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Last night I was looking at one of those knife handles that is made from different colored laminated woods all put together then carved so that you have a rainbow effect of woods.

Thinking about this and knowing that in some of the finer hobby shops around I can find veneers of different hard wood's I began to think it might be kinda different to laminate different hardwoods together then cut out a fret board and radius it down to say 12" or so showing the different wood's on the side.


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I like the idea brian. Just a case of making sure the laminates are the correct thickness to looks right when radiused. If they were too thick you would just end up with a stripe, i suppose. Also, you would get a cool wavey line between the woods which would look ace :D

Glue lines may be a problem, perhaps...

Get testing... B)

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Guest Litchfield Custom Gutars

I say go for it. I have yet to see something like that. I have seen gibson les pauls with 3 piece rosewood fretboards....but that isnt slick lookin. Maple purpleheart and ebony.

:D Ha! Derek and I have officially corrupted the forum! LONG LIVE THE PURPLEHEART TREES!

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Sounds interesting - the only thing I think you's have to think about is getting woods of similar hardness otherwise over time you may find that the veneers wear at different rates - came to mind as I've been workng on a 40's Gibson and the fretboard had gouges a few mm deep from finger wear.

I dont think the tone should suffer too much - in the 90's BC Rich made neck backs that were 100 strips of maple glued together along the length which supposedly gave greater stability - dont know if it did or not but they sounded the same as the ones with solid maple necks.

If all the veneers are pretty hard wood, the tone should be reasonably consistent - suck it and see I guess ! Make sure you get some pics up on here when its done though.

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I think the idea has promise.

Rather than just doing a flat lamination and getting a pinstripe pattern I would try roughing it up a bit. The same idea is used in jewelry but the surface is pounded with hammers and punches then rolled. That wouldn't be quite as easy with wood but I think if you soaked the veneer in a glycerin and water mix and then clamped it in a very uneven caul you could get lots of hills and valleys that would provide an interesting pattern when sanded flat. Kind of like this.


Of course you would have to start with a very thick stack so there is something left after sanding. Also I would think that this would be a very unstable piece of plywood and might not stand the test of time. It would have to be hard finished I'm sure. Still, I think it might be worth looking into. I have lots-o-veneer to play with. :D

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It's called Dymondwood

Look Here

That is just a flat lamination cut on the diagonal. Very nice effect but would be pretty hard to make long enough for a fretboard without making large quanities. You would have to make a very thick lamination to be able to cut a diagonal section and have a lot of waste. Of course the waste could be used for other things.

My method would involve a flat lamination but with hills and valleys pressed into the lamination. As you sand down the hills to the same level as the valleys you expose the layers. The question is whether or not you can press a pronounced enough topograghy to create a nice effect.

With all that said I think the Dymondwood technique would be a lot easier and is still pretty spectacular.

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