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Post new topic Best Laminate For Steel Guitar Bodies?
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Author Topic:  Best Laminate For Steel Guitar Bodies?
Jake L

Grapevine, Texas
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 2:02 am     Reply with quote

I was wondering who makes really high quality laminates that would be suitable for steel guitar construction?
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Erv Niehaus

Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 9:35 am     Reply with quote

I don't think it makes much difference.
Just do to a Home Depot or etc. and pick out a flavor. Very Happy
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Bobby D. Jones

West Virginia, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2018 7:47 pm     Best laminate for steel guitar bodies Reply with quote

The best laminate for a steel guitar would be what is known as die board. It is made of hardwood, Usually Birch or Maple and has no voids or knot holes within the laminate.
GFI Steel Guitars use Maple die board for the top of their guitars inside the welded aluminum frame.
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Richard Sinkler

Oakdale, California
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 6:32 am     Reply with quote

If you are talking about the "mica" covering that is used, two companies that make these laminated are Formica and Wilsonart. When Kline was building my guitar, Joe told me to go to a tile store called Color Tile and find a Wilson Art color sample of my choice, and he would put that on my guitar.
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John Swain

Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 7:05 am     Reply with quote

Essentially Formica and Wilsonart. There are some Italian companies making laminate also. I had Carter build me a custom color (brown birdseye) D10 in 2002. I bought a sheet of Wilsonart through a cabinet maker friend and had it drop shipped to Carter. 4'×8' sheet cost $75, in 2002, so over $100 now. They built six guitars with that mica. Your best bet is befriend a local cabinet-maker and pick something he uses often, so he'll sell you enough scraps for your project!JS
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Jerry Overstreet

Louisville Ky
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 10:56 am     Reply with quote
Prior discussion on the old forum concerning laminated bodies with input from Gene himself and comments from Jim Smith concerning the Pakkawood laminate used by Dekley.

Gene Fields:
posted 16 October 2002 09:25 AM profile No one is more opposed to plywood than me. However, die board is not to be confused with regular plywood. Many kinds of die board are available. The only one I use in our Pro Model is all maple, meaning every ply is maple. It is stronger, more stable and more resonant than solid maple. It is also more consistent from piece to piece. If you like one, you'll like them all. In test after test, the die board had better tone and more sustain. It also responds very well above the 12th fret.
With a price range of $110.00 for a 4'x6' sheet, I would not use it if it did not prove superior.
The only other manufacturers to use die board to my knowledge was Pedalmaster and CMC. The old MSA used birch plywood in some instruments, a good material, but not in the class of all maple die board.
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Russell Adkins

Louisiana, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:47 am     Reply with quote

I'm in the process of buiding a guitar from laminates , I'm using cabinet grade birch plywood and the front and back skirts are covered with a mica walnut burl laminate , top is just the birch thus my plywood steel .
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