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veneer instead of drop top. good idea?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ArtisFallen, May 10, 2005.

  1. ArtisFallen


    Jul 21, 2004
    I'm looking into building an EUB, and i want to have a figured top, and possibly sides, but i don't want to spend sixty bucks on some low grade flame maple top that i've seen way too many times.

    I found that using a thin wood veneer is WAY cheaper, offers more wood options, some that i'd never heard of before, and might be my solution. Should i not even be considering this? are there complications that would make this more trouble than it's worth?

    and if the answer is no, is there any particular vendor who offers really good products and/or prices?

    thanks a bunch
  2. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Believe it or not, but I've heard of people (fellow TBers) getting great deals on quality veneer from, of all places, eBay.

    Also, I'm wondering the same thing you are.
  3. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Why not?

    There are special angles on gluing thin material, and veneer do have a tendecy to break easily.
    But, if you handle it with care, and dont have too much profile in the surface to veneer...just be careful.
  4. I work in the office furniture industry where veneering is very common place. I would suggest if you are considering this to keep the following in mind:

    1: Are you planning on radiusing the edges, if so how is this going to work with the veneer?

    2: For slightly better strength, consider looking at what are called constructional veneers, these come in at about 1.5mm thick as opposed to the 0.6mm that most veneers come in as standard.

    3: Are you binding the body? Either with wood or plastic, but this may help with protecting the fine edge.

    4: Dependent on the size you are making the body do you want to bookmatch or slip match the veneer leafs?

    5: On the whole with veneers you don't get quite the same depth of figuring you get from the solid but the difference is negligible at any distance.

    6: Are you going to veneer the back? this is reccomended to balance the loading. It may not be an issue on bass body scale but you would be amazed at how much pull veneer can put across a piece.

    7: I often see the cabinet makers here using steam irons to bend veneers round radius's, this may work on a drop top, but I'm not certain.

    I hope this is of some use.
  5. ArtisFallen


    Jul 21, 2004
    this is all really helpful guys thanks alot

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