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Thread: Laminated Arch Back

  1. #1
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    Default Laminated Arch Back

    Been working on an experimental project (laminated back and sides) tenor ukulele with an arch back. On the next one Id like to use a heat press with male and female forms to press the shape Im after using solid wood the way Bruko is doing themF25E80FD-8E99-468D-BFAE-5598321AE847.jpg and wonder if anyone has any experience in this group on how to do it?
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  2. #2
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    Looks great!
    I've always wanted to try an (for a lack of a better and more descriptive term) a laminated quasi archtop back with a male/female mold (or for those easily offended, two non gender specific molds).

    Can you show some pics of your molds?

  3. #3
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    If I remember correctly, something that is always iffy, Ken Timms did this some time ago and had posted his results here. But, I may not remember correctly
    My Real name is Terry Harris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau Hannam Ukuleles View Post
    Looks great!
    I've always wanted to try an (for a lack of a better and more descriptive term) a laminated quasi archtop back with a male/female mold (or for those easily offended, two non gender specific molds).

    Can you show some pics of your molds?
    Thanks Beau,

    Im calling it a parabolic convex arched dome with a 12 outer radius and a 15 mating radius...... Not! That sounds ridiculous.. Lol! Anyway, Im still trying to figure a way to make the male/female molds you mentioned. Id like to try cutting those molds out of aluminum and fit them to a heat press for solid or laminated builds.
    388CBD4E-E4AD-4DD3-8498-C2DD262ACB01.jpgD7266A9B-487B-4D28-AB78-EC9DDD572301.jpg2EE5344F-3C05-4F9D-B29D-06EF87D6EA29.jpg021D2431-D006-4F39-B26D-83C42FBFE56B.jpg531C1EB7-DE82-42EB-B418-73742FCA0CB7.jpg

  5. #5
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    The easiest lofi way would be to carve an actual back (male) out of MDF, then cast it is resin (which gives you the female mold), then cast a working male mold from that cast female mold.

    You would have to think about veneer thickness used too and their impact on the fitting etc.

    Hand carving would give you much nicer curves then what you are getting, which looks rather abrupt (if you care about such things)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau Hannam Ukuleles View Post
    The easiest lofi way would be to carve an actual back (male) out of MDF, then cast it is resin (which gives you the female mold), then cast a working male mold from that cast female mold.

    You would have to think about veneer thickness used too and their impact on the fitting etc.

    Hand carving would give you much nicer curves then what you are getting, which looks rather abrupt (if you care about such things)

    Thank for the response. I totally agree with your observations however, this build was all R&D and an experiment on a number firsts for me. Regarding your suggestion though, I wonder if the use of resin molds would hold up to the heat press application I’m thinking of using which could be used for both glued laminate builds or, for solid wood. Aluminum comes to mind but, if resin can hold up and transfer heat, that might be the way to go.

  7. #7
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    Resin probably isn't good with heat.

    However, you don't need heat to use epoxy.

    Aluminum molds would be VERY expensive.

    Therefore, you don't need aluminum molds.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau Hannam Ukuleles View Post
    Resin probably isn't good with heat.

    However, you don't need heat to use epoxy.

    Aluminum molds would be VERY expensive.

    Therefore, you don't need aluminum molds.
    I think your comparing apples to oranges here. I’m not talking about laminating. The aluminum forms would for bending solid wood in a heat press. And apologies if I wasn’t being clear.
    Last edited by Dougbias; 03-03-2020 at 12:35 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougbias View Post
    I think your comparing apples to oranges here. I’m not talking about laminating. The aluminum forms would for bending solid wood in a heat press. And apologies if I wasn’t being clear.
    Argh- ok- that makes way more sense- I don't know anything about bending solid wood in so many directions with heat!
    What wood thickness are you using?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau Hannam Ukuleles View Post
    Argh- ok- that makes way more sense- I don't know anything about bending solid wood in so many directions with heat!
    What wood thickness are you using?
    That makes two of us! Lol.. This is going to be a bit of trial and error regarding thickness. I did get a few tips from the folks at Bruko Ukuleles’s. Their process uses a heat press of some sort prior to gluing together the backs.

    I didn’t push it with them for any further specifics but I’m thinking of try out using a simple t-shirt heat press @ about $100 (used) and machining a couple of either 5/8 or, 3/4 aluminum plates for forms and see what happens.

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