what would you do?

rockgod212

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so i just got this 11.25" x 47" x 7/8" thick piece of hard tiger stripe maple. i can either do the traditional center seam top or how bout an offset seam off to the side, so what would you do? i kinda like the offset joint, although it would be a more difficult build with maintaining the center line etc.
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cmjohnson

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I'll be totally honest about it. I'm so picky about tops, that it has to be either a bookmatched two piece top or a one piece top. I would turn that piece into neck sections and laminate them together to make a multi-piece laminated neck like Gibson did on a lot of early 70s LP Customs, in addition to L-5s and Super 400s.

I could not use that piece for tops. It'd drive me insane to see a non-matched top that isn't a one piece top.

It's also only moderately flamey, so that's another reason to use it for neck laminations. I go for some pretty intense top figure.

But that's just me.

I've bought more top sets from Northridge Hardwoods than any other single vendor.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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personally, i'd make two piece tops, matching pattern/figure as close as possible. i just cut up a 15" wide board that i sold a couple of one piece tops from it, used one, but cut the remainder up and made two piece tops. quite honestly, i think the two piece tops looks better than the one piece ones, as they offer better symmetry. but that's just me
 

cmjohnson

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For me, a one piece top has to have something very special going on for it. The character of the figure has to be consistent across it. And it has to be GOOD figure all across.
 

the great waldo

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Stick it in the post and let me have a closer look at it, i'm sure I could give you an answer then!!
Cheers

Andrew
 
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Roxy13

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I tend to like unmatched tops so I'd center seam it and look for an unmatched pattern I thought was pleasing.
 

pshupe

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I really like center seam tops. To the point where I think a one piece top looks strange. Unless it is a completely different design. Back in the day all Gibson tops were center seam slip matched, so similar to what I recommend for this board.

Cheers Peter.
 

cmjohnson

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Look at original '58 thru '60 Les Paul Standards and you will see that while some tops are clearly slip matched, some others are clearly true bookmatches.

You can get a great looking top with good flamed maple and a good slip match, and there's no doubt about that. But I don't think it's correct to say that all Gibson tops were center seam slip matched back then.
 

rockgod212

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thanx guys. i will wipe some mineral spirits on it and take some more pics, as there is some good figure on this piece.
i tend to agree on 2 piece center seam looks best. i seem to like flitch matched tops or slip match too. i wont be using this piece right away though, its gotta sit some.
 

Sunburstman

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I'm with the center seam / match it to what looks good crowd!
Same here a lot of the tops were not book matched, also watco natural danish oil make the figure pop! Although don't do this until you get ready to finish the guitar itself!
 

CB91710

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If it's not thick enough to bookmatch, and it's not wide enough for a one-piece, I would center seam it.
Even if it's going to be a solid color, if for some reason in the future the joint telegraphs through the finish, it's better to have it in the center rather than offset.
Either way, you're only going to get two tops out of that plank.
 
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rockgod212

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yep i managed to get 2 tops center seamed glued up out of it, time to plane, sand, and router sled them flat. managed to glue up 3 or 4 tops for my next build to see which one makes the cut.
 

cmjohnson

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When I ended up with a top that was not thick enough to do my usual top carve, I went ahead and had it resawn anyway and built a special guitar with a much shallower carved top than I normally do. And it came out great!
 
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