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Thread: Source of good laminate for musical instruments

  1. #1

    Default Source of good laminate for musical instruments

    This may seem really off the wall but is there a list of suppliers of laminated wood that can be used for making musical instruments? I am looking at the possibility of making a resonator 4-string guitar with a tambourine shell as the “sides”. I could buy the thin hobby birch plywood at Michaels. I like weird homemade instruments. My favorite mandolin was one I built from a kit many years ago.

    Any info, advice will be appreciated.

    Ed
    Pono MT solid mahogany tenor.
    Pono MBD solid mahogany Baritone Ukulele
    Córdoba 23T Tenor Ukulele
    Kala UBass SSMHG-FS, Solid Spruce top
    Old Kingston Baritone ukulele from the mid-1960’s. Using it as a test instrument.
    Cheap Savannah baritone being converted to resonator.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
    Posts
    1,766

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    How about making your own laminates by gluing up veneers? Plenty of veneer suppliers on-line and not expensive. I've never used laminates, but they do have advantages when it comes to bending. To me a problem might be when it comes to sanding. Don't want to sand through your fancy thin exotic show veneer. That could look weird.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania / Jupiter Florida
    Posts
    57

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    I have made some laminated sides/back with a fancy veneer on the outside. After I get things bent and glued together, before doing any routing or sanding, I coat the outside with CA glue, since this is what I use as a pore filler. Sticks together any micro-cracks in the exotic veneer, fills any little voids in the veneer, and makes the surface very hard, rather difficult to sand through.

    Example, Amboyna burl veneer
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by jupiteruke; 02-22-2018 at 04:15 AM.

  4. #4

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    Sequoia, jupiteruke,

    Thanks you for the suggestions. I'm not set up for that kind of project, making my own laminated boards. I have this one project on hold indefinitely. First I have to finish the resonator conversion. I think I'll look into model ship and plane suppliers. Boat plans usually use thin mahogany plywood.

    Ed
    Pono MT solid mahogany tenor.
    Pono MBD solid mahogany Baritone Ukulele
    Córdoba 23T Tenor Ukulele
    Kala UBass SSMHG-FS, Solid Spruce top
    Old Kingston Baritone ukulele from the mid-1960’s. Using it as a test instrument.
    Cheap Savannah baritone being converted to resonator.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
    Posts
    1,643

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    I'm not an expert so take this with a grain of salt but aren't ALL laminated side instruments being laid up on/in the mould? Once a flat laminate has been layered up wouldn't it be harder to bend than a piece of solid wood?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    24

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    I also build cajons for folks and because of the slapping I use a laminate tapa of mahogany and poplar I get from these folks:

    http://aircraftproducts.wicksaircraf...ade-mil-p-6070

    They have others as well but I have gotten these from them a few times and they are great looking and sound nice (for my purposes) as well. Shipping can be expensive though.....it cost me $38 to ship a 2'x4' piece to me here in NM recently. All in all I would rather pay too much for high quality materials than use inferior goods as I want to build the best.

    Hope this helps & good luck on your build...sounds fun

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardin View Post
    I also build cajons for folks and because of the slapping I use a laminate tapa of mahogany and poplar I get from these folks:

    http://aircraftproducts.wicksaircraf...ade-mil-p-6070

    They have others as well but I have gotten these from them a few times and they are great looking and sound nice (for my purposes) as well. Shipping can be expensive though.....it cost me $38 to ship a 2'x4' piece to me here in NM recently. All in all I would rather pay too much for high quality materials than use inferior goods as I want to build the best.

    Hope this helps & good luck on your build...sounds fun
    Sorry for the late reply. This is a perfect source for this wood. Now I plan to use laminate for back and sides, and maybe solid spruce for the top. So now I’m more positive about moving forward with my pineapple tenor ukulele.

    Thank you very much,

    Ed T.
    Pono MT solid mahogany tenor.
    Pono MBD solid mahogany Baritone Ukulele
    Córdoba 23T Tenor Ukulele
    Kala UBass SSMHG-FS, Solid Spruce top
    Old Kingston Baritone ukulele from the mid-1960’s. Using it as a test instrument.
    Cheap Savannah baritone being converted to resonator.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    318

    Default

    If you have a skateboard builder nearby they lay up the boards.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    24

    Default

    No problem....glad to help

    Send us some pictures and a sound sample when its finished.

    Always like to see "off the wall" ideas play out.

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