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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:19 pm 
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First name: Brent Sr
Last Name: Cole
City: Craig
State: Alaska
Zip/Postal Code: 99921
Country: USofA
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For decades I have supplied luthiers with braewood stock. 99.9% of the time when folks inquier, they specify quarter-sawn.
It is true quartersawn lumber is the most stable and strongestt cut. But it's strength can only be utiliized if it is installed, or used properly. I am not a builder and don't build anything except messes. But I do know how to cut wood, the terminoligy,.and the best uses of fiber for a given job, from the species of timber that grow here in SE Alaska.
Here's the scoop. Most bracewood stock produced is quarter-sawn/VG, and is a fall-down product from cutting soundboard material. Soundboards must be cut within a certain few degrees of VG for stiffness. Most High production soundboard producrs cut either lumber or block into billets. Resizing the billet to width, as in a 12"
wide board to a 8.75" width, or rejecting the billet as soundboard material and resawing into brcestock, is where the bracewood comes in the process. Of coarse there are the wings and
"get back to VG" cuts that get resawn into brace stock as well.
Now the luthier gets this stuff from the supplier as they've done for a long time, shapes it by radius and resaws it into sticks. Here is were the scenario of "we have ben pooping wrong all these years" comes in.
The resawn VG cut board has been made into flat sawn braces that are intalled in a vertical position.
I learned of this about 15 years ago when a customer called and aked if I would cut him some flat-sawn brace stock that he could radius and resaw into VG braces. Think wing-spars for wood and fabric aircraft.
Does it REALLY matter?
I don't know. But for the folks that strive for the absolute ultimate strength of a stick, that's how it's done.
That's the scoop. Flat-sawn bracewood stock is a bit more expensive, because the soundboard producer has to intentionally custom cut that product, as opposd to pick stuff out of reject guitar top material.
I can discuss the various sawing techniques as well. Especially Another mis-understood term as quarter-sawn. Have a GREAT day Boys and Girls, I'm gonna go saw something.
Regards, Brent Cole Sr


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:16 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Not exactly sure what you are aiming at, but the brace stock I always got was around 4/4 thick and QS. Boards were 4-8" wide and cut around 24" long. You just sawed off what you needed from the board and made your braces.
What's the muss?

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Lonnie J Barber (Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:02 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:40 pm 
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I am with Haans not sure what you are aiming at either -- I am one of the boys (70 years old) or girls that knows exactly what the terms vertical grain and quarter sawn have come to mean in our industry. Seeing that you have never constructed a guitar perhaps its time to at least read a about it. Here's a good article which for the most part describes the component material configuration and why its use in the various aspects of guitar design and construction. Our (KMG) three main suppliers over the last four decades have had no problems getting us the wood we specify for use as guitar brace material

http://www.esomogyi.com/principles.html

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These users thanked the author kencierp for the post: Lonnie J Barber (Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:02 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:46 pm 
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Haans wrote:
Not exactly sure what you are aiming at, but the brace stock I always got was around 4/4 thick and QS. Boards were 4-8" wide and cut around 24" long. You just sawed off what you needed from the board and made your braces.
What's the muss?

If I'm understanding correctly, people have been pestering him for flatsawn brace stock and complaining about the higher price, so he's informing us that it's less wasteful to use quartersawn because it's a natural byproduct of soundboard production.

But I don't understand why people need it to be flatsawn in order to radius before slicing braces. I've done it myself, using a 3/4" thick quartersawn board and planing a curve into one face of it, so braces are already radiused when sawn from the edge. I suppose with a 5/16" thick flatsawn board, you could saw a curved line. But that seems more difficult.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:24 pm 
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I had to reread this a couple times before I think I understood what was being said. Are you talking about braces installed like this,

Image

as compared to this?

Image

If not I may have to try reading it again.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:39 pm 
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All the braces in the pics wide or narrow should still have the grain perpendicular to the plate with a minimum of run-out. I have found that the taller braces seem to hold their contour better and actually discontinued using the wide bracing on the backs.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:38 am 
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I don't care what it is called while it is being sold and bought in billet form. I split and cut the billets up so that, when I glue the braces to the guitar, the grain lines are perpendicular to the top or back. Am I missing some important point from the OP?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:13 am 
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If you started with a perfectly flat sawn board, say 6" wide, you could stand it up & split out your braces height wise to eliminate the runout that you can't see. For sawn brace stock this seems like a good idea - possibly more economical than buying split brace stock?

Also, welcome Brent, and thanks for being a sponsor.

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These users thanked the author klooker for the post (total 2): J De Rocher (Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:06 pm) • LanceK (Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:55 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:32 am 
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I don't think Brent is referring to the orientation of "grainlines" on a shaped brace, but rather the difficulty of milling braces from typical QS bracestock that is, say, 0.75-1" thick, without grain runout limiting the length of brace possible.

Runout (deviation of the axis of wood tracheids from the surface plane) is very difficult to see in both radial and tangential directions, so the usual method to produce braces without runout is by splitting across the "grain lines" and ripping parallel to the lines. The split plane tends to follow the longitudinal axis of the tracheids (fibers).

Splitting works fine in large dimension pieces, but for thinner QS stock, the runout needs to be rather close to zero or you'll run out of thickness for anything but a very short brace. That's less of an issue with a flat-sawn piece, where one can have several degrees of runout, without running out of width of the board while splitting. Of course, if the flatsawn surface itself is not close to parallel with the grain-line axis, you run out of brace when ripping, but that's easier for the sawyer to control.



These users thanked the author Tim Mullin for the post (total 2): J De Rocher (Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:06 pm) • LanceK (Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:56 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:35 am 
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klooker wrote:
If you started with a perfectly flat sawn board, say 6" wide, you could stand it up & split out your braces height wise to eliminate the runout that you can't see.

Exactly -- and much more succinct than my post!



These users thanked the author Tim Mullin for the post: LanceK (Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:56 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:08 am 
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I totally agree with Brent in that what we use for brace stock is indeed FLAT SAWN stock and not quarter sawn. I had a heated discussion with Robbie o Brien about this very subject a few years ago and he was adamant it was quarter sawn.

Let's look at a brace with vertical grain that is say 1/4" x 3/4", the growth rings run parallel to the 3/4" side. Now hypothetically increase the brace height to 8" x 1/4" (similar dimensions to half a soundboard) and try to keep the growth rings running vertically, it can't be done because of the curvature of the annual growth rings and even if it could be done on a billet from a massive tree, the brace would still be be FLAT SAWN. Imagine a soundboard 8" x 1/4" with the growth rings running parallel to the faces (the complete opposite to what a quarter sawn soundboard is) and then rip the soundboard into 3/4" strips to give us our brace stock, do we still say it's quarter sawn, I think not?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:26 am 
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I don't really care as long as the final dimensions of the brace have the annular rings that look like this |||||

I never thought that it really mattered whether you achieve that orientation via true quarter sawn wood or a flat sawn piece rotated on another side or even a piece that has lines at 45 degrees but can be rough milled to brace dimensions and have VG.

I'm thinking more along the lines that Quarter sawn is a process, it's a method for cutting wood that produces VG. There are other ways of getting VG from waste wood and while that is probably not proper to call quarter sawn it's still good for bracing.



These users thanked the author jfmckenna for the post: Michael Lloyd (Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:36 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:14 am 
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Brent - Thanks for starting this thread. I'll confess that the wording of your opening post is a bit difficult for me to parse, but the subject matter is critically important to all of us and you have certainly spawned a valuable discussion.

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These users thanked the author George L for the post: dzsmith (Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:55 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:51 pm 
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It took me quite a while to figure out what Brent was saying in the OP but I think Kevin explained it well below:

klooker wrote:
If you started with a perfectly flat sawn board, say 6" wide, you could stand it up & split out your braces height wise to eliminate the runout that you can't see. For sawn brace stock this seems like a good idea - possibly more economical than buying split brace stock?


The part my little brain wasn't grasping was that we were talking about buying a billet of sawn stock and splitting it to asses the runout. I'm not sure why I wasn't getting it since I had come to that conclusion myself when trying to get brace wood from spruce lumber. At first I kept my eye out for boards that happened to be quarter sawn / vertical grain. After splitting boards like that and ending up with mostly short braces I realized that I really want the boards that are as close to perfectly flat sawn as possible. Then when I split that board, I have plenty of width (height?) to work with the runout and still get long braces.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:34 pm 
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First name: Brent Sr
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I'll start out by apologizing for my inability to convey my thoughts to text clearly. And My tone was one that could not be represented in text as well. I was pecking at the keyboard as I would talk to my close buddies and family as we would sit around a fire on our beach. Maybe a more professional tone would be better.
The first 3 replies indicate the need for my opening of this post.
With respect to all of you, allow me to clarify.
There is no muss.
I am not annoyed by folks requesting a product, We are a custom shop. And I haven't heard anyone complain of our prices.
A just wanted to point out an observation for your consideration.
I have been in the full time production of tonewood products for 20 yrs.
A customer visited us last week and we talked about bracewood. They needed specific dimensions like 1x 3 VG cut. I asked about multiples, and why not less width, if the boards are getting cut into sticks anyway? Would it matter if the board would yield only 5 sticks instead of 9? I learned The problem was in production and their shaper tool. One is clamping and the other is the cutting head depth. Anyway She showed me the process on the VG cut board. As I tried to explain, VG boards are getting re-sawn into flat sawn boards probably 99% of the time. Thank you Printer2 for the pics.
I am not able to zoom in enough to see clearly the orientation of the cut in the 4 braced back, But the 3 braced back is definitely a flat sawn board installed in a vertical position.

I don't really care one way or the other what folks do with their property.
If the luthier wishes to achieve the absolute strongest brace, then re-saw flatsawn stock into VG braces instead of the norm. Or dissect your VG cut stock into a 1 x1 stick or whatever height you need, and make 2 -VG sticks at a time that way to maintain the VG orientation of the brace.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:47 pm 
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I'm going to make Brent's (kewl guy, even sends you some patriotic literature and a calendar with your order) point in a different way.

the following story was told to me so I have no way to verify the veracity of it, but find not reason to believe it as false...

around 20 years ago Bill Collings ran short of figured maple for necks...somehow he got a hold of a custom cabinet/furniture maker that I knew and went through his inventory...what he was looking for was flatsawn boards...he bought all that my friend had in stock...so what did he do? he took the flatsawn 3" thick flamed maple boards of 12" wide and cut them into 4" rips...then simply oriented the grain so that the 4" was vertical and 3" was width...

get it?

it's just a matter of perspective...look at a flatsawn piece of wood and reorient it by 90*...it then becomes quartersawn/vertical grain!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:29 pm 
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There is something about this thread that reminds me of one of the reasons why we have so many synonyms in the English language. After the Norman invasion of England in 1066, lots of French words crept into English, because the ruling class was now French. But the French words tended to describe a thing once it was processed for consumption by the French, while the English words were used for the thing while it was still being tended by the lowly English. For instance, we still used "cow" if it was standing on four legs, but we used "beef" to describe it after it was slaughtered and served on a plate. Calf and veal, pig and pork, sheep and mutton, hen and poultry, etc.

Is it possible that Brent's focus is on how the log was actually cut up in the first instance, whereas for someone like me or JF McKenna or Mike P, we only care about what the grain looks like after it is cut up, not how we got there? I mean, of course, Brent would be correct to point out (if this is the point) that logs are either quartersawn or flatsawn or plainsawn or riftsawn (or spirally sawn, if making veneer), but eventually, for someone like me, I can get to where I want with either quartersawn or flatsawn lumber. I just have to make sure I wind up with vertical grain, no matter how the log was cut up in the first instance.

Just wondering. By the way, welcome, Brent, and thanks for being an OLF sponsor! I'll have to explore what you have to offer.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:19 am 
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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Lonnie J Barber (Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:42 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:39 am 
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So it seems (but does it really matter?) that if you had a 1" x 1" x 24" stick with vertical grain lines and laid it on a bench with the lines parallel to the bench top we could call it flat sawn, then turn it 90 degrees so the lines are perpendicular to the bench top we could call it 1/4 sawn??

Perhaps a better conversation would be a demo (sizing) of how wide flat sawn material is actually cut into braces (not something I need or choose to do) but certainly as pointed out, is doable. We use flat-sawn material for our laminated neck and of course the grain lines then run perpendicular to the finger board plane.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:24 am 
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Hi Brent, welcome! I don't make many instruments with sitka spruce, but what little I have used I have shopped some from Brent over the last 15 or so years. Always a pleasure to deal with.

Regarding the flatsawn / quartersawn debate, when it comes to bracewood I always want to see a split reference surface, so it doesn't matter much to me how it came off the saw. Regarding neck stock, I usually laminate two flatsawn pieces to make one "bookmatched" (vertical grain) neck. Seems like a lot of builders are doing pretty much the same thing.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:24 am 
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So what we're talking about here is the difference between how it's cut and how it's used?

Any board that is perfectly QS is also perfectly flatsawn depending on how it's used.

Right? Wrong?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:32 am 
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By "perfectly", most woodworkers are simply referring to the angle of the "grain lines" being very near perpendicular to a surface -- to the wide side = quartered, to the short side = flat. While these terms are used by woodworkers to describe the orientation of grain lines relative to surfaces of a milled piece, they really say nothing about how the original log was broken down in the mill, even though this process is the origin of the terms (and the confusion).

But, "perfectly" quartered or flat does not describe the runout on the radial plane. Splitting to reveal runout requires a wedge oriented perpendicular to the grain lines (a radial split). You can imagine that splitting a 1x6 quartered board in this way leaves little room for runout, otherwise you're left with short braces (or kindling).

Some luthiers may prefer flat sawn brace material for this reason and ask for it. But some tonewood suppliers providing quartered brace material are very attentive to runout as indicated by split surfaces of the billet when they run it through the saw, as they are when they mill quality tops -- Shane Neifer comes to mind. One could rip braces directly from Shane's (quarter) sawn brace material and have very little runout. Me, I would rip a test brace from Shane's material, then split it in half across the growth rings to produce a radial split. If it splits straight, and generally they do, I proceed on the table saw to mill dimensioned braces directly from the board. Yield was high, so his material was really good value. I still have a bunch.

I do have experience with other suppliers (not Brent) who provided material with more runout, so there was a need to split and more waste to get good braces. If there is any doubt, get larger split billets or flat sawn material to maximize yield of split braces with little runout.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:08 pm 
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Yep. In my experience runout is a much more important factor than how vertical the grain is. In fact I think it's a bit irrelevant whether grain on braces is perfectly vertical, other than for looks. In fact I've used flat sawn braces (as glued to the soundboard) for certain applications and believe it or not it works fine. Main difference to me is that they are harder to carve.

AFA the original discussion, whether a supplied brace stock is vertical or flatsawn is going to depend on how it is intended to be split. For a simple say 3/4" x 3" board that has no runout and is meant to be sawn directly into brace blanks I would prefer vertical grain. If it's say 3/8" thick and 6" wide, and meant to be split into 3/8" x 3/4" blanks, i'd want that flatsawn...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:17 pm 
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Gee Whiz...wonder if all that laminated BRW and red spruce laminated bracewood glued together that I used over the years had to be VG and no runout? Someone tell me that no rift and runout make a tonal difference. Please...

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:31 am 
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Have been turning flatsawn stock into vertical 1/4 sawn for many years, but never really gave it much thought . Tnx for the explanation brent.


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