or a 3/8" top, will not change a thing.
  3. Rene


    Mar 8, 2004
    It will depreciate the value of your bass, because it won't be considered a solid wood bass anymore just like a plywood acoustic guitar compared to a solid wood one.
    Plus you create yourself a lot more work
  4. I'm not really concerned with it depreciating my bass. It would be something that I'm building for myself. I also wouldn't be placing cheap veneer over plywood. I would be placing exotic veneer over quality ash. . .and there is nothing quite like a quality piece of ash. ;)

    I'm just wondering if it will effect the general tone of the ash. I really can't see how, being such a thin piece of wood. . .unless the glue has some effect.
  5. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I'm with Wilser in terms of pissing off purists. If you think it'll look awesome, go for it. If it's well made and you've got decent electronics, the tone will be there.

    Personally I like a top that's a bit thicker, but that's just because I like my figuring to be a few miles deep. Veneer will still give you figure, but sometimes if it's too thin it won't get the mobility that a thicker piece would have.

  6. I use veneer like this pretty often. When it's done well, it can be a great enhancement to the looks and, like my colleagues have said, doesn't affect the tone at all. It's the mass and type of mass of the body that gives tone. A veneer top would comprise less than 1% of the body mass and you could have more than that tied up in poly finish
  7. I appreciate all of your comments. I'm thinking of using a veneer because I want to do a beveled edge on the body. This would give the top a certain look and the bevel would be a different color/wood. I'm thinking it might be a cool effect. Kind of similar to a MTD with a thin top.
  8. mahrous


    Aug 13, 2005
    in this case, how does the veneer behave when ur routing etc etc?

    how do u cure/treat the veneer so it doesnt break or crack when ur working with it? i always thought thats one major limitation. if someone can provide a brief usage instructions, i will be grateful :)
  9. It's best to use a true veneer glue. They cure harder to prevent creep after drying. The best site for getting tips on veneer use is www.joewoodworker.com - they've got all the glue, materials, and tools for veneer work.
  10. just curious...is this similar to the stuff that you use to apply formica? or is it something completely different?

    speaking of formica anyone dared to make a formica topped bass, yet?
  11. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    Check Rumblefish basses :)
  12. Totally different. More like ProBond wood glue with pecan shell flour in it. The stuff for Formica is contact cement.