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Bowed Maple Top Piece


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Well, I got a nice piece of quilted bookmatched up and I find that it is beginning to bow a little (about 1/8 " or so on each. width wise on one, lengthwise on the other).

This piece is intended to be the top laminate fo my archtopped semi hollow electric guitar.

I have clamped the edges securely down to try to rectify the issue, but from all ya masters out there, want to know:

A) Are these pieces unusable?

:D Any way to rectify the issue?

C) What can I do to avoid this in the future?

It is unfortunate b/c these are real nice pieces...

Any help, opinions or teachings much appreciated....


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How thick is it now? And when you say "archtop semihollow" do you mean like a carved top LP or PRS but with chambers, or a 335 style "acoustic" thickness top? If its going on a chambered solidbody back and it's 1/2" thick or so, and you'll only be carving the top portion, then you're fine. 1/8" will clamp out, and assuming you have good glueing techniques it's nothing to worry about. Think about the pressure a scarf joint takes and they hold fine. The light pressure you'll need to flatten it won't be enough to cause trouble.

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What Frank said :D

You can always remove a bit of bow when you thickness, and any that is left should be easy to force out once you clamp the top on. Maple is a bitch for cupping/bowing etc so this kind of behaviour is to be expected. The top of my blue guitar (see Avatar) was cupped more or less exactly as you describe, and that came out fine.

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It'll be more like a carved top PRS than a 335, but with chambers in it. 3/8" thick

I am clamping in it flat now to avoid more bowing until I am ready to use it, so hopefully it will be okay.

Thanks for the help, it is a really nice piece, so I hope it is in condition so I can use it...


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