Saving a poorly glued maple top

slapswan

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Hey Folks, first time guitar builder here. I have been following several Les Paul replica builds on the forum, and have been inspired by the amazing work that you guys have shared. Thought I'd take a stab at it myself, despite an admittedly humble amount of experience to draw from.

The problem: tonight I glued together a book matched maple top. My young kids wanted to help, so I wasn't giving my full attention to the joint. At first inspection all looked well, but after several hours later I notice the sides are lifted up by a couple degrees. Over tightened the clamps perhaps... Any chance of saving this piece? It has a real unique figure.

I used original Titebond. I've tried heating up the joint with a heat gun and mechanically separating the piece, but no dice.
 

JesseXGibson

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Depending on the thickness of the top you could just plane it down until flat, but depending on how bad the angle is in the board you may end up with a really thin top. Other than that and heat I’m not quite sure :dunno:
 

slapswan

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Depending on the thickness of the top you could just plane it down until flat, but depending on how bad the angle is in the board you may end up with a really thin top. Other than that and heat I’m not quite sure :dunno:
Thanks for the tip. I will probably plane it flat. I suspect that will leave me with a final piece that is not quite 5/8 of an inch, but I suppose I could make up for that with a slightly more subtle carve.
Lesson learned, don't use your best looking wood on your first build.
 

DaveR

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I had something similar a few years ago. Had success with a heat gun on the underside (shrinks the fibers) then a bunch of water on the top side (swells the fibers), clamped it flat for glue up, then cut my router steps the next day to remove a lot of the material that was trying to cup. Lots to read here but ai explained the whole problem and solution in this thread once I figured it out.

 

dcomiskey

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Can you post pics of what happened? No matter how careful I am, I rarely get a perfect glue joint. I just sand it down flat the next dat and usually it turns out just fine.
 

Wallied

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So we're apparently dealing with "rotational" misalignment. If you want to redo the joint, you'll be more succesful with steam than just heat, and I suggest you try that before planing the top thinner. In my personal experience, the added labor of opening the joint is better than the reduced material thickness, as I tend to run into new mishaps every time I go with the "I think I still have JUST enough thickness" mentality :naughty:

Regards, Will
 

Freddy G

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Were you using pipe clamps? Next time stagger them so you have clamps on both sides.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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i always joint my pieces to get them flat, then at least skip dress the other side. that way i start with flat pieces, leaving them as thick as reasonable possible. doing what freddy just said, i glue them up, then adjust clamps if necessary while laying a straight edge across them to keep as flat as possible. after dried, i scrape glue and plane each side, flipping the slab each time, only taking off a little. never had a problem. if you try to plane a cupped or warped piece, you will never get it flat, as the planer only parrellels the two surfaces that are there. i know that doesn't help you with your problem now, but thought i'd throw this out for later....cause we all know there will be another one...and another one.....
 

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