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Thread: Laminating sides

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Grand Junction, Colorado


    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    That is a very thick finished side. Are you working on the Australian model of guitar building where all the energy is in the top? Can't think why you would go to the trouble of laminating...
    Yes- everything is in the top.

    However, there are certain instances where stiff sides would be a liability to producing a specific sound- Ie, what is desirable (well, absolutely needed) to a player of Flamenco music- ie- fast attack, but with no sustain. Flamenco guitars achieve this by using for the back/side (most often) Cypress which is a very soft, flexible wood that absorbs the tops radiated vibrations. As Flamenco has the most aggressive playing style in its rasgueado technique, no or very little sustain is an absolute must.

    In short- Flexible Sides built with "soft woods" (Cypress being one of the most soft and flexible hard woods) are the best choice if you do fast strumming, and rasgueado technique (which is also in Hawaiian music)

    Stiff sides- best build method for an instrument for mostly fingerstyle playing and chordal work where you want a lot of overtones, long sustain, deep rich notes and attack.

    The back is mostly a reflector, unless you build it with soft woods with little bracing which adds to absorbing effect of flexible sides.

    Other benefits of solid laminated sides- stronger, less cracks, time saved with no side splints, and a lot of time saved with not having to sand the sides flat as they dont corrugated like single solid sides. Also, the mass of lam sides adds to the vibrating area of the top being closer to the, you get a bigger sound baby.

    Mic drop

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Wales, UK


    Interesting. I am just completing a uke in Alaskan Cedar... bit like cypress. We'll see how it turns out. Not 100% convinced you can apply this sophisticated guitar making technology to ukes. I get plenty of volume, rarely have any problem with springback or crinkled sides. However I am going to mock up the tyre method just to see if I can make it work for you by trying it out on my dew drop shape.

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