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Drop Tops

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I'm just wondering how you all do drop tops with a top plate. I've only ever tried doing it using a vacuum system. If you guys haven't tried it that way I'd say at least give it a try. It took a few busted bags before I got the setup working properly, but it's up and running now.

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I have some walnut and maple i'll be giving this "drop top" stuff a try. Iis it the thinner the better/easier when trying to bend over the contour? also could you use an iron on the wood to steam just that section? (obviously with an old shirt or rag protecting to wood from burns)

EDIT: woops, just read Scott's "step six" in that pinned thread :D

Edited by krazyderek
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I just did my first drop top, and I can say definitively that 3/8" was too thick (at least for my limited talents) to bend over the forearm contour. Add on top of that that it was spalted maple (highly variably hardness across the top). Mine cracked at the bend, across the grain, but it filled in nicely with CA and, since its spalted, it doesn't actually stand out as a crack per se.

In retrospect, I should have thinned the top to <1/4" at the forearm contour before gluing (but AFTER bookmatching), THEN steamed and bent it. It actually was fine in the "wet and bent" position, and cracked upon dry-out. C'est la vie.

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