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veneer vs 1/8" maple for a top


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'Drop-Top'...what is that exactly?

Is that just a top where the top wood is curved over to mirror the front body bout?

If so, then I think veneer is the harder of the two.

If you are using some, say, 3/16" or thicker wood for the top, then the only 'issue' you really have is the bending procedure for the front bout. That's no biggie.

Trying to mate two halves of veneer perfectly, glue them down, and make the one piece bend is a WHOLE different game. Veneer is so thin, it just reacts very differently than soilid wood does. You need to be aware of how to work with veneer as a whole, it's just a completely different animal.

Not impossible, but very different.

Does that help? :D

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I have heard the words drop top used as laminating a top on a body.

Yes you helped DRAK, as always. Other than mating the two halves is the rest of the process harder than using a thicker board because the veneer has a tendency to split?

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I've done both, maple veneer ~0.050" and maple 'drop top' ~0.125" (1/8th). The drop top was infinitely easier, although both were done on a flat top body (no forearm contour or anything like that).

I glued both down with Titebond. With the veneer, in addition to the bookmatching problems Drak mentions, another problem I had was that my glue thickness was not uniform across the body, so I had a whole series of bumps, dips and swales that were subtle, but still there. They would have been accented by the finish, I'm sure. When I flat-sanded the whole thing off, the higher parts sanded thru to the glue before the low parts, confirming my intuition.

Maybe thinner glue, or better clamping, would have done the job better. Best results are probably obtained with a vacuum press (I'm waiting for my wife's vacuum cleaner to fall apart so I can scavenge the motor...)

After the veneer fiasco, I sanded back down to mahogany and applied the 'drop top'; got it lined up and flat in no time. I was able to plane it down with 80 grit on an orbital sander and still have plenty of thickness. I think 1/8" will bend OK as long as you steam it first (follow the tutorial on the 1/4" top). If you go thicker than 1/4" you might have enough thickness to do a carved top.

I've heard that anything thicker than 1/8" will begin to affect the tone.

best of luck :D

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im going to veneer my maple body in the next week or so. this way i can have the tone of a maple body but the look of an exotic wood. right now im probably going to use madagascar ebony.

Please let me know how it turns out, and your procedure. :D

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im going to veneer my maple body in the next week or so. this way i can have the tone of a maple body but the look of an exotic wood. right now im probably going to use madagascar ebony.

Please let me know how it turns out, and your procedure. :D

im getting my dad to help with the veneer. he's a professional cabinet maker so he knows what he's doing. i think what you do is cut out the shape you need and cut out the holes and then iron it on. thats all i know right now. tomorrow hes taking me in at 7 until 5 to finish building it and then the tuesday i should be ready to veneer and stuff.

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k i finished vennering yesturday. i cant remember what type of wood it was (some crazy name) but it looks really cool. it was actually pretty easy. it was just glued down with clamps and stuff. the hardest part was the curves in the guitar. once it was glued on i had to take an exaxto(sp)-knife to cut out the holes for the pickup and stuff and then sand it smooth and flush. that was tediis(sp) because i could only make small cuts at a time so i didnt snap off the veneer. veneer gives you the option of more exotic woods and isnt too hard.

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