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argytar

Would You Carve A 5A Flame Maple Top 1Cm Thick?

5A maple top 1cm thick  

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I got a 5A flame maple top that looks amazing. I was wondering...

a. would you use it as a drop top say on a thinline tele style build or

b.would you carve it leaving a 2mm faux binding line??? (maybe use some cream plastic binding)

Thanks for the help guys!

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Whatever you do I would prefer not to use plastic binding, use a flashy wood. Putting plastic is like steel wheels under your Corvette.

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Lots of examples floating around where builders have carved a top where the carve goes all the way through to the body, either by design (after a particular look) or necessity (top was too thin to retain a binding edge). No reason you couldn't carve it if that's the look you want, or even just stick with a shallow carve.

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1cm allows for a bit of contouring but not much, as Wes says. Binding would allow you to fake a thicker top if done cleverly using a combination of both a drop top and a carve. The binding would merely hide most of where the Maple is bent to imply an illusion of depth. Go with your level of experience and ability I guess. A drop top can look just as stunning as a carve when done well.

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I'd carve it......I'd carve most anything though, to be honest. Smooth contours are more interesting than flat surfaces to me, but that's just me. RestorationAD carve nearly all of his tops and his tops are rarely over 3/8" thick, usually only 1/4".

SR

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I think it depends on the design and the wood choice, my 7 string top was only 7 mm thick, although I would love to have 3/4 mm more.

Voted for carved!

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If you route your binding channel first you could see how much top material you have before going through it. You could leave the edge at 1mm thick and hide it with binding I would think and that would give you enough for a nice contour. Nothing PRS-like but it can still look great.

*Sorry, I think I just repeated what's already been said. :blush

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It looks like you have plenty of options. I personally vote for a drop top.

If you decide to carve a 1 cm thick piece, it will get very thin at the edges. Be careful when sanding that you don't sand through the top at the edges. You probably wouldn't ever to that, but I did when I got a little ham handed. That's how my intended finish turned quickly from amber to amber with a dark tobacco burst. :rolleyes:

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Perhaps this is a cross between both ideas - bend it across a large radius. Radius the body to about 2'-3' (600mm-900mm) and bend the Maple over that. You then have the full 1cm of depth with which to do any contouring or even a more aggressive bend for a drop top. This is getting to the territory where you need to consider the application of heat however I have seen Drak bend wood without it before. Figured woods are more liable to cracking if you do this without heat.

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Perhaps this is a cross between both ideas - bend it across a large radius. Radius the body to about 2'-3' (600mm-900mm) and bend the Maple over that. You then have the full 1cm of depth with which to do any contouring or even a more aggressive bend for a drop top.

I love the sound of that. My first thought was this would look great on a body with a big bottom, if you know what I mean. I'll file this idea for later.

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By all means :-)

I guess I have to qualify my thinking behind it though. The OP asked whether or not we would carve a 1cm thick top. On the basis that I don't like yes/no answers at the best of times (try me) I automatically started thinking of ideas on how to get the most mileage out of that piece. Same as how a recarve/recurve accentuates the edges of a PRS or vintage LP contour, adding an overall curve to the entire piece or even bookmatching at an angles of a couple of degrees can turn an otherwise flat top into a spectacular piece. Kind of like how (Mark Wood?) makes his electric flying V violins.

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Hello again and thanks for the great ideas!!

The following is the guitar body and 5A top in question!

DSC00623_zps4738a803.jpg

Thing is , the top is quite thick now.. I was wondering... Should I bring it down to 7 mm or maybe get a carve at an edge of say 3mm and use 6mm binding going into the mahogany (3mm) at the edge?? (Or should I leave it like it is? Top thickness is 10mm, overall thickness is 45 mm , a usual tele is at about 44 as all of you know)

Here's a pic showing the edge

DSC00588_zpsbe8e4bc5.jpg

Thanks for any insights!!

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I eventually went another way. I wanted to make a Gretsch-Tele hybrid so I planned the top to 6mm , re-routed for TV jones and installed black/white binding. I ll make a bolt on neck with an ebony fretboard and neoclassical inlays and use a rocking bar bridge. I also rounded the body a bit, and broadened the f-holes so that a pot can fit through.

Here are some pics, the project is still under construction.

DSC00688_zps4a033269.jpg

DSC00687_zps3a3938f5.jpg

DSC00691_zps17a1b6af.jpg

DSC00692_zpsa721ed27.jpg

DSC00693_zpsf60a60fa.jpg

DSC00694_zps24e93301.jpg

DSC00695_zps33d28b3a.jpg

DSC00697_zps737c6520.jpg

DSC00703_zps489da557.jpg

DSC00704_zpsb898ddb9.jpg

DSC00705_zpsbe77d4b5.jpg

Still in the works but I think I like how it' coming about! I 'll paint it orange (you guessed it!)

Maybe it will look something like this, only with nickel hardware and a bound fretboard with neo-classical inlays...

gretschotele1_zps53e312e1.jpg

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I would go with the binding, don't think I would want to mess with the beauty of that wood. Maybe do a little MOP inlay on it in a spot or two just to spice it up a bit.

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