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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:17 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: john
Last Name: shelton
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We've decided to switch to all native woods (except the neck) for most of our future builds once we deplete our stock of exotics. I'm thinking of buying walnut for back and sides (we only build classics and flamencos), any suggestions about where and what type to buy? Price is pretty much unimportant since we don't build many guitars anymore. I've only used walnut in cabinet making up to this point but I really like the wood. How long do you usually cure walnut before using it? I'm used to waiting at least 3 years on any type of wood but have no experience with walnut.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:55 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I think RCTonewoods has some black walnut listed for sale. You might try a set and see how it works for you. Some people say Osage orange makes a great guitar. If I was building classicals and going with domestic woods I would try it.



These users thanked the author Clay S. for the post: jshelton (Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:28 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:13 pm 
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I'll give another vote for osage orange. Allied has some sets in their weekly special section. Just give it some sun if you don't like the yellow color, it will turn a fairly dark orange-brown. It can even be done before building, since it's translucent so the darkening goes all the way through.

Walnut is a bit thunky for nylons, IMO. But it is perhaps the nicest of all woods to work with, so build one and see if it sounds as good as the osage. Hibdon has plain and figured black walnut, and you can tack on some Spanish cedar necks while you're at it :)



These users thanked the author DennisK for the post (total 2): jshelton (Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:28 am) • Dmaxwell (Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:41 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:41 pm 
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Walnut
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I just built an all native wood guitar myself, 1937 Gibson L-00 model. I used walnut for back, sides, top, and neck. I would have to say pleasantly surprised by the sweet mellow sound. Also got some favorable comments at the La Conner Guitar Fest where I showed it last month (May). I now live in central Oregon and have an abundance of great walnut resources.



These users thanked the author MPGuitars for the post: jshelton (Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:28 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:45 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I've built a couple cherry classical guitars and was happy with how they came out. Walnut is an excellent choice for necks too. I have also used cherry for necks. Black Locust would be another excellent choice for classical guitars. Myrtle can be found with nice flame. There is a lot of choices really. Even maple on classical guitars is not uncommon.



These users thanked the author jfmckenna for the post: jshelton (Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:28 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:41 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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The number of available tonewoods here in the midwest, never ceases to amaze me.



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:15 pm 
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Here are several good sources of native woods, including walnut, in Oregon and one in Washington:

Pacific Coast Woods (a sponsor of this site) is a good source of walnut, myrtle, and maple all native to your area. Vince, the proprietor of PCW had a table at the Northwest Handmade Musical Instrument Exhibit in April and all the back and sides sets he had there were very nice. I took two myrtle sets home with me. http://www.pacificcoastwoods.net/

I've also bought some really nice claro walnut back and sides sets and binding from Fiddleback Woodshack out of Bend, so also in your area. http://www.fiddlebackwoodshack.com/index.php

Gallery Hardwoods in Eugene also sells walnut and maple back and sides sets. I got to look through a lot of their woods at the La Conner show last month and they had lots of nice sets. http://www.galleryhardwoods.com/index.html

Northwest Timber in Jefferson specializes in native woods. https://nwtimber.net/shop-all-wood-types.html
Goby Walnut and Western Hardwoods in Portland http://gobywalnut.com/tonewoods.htm
Notable Woods sells nice stuff including walnut. They are on Lopez Island in the San Juans. http://www.notablewoods.com/index.html



These users thanked the author J De Rocher for the post (total 2): Bobc (Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:58 am) • Goodin (Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:00 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:32 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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The Osage I've used has had properties that are pretty much a drop-in replacement for BRW. Black locust tends to be an 'improved' version of IRW, with similar stiffness, somewhat lower density, and much lower damping; more along the lines of BRW in that last respect. Both Osage and Black locust darken up nicely when fumed with ammonia. Persimmon runs fairly close to Macassar ebony in properties; sadly it's hard to find any that is also black. It can be dyed all the way through, but the process is hard to make reliable. Cherry is very similar to Honduras mahogany, perhaps a bit harder and more like Caribbean. I'd rate it as the best 'local' neck wood I've used, and it also makes good B&S sets, of course. I've gotten some mulberry wood that is also quite similar to mahogany. Black walnut has mechanical and acoustic properties very similar to European maple, but having a darker color it tends to be perceived as having a darker tone. Butternut is quite similar to 'Spanish cedar', if a bit stringier in texture. You'll like it for Classical and Flamenco necks. Quarter sawn White oak is becoming one of my favorite B&S woods. It's in the density class with the heavier rosewoods, but has somewhat higher damping. All of the guitars I've made of oak have been good ones. White oak will also darken on ammonia fuming.

It's not too hard to measure many of the properties of wood, such as density, Young's modulus along and across the grain, and damping, and these go a long way toward determining the acoustic properties. These measurements can help you sort out candidate woods without spending a lot of time making instruments that don't turn out as well as you'd hoped.



These users thanked the author Alan Carruth for the post (total 3): SteveCourtright (Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:31 pm) • jshelton (Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:37 pm) • ernie (Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:39 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:43 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Hi allen , Is there a particular method you use for the fumed ammonia look , I have a fair amount of cherry osage, persimmon,locust and white oak .Is it the same method to fume period arts an crafts furniture using a outdoor tent ??? that I have seen in books extolling the virtues of fuming. thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:30 pm 
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Monterrey cyprus is nice for flamencos. Port Orford cedar and Alaskan yellow cedar make nice necks. Myrtle is a fine back and side wood. Lots of choices.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:13 pm 
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Mahogany
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I'm planning to add an all-native north-american classical guitar to my next set of builds. Back and Sides are curly Cherry, and neck is Cherry (all from Hibdon). Western Red Cedar top. Walnut bindings (or maybe flamed maple?).

I got a Mesquite slab off of ebay that I've bucked up into fingerboards, bridges and headplates that will complete the build. Mesquite has the same Janka hardness, the same density, and just a little less ring tone than the East Indian Rosewood bridges and fingerboards I have, so it should be a good replacement. Just a bit pale in color.



These users thanked the author Paul Micheletti for the post: jshelton (Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:37 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:58 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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For those who don't like the color of Osage or any other particular wood, staining is an option. Mahogany and maple are two of the most commonly stained woods used in guitar making so why not Osage? Fuming is one way to change colors, potassium permanganate another. But dye and pigment stains offer an even wider array of colors and can be easier to use.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:36 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Clay S. wrote:
For those who don't like the color of Osage or any other particular wood, staining is an option. Mahogany and maple are two of the most commonly stained woods used in guitar making so why not Osage? Fuming is one way to change colors, potassium permanganate another. But dye and pigment stains offer an even wider array of colors and can be easier to use.

I've been using leather dye to tint my nitro for many years and normally do it on all the guitars we build just to make the color of the top and back / sides harmonious. It can add a lot of character to an otherwise bland colored wood.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:00 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I've done ammonia fuming using common household non-detergent ammonia, and a plastic bag for a tent. The ammonia seems to help reduce the partial pressure of the water, and the R.H. stays reasonably low. In one case recently a student got some heavy duty ammonia ('Custodial'?) that had a higher concentration than the usual stuff and worked quicker. I tried to get some blueprinter's strength stuff from a chemical supply place, but they wouldn't sell it to me. Since my address is residential, they determined (somehow) that I would not have adequate facilities to use it. In all justice, that stuff is hazardous: I knew somebody back in the 60s who dropped a glass jug of it in the supply closet and just made it out the door before she passed out. Had she not done so she could well have died.

I've used tinted varnish over Osage to scale it back a bit. Fuming really helps, though. Ammonia reacts with tannin, apparently. Red oak doesn't have much tannin, and doesn't fume like white oak does. Cherry doesn't react to speak of, nor does maple. Both Osage and Black Locust have enough to make it worthwhile.

OTOH, you can bring up a more 'mature' color on both cherry and maple by wiping them down with a mild alkali solution. I like to make it up using hardwood ashes; since I heat the shop with a wood stove that's easy to get. A teaspoon or so of lye in a gallon of water will do the trick, though. The solution should just feel 'soapy'. It's better to make it weak, and repeat until you get the color you want. This brings up the natural color of the wood that would develop as it ages, so maple goes to a sort of gold color and cherry turns a darker red-brown.



These users thanked the author Alan Carruth for the post: ernie (Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:22 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:16 pm 
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Koa
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http://oribeguitars.com/
Jose Oribe is one of the most respected classical/flamenco builders in the USA. He has long used birds eye maple in addition to BRW.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:06 pm 
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Koa
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Domestic fingerboard and bridges is my quest. I got some persimmons from a neighbor, but haven’t experimented yet. I’m hoping to vacuum infuse quebracho bark solution and then ammonia fuming it. I hope that works, but it’s natural color isn’t very attractive.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:23 pm 
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Cocobolo
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rlrhett wrote:
Domestic fingerboard and bridges is my quest. I got some persimmons from a neighbor, but haven’t experimented yet. I’m hoping to vacuum infuse quebracho bark solution and then ammonia fuming it. I hope that works, but it’s natural color isn’t very attractive.

Why not just use one of the synthetic ones like "ebano"? We're going to switch when our supply of ebony is used up. The synthetic ones are a bit expensive but they don't require the endless aging/curing of real ebony.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:40 pm 
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jshelton wrote:
Why not just use one of the synthetic ones like "ebano"? We're going to switch when our supply of ebony is used up. The synthetic ones are a bit expensive but they don't require the endless aging/curing of real ebony.

Definitely a good option. Desert ironwood is another possibility, aside from being really hard to find good pieces. I haven't actually used it yet, but I do have one fingerboard blank. Super hard, dark enough, and doesn't appear to move with humidity despite having wavy grain.
Attachment:
IronwoodFB.jpg

Pecan is a great bridge wood for redwood tops. Looks similar to bone/ivory. But all the North American hardwoods look pale and unsatisfying on spruce tops, IMO. Maybe desert ironwood is dark enough if it has dark stripes like that fingerboard.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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That's the big problem, for sure. Hard dense woods are not so hard to find, but ones that are hard, dense, and black, that's tough. One I'd like to see mmore of is soft shell almond, which is hard as a brick, and at least dark brown.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:32 am 
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The artificial ones seem ridiculously expensive. 10 fingerboard blanks cost as much as the 60" x 40" countertop they are cut from. I break out into a cold sweat just thinking about it. Just... can't... do... it...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:33 am 
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Cocobolo
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rlrhett wrote:
The artificial ones seem ridiculously expensive. 10 fingerboard blanks cost as much as the 60" x 40" countertop they are cut from. I break out into a cold sweat just thinking about it. Just... can't... do... it...

I was at a local hardwood vendor a few weeks ago and looked at their ebony. I couldn't believe the prices they were charging for what I consider firewood. There wasn't one piece that was up to minimal quality standards...totally worthless.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:04 pm 
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Hearn Hardwoods - 50 miles west of Philadelphia - has a 5 X 5 X 5 foot bin of ebony scraps for $5 a pound. In there were many scraps that would have yielded 2 bridges of black material, at probably about a pound. Nothing big enough for a fretboard, unfortunately.

They also cut lots of wood for the big guys - Martin and Gibson among others. I fell in love with a fantastic Koa back, sides and top set - only $1200

Ed


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:16 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Ruby50 wrote:
Hearn Hardwoods - 50 miles west of Philadelphia - has a 5 X 5 X 5 foot bin of ebony scraps for $5 a pound. In there were many scraps that would have yielded 2 bridges of black material, at probably about a pound. Nothing big enough for a fretboard, unfortunately.

They also cut lots of wood for the big guys - Martin and Gibson among others. I fell in love with a fantastic Koa back, sides and top set - only $1200

Ed

Many years ago I bought a couple of whole logs of Madagascar ebony from Gilmer hardwoods. Price was $5/lb, even at that low price it added up to several hundred dollars. I still have a few of those fingerboards which are magnificent....perfectly quartered, stable and jet black. Sawing the logs was a real challenge, even with the dust collection running ebony dust was everywhere. I don't remember how many fingerboards I ended up with but it was big stack.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:19 am 
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Cocobolo
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+1 on Quarter sawn White Oak.

Just finished a White Oak and Italian Spruce 00 that surpassed all my expectations.

Got some great advice from fellow member Haans on how to stain the outside to get the color I liked as well. You can check out his website to see what I mean. :o)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:03 pm 
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Raymond

Any pictures of that guitar?

Ed


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