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Veneer question

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Veneer question

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:41 am

Veneering panels requires a "balance" veneer on the back of the panel to avoid having the panel look like a potato-chip. However, panels usually range from 1/4" to 3/4", so obviously veneering only one face could have that effect.

However, I've never seen or heard of anyone on this forum putting a "balance" veneer on the back of a solid-body guitar, but maybe I just haven't been paying attention.

Is a balance veneer needed on a solid-body guitar when veneering the face?

Thanks!
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Re: Veneer question

Postby Barry Daniels » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:52 am

In my opinion, a solid body guitar is thick enough and small enough that a veneer on only one side would not have enough force to warp the body. The fact that both sides will be sealed with finish is further protection from warping.
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Re: Veneer question

Postby Freeman Keller » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:57 am

I veneer the face of headstocks all the time - usually with a contrasting wood or something that matches the body (you can see that in some of my pictures on your other threads). Sometimes I will laminate a very thin contrasting material to give a little line around it (I really like doing that with slot heads as it adds a bit of interest to the slot.

What you do see on fancy instruments some times is what is called a "back strap" - a veneer or other piece laminated to the back of the headstock. It is usually done for visual effect but IMHO does offer some support and strength to the back - kind of like adding a volute. Here is the back of my archtop with a rosewood back strap - the rest of the trim is rosewood including the head stock veneer

Image

Here is a 12 string that had a very badly broken headstock - it is a grain break running into the lowest tuner holes (a very good arguement for making a scarf joint). I glued the break, planed the back of the headstock down, put a carbon fiber spline in the break and then laminated a thin piece of mahoghany (maybe 0.080, thicker than what you would call "veneer"). I had to bend the piece to fit the curve into the neck stick. Its been two years now and no issues with the repair

Image
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Re: Veneer question

Postby Dan Smith » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:52 pm

I've had no problems applying veneer to one side of a guitar body.
I reckon the thickness of the body would be difficult to potato-chip.
I use veneer glue. Much less likely to cause expansion and contraction problems when wet and when dry. I had these problems using Titebond.
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Re: Veneer question

Postby David King » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:33 pm

Yes titebond is not your friend in this particular instance. I tried the iron-on technique on a guitar top and the veneer split open on either side of the centerline.
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Re: Veneer question

Postby Freeman Keller » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:52 pm

Steve, I'm sorry that I miss understood your question - for some reason I thought you were talking about veneering headstock (I went back and read your first post and don't know where I came up with that idea). So, yeah, for what its worth, I do put contrasting veneers on the heads of my instruments but I haven't done a body. I have built ES-335 style instruments where the top and back are laminated but thats a different subject - I did not make the laminations but understand that they were done in a vacuum bag.

Follow Dan and David's advice.
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Re: Veneer question

Postby Randolph Rhett » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:02 am

You can absolutely veneer a solid body guitar without putting veneer on the back. "Balance veneer" is for thin stock or very large areas. The laminated tops, backs, and sides of a ES series Gibson has an odd number of veneers, but is only about 3/32" thick. Your solid body guitar will likely be in the 1.75" to 2" range. Totally different kettle of fish.
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Re: Veneer question

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:20 am

Thanks, gentlemen! I do use veneer glue (Better Bond) with a vacuum bag setup. Though I've heard of folks using Titebond, I don't know of anyone experienced in veneering that recommend it.

Freeman - no worries. I appreciated the info on the headstock!!
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