#1
I'm curious to know how the quilt top patters on some guitars are done?

Is that the actual pattern in the wood?
then painted over then clear coated?

I know that some of the cheaper prs guitars are veneer, (which I think means they are the quilt design is printed then pasted on to the guitar body)

I just saw a guitar made by "JET" that have some amazing patters on them!!

http://www.jetguitars.com/oneofs.html

http://www.jetguitars.com/G1.html
#2
Quote by ken styles
I'm curious to know how the quilt top patters on some guitars are done?

Is that the actual pattern in the wood?
then painted over then clear coated?


I know that some of the cheaper prs guitars are veneer, (which I think means they are the quilt design is printed then pasted on to the guitar body)

I just saw a guitar made by "JET" that have some amazing patters on them!!

http://www.jetguitars.com/oneofs.html

http://www.jetguitars.com/G1.html



Yes. Stained though, not painted.


veneered guitars have a really thin piece of wood with figuring generally glued on top. You use it to make the guitar look pretty etc...
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#3
Theres quite a few different figures maple can show.

Theres flame and quilt, mixes, and other more unusual ones. Dont forget spalting.
Saying that, you can get a guitar with that finish painted on, a "photo-flame", havent seen one in person tho.
Gibson 58 RI VOS Custombuckers
Mesa Lonestar Special 2x12
#4
Everyone has got this all wrong. All you need to do is grab your quilt off your bed, cut two guitar-shaped holes in it, super glue the pieces to the guitar body and invite someone that's around 20-30 stone to sit on it for a couple of days. Then slap a bit of varnish on it from your local DIY shop.

Job done
#6
You can actually get leather finished guitars, never seen one in person...
Gibson 58 RI VOS Custombuckers
Mesa Lonestar Special 2x12
#7
A top is cut from a slab of quilted maple, usually only about half the width of the guitar body itself. Then this is cut in half again along the side (think like you are slicing a roll or bagel in half) and the one side is flipped over, creating a mirrored effect along the middle of the body (called bookmatching). The two top halves are glued together and then glued to the body. Once the glue is dried any carving of the top is done. Then it is stained, usually with a very dark stain at first, then sanded back and stained again with a lighter stain, then again and again. This creates the quilted effect where the grain is darker than the rest of the body. Then a clear coat is usually applied.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#8
Quote by Snapple
You can actually get leather finished guitars, never seen one in person...


Ibanez made a Talman for a while (Noodles model?) cover in silver duct tape. It didn't look too outrageous, except that they oversprayed it with poly. Soon the adhesive on the tape started to move and lift, and the whole poly finish cracked and started flaking off. It looked like it had some kind of horrible skin disease. Not one of their better ideas.
#9
Yes, it's an actual pattern in the wood. I don't know of any guitar makers who actually paint on wood-grain patterns. Sounds like it would be way too much work to be worth it, for what would have to be an obscenely cheap guitar. I've heard that it happens, but I've definitely never seen it.

As for how it happens, it's at least partially natural. For some patterns, they might manipulate the wood a bit with certain sanding and staining techniques to make the patterns really stand out, but it is a natural occurrence in the wood. Maple is the most common wood used for such tops, and since maple isn't a typical body wood for an electric guitar, the maple top is usually cut relatively thin, and glued on top of the body wood, which may be something like mahogany or alder or ash.

Anyway, bottom line is: No, the wood patterns you see on the top of a guitar are NOT painted on. Wood actually looks like that.

Oh, and those JET guitars you linked to are gorgeous. And that's all definitely real wood. They use some weird exotic ones, too. Not just the typical quilt and/or flame and/or spalted maple.
Last edited by the_bi99man at Aug 27, 2014,
#10
Quote by TheStig1214
A top is cut from a slab of quilted maple, usually only about half the width of the guitar body itself. Then this is cut in half again along the side (think like you are slicing a roll or bagel in half) and the one side is flipped over, creating a mirrored effect along the middle of the body (called bookmatching). The two top halves are glued together and then glued to the body. Once the glue is dried any carving of the top is done. Then it is stained, usually with a very dark stain at first, then sanded back and stained again with a lighter stain, then again and again. This creates the quilted effect where the grain is darker than the rest of the body. Then a clear coat is usually applied.


Just want to say thank you for actually providing a intelligent response.
#11
Quote by derkym
Just want to say thank you for actually providing a intelligent response.


I also forgot to mention real quilted maple is essentially a tree with cancer. So yay tree cancer

BTW, example of a slab of AAAA natural (no finish) quilted maple --> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Q-4-FIGURED-QUILTED-MAPLE-BOOKMATCH-GUITAR-LUTHIER-/360980293182?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item540c1a263e
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#14
Quote by ken styles
Wow thanks all. I'm now more informed.

So when they have a guitar with a white / blue quilt finish..

Like this

http://cdn1.gbase.com/usercontent/gear/3116411/p1_uv5byijeh_so.jpg

I'm sure that the under base coat is white
Vs. A blue quilt finish like this

http://www.vintageandrare.com/uploads/products/29721/153286/original.jpg

Which I think has a dark base coat

Right?


Yup you got it.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#15
So many companies have their own way of involving these tops on guitars, but it is important to acknowledge the difference between a (for example) flamed maple TOP vs. a flamed maple veneer. Veneer's don't do a whole hell of a lot to change the tone - they are generally just an aesthetic. They aren't thick enough to influence the resonance of a guitar all that much.

Just something to keep in mind!
#16
Quote by the_bi99man
Yes, it's an actual pattern in the wood. I don't know of any guitar makers who actually paint on wood-grain patterns. Sounds like it would be way too much work to be worth it, for what would have to be an obscenely cheap guitar. I've heard that it happens, but I've definitely never seen it.

As for how it happens, it's at least partially natural. For some patterns, they might manipulate the wood a bit with certain sanding and staining techniques to make the patterns really stand out, but it is a natural occurrence in the wood. Maple is the most common wood used for such tops, and since maple isn't a typical body wood for an electric guitar, the maple top is usually cut relatively thin, and glued on top of the body wood, which may be something like mahogany or alder or ash.

Anyway, bottom line is: No, the wood patterns you see on the top of a guitar are NOT painted on. Wood actually looks like that.


"Photo tops" are literally that -- photos of maple or other woods printed on vinyl (like the transit vinyl that covers some cars and trucks with graphics) that are applied to the guitars and then sealed with clear paint.

Maple's a common top wood because it's easily available, both here and in Asia (Chinese maple has some of the best figuring, by the way). The patterns aren't caused by wood "cancer", but they are, mostly, due to a kind of stress. Softer maples usually have more figuring; the eastern hard rock maple is commonly used for both necks and bodies, but is straight-grained and dense.

The most common types seen on guitars are flame (those tight, straight lines) and quilt (or "curly" maple -- wider stripes that look a bit like ocean waves). But spalted maple (actually, maple that's begun to rot a bit) and maple burl are also fairly common.

Contrary to the quoted material above, maple IS a common body and neck wood, all by itself. For years, all Carvins were solid hard rock maple. Gibson's most expensive guitars have traditionally had maple bodies (the Gibson L5S solid body, for example, the L6S, the very expensive L5 archtop and many more), while less expensive mid-range guitars (like the original Les Paul Standard and Custom) and student guitars like the LP Junior, Special, SG and Melody makers, were traditionally mahogany.

Maple tops are generally decorative, but there are those who swear that it brightens the sound of the guitar, while others ignore that, suggesting that any contribution the top wood makes is minimal.

The thickness of the maple top is often the subject of serious cork sniffery. Carvin uses a 2" thick slab of figured maple to make the carved top of its SH-series guitars, while the Les Paul type guitars start with about 3/4". Others have a 1/4" slice of figured maple on top of the guitar, and others have just 1 /16th" molded to the top of the guitar. The latter is usually referred to as a veneer. It's real maple, and you can't tell the difference between it and a thicker slab simply by checking out the face of it. All real figured maple, no matter the thickness, exhibits the same "chatoyance" or changeability in different light. Photo tops don't.

This guitar has a natural figured maple top. Nothing's been done to it other than to put a slightly amber-colored clear coat on it:



This one has had some dark dye worked into the grain and then sanded back to emphasize the grain:



Here you can get an idea of the thickness of this flat-topped guitar's maple cap:



This is my flying V; the back AND the front of the guitar have a facing of burled maple over body wings of mahogany, and the neck, which runs all the way through the body, is made of more than one piece of flamed maple (the fretboard is Brazilian rosewood):




And this guitar has a Spalted Maple top:

#17
this is crazy...I've have a new found appreciation and knowledge for guitar woods, what they are and what they look like!
#18
We haven't even gotten to non-maple tops yet.

Buckeye Burl:


Bubinga:


Swamp Ash (Ceruse finish)
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#19
Quote by dspellman

This guitar has a natural figured maple top. Nothing's been done to it other than to put a slightly amber-colored clear coat on it:





This is seriously one of the best looking tops I've ever seen. What brand/model is that?
#20
Quote by darrenram1

This is seriously one of the best looking tops I've ever seen. What brand/model is that?



It's a Carvin semi-hollow.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#22
It's all a pretty straightforward process: glue a fancy top wood onto a piece of body/back wood. Truly fancy guitars will sometimes glue a fancy back wood onto the body wood as well. Then cut out the body. Then apply transparent/translucent finishes.

In this case, a black dye was applied to the face of the guitar, then sanded. Different parts of the grain take the dye in deeper than others, so you end up with a very emphasized grain pattern. Once you've done that, you can apply colored/translucent finishes (in this case a yellow, green and then blue in a burst pattern) and then clearcoat the whole thing. Here, the yellow looks almost metallic, and the total effect is called a Caribbean burst. It takes some serious skill to do this well, but the basis for the entire look of the guitar is the natural grain pattern of the wood, which is enhanced and preserved.

#23
I officially love wood!

I should let my wife know. Not sure how she will feel about that.
#24
While noodling around I found a beautiful dresser that is quilted maple.

the price tag is is $2400 so I'll pass and just go to Ikea.
Attachments:
arched_quilted.jpg
Last edited by ken styles at Aug 28, 2014,
#25
I smell Carvins... Seriously though, Carvin has some sweet tops when it comes to the figured goods. Like my CT7 and its AAAA flamed top.

You can see the thickness of the top wood (tan border looking thing around the body) in this shot.
Join the 7 String Legion!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Messiaen is Magical


Official Approval
This message has been approved by:

Mister A.J.
Head of the Department of Redundancy Department
Mister A.J.
#26
I don't know how Carvin does it, but they have some amazing top woods available. Far better than most Gibsons, equal to PRS and right there with some of the great custom builders. They mostly don't do the real exotic/offbeat woods, but they will if you supply the wood and indemnify them from any loss that their CNC process might cause. I've seen things they've done with customer-supplied spalt, chevroned redwood, etc. that have been simply amazing.
#27
Quote by dspellman
I don't know how Carvin does it, but they have some amazing top woods available. Far better than most Gibsons, equal to PRS and right there with some of the great custom builders. They mostly don't do the real exotic/offbeat woods, but they will if you supply the wood and indemnify them from any loss that their CNC process might cause. I've seen things they've done with customer-supplied spalt, chevroned redwood, etc. that have been simply amazing.

I just say it's magic and move on.
Join the 7 String Legion!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Messiaen is Magical


Official Approval
This message has been approved by:

Mister A.J.
Head of the Department of Redundancy Department
Mister A.J.
#28
this one stopped my heart for a second or 2.

Last edited by ken styles at Aug 28, 2014,
#30
Quote by ken styles
this one stopped my heart for a second or 2.


Thorn, JET, Carvin, PRS...there are all kinds of builders out there with ultra-awesome quilts out there.

There's a guy in Fort Worth who builds as Driskill Guitars, for instance.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 29, 2014,
#31
I wonder if there is a video of the processes used to make such beautiful guitars.
I'd love to see it from tree to completed guitar.
#33
No doubt your question has been answered already, but I don't wanna read the whole thread. So here's my answer:

I feel as though I had the same question as you once upon a time. Quilt/flame maple. Or spalt/birdseye or any other "figured" wood is legit. By legit I mean that the amazing wood grains are real, they are not faked in any way. Quilt/flame maple is real, that is legitimately how the wood looks. Hence the term figured tops (a figuring of the wood grains).

They take a thin layer (thin layer due to its scarcity) of this figured wood and glue it on top of guitar bodies to give it that beautiful appearance. It is mostly aesthetic, but some will argue that a maple (or some other type of wood) cap on a body with alter the tone of the instrument. Something that I do not wish to comment on specifically.

Lastly for the colour... A stain is often applied. Were a paint applied, it would cover the beautiful grain of the figured wood, rendering it pointless. Stains just give it a real pretty colour and effect.

/end story
#34
Quote by ken styles
While noodling around I found a beautiful dresser that is quilted maple.

the price tag is is $2400 so I'll pass and just go to Ikea.

I'd pay $2400 in a heart beat for that, my clothes would be stored in such style I'd give myself a Lawrence
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate