#1
First of all, I've searched extensively on google and looked at project guitar. I can find tuts on doing it to a flat top, but not a contoured.

I am contouring the guitar body I am building, but want (or need) to apply a veneer on it. The veneer in question is a jigsaw puzzle of pieces 70mm square (plus interlocking bits). The body will have only a slight contour (5-10mm difference in thickness between centre and edge).

The pieces are not yet glued or taped together (cutting them with a laser cutter in week or so), so I could apply them seperately. I will be using a good quality vacuum press.

Question: How can I apply a veneer over a contoured surface?

Thanks
#4
^ Did you read it?

Taken from the tut

Once you have spread the glue around evenly Place the largest of your weight bags along the bottom of the body and let it hold down the curve of the arm rest for you as the veneer bends to conform.




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#5
Clarify: Do you mean countours like a slope for the forearm, or a carved top?
#7
Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. I mean a carved top

And I did read that tut, but that wouldn't work on what I'm trying to do, I don't think...

EDIT: and thanks for the post, but he's using a thick top, whereas I'm using 0.6mm or so veneer. I was going to use an lp type top but the laser cutter can't cut that thick, I don't think
Last edited by supergerbil at Oct 31, 2008,
#8
Why won't the arm bending tut work?

Same thing, your just bending the wood....
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#9
^because, well, I tried bending a piece of papaer of a shape similar to the one I am doing and it doesn't work. I can't really explain why I don't think it will work
#10
i know what you mean, you try wrapping paper around a ball and it gets all like folds in it...
to be honest i have no idea, i suggest shooting ormsby a PM, he MAY have some answers.
Last edited by guitarcam123 at Nov 1, 2008,
#11
Quote by supergerbil
^because, well, I tried bending a piece of papaer of a shape similar to the one I am doing and it doesn't work. I can't really explain why I don't think it will work
i think i can explain ...

bending wood in a single axis is easy. even tight bends can be accomplished.
just steam the wood to make it pliable.

imagine a cylinder. that has a curve in a single axis.
you can easily bend a piece of paper to perfectly follow the curve,
either inside or outside of the cylinder.

now take a basketball. or a bowl.
try to form the paper around the sphere (curved in 2 axes)
on the basketball, you end up with too much paper to follow the curves in BOTH axes.
inside the bowl, you don't have enough.

you'd need a way to shrink the wood as it follows a convex curve in 2 axes.
and a way to stretch it, as it follows a concave curve.


i'd have to believe they use a thick cap, and carve the cap itself on a carve-top.
applying a veneer to a carved top sounds like a nightmare.

maybe they actually have a way to do it, but i can't imagine how.
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#12
^They do have a way, but I don't know it either... Perhaps the shallow mounds on a carved top are not radical enough to make it completely impossible if you use a combination of steam and a vaccuum press, but I don't know really.
#13
how would i do this with a mirror top? perspex material? would i cut it with a router ?
#14
Let me tell you how they would put a veneer finish on a carved top.

First they carve the top, out of Ply, or pine or some piece of crap.

Then they do this to it...http://hydro-graphics.co.uk/showcase.php


Yep, they dip it with a water slip transfer.

That is the only way to get something to follow intricate curves, quickly.

Or they could apply a film or material to it and stretch and glue it down, to get rid of creases etc.

But this is much more time consuming.

So you cant really do it with patchwork veneer, unless you use bits that are very small as well and thicker than you have so that you can sand it smooth to get rid of any inaccuracies.

Then you have the problem of how to glue each bit down as it would need to be done individually.

Also, as soon as you glue it, the veneer will start to curl, which is hard enough on a two piece, book match job, let alone on a 100 piece jigsaw puzzle!
#15
Quote by Pikka Bird
^They do have a way, but I don't know it either... Perhaps the shallow mounds on a carved top are not radical enough to make it completely impossible if you use a combination of steam and a vaccuum press, but I don't know really.


I thought that, perhaps, the curve is small enough to not cause any real problems. But I'm not too sure. I'll try it on some scrap wood and see if I can get away with it...

To the post above me: I don't really understand what you mean. I understand they can apply those decals to guns, but they aren't spreading a veneer across the surface. Are you basically saying it's impossible?
#16
Quote by supergerbil
I thought that, perhaps, the curve is small enough to not cause any real problems. But I'm not too sure. I'll try it on some scrap wood and see if I can get away with it...

To the post above me: I don't really understand what you mean. I understand they can apply those decals to guns, but they aren't spreading a veneer across the surface. Are you basically saying it's impossible?



Well, no. They are spreading the pattern of the wood over a prepared surface that has the base colour (that's how they work).

I can't link to the wood examples, but look in the Showcase section and there are loads of wood grain patterns there.

That is the easiest way, to get something to follow compound curves.

If you think about the right honourable gentleman, who posted about sheets of paper over a basket ball, he is right. You need a way to stretch and shrink the material.

If you are using 3 inch square bits of veneer, as soon as you apply glue to it, it will absorb it and start to curl.

You can't do several pieces at a time, even using sand bags or a vacuum press, because the pieces will move. So it would be one square at a time.

Then you have to get parts of veneer to bend it different directions at once...which won't happen.

Impossible? Perhaps not.
Incredibly difficult, time consuming and liable to go very wrong? Certainly.

I was simply stating, that they do not apply veneer to a carved top, because to do it, even how you propose to do it, would be very time consuming and fraught with problems. Which all costs money. So they wouldn't be saving money over using a real carved top, or time.

So they way they do it, is to apply a transfer, like those rifles etc. They even do that on flat top guitars, with a vinyl transfer.

I'm not too sure what style of carved top you are referring to. But if you got a book matched veneer to cover the whole top. You may be able to mark it out and cut the veneer into thin strips across the width of the guitar and stick those down, individually.
You will likely end up with gaps and over laps, which will need to be trimmed, and the gaps filled.
Last edited by Skeet UK at Nov 2, 2008,
#17
Cheers. Time and money are on my side and I have expert help to hand, if require. I will try on scrap and if it won't work, scrap the contoured top idea.
#18
Skeet: Fake wood prints on vinyl transfer sheets aren't very convinving to the trained eye. Believe me- there are ways to bend a genuine veneer over a carved top. Wood is more elastic than you'd think. Certain cheapo LP knockoffs started with a flat top where they'd lay a block of wood in the center and then simply force plywood down on top of it, glue it and clamp it down along the edges. It stayed down, which suggests to me that wood isn't limited to bending in one direction.
#19
Quote by Pikka Bird
Skeet: Fake wood prints on vinyl transfer sheets aren't very convinving to the trained eye. Believe me- there are ways to bend a genuine veneer over a carved top. Wood is more elastic than you'd think. Certain cheapo LP knockoffs started with a flat top where they'd lay a block of wood in the center and then simply force plywood down on top of it, glue it and clamp it down along the edges. It stayed down, which suggests to me that wood isn't limited to bending in one direction.


Vinyl ones, I agree.

I have personally had over 40 different dipping jobs done, many of them guns of one variety or another and can testify to the quality of the dipped finishes.

I am sure you are right about the bending, but doing it the way the OP is suggesting, is very time consuming and I simply wanted to point out that "faking" it in that way, would be more labour intensive than a proper carved top, therefore, not worth doing.