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Veneer / Routing Question


Downfall
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Hello!

I'm new to the board and to building guitars...

I was wondering why tutorials showed that you had to glue two halves for the veneer and then cut the cavities. Can't we glue a whole a sheet and then route the body normally?

Also, I've never manipulated maple veneer. Is it possible to glue it on a body that has a few angles and a archtop? or do I absolutely need a 1/2" maple top?

And what about recessed knobs? Routing before / after?

Thanks!

Edited by Downfall
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Hello!

I'm new to the board and to building guitars...

I was wondering why tutorials showed that you had to glue two halves for the veneer and then cut the cavities. Can't we glue a whole a sheet and then route the body normally?

Also, I've never manipulated maple veneer. Is it possible to glue it on a body that has a few angles and a archtop? or do I absolutely need a 1/2" maple top?

And what about recessed knobs? Routing before / after?

Thanks!

Because the parting line (line that the two halves makeup when they come together) is usually the center line of the guitar, you want to reference everything off of that.

It is very possible to glue it on a body with angles and an archtop, given you have a thin enough piece of veneer stock, something like 1/32 - 1/16" of an inch. Be warned with a thin veneer it's easy to sand through it.

The thicker tops are carved into that shape, not formed into that shape.

As far as the recessed knobs, before or after what?

Hope this helps.

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Thanks it does clear things up

I understand the center thing for the two halves. Can I route cavities (pickups and "circular cavities" for the knobs) after installing the veneer? Because all I've seen was, glueing half of the veneer, cutting with a knife along the side of the pickups, then glue the other side, etc or that was for adding a veneer on an already made guitar?

Thanks again

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Thanks it does clear things up

I understand the center thing for the two halves. Can I route cavities (pickups and "circular cavities" for the knobs) after installing the veneer? Because all I've seen was, glueing half of the veneer, cutting with a knife along the side of the pickups, then glue the other side, etc or that was for adding a veneer on an already made guitar?

Thanks again

I believe that was for an already made guitar. However, I don't see the harm in going that route either. I haven't routed veneer stock myself, so I don't know how prone it would be to chip out.

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Hello!

I'm new to the board and to building guitars...

I was wondering why tutorials showed that you had to glue two halves for the veneer and then cut the cavities. Can't we glue a whole a sheet and then route the body normally?

Also, I've never manipulated maple veneer. Is it possible to glue it on a body that has a few angles and a archtop? or do I absolutely need a 1/2" maple top?

And what about recessed knobs? Routing before / after?

Thanks!

You absolutely can glue down veneer first then route. Treat your veneered body blank like a solid piece of wood. Just remember you will have a visible glue joint everywhere you cut through the top. Most of the time these are covered over but dished recesses are going to show. As for veneering archtops, I've done that to, but only had success using a vacuum press.

Look here

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I keep reading your question which brings up a whole host of other questions about what you are trying to do. Full sheets half sheets and archtop or contoured surfaces.

Maybe if you just asked us about what you are really trying to do it would be much easier to understand the application qnd the question?

Here is my two cents if it even makes sense for what you may or may not be doing.

Most people who use veneer do so because wood is expensive. Book-matching two identical half's is the reason to veneer. There is no way I can reliably say you can glue together two veneer pieces without special tools then apply the veneer as a single sheet. I have bought it this way but its not a standard everyday item. Since most guitar bodies are two pieces it is easier to glue each half of the veneer topper onto each half of the body then glue the four pieces together all at once. 1. glue veneer to each body half 2. glue body together ligning the top surface carefully

. Again this is assuming you have two sheets of a book mathched veneer set. If you have a single sheet be aware you need to apply even pressure across the whole guitar body. It is easier to do that in half a body. Each method has some pluses and drawbacks.

If you rout through a veneer layer that is on top of a routed cavity you can chip the fragile veneer. there is nothing underneath supporting the veneer. If its on top of solid wood there is no chipping as said before and this is what people do when the build.

As far as curved surface a vacuum pres is the only reliable method that will ensure even pressure over the body. I know of no other way to apply veneer to that kind of surface.

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Sorry if I haven't been clear enough! My english could be better :D

I have ordered a one-piece mahogany body blank and I plan on doing a custom shape. I wanted the quilted maple finish like on this one: 420262210_o.jpg

Since it's quilted and not a flame maple to do the book-match thing, I wondered if I could use only a one-piece veneer sheet, with the help of the vacuum press.

As for the routing , my questions have been answered!

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A one piece veneer could work

No, it won't work.

You cannot get anywhere near the depth of real Quilted Maple with veneer.

I don't care HOW nice or 'su-wheet' the veneer is, it cannot mimic the true depth of a real piece of Quilted Maple.

I have some 5-A Quilted Maple veneer right here, the finest you can get, and I cannot make it look like REAL quilted Maple no matter what I do to it.

...And I can make some maple look sweet, believe me. :D

And I will say again what I've said a thousand times, veneering is not for amateurs.

It takes time, patience, repeated efforts, and talent to make veneer look stunning.

It is an art all unto itself that takes time to get right.

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No, it won't work.

You cannot get anywhere near the depth of real Quilted Maple with veneer.

I don't care HOW nice or 'su-wheet' the veneer is, it cannot mimic the true depth of a real piece of Quilted Maple.

I have some 5-A Quilted Maple veneer right here, the finest you can get, and I cannot make it look like REAL quilted Maple no matter what I do to it.

...And I can make some maple look sweet, believe me.

And I will say again what I've said a thousand times, veneering is not for amateurs.

It takes time, patience, repeated efforts, and talent to make veneer look stunning.

It is an art all unto itself that takes time to get right.

Then what would you suggest? Going with a thicker maple top?

If I choose a 1/4" quilted maple top and I sand it to my final shape, would it give better results as a first build?

My mahogany blank is already 1 3/4" so the thickness bothered me. But I can always sand it down to what I want right..

Also, veneer usually comes in bunch of sheets and it's cheap, so I thought I could try different finishes and techniques before applying it to the guitar.

Edited by Downfall
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Do a search for veneer in the finishing/inlay section and you'll see how many things that can wrong with veneer that you don't get with a piece of wood. Drak is very experienced with finishing and does some amazing work. Almost all of the veneer posts you'll see him chime in at some point. The first part is getting the veneer clamped down properly. Even after that, there are a lot of things that go wrong that you don't expect. Even if you get a great finish on the veneer when it's laying on the work bench, it will react differently on the guitar.

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