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"sandwich" Bodies

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I've been wondering whether it's a bad idea to use the "sandwich" method of body building. No, I don't mean like Subway's Jared did. I'm talking about using boards thinner than the final thickness of the body glued together. Gibson made some guitars like this at one time, the Les Paul Recording and Deluxe models for a while.


Pete Townshend signature Gibson

I would assume there are other companies today doing the same in a cost cutting effort without making it well known.

But is there any tonal difference in a body put together in this manner than a two-piece which is at final thickness and glued together down the middle? Seems like a good way to make a cheaper body if the glue lines don't bother you.

Anyone use this technique or have any warnings, etc?

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My '73 Les Paul Custom is a Mahogany Sammy, and I tried out about 10 LP's before I bought her (23 years ago!).

She was the best sounding of all the ones I tried, I instantly knew it was 'the one'.

And it's a sammy, and it sound tremendous. Fantastic guitar. Still have it.

And I'm building a 5-piece Sammy right now AAMOF, look up my Afterburner thread, I just posted pics where you can see the sammy lines after the final body route, and the tap tone on that thing is monster good.

Like Wes said, it's BS.

Now having said that, I have also seen companies who use like 8 sticks of wood all glued together.

From that perspective, I think those guitars are pretty trashy, but they're trashy because the whole guitar was built like that, cheaply, and using 8 sticks of Alder is a 'cheap shot' in my opinion.

So anything in good measure is usually OK, but anything taken to extremes is probably not OK.

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Well it is certianly not a tonal downer if that is the question. Adding multiple strips in a nice pattern is not uncommon but it done for the look rather than to save cost.

I personaly do not like random glue ups clear coated they look cheap. If it's painted you have several pieces to deal with as the wood breathes during sesonal changes so you could see many lines forming in the paint over time.

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... Yes... but how does titebond "sound"?

Tonal spectrum of glue.... who wants to compare the sound of hide/epoxy/pva? haha! I think you can use many pieces of wood as long as the quality of the joint is good. You do want more wood than glue though, or you will be hearing the "glue" instead of the woods.

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butcher bock guitar :D

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For a proper butcher block it would have to be made of little blocks with the end grain out. I don't think that would be very stable under string pressure though :D

If someone likes that look, a normal 2 piece solidbody with a thin butcher block cap would probably sound fine and have plenty of strength as well.

Personally, I dont like that look- but it'd be "do able".

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As far as glue/wood ratio, there are MILES of difference between even a hardwood butcher block (stripes not squares) and plywood.

The N-Butcher Block (where N=number of stripes) is probably fine so long as your stripes run the entire length of the body. Endgrain-to-endgrain is the worst and weakest joint ever. But yes - painted it will eventually start to reveal witness lines that will allow you to guess how many pieces are underneath there (my black '93 MIM Strat is 5-piece).

The Gibson sammys are called "pancake" bodies - I think because they are still 13" wide but just constructed from 4/4 stock instead of 8/4. I don't think they have a centerline glue joint in the mahogany, but I could be wrong.

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