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thunderkyss 05-03-2012 08:07 PM

Custom Laminate Sides?
A question for those of you who have come to love building guitars.

Is there a wrong way to build laminate sides? If you were to acquire an apprentice, is there anything in particular you would tell him to be particularly mindful of when building his sides?

Do you have a "signature" layer? Let's say a customer requests a particular outer layer mainly for aesthetics, do you pick the subsequent layers for it's tonal properties? Like if the customer says he wants spalted maple sides, do you add layers of mahogany, because that's what you do? Or a layer of rosewood to add more midrange? Or do you add a layer because you just believe every guitar should have a piece of x in them?

How much time do you generally invest in building sides?

KolayaGuitars 05-03-2012 09:01 PM

I just use whatever the back and side wood on the outside (obviously) and another wood of generally similar density on the inside. Lay 'em up with epoxy in a laminating form.

I wouldn't worry about trying to influence your guitar's tone by using different layers of side woods. The double side is, as I understand, just to provide a very rigid, and stable rim for the vibrating plates to attach to so that no/very little vibrations are lost or absorbed in the side.

Hope this helps.


mb propsom 05-03-2012 10:53 PM

I only laminate the less stable and more brittle woods like quilted sapele, ziricote and the ebonies. I also do not consider the choice of interior laminate as having a critical effect on the tone of the instrument. For the darker woods I'll use a darker interior veneer, usually EIR. For lighter woods I generally use either sapele or cherry, occasionaly maple. West System is my adhesive of choice for this process. However, I know of other makers who use fish glue and even Gorilla Glue with great results.

Tim McKnight 05-04-2012 07:19 AM

I have been building with laminated sides for ~10 years and have yet to notice any discernible influence the inner side material has on the tone of the completed instrument. I use lighter colored interior woods with lighter colored exterior woods and vice versa.

geordie 05-04-2012 07:26 AM

Brad and Michael, thanks for you'r insight as makers.
I was sure I'd read here that someone had a guitar made with X + X (as laminates or double sides if you wish) to give them the 'tone' they required. As a novice builder and avid reader of OLF etc I found this fanciful.
Ooops missed your input Tim, yeah I have been following your builds and what you say was the impression I got.

thunderkyss 05-04-2012 10:26 AM

Thanks for your replies guys. Anyone want to comment on the time (on average) they invest in building sides?

Tim McKnight 05-04-2012 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by thunderkyss (Post 3029400)
Thanks for your replies guys. Anyone want to comment on the time (on average) they invest in building sides?

Time is perhaps 50% more with double sides considering twice the material to cut, shape and thickness though cost is 2x more though. One does not merely do this to save time or material costs or the factories would follow suit.

geordie 05-05-2012 07:06 AM

Ah thunderkyss, you jogged my memory, as I mentioned I'd read something on the subject of double sides affecting tone and thought it dubious.
Do your best to make sense of this -

"I ask if the sides of the guitar will be lined with (X wood), he replied no, he'll line them with the same wood as the sides which he normally does.
Apparently the player wanted to control some of the tones given by the (Y wood) b/s that he didn't want... hence the use of (Z wood). The maker went on to say that the guitar really is designed just to the players requests tone-wise". :confused: :D:D

This extract between customer and maker is from elsewhere and in complete contradiction with whats been said above.

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