Refinishing a Concord

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Refinishing a Concord

Post by nicholaspaul on Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:19 pm

For one reason or another I decided to strip my Concorde II back to bare wood. Big mistake. Anyway, long story aside, when I sanded off the paint that I couldn't hear-gun off, I found something unexpected. Thinking that this model was solid alder I was surprised to find that it is in fact a series of strips of wood glued together with a thin top and back. I wouldn't really call an 11-piece body 'solid' it I suppose that's splitting hairs.
Is this a well known Westone construction method or did I get a dud?
By the way, it has always sounded great so it doesn't really matter. I'm just curious as to how these are usually made.

https://flic.kr/p/DcWk6C

https://flic.kr/p/CpZJQy

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Re: Refinishing a Concord

Post by Barry on Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:51 pm

Don't confuse the term "solid wood" with "one piece".
To carve out a mass production guitar body out of a single piece of wood would put the cost through the roof and out of reach of most players.

This piece-method of construction is quite common, not only for Matsumoku but for virtually all production instrument manufacturers which have an opaque finish (so you don't see the join lines). In Mats' case, even the cheaper models were routinely made with very good wood. Other folks, maybe not so much.

Even though the whole is made up of several parts it is indeed "solid" wood as opposed to a laminate construction ("plywood" if you like). In that case the thickness of the body is built from glued layers of thinner stock, very strong and stable, but not solid wood because, well, it isn't. It's a manufactured product.

Uncle Mats also built some guitars from 2 or 3 pieces and applied a transparent finish! In that case though the wood grains were matched pretty closely for a visually stunning result.

Have a good look at your guitar and you'll see that even though the wood grain doesn't match, it's still a good quality build you have there.

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Re: Refinishing a Concord

Post by nicholaspaul on Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:51 am

I thought that might have been the case. Solid could also mean glued together bits! Oh well! I did actually think it might have been one piece when I sanded down the top first and didn't see any joints. 

You're right, it is a good quality body and works just fine, so I'm not worried. I will probably do a sunburst finish so the edges are opaque but I can still see the top grain. 

I might even post pics. Maybe!

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Re: Refinishing a Concord

Post by corsair on Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:12 am

I think the colloquial term is "butchers block" construction and while the bodies are indeed made of about 5 major pieces of wood, that wood is generally properly seasoned timber. Even my top of the line Vantage VA900 has body wings with a thick walnut veneer and the thru neck is made from 3 major pieces with 2 walnut stringers. 
I don't know about the Pantera X390/350; anyone??

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Re: Refinishing a Concord

Post by nicholaspaul on Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:01 am

It does look like a butchers block! In fact, I've seen people use the Ikea ones as guitar bodies. I might even finish the edges transparently too. Still thinking about it...

Using several pieces of wood for a neck is a good idea to add strength and stability. For me the body has to weigh just enough to balance the headstock.

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Re: Refinishing a Concord

Post by Barry on Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:24 am

nicholaspaul wrote:...Using several pieces of wood for a neck is a good idea to add strength and stability...
Matsumoku's necks are wonderfully constructed. Most are 3-piece or even 5-piece full length Maple (no scarf joints) and, as you say, strong and stable!

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Re: Refinishing a Concord

Post by Westbone on Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:32 pm

2,3,5 piece bodies...11.. affraid geez! talk about using the off cuts...Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Refinishing a Concord

Post by nicholaspaul on Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:18 pm

Westbone wrote:2,3,5 piece bodies...11.. affraid geez! talk about using the off cuts...Evil or Very Mad
Hmm.. What they had left in the scrap bin, I suppose.

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Re: Refinishing a Concord

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