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how can i fold a 1/4" maple top


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ok ok, Next Drop top I do I'll do a Tutorial. I use a Vacuum Press to do it now but I can explain how to do it the steam and clamps way for you. You'll need lots of clamps.

1. Cut the Body shape slightly larger than final size. Don't route the pickups or neck pocket.

2. Make sure your forearm contour is gradual. If it's too abrupt the top will crack when you

bend it.

3. Draw a pencil line on your top to roughly show where the bend will be.

4. Slightly dampen the top in the area of the bend. Be carefull not to saturate the glue joint

of your bookmatch or you'll risk separating when you add steam.

5. Spread Titebond (not titebond 2) liberally on the body. Get some flat boards to distribute

the clamping force for the flat part of the body clamp the top to the glued body.

6. Steam the forearm bend until it becomes slightly flexible. Again be careful not to get too

close to the bookmatch glue joint.

7. Start clamping from the flat top and keep adding clamps slowly down the contour until

you get to the end.

8. Go back and check all your clamps to be certain they're tight. Glue lines are ugly.

9. Go away for a day or two. If you take the clamps off too soon the bend will pop up

10. Remove the clamps and sand the body to final size. I say this because Figured wood

tends to tear out and chip when routing.

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I made a Brian Moore style 7 that's green/quilt top like Scott's, mahogany back, 2 hums, I perked up when I saw that pic they're so similar. (Nice work by the way) On that one the top has that "arc" radius. There's no forearm bend, but a constant radius across the whole top. So what I did there was to start with a very oversized top, cut only for the fretboard. (deep set neck, already attatched) I pre-arced it. Then I put a piece of MDF under the guitar. I drilled over 100 holes all around the body, and then used screws as my clamps. It was wonderful. I could put the screws in at an angle to adjust the direction of the pressure, and because they were screws (duh) I could adjust the exact amount of torque. I did also use weight across the top. Because of the cutout for the fretboard, it worked wonderfully in the cutaways. I was thinking how this would work on a drop top, and I think it would be okay, but since most of the guitar is flat, you might as well clamp it, to get even pressure across the whole top.

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