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Learn about Guitar Wood

Rough Cut Stack of Guitar WoodThe most important ingredient in making a great guitar is selecting the wood. The more you know about guitar in general the better choices you will make.

In over 40 years as a craftsman I have had a wide range of experience working with different wood. I had the good fortune of studying woodworking with James Krenov.  He helped me to really the material and how to use it to enhance what I was trying to do.

This information is so very necessary in guitar building. Selecting and properly working your wood will determine the quality of your guitar.

The wood is the reason the instrument sounds the way it does. And acoustic properties of wood vary from species to species. This section will provide some important information about wood and its properties.

In this Section

Cuts of Wood – Learn how wood is cut from the tree to be used for lumber. The way it is cut determines many things. There are three basic cuts of wood. Identifying these will enable you to find the right cut of wood for your guitar. Learn how to identify the different cuts of wood and how they are used…

The Soundboard – There is no question that the soundboard has more to do with sound production than any other part of the instrument. To make a great sounding guitar it all starts with selecting a great piece of wood for the top. Learn what to look for in picking out a top as well as some misconceptions regarding some characteristics…

Backs and Sides – The back and sides of a guitar can really add beauty to the instrument. But they must be the right cut and have characteristics that will make them a good choice for your guitar. Learn about wood used for guitar backs and sides as well as what to avoid…

The Neck – The neck may be the most important piece of wood on the guitar structurally speaking. The neck must sand up to the tension of the strings over time and still function as it should. Choosing a neck blank is paramount to having an instrument stand the test of time. Learn about the types of wood typically used for guitar necks and how to identify the right cut to avoid problems…

Braces – The primary purpose of braces is to add structural integrity to the instrument. They also add the ability for a narrow range of tuning. Once again choosing the right type and cut of wood is paramount in maximizing both of these things. Learn what types of wood make the best braces and how to select the right cut…


Although the details do not have a whole lot to do with the sound of the instrument, they can make a huge difference in the look of the instrument. They can provide an added appeal. Coming up with a design scheme that works requires some knowledge of basic design concepts as well as the limitations of the wood you are working with. Learn how to make good choices for your guitars details and more…