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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:16 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Might as well buy an Ovation...

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: bcombs510 (Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:49 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:49 pm 
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Haans wrote:
Might as well buy an Ovation...


Whoa... :D


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These users thanked the author bcombs510 for the post: Joe Beaver (Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:32 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Times They Are a Changin' ... still true

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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:31 pm 
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To make Nigel’s point more explicit, if you laminate your back, it’s gonna be dead/reflective.

That’s not the way many of us have learned to build, but that’s not to say that you can’t get a great guitar built that way.

But if the top and back are not working together, that should change the way you think about your top.

Exactly what that is, I have no idea.

Steve



These users thanked the author JSDenvir for the post: Joe Beaver (Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:31 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:20 pm 
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Haans wrote:
Might as well buy an Ovation...



Not really Haans. Ovation got it the wrong way around. They made guitars with a heavy top and a rather light body. Great if you want a quiet guitar that doesn't feedback when you plug it in. Not so great if you want to make a first-rate acoustic.

I'm making instruments with very light soundboards and heavy (compared to conventional work) bodies.

Here is one, though this one has a solid, yet dead back. The sides are laminated:


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These users thanked the author nkforster for the post: Joe Beaver (Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:31 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:29 pm 
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JSDenvir wrote:
To make Nigel’s point more explicit, if you laminate your back, it’s gonna be dead/reflective.

That’s not the way many of us have learned to build, but that’s not to say that you can’t get a great guitar built that way.

But if the top and back are not working together, that should change the way you think about your top.

Exactly what that is, I have no idea.

Steve



You could make a laminated "live" back too Steve. If you go back to using nomex as was mentioned earlier. I know of makers who did, but who later abandoned it. It was a lot of work for something they could do more easily with solid wood.

Laminating bodies is only worthwhile if it is advantageous. If you can get the results you want more easily. And we don't all want the same results. In my case, it is the best way to get the results I want. I've spent the last few years experimenting with laminating sides, and the last couple of years with backs. For me it works. But as I've said before, it isn't for everyone.

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These users thanked the author nkforster for the post: Joe Beaver (Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:31 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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"To make Nigel’s point more explicit, if you laminate your back, it’s gonna be dead/reflective."

It ain't necessarily so... as the old song goes. You can make a laminated back as light in weight as a solid wood back if you want to. There are a multiplicity of ways to laminate wood.



These users thanked the author Clay S. for the post: Joe Beaver (Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:31 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:53 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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OK, cardboard then...
One thing NO ONE has mentioned is that a plywood back with (take your pick) outer veneer sounds nothing like a solid back of the same wood.
Seems to me from the whole time I've been a member here, no one has talked about the tonal qualities of the wood you are using for the back or top for that matter. Most all seem more concerned with how "pretty" the back is. If you can slap a stumpwood veneer over sumac and glue it all together with epoxy and nylon mesh, and it sounds "better" or "great", you're done.
The big question is "better" than what? Who is the judge?
When I built solid wood instruments, BRW with a red spruce top sounded like BRW with a red spruce top, for mandolins, red maple with a red spruce top sounded like an F5, etc, etc.
I guess what you are telling me is you don't care to know what the wood sounds like so long as you can build an instrument that sounds good, better, best, has a "pretty" stumpwood back that stays in the curve you put it in at humidity ranges of 10-95% and won't crack.
Who is going to be the first here to use a veneer of spruce (doesn't matter what kind now does it?) and epoxy balsa nomex top too? Will that sound good, better, best with the plywood back too?
Yes siree, you folks are arriving at the pinnacle of the floor marketing guys "Engineered" flooring. Might as well use HPL like Marvin.
Engineer away boys...you are loosing the reverence for wood.

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Joe Beaver (Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:30 am)
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 Post subject: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:49 am 
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I’m not sure where all this anger comes from. It is irrelevant what BRW sounds like as a previous generation recklessly used it all up. Likewise, I use carbon fiber in my soundboards because I get a more pleasing TONAL quality than I did carving spruce. Frankly carving plates was easier and cheaper.

So suggesting that no one “cares” about tone because they are not building with solid BRW and Carpathian Spruce feels way off base. Guitar building isn’t frozen in 1915, it can’t be.

For some, building period reproductions will be their thing, just like furniture makers who do nothing but reproduce Federalist side boards and armoires. If that is your thing, great. Carry on. You will have the same issues finding period correct materials as the furniture makers now that they are near extinct.

But modern furniture makers pushing the envelope of design and materials aren’t indifferent to design. They are serious and committed people who have no interest in making a Luis XVI card table. That doesn’t mean their work is no different than the particle board furniture of IKEA. Likewise, luthiers experimenting with new materials and technique are not “loosing reverence” for anything.


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These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post (total 3): Joe Beaver (Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:30 am) • Alex Kleon (Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:42 pm) • Bryan Bear (Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:20 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:22 pm 
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OK, I laminated the back yesterday, and yes, it does look great. It is still very thick, about .18" (4.5mm). I suspect I could thin it as Clay mentioned and make my usual live back. But, if it remains stiff after I thin as much as I feel I can, what do I need to know about a non-live back regarding coupling with the top? Just make the top light and responsive? I try to follow Trevor Gore's recommendation of the back 4 semi-tones above the top. Is that still the number I should be shooting for? (I suspect it is not that simple)

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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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The idea of a non live back as I understand it, is that it - doesn't - vibrate too much and color the sound or take energy away from the top. This should make the guitar louder and have a bit more fundamental in the sound.
The old Martin New Yorker I have is a 1-21 (size 1, rosewood body). It has -5- back braces,which I'm sure "kills" the back. For a small bodied guitar it is reasonably loud. I tend to believe at least two of the braces were put in for other than structural reasons.



These users thanked the author Clay S. for the post: Joe Beaver (Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:30 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:03 am 
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Joe, are you planning to laminate the sides too? Might be an idea if this ebony is a bit wayward. Might make for a different, dare I say "better" guitar than you normally make too. I much prefer my laminated work to what I was doing before, and the stuff before wasn't too shabby either.

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These users thanked the author nkforster for the post: Joe Beaver (Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:20 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:16 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Randolph, thank you for misinterpreting everything I said.
Fifty years of trying to understand tonal qualities of tonewood seems to be a waste of time here.
Joe, I hope your guitar sounds "best".
NK, say anything you want...

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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:51 am 
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Nigel,
The sides I plan to use are not from the same board but they look good with the back, color wise. I plan to just use those as is. After reading all your comments again and watching the torrified video I am going to use a light, responsive top. Just not sure what wood I'll use. I'm leaning toward a sinker redwood top I have. It is quite stiff and light.

Haans,
Don't think for a moment that your responses are not valued here, they are. I always enjoy reading what you have written, very helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:09 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Red Spruce and Brazilian rosewood can make a great sounding guitar in the hands of a competent luthier. I have heard some with that combination of woods that were less than stellar.
My own experience with laminated woods has consisted of reassembling veneers in the order they came off the log. In my opinion they work and behave similar to solid timbers. Under extreme low humidity conditions I have had them crack, just as solid wood will. It is possible they are slightly more stabile - off quarter wood if glued up under the right conditions is less prone to warping.
I build with both "laminated" and solid timbers and the results I am getting are equally good (or bad, as the case may be) I have always used solid wood soundboards, which I feel is where most of the sound comes from.
I use solid tops even on some HPL back and sided instruments - which I built with even before Martin started using it. HPL can make a light weight, cheap, weather resistant instrument good for backpacking and beach use. Can it make a truly great sounding Instrument? - That might be a challenge! People say Torres' paper mache guitar sounded good but I've never heard them say it sounded as good as his all wood guitars.
If I could buy BRW for $80 a set I wouldn't bother with laminating veneer - it's more work. Would my instruments sound better? I don't know.



These users thanked the author Clay S. for the post: Joe Beaver (Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:21 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Laminated Back?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:20 pm 
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Haans, if I misinterpreted you then, frankly, you are not making your meaning clear. For example, where is the “here” you are referring to in your last post? You have a long and distinguished career and made beautiful instruments. Why would a conversation about laminates make your efforts a “waste of time”? We were not talking about the “tonal qualities of tone wood”, so how is that relevant to the conversation? Etc.

To be frank, I don’t see anything in your posts in this thread other than some disparaging comments equating laminated backs to cheap injection molded plastic backs or to Martin’s use of Formica. Despite your impressive knowledge and experience, you don’t seem to be offering any insight based on your experience with the topic at hand. Rather I was responding to what seemed an oddly vitriolic and contemptuous response based on sanctimony. Did you have some other meaning? If so, it was lost.


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