View Full Version : What is laminated wood exactly?

10-10-2013, 04:22 AM
I know its plywood, but what kind of wood exactly? For example, is a mahogany ukulele made from mahogany plywood? Or is it made from any random wood?

Also if you could find a a .org or .gov or even a .ca website to site this information from that'd be helpful. I'm writing a research paper on solid wood and other types of manufacturing wood and I'd like to reference ukulele builds.

10-10-2013, 04:31 AM
Tree wood :D

10-10-2013, 05:33 AM
Laminate is several woods layered together; the veneer on top usually is what the builders and sellers use to describe the laminate. Mahogany laminate means you have a veneer of mahogany on top. What are the rest of the woods in there? I don't know.

10-10-2013, 05:47 AM
I've been interested in the Oscar Schmidt Willie K model. It is labeled as "Select Hawaiian Koa" top back and sides. I've tended to be of a mind to only want solid wood instruments, but can't really afford to spend $2K all the time.

BUT I love the 5 string idea and the Fishman Kula preamp. These days isn't it more "if it sounds good and you enjoy playing it, buy it"?

10-10-2013, 05:52 AM
Builders select which wood species to include. For example, Taylor uses sapelle top and bottom and poplar in between. Some builders laminate tops as well. There is no one common recipe for a laminate.

10-10-2013, 09:12 AM
These days isn't it more "if it sounds good and you enjoy playing it, buy it"?

Definitely, and at least for me it always has been.

10-11-2013, 01:41 AM
Woodn't it also be any wood that's been laminated?

Perhaps there exists some confusion of terms- I don't know

but in the world of classical guitars and violins, the better instruments are usually light on lamination these days

10-11-2013, 04:00 AM
Not necessarily germane to the thread, but the wood industry can make veneers pretty thin. Go to a hobby shop and check out the 1/64" thick plywood used in model aircraft. 3 ply, total 1/64" thick. So a laminate ukulele might have just a very thin skin just for appearance, and marketing.

10-11-2013, 05:49 AM
Not sure how germaine this is to ukes, but laminates normally have the grain at right angles on each layer, this gives invreased strenght, so potentially you laminate could be thinner than solid wood whilst having the same strenghth. Not sure how that affects resonance of the soundboard though.