Guitar Building Materials – Part 4

Materials for Guitar Building

For guitar building you will not only need wood for the guitar, but you will also need wood to make fixtures, jigs and any number of things that will come in handy during the process. Here is a brief guide to what you will need.

Rough Cut Wood for the Guitar

flitch cut treeMost yards will just have bundles of rough cut planks that they are bought from a broker. The planks are kept bundled or piled according to species. They are random cuts of wood, possibly each from a different tree that grew in a different locations. The minerals in the soil where a tree grows has a tremendous effect on the color and streaks in a piece of wood. To get an exact match it is necessary to get all the wood from the same tree, if not it will be hard to find two pieces that match. In this case you will being doing good if you can get close.

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Buying Guitar Wood – Part 3 – What to Look For

Buying Guitar Wood – What to Look Out For

There are some things that you want to avoid when picking out guitar wood. Runout can be a problem as well as highly figured wood. These things can compromise the integrity of the guitar as it ages. And it can be a problem almost immediately if the flaws are pronounced enough.

Building a guitar is a lot of work and takes a long time. Don’t waste your time and efforts using bad materials. Learn what to look out for right away. And don’t be taken in by all the fancy wood grains you see in some guitars. These guitars will almost certainly develop problems at some point because of the wood selection.

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Buying Guitar Wood – Part 2

Buying Guitar Wood -Materials and Types of Lumber Yards

The first order of business is to know something about lumber yards and the wood and other materials you will be using for your project. For guitar wood you will be looking for a yard that sells what’s referred to as “exotics”, and a nice selection of domestic woods. Exotics are the imported fancy species like rosewood and the like, domestics are homegrown woods like maple, cherry and so on.

For jigs and fixtures you will be looking for a combination of plywood, MDF and domestic hardwoods. If you are extremely lucky you may find everything you are looking for in the same yard, but it’s not likely. You may have quite a ride to get to a good yard, so you want to be prepared when you get there as shopping around for some of this stuff may not be an option. Read more

Buying Guitar Wood – Part 1

Buying Your Guitar Wood in a Lumber Yard

Buying guitar wood can be a challenge if you don’t know what to look for, especially when buying rough wood in a lumber yard. I’ve learned a thing or two in over 40 years of years of working with wood. I might not know much, but I do know about wood. Soundboards are probably best purchased at a tone-wood supplier, but for just about everything else  like necks, backs & sides, linings, etc. you can save big money by getting your guitar wood in a lumber yard and milling it yourself if you have the equipment, and know what you are doing.

How do you find a great piece in the mountains of wood there? You’ll need to learn the language, know what to look for, and what  to avoid. In a series of posts I will try to cover  the bases so you will have more confidence when you go wood hunting, and make your trips to the yard more successful.
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