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Old 09-21-2021, 06:27 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,626

When I first heard that Martin was making Formica guitars, I cringed. For a few years in the early-1980's, I was in the business of cabinetmaking, including fabricating counter tops faced with Formica or Wilsonart. The material is super hard and durable (when glued to a solid surface), and can be obtained in an almost endless array of colors and patterns, many of which imitate wood or stone.
This material was never engineered to be used as a structural element. It is brittle, and hard to glue with anything other than a rubbery contact cement, CA glue, or epoxy. To the best of my knowledge, Martin is not using those glues to assemble the bodies, though they may have used CA to attach the bridges on those ill-conceived models with Formica soundboards.
I have repaired Formica Martins with loose braces, and I currently have one in the shop that was dropped, causing the seams to separate. The glue appears to be some kind of wood glue, which is not suitable for a nonporous surface.

Phenolic resin, paper, and a photograph of a natural material. Zero wood content.

These guitars are all about reducing labor cost, since there is no finishing required.

The sound of the guitars is IMHO overly bassy, due to the high density of the material. The only reason the guitars do not weigh a ton is because Formica is less than half the thickness of a normal wood guitar.
Thin + brittle = bad combination.
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