Double (or laminated) sides -

Got a new way of doing something? Or maybe an old method that needs some clarification.

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Bob Connor
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Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by Bob Connor » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:00 am

I was asked a few months ago if I could do a tutorial on how I do double sides so here it is. Apologies for some of the pics - they were taken hurriedly with my phone.

You may ask "Why double sides?". I see the following benefits

1. the sides of the completed instrument will never split
2. no need to install side bracing.
3. easy to bend highly figured timber.
4. no need to use water so there is no discolouration of the timber.
5. no rippling in the sides.
6. the instruments sound better.(to my ear anyway)
7. once they are glued there is no springback.

Right. Here we go.

Profile and thickness the two sets of sides
20131002_161604.jpg

The internal side set is a plain set of Blackwood. In fact these ones have a small (but solid) knot in them. I thickness these to around .040" (1.016mm)
20131002_161645.jpg

The outer set, which is highly figured is thicknessed to around .060". (1.524mm) I leave these a little thicker to allow for sanding. So the final thickness will be a little over .10" (2.54mm), which is a little thicker than most single sided guitars. They also have more mass.
20131002_161722.jpg

You can see that at these thicknesses the sides are really flexible you are not going to break even the most highly figured timbers.
20131002_162131.jpg

Now tape the sides in pairs and put them in your bender as if you bending a single side. Because they are so flexible the temperature does not need to be that high. I usually let it get to about 100C and then turn it off while I get the clamps in place and then turn it back on to give it a final blast. I use a couple of stainless steel slats with the wood sitting under the heat blanket. I wrap the wood in paper to keep the Blackwood away from the stainless steel so it doesn't get the green discolouration.

And I don't use any water.

This is great because there won't be any discolouration or rippling in the sides due to the water.
20131002_162445.jpg
20131002_170918.jpg

You can see there is considerable springback when you take the sides out of the mold.
20131003_105646.jpg

Next get some aluminium foil and place on the mold to prevent your sides getting glued to it.
20131003_110017.jpg

Now put some Titebond on and spread it evenly. I use a rubber glove on one hand to do this step.
20131003_110328.jpg
20131003_110549.jpg

This next step is the most important of the entire operation.

Tape the sides together with blue painters tape and ensure that there are no gaps between the two sides. The tape can be as close as want to put it but 1" (25mm) should do the job. Make sure you pull those sides together as tight as you can.
20131003_111208.jpg
Now put the sides back on your mold but don't use the stainless steel slats.
20131003_112303.jpg
20131003_112309.jpg
There shouldn't be any gaps. if there are we can fix them once the sides come out of the mold but you can't leave the gaps as you'll either sand through or you'll have bits of the side flying everywhere once you start routing the binding ledges.
20131003_112322.jpg
I'll add some more after I've taken that side out of the mold which will be later this morning and also have a look at fixing any gaps that might have slipped through.
Bob, Geelong
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Craig
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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by Craig » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:26 am

Nice work Bob and many thanks for this Tute . I've been wanting to give this a shot for quite some time . I'm a "believer " :D
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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by GregL » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:49 am

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the great tute, especially pictures!
I guess this is the same method you used when you made my guitar?

Thanks,
GregL.

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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by Nick » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:20 am

Thanks for the tute Bob, something I fancied having a try of for a while, the added structural strength gained by laminating is a plus just on it's own.

On the 4th picture where you are flexing the 'slat', how did you manage to stand on your head long enough to take the pic? :lol:
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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by kiwigeo » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:09 pm

Photo 7...there's an opened box in the background......details please!! :mrgreen:
Martin

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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by Bob Connor » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:07 pm

Martin

The opened box contained several items that Kim Hickey gave me while I was in Perth recently.

1. the vacuum jig that the Canadian bloke Bob Garrish made for us a few years ago. I got mine modified so it would work properly and then sent it to Kim. I got his back so I can also get it modified.

2. Some new jaws for those pattern makers vices a few of us got from woodworker.com made by Kim.

3. some primo leather for the above mentioned vice

4. a nice set of fret pullers beautifully ground and polished by Mr Hickey

5. some giraffe bone.

Would you like to know how many beers are in the fridge :lol:

Regards
Bob, Geelong
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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by needsmorecowbel » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:45 pm

I had my first 'crack' at bending sides today. I didn't put them through the thickness sander as I wanted to see how maliable they were at 2.4 mm (thick I know). If I were to what bob has done in this tute do you think the sides would be flexible enough to bend & then laminate into a form as tight as say a Tele or Strat horn/ cutaway or even a les paul cutaway? Or are these forms too tight to bend on a hand pipe???
I ask as I've seen plenty of hogged out classic factory leccy builds but not many with bent sides..same goes with les pauls/ strats. The best examples I've seen have been on Stuart Eadie's Site.

Stu
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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by charangohabsburg » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:04 am

Hi Stu, steam bending comes to my mind. I never have done it, but I was impressed by some videos where steam bending gets demonstrated. I am not sure though if one can steam bend figured wood.
Markus

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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by needsmorecowbel » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:00 pm

Thanks Markus I'm a total noobie to bending on a pipe but the wood is very responsive in telling you when you are pushing the limits. I can see why the silicone blanket is quite a useful addition to get your rough shape then address any springback on a pipe.

Stu

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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by Bob Connor » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:59 pm

You should be able to bend some timbers to a tight curve like that in a Tele or a Strat.

The pic below is a mando so the cutaway is quite tight. That was bent on a pipe with figured timber with the thickness a little over 2mm.

Mind you that particular piece of Blackwood was quite malleable. I have other examples of Blackwood which are no where near as accommodating.

Double sides lend themselves more to heat blankets. They won't retain their shape until they are glued.

Regards
Bob, Geelong
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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by kiwigeo » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:55 am

Bob Connor wrote: 5. some giraffe bone.
That would explain why Perth Zoo's giraffe went missing last year.
Martin

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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by Bob Connor » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:45 pm

kiwigeo wrote:
Bob Connor wrote: 5. some giraffe bone.
That would explain why Perth Zoo's giraffe went missing last year.
Kim has a very nice hallway runner now as well.
Bob, Geelong
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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by kiwigeo » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:10 pm

I just noticed LMI have 2nd grade IRW specifically for use on laminated sides. I've ordered a few with the intention of laminating the sides on my next build....a Parlour steel string.
Martin

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Kim
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Re: Double (or laminated) sides -

Post by Kim » Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:45 pm

Bugger the IRW Marty, how about giraffes, do they have any giraffes...They're extinct from the local zoo now for some reason..Reckon it's them bloody luthiers, I hear they're always ready to knock the top off a long neck..... aint that right Bob :wink:

Cheers

Kim

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