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Bending Veneer For


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I will soon backstrap the headstock on my scarf jointed bubinga bass neck. I have plenty of ideas on how to do it but I am not sure which way is most appropriate.

My idea- steam the veneer and bend it into the 13 deg. angle during a "dry clamp" to make sure that particular piece wont split, after I am sure it has not split and is properly conforming to the angle then proceed with gluing in on (while it is still warm and damp). It will be glued in with a caul of the same angle, faced with 1/8" cork.

Do the same with layers 2,3,4+5... allowing 24 hours between allowing for both the steamed wood and glue to sufficiently dry.

Am I missing anything obvious here? Will the steamed veneer prevent the titebond from curing properly by addng to much moisture to it?

I think my planned approach will work just fine, I am just looking for a little experienced advice before I proceed.

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I will soon backstrap the headstock on my scarf jointed bubinga bass neck. I have plenty of ideas on how to do it but I am not sure which way is most appropriate.

  My idea- steam the veneer and bend it into the 13 deg. angle during a "dry clamp" to make sure that particular piece wont split, after I am sure it has not split and is properly conforming to the angle then proceed with gluing in on (while it is still warm and damp). It will be glued in with a caul of the same angle, faced with 1/8" cork.

  Do the same with layers 2,3,4+5... allowing 24 hours between allowing for both the steamed wood and glue to sufficiently dry.

  Am I missing anything obvious here? Will the steamed veneer prevent the titebond from curing properly by addng to much moisture to it?

  I think my planned approach will work just fine, I am just looking for a little experienced advice before I proceed.

i just applied veneer on the front of the headstock on my latest project. the truss rod adjusts from the heel of the neck so i was able to run the veneer all the way to the nut so it covered a curved part. i simply wet the first inch or so of the veneer..more dampened than soaked..then put it in place and clamped a small piece of dowell rod on top of it to make it conform to the curve...let it dry for an hour or so and when i unclamped it the veneer was permanently curved. then i applied the glue and clamped it in place.

so steam should have the same effect..i can't say whether gluing it while still damp will have an effect or not but i'll bet someone will come along that's tried it.

good luck.

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veneer is thin enough to not worry about steaming

That is often true but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. Many veneers are rather brittle and will crack or split with more than a gentle bend. Just to be safe I would mist it with water and a little glycerin and clamp it flat between two boards. After it dries it will stay flexible for a few days to a week. That also works good for flattening burls and other unstable veneers.

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You got it! However I amusing some stable layers of maple and walnut-about 5 layers actually. The very last layer may be figured and funky though. While experimenting last night I ended up getting the best results without using a backer (cork) on my clamping caul, with the cork on the veneer just would not fully conform to 167 deg angle. Steam and moisture did not seem to give me any benefits- the veneer bent just fine without it. I am dong this on a one piece quaterssawn bubinga neck, even though I usually prefer laminated necks. I am also going to build up the heel block area in a similar way. Off I go to glue up layer #2...

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but we wouldnt use burls or unstable veneers for extra strength on the back of a headstock now, would we?

True, but Bassman isn't looking to strenghten the back of his headstock. He's looking into giving his bass the high-end Alembic look.

It's not just burls that can be brittle especially for those of us just entering the dry winter season. Right now I wouldn't attempt to bend any of my veneer into such a small radius bend without treating it first. It's possible that the glue would soften most of the veneer enough but I'm not a gambling man.

If you read my post again the mention of burls was an off topic aside comment that the technique can ALSO be used for other things. Sorry if that was confusing.

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