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Thread: Laminated panels, stagger the seams?

  1. #1

    Laminated panels, stagger the seams?

    Hi all. I have a project that will use panels that are laminated. My question is whether I should stagger the seams on the upper and lower pice of the laminate? This particular project is a guitar body and so the top piece is book matched and so 2 pieces. The underside, it doesnt really matter how many pieces in the panel. If I went with a 2 on top of 2, so to speak, the glue line will stack on the two panels. I could easily do a 2 on 3 configuration where the center seam for the top panel doesnt overlap with lower.

    I cant think of a reason this would be a problem, but figured Id check. If the glue-up doesnt hold well for any reason I would think that the 2 over 3 would be a better idea. But again, why would that be the case?

    Thoughts and experiences are appreciated!

  2. #2
    The top of an acoustic guitar is usually glued at the seam and the braces act as additional support. Unless I'm misunderstanding you, there is no need for a piece to be laminated to the other side of the top.

    The bottom is also joined at the seam. There is one strip of wood running over the middle of the seam and braces running perpendicular to that.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  3. #3
    Julie,

    Thanks for the reply. this is actually for a solid body electric bass. The overall dimensions are (ish) 14 x 21 for the body blank. The gist is that I have 5/4 stock thats ~9" wide so Ill panel that for the back, then I have figured maple at a similar dimension that Ill panel for the top. The question really is should I 2 or 3 piece panel the back so the panel seams are not coincident from the top to the bottom panel (in a 2 over 3 config). Would it matter? I could think of reasons it might, but I sort of doubt it. Attached are rough (very!) sketchups to illustrate the point. This got moved to the instrument section as Im making an instrument but I think the question is a general one of whether or not you should stack glue lines/seams. In this case it might matter more as its an instrument and the neck will be conventional bolt-on and may put some stress on the center-line of the body (and thus the glue-line).
    Stacked Seam.jpgStaggered Seam.jpg

  4. #4
    All but one of the electric guitar bodies I've made are two-piece, glued down the center. Many two-piece bodies with a laminated top also have two-piece tops. I can't remember seeing any that do not. IMHO, glue it right and you don't have to worry about it coming apart.

    If your 5/4 stock is actually 5/4" (1-1/4") you do have the option of using that for your bass, unless you're going with a bolt-on neck. I made a Mac-style bass using 1-1/4" koa and maple. But that had a thru-neck. No problems however with the pickups and controls.



    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

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