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Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

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Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Phillip Rowe » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:56 pm

Looking for a source of small quantities of exotic woods ,prefer US based.
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Randolph Rhett » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:03 pm

Do you mean rough lumber or luthier sets?
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Phillip Rowe » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:09 pm

I mean kiln dried, planed and reasonably smooth wood ready to use
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Bryan Bear » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:50 pm

That's a big question with lots of variables. Which exotic woods are you looking for, what is a small amount. . . I would start by looking for hardwood dealers in your town. One ting with local woodworkers can also get you recommendations.
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Phillip Rowe » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:55 pm

Flamed maple,cocobolo,ebony mahogany bubinga.
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:29 am

Phillip Rowe wrote:I mean kiln dried, planed and reasonably smooth wood ready to use


Does this mean you want wood already thicknessed, or do you plan to taking the wood to the thickness appropriate for building?
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Phillip Rowe » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:15 am

Pre dimensioned.
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:43 am

In that case you do not want a tonewood supplier but a kit. Stew-Mac or LMII would be a good place to look.

General Info: Tonewood suppliers sell tops, backs and sides over-size and over-thick so that the builder can join the top and back before it is thicknessed. It is very hard to join top and back plates that are already sanded to final thickness, and this is definitely not a recommended approach for a new builder. Also, builders take their wood to various final thickness depending on their design. Some people like thicker plates, some like thin. There is no consensus so suppliers don't normally sell off-the-shelf thicknessed plates.

Stew-Mac sells kits where the top and back wood is joined, thicknessed and cut out to profile. And the top has the rosette installed which is something else that needs to be done before final thicknessing.

LMII also sells kits but they will also provide custom sanding services and thin any of the woods to a thickness of your choosing.

In other words, there is more to this than you think.
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Phillip Rowe » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:32 pm

Are the sides prebent?
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:35 pm

They usually are bent with kits. However, if you use LMII's sanding services on tone wood you buy from them they won't be bent, unless you also request that service. Then you need to let them know what body shape. They will even bend wood binding for you if you want. Very customizable to whatever level you need.
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Bryan Bear » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:05 pm

Oops my mistake, I read that as looking for s4s lumber not back and side sets. Sorry, 'bout that.
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Phillip Rowe » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:53 pm

Ok,I saw a YouTube vid where a guy cut a body buck and steamed the wood in some sort of pvc tube and forced the wood into the buck with a caul and let it dry.
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Bryan Bear » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:18 pm

Steam bending is best suited for projects that use wood much thicker than than guitar sets. At around 0.08", most of the heat from the steamer will have dissipated by the time you get it wrangled into the form. Wood that thin, can be bent efficiently with a hot pipe. This introduces far less moisture into the thin wood and once you get the hang of it, most of that moisture is driven out by the time you have completed the bending.

When I was first starting out, I was intimidated by the thought of bending the sides. I tried several different ways around using a hot pipe. Once I finally broke down and made one, I descovered that it is one of my favorite parts of the process. You can make one very cheaply, have a look in the archives and do a search here for inspiration. You will need some practice wood, it would be a good idea to build the skills to thickness wood to practice on. Once you get those two things down, a whole new world of wood options opens up. If you don't want to go through all that and just want to make one guitar, a kit with bent sides is a better option.

Fair warning, you will want to build more after the first one.
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Alan Peterson » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:22 am

Anyone know if coconut lumber is available in the U.S.?
Just askin'...
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Re: Who is the best supplier of exotic woods I. The US?

Postby Matthew Lau » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:48 pm

I wouldn't recommend black palm lumber for the structural bits of a guitar.
In my limited understanding, it's sorta like using cork or some other dampening material.

While it'd look cool, you would probably be better off using some well-quartered, properly dried domestic wood.
Maple, Walnut, Cherry, etc would all make great guitars.
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