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Veneer Top


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Hi, I'm trying to make a guitar based on a Les Paul desing, this will be my 3rd project, but is the fisrt one applying a veneer top. I tried to follow all the indications, the problem is that the body had already a sealer coat, I did my best removing it with my sanding machine, but some part still showed some sealer marks, I didn't wanted to compromise the carved top so I moved on, glued the veneer in four mirrored panels, let it dry for about half a day. Some bubbles showed on the veneer (most of them in the joining lines), so I heat up my iron and did my best (I read in some posts that ironing veneer is a good idea). Everything got better and mostly all the bubbles gone away. Very pleased I went to sleep, and this mourning when I woke up the top was again full of bubbles making fun of me :D . If anyone can give me a got avise about it, will save my day. I think maybe try again with the iron (not very hopesly), or peal the veneer sand all over again fully removing some sealer that maybe is hidding somewhere (not very easy). All your comments will be apreciated. :D

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How thick is your veneer? Sounds like you need a some kind of clamping caul. Tough to do with a carved top. If the bubbles are large then I would iron them down and use a huge sandbag (or anything else you can think of that's heavy and conforms to curves) to keep them from popping back up. If that didn't work, then I would go after each quarter panel individually, or maybe even each bubble, one by one (though you might run the risk of heating up the glue from the bubbles you just fixed, and having them pop up later as well)

I'd love to see how you managed the contours with the four sheet approach. Do you have any pictures?

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Thanks to all for your comments;

The veneer I'm using is 1/42", I could make it work with an iron and a sand bag going one by one bubble. Thank You for the tip eljib. It seems it worked perfect until I was in my 4th laquer coat, and it seems one of the little bubbles (about 1/32 x 1/4) wont give up, it looks like if a hair had fall on the wet coat. I'm waiting for the laquer to dry a couple of days and sand down all imperfections with 400 sandpaper and then 800 to apply 4 new coats; maybe I could lower the bubble. If anyone can give me a good avise on how to proceed would be great, I don't want to sand down to much and make a hole or iron again and melt the laquer coat, but I think it is the obvious way to work it out.

PS: If someone can teach me how to upload and image I think it would help, I searched on the help but could find it.

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you must have some kind of hosting site for pics, i suggest photobucket. quick and easy. once youve uploaded them onto your host, get the direct link of the pic you want to post. paste the link in your message, or click the image icon right next to the smile icon when you are writing a message, and paste the link in there. that will make the pic show up instead of a link.

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I built two guitars with veneer over carved top. I used a vacuum bag setup and it worked well. Make sure you do a couple of dry runs. The middle will want to separate because of the carve but you can compensate by making gaps at the tail and neck areas of teh book match. If you are doing one piece it might split on you, but if you dry run it first you will know.

I used regular wood glue rolled on pretty thin and had no problems. Here is one guitar where you can see the veneer from the edge: Veneered carve top. And the finished guitar.

Have fun, these are great to build!

~David

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