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Les paul copy veneer top


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Ok heres the deal, i got a les paul body off of ebay, hooked it up with a neck and a set of pups and all the other hardware. it sounds great but the finsh is finished and i want a quilt top or flame top so it could look at least half as good as it sounds. My question is how hard (or is it even possable) to glue a maple veneer top to my body even though its carved? i have never worked with veneer before but has worked with other forms of wood. WILL IT BE POSSIBLE??? :D

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thanks for the link, it is useless and doesnt answer the question.

It is almost impossible, for proffessional outfits to veneer over compound surfaces, and ABSOLUTELY impossible for amatuers to do it. Veneer does not stretch, it tears. It doesnt compress, it crumbles. Forget about it.

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what are you talking about?

the art school i attend has a furniture department and i know alot of guys in it, ive SEEN them use veneer and a vacuum table to put venner over PLYWOOD and it looks kick ass and stays that way for a long time.

ive even seen them stretch veneer over complex shapes, complex being 30* angles within a few inches.

so........chillout

i was giving him a alternative to the 30,000$ setup they use.

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what are you talking about?

the art school i attend has a furniture department and i know alot of guys in it, ive SEEN them use veneer and a vacuum table to put venner over PLYWOOD and it looks kick ass and stays that way for a long time.

ive even seen them stretch veneer over complex shapes, complex being 30* angles within a few inches.

so........chillout

i was giving him a alternative to the 30,000$ setup they use.

Yep, 30deg angles "for a few inches" is very common place. In fact, you'll even find samples in EVERY kitchen manufacturer you care to walk into. However, a 30deg angle AINT a compound carved top.

Find me a compound carved surface thats been veneered.

I can only give you my advice, as someone who is an advisor to the cabinet making industry, and having held positions specialising in veneers.

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For my 50 cents (or about 30p) I tried to glue a 0.5mm thick flame maple veneer over a les paul and failed miserably even after steaming it for ages with a steam iron. The trouble I found is that you can only bend it one way at one time. This, I assume, is down to the fact that the veneer remains the same width at all times and cannot be squashed to go over rounded curves.

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:D

ok, you guys have got me all confused now (not particually hard, i know)

So, how do they bend the lamintaed tops on things like ES-335's et al? I know they use formers and steam it, but in this case, couldnt one use the body as the former?

I would like to metion at this point that i have NO experience in this field at all, so if Im wrong, i accept that.

And the veneer over a carved surface, for an example, how about the top on the SAGA HT-10 kit?

3.jpg

Looks like a carved top with a veneer on it, so maybe it is possible after all.

but i could still be wrong.

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Well while in college almost 40 years ago i had a class in botany...bear with me...

in the class we were asked to section into microscopic thin sections about 15 microns thick, some tree stems (about 1 inch thick) well the knife would not cut thru because of the chemical content of the wood, so we soaked the pieces in pure ethylene glycol for about a week and you could just about tie them into a knot after that....then we ran the section thru the staining process (soaking them in various grade of alcohol 10%, 20%, 40 %, 60%, 80%, 99%, then the aniline dye. Well ethlene glycol is just a chemical that the alcohol likes to take back out of the wood.

Maybe i should tell you ethylene gylcol is very lethal and i do not know if it is legal to buy...it was back then, because there were not so many nut cases running around threatening everybody...and nobody cared about future tax payers.

I know auto antifreeze is mainly ethylene glycol but is dyed and has other crap in it so it is not useable for this.

Maybe while the wood veneer would be flexible you could sand bag or vacuum it the like to the surface with appropriate glue.

Then lay absorbent towels soaked with various grades of alcohol work up to 99% to get the glycol out until you have a paintable surface....

This would be something Tom Anderson could tell use since he does something to bend his thick maple tops on his 'drop top' models...but i doubt he is going to reveal anything to us!

I dunno if this might work, I am not endorsing it, it is a bad chemical and will waste your dog or cat or child in a day if they drink it, let alone if you absorb it some into you skin ( i think it destroys your kidneys) back then the EPA did not exist...so let this be your caveate emptor!

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This would be something Tom Anderson could tell use since he does something to bend his thick maple tops on his 'drop top' models...but i doubt he is going to reveal anything to us!

Tom Andersons doesnt have compound carves. Single direction bends are very simple... steam and bend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a link to a place that sell veneer softening solution ....i think kinda the same as ethylene glycol but he says safer? anyhow going to give this suff a try...might take a week or two or three at the rate i am moving...

try this:

http://www.joewoodworker.com/catalog/produ...products_id=191

hope this helps also do a google serch for SF-20 which the internet guys are talking about too but i don't have a clue what that is...

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  • 5 weeks later...

WEll thanks all for the reponses, as for the Les Paul top, it has curves that go left to right as well as front to back. and i dont really know if going in one pass is the way to go seeing how i never done it but i was planning on doing that. if i cant veneer the top, would makin my current maple top a transparent black be hard to do? B):D

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