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Veneer trimming on rounded edges

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Gin, May 29, 2017.


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  1. Gin

    Gin

    Apr 11, 2008
    Manitoba, Canada
    Hey there, I recently redid my jazz bass as a little personal project of mine. I've installed a thin flamed maple veneer on top of the body. The issue is that the body has has rolled edges, so what should I do to make the transition of the veneer to the edges smooth? I dont plan on bending the veneer to the rolled edges and Im not making a burst finish to hide the edges either, it will be all one color.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Englishman

    Englishman

    Apr 26, 2017
    Detroit
    Any chance of a couple of pictures?
     
  3. Gin

    Gin

    Apr 11, 2008
    Manitoba, Canada
    Yup! I cut around the edges with a razor, but veneer edges seemed really inconsistent on inner horns and wide curves. I just want the veneer edges to be flush with the body, but I dont want to sand away the figuring. Veneer sheet was .05mm IIRC.

    20170529_160940. 20170529_160956. 20170529_161014. 20170529_161028.

    Im by no means experienced with this, only followed online tutorials.
     
  4. steve_ss

    steve_ss Shiny, let's be bad guys. Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2016
    Southern NJ, USA
    The only way to get the veneer to come to the edge of the body is to have it wrap over the rounded edges. With compound curves around the perimeter, that's not likely to happen. Your best bet might be to lightly sand the edges of the veneer with fine sandpaper (320 or 400 grit) to blend/feather the edge into the body. Apply new color as needed. I'm not a luthier, just a guy on a web site with an idea that might or might not work for your project. I'm too much of a chicken to take my bass apart like you did. Post pictures of your progress.
     
  5. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    I think you are going to have to just carefully sand and blend (and should have done so before getting started with color.) As a "hindsight" input you might want to leave it a little big if there's ever a "next time" so that you are merely getting the veneer to match the roundover, as opposed to having to worry about divots in the veneer edge making you have to make the roundover a bit bigger to get it clean/smooth. Filler seems chancy (it never really looks like wood), but might be an option for small divots.

    To clarify - not sanding the face of the veneer (much/at all - at 0.5mm it's not going to take much to go right through it) but sanding the edge and the roundover edge to get them to be one. If it was 0.05mm I don't think you'd even get it on there...that would be 2 thousandths of an inch.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  6. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I recommend that you use a small half-round file to go all around the edge of the veneer. Don't round over the edge, just give it a nice even bevel that ends up flush with the edge where the body roundover starts. When you get that edge bevel smooth and even looking, harden the edge with superglue. Put a little bit on the edge and let it soak in. Lightly sand the bevel again, then repaint your red.
     
    T_Bone_TL likes this.
  7. Gin

    Gin

    Apr 11, 2008
    Manitoba, Canada
    Ill try the half round file method to see if that will solve my problem. I originally was going to round the veneer over the edges, but didnt think it would look good IMO. Will update when Im finished, which shouldnt be too long.
     
  8. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yes, don't try to round over the edge of the veneer. It's very thin and it will come to a feather edge, which will be fragile and difficult to get even looking. That's why I recommend a simple bevel.

    If you want to get fancy, you can put a wood binding all around the veneer. Rout carefully using a rabbit bit to put a square edge on the veneer, back a bit from the rounded edge of the body. Glue in fitted pieces of hardwood, like maple. Then round that over to blend with the body's round over.
     
    T_Bone_TL likes this.

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