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veneer question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JLW, Oct 29, 2016.


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  1. JLW

    JLW

    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey guys,

    I've seen a few basses that have a very thin colored line (in this case, a black line) between the body and top woods of the bass. Is it as simple as gluing a piece of colored veneer to the bass to get this effect? Or is there something more going on here?

    See attached pic to see what I mean.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. JLW

    JLW

    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    627.

    Here's the same pic embedded in the thread so you can see what I'm talking about more easily. I'm talking about that thin black line between the dark wood top and the lighter wood main body.
     
  3. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Its just a thin veneer glued between the body core and top wood, nothing particularly challenging to do. I do the same on most of mine, but I generally put two layers, a dark layer against the light wood and vice versa. In my case usually maple and walnut, but I've seen lots of different approaches and veneer thicknesses. Its a really easy way to get some interesting detail...
     
    kaoskater08 and JLW like this.
  4. JLW

    JLW

    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    great. thanks beej
     
  5. rwkeating

    rwkeating

    Oct 1, 2014
    Chicago
    none
    Do you glue the veneer and top wood at the same time or in separate steps. I ask because I've heard of ways of gluing veneer with vacuum bags(?) and other such techniques and would rather avoid going there if possible. So what are the steps?
     
  6. I have used veneer many times, I always have glued it in at the same time I glue on the top, it's not a separate step. I saw someone recently complain about their veneer getting waves in it. I think that would be a common problem if you did it as a separate step unless you used a vacuum bag or something. Doing it all in one step is a bit stressful as it's a lot of stuff to coordinate, but if you lay out all your materials logically it's really not that hard. In all the times I've used laminate I think I've had one where I got a small gap. I just filled it in with small pieces of the same laminate and you can't see it at all once finished.
     
    kaoskater08, rwkeating and JLW like this.
  7. JLW

    JLW

    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Where do you guys get bass body-sized veneer? Or do you just buy the oversized giant sheets and then save the extra for other builds?

    And if you get the veneer and it's warped, do you just glue it up anyway and it stays flattened once clamped?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  8. I buy the rolled up sheets of it, usually I put two pieces together to cover a body. The veneer is thin enough that you don't have to worry about any warping, especially after you coat it with glue and clamp it. I have bought some off ebay (not sure this is the exact seller, but...): DYED BLACK POPLAR VENEER | eBay
     
  9. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I glue it up with the core and top wood at the same time in a sandwich. To glue it up individually and make it work is more work because its basically the same as gluing a top veneer to a table for example. It needs careful attention to detail to ensure the joinery is nice. When you glue it in a sandwich it's a bit more straightforward but also needs good planning and quick action to get everything in place.

    If the veneer is warped, you might want to select a different piece, but it depends on thickness and what species of wood. I've gotten away with using slightly wrinkly layers of maple and walnut but I generally prefer to use the smooth stuff. Veneer is pretty cheap where I get it, which is a local supplier. I buy it in 18" wide by 72" long "rolls", so a roll is good for a few instruments.

    I love it, such an easy way to add a little detail. :)
     

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