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Thread: Laminating sides

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Laminating sides

    So here i have two versions of laminating sides using molds.
    The first mold I made was a full 4" deep (ie- deeper than any uke side) which was to be used as a dedicated laminating mold. I wanted to make more but realised that making more this way is a waste and takes up twice as much space on the shelves.

    My second version is to simply add (with screws) a temporary layer of 3/4" ply to my 5 existing tenor uke molds- far less lpy is used and the sides are laminated using the mold they will stay in until boxed up.

    Full depth + an extension piece at the end.
    IMG_3469.jpg

    New version with temporary layer that after lamination is glued, is unscrewed and saved for the next batch of laminated sides. The same mold is used for the build duration for the sides that were bent in that particular mold (in this case #2). I Always put the temp layer on the "top", and mark 'A' and 'B', so it is impossible to accidently bend two bass sides.
    IMG_3471.jpg

    Different angle showing some simple registration marks so the correct temp layer goes onto the correct mold number and correct side.
    IMG_3472.jpg

    Ply strips with cork so the inner side doesn't get bruised. The other way (which i'm yet to try) is to have a more fuller inner insert to clamp two- but once you make one of these you have to stick with the same thickness of layers in your sides...im still fine tunning what i like in side thickness- at the moment im .070"-.070"-.020"- the 3rd decorative layer isn't necessary if you use a good looking wood for the 2nd layer.
    IMG_3430.jpg

    How i place the cork/ply strips- clamping gets tight so get creative. Also note- when started using the temp layer, i dont bother to use an extension piece of ply- but i do make sure i put a cork/ply strip RIGHT at the end.
    IMG_3464.jpg
    Last edited by Beau Hannam Ukuleles; 04-12-2018 at 06:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Full clamps
    IMG_3429.jpg

    3 layers
    IMG_3432.jpg

    I use titebond 3 for sides (its a bit stronger then red cap titebond. Epoxy is also great for this but its toxic and expensive and titebond works 100% perfectly. Note- i spread it evenly over the side (i dont leave it like this!)
    IMG_3474.jpg

    Cutaway lamination.
    IMG_3477.jpg

    12 sets of side, hand bent- thats 36 pieces of wood!
    IMG_3475.jpg

  3. #3
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    Default

    I'd worry about 'voids'...

  4. #4
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    I once had an idea , of using an inner tube in the centre of the mould with a lid on top and bottom and pumping it up to compress the sides against the mould walls..I tried it with a mountain bike tube and it worked..sort of

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    I'd worry about 'voids'...
    im now using (as of 2 hours ago) some thin (2mm) foam padding to even it all out a bit.

    I'm not worried about small voids- if i get any, they would still be as good as non laminated sides!

  6. #6
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    Someone on instagram queried me calling this method (actually, the result) "solid wood laminate" asking why it isn't simply "ply".

    In a book called 'Bending wood' (which is a collection of articles form Fine Woodworking mag), they define layered wood as:

    Lamination when the grain of the layers of wood are all in the same direction- ie, you have a piece of wood, you cut it into strips and glue it back together again as it was (but bent, or not). It doesn't have to be the same species of wood, just the grain direction.

    Plywood- when the wood layers are at 90 degrees to eachother.

  7. #7
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    Plywood, alternating wood grain with odd number of layers.

    Two layers, not grain aligned as the outer maple is quarter sawn and the inner spruce layer is flat sawn.


  8. #8
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    The inner-tube method was described by an old woodworker Charles Haywood in his book on veneering. He used a firehose and foot pump in a box. Brilliant way to do it and a lot more consistent than your current approach Beau - voids will have an effect....

    I've ordered the book from Amazon and when I get it Beau will send you the relevant section. You really are making this hard for yourself.... Bit of old fashioned English cabinet making fairy dust will soon have you sorted!
    Last edited by Pete Howlett; 04-13-2018 at 12:17 AM.

  9. #9
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    This way (in your picture) is easier for clamping but in doing it this way you constrain yourself in regard to the total thickness...assuming you then put these sides into a regular mold. Working from the build mold you can vary the final thickness of the sides at your leisure. This isn't a problem if you know you will always use, say, a layer at .070", and a layer at .060".
    My inner layer (rather middle layer) is either fat or quarter sawn- whatever i grab from the pile. Either poplar, walnut or mahogany (spruce, rosewood, anything works really as long as its stable)- it all gives the same result and is all "laminate" rather then "ply". Also, laminate can be either an even or uneven number of layers, but ply must be uneven.

    Quote Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
    Plywood, alternating wood grain with odd number of layers.

    Two layers, not grain aligned as the outer maple is quarter sawn and the inner spruce layer is flat sawn.


  10. #10
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    I've heard of the fire hose method but not seen it done - im sure a quick detour to youtube would remedy that!

    "Bit of old fashioned English cabinet making fairy dust"- what a lovely sentence!

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