HELP - Forearm Contourn Ebony Drop Top

visen

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Good morning friends!

I recently purchased a light exotic Ebony top for a future project. In this project I want to glue it on a Mahogany or Black Limba body.

I like the contours for the arm so I would like to know if any of you have been able to bend an Ebony top (0.27" / 7mm). I previously made one with a Maple top of the same thickness. In order to bend it I made some grooves on the back and applied heat and humidity with light pressure while it was bending.

Will it work the same with ebony or is it better to make a bevel like Kiesel does?

Best regards!
 

Rusti

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Hey Visen!
Even with a big radius on the armrest i don't think you can bend a 7mm thick ebony top over it. Steam won't penetrate the whole 7 mm thickness and the armrest is roughly 45° angled to the grain direction, so it will make it significantly harder to bend.
You can probably bend 3mm thick ebony, so the grooves on the back will help a lot, but the perimeter of the guitar's top has to be full thickness (in order to hide the grooves on the sides), and i don't think those will bend without cracking.
This said, i can't say it's impossible without trying.
If you decide to give it a try, i highly suggest to:
- Apply the grooves on the top's back.
- Place the top in a steam chamber for hours.
- Pre-bend the top over the exact armrest without glueing it.
- Bend slowly.
- Always fully support the wood grain on the outside of the top in order to prevent it from cracking.
- Let it dry on clamps for days, release it and proceed to glue it onto the actual body.
Taking it down to a thinner thickness will help a lot.
If you have a similar spare piece you can make a few test. If i had no test piece and the actual top is too good to be wasted, i would not risk it.

Good luck!
 

visen

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Hello Rusti!

Thank you very much for your advice. It's a unique piece that I couldn't resist buying so I don't want to risk breaking it. I will make a bevel for the forearm like the ones you see on the BlackMachine.


Thank you very much!
 


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