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Figured maple top on RG Style Guitar


Boycie
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I want to build an Ibanez RG in the style of their Prestige range with a figured maple top. What I want to know is how to go about creating the angled arm rest?

If you use one piece of wood for the guitar body, shaping this would be simple, but how do achieve this arm rest if you want a bookmatched maple top on it.

If you were to glue the main body and the maple top together and then shape it you would end up with part of the arm rest in maple and the remainder in the main body wood, and this wouldn't look too good.

How do the manufacturers achieve this and show a beautiful maple top over the whole front of the guitar body.

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I may be wrong, but they shape the base wood first with arm contour, then lay the bookmatch over the top. I think there's a tutorial on the site somewhere. Another method is to have a really thick piece of maple on the top so that the depth of the contour remains in the maple, but at that point you are just wasting quality maple.

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Wow.

Thanks to all of you, especially Lovecraft for compiling the series of threads/info. My problem with guitars is I have way more ideas and styles I want to explore than time (and to a lesser extent, money). But it is still inspiring to see things like that. Scott, great work.

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Danno, dude, I think we all probably have more ideas than we have time and/or money! That's why I'm here anyway, to bask in the reflected glory while I struggle to get my paint booth built and my workshop outfitted on a meagre budget. In the mean time, I'm looking forward to finishing up on my refin job (for a friend, but not for free! :D ) so I'll have something to post, and some money to buy wood for the next project. Keep pluggin', you might be the next Mc Naught (somebody's gotta be). And , yeah, Scott's a killer, ain't he?

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I just did one and am about to do another soon. Scott Rosenberger helped by explaining it to me a while ago. He suggests that you make a gradual contour on the body and glue the top on (without gluing the area where the arm rest will be). He then suggested that you use a clothing iron to steam the maple while bending it down.

When I did mine, I fogot some of that. I didn't glue the top on before bedning it. It still worked fine but it did take longer than I expected. I have read that heat does help in preventing failures in the wood. The main thing that I got out of it was to go slow and be patient. Also - have lots of those spool clamps handy - at least a dozen if not more.

I think someone else suggested using a shower / tub to soak the wood. This would probably work fine for non-bookmatched pieces but I would expect disaster in your case.

Good luck.

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