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Spanish Cedar

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Spanish Cedar

Postby Matt Vernon » Sat May 20, 2017 11:20 pm

I'm considering using Spanish cedar for my current archtop build. It is the closest I could find at my local supplier. Any thoughts, experiences, or other considerations welcome.
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Re: Spanish Cedar

Postby Barry Daniels » Sun May 21, 2017 11:49 am

Which parts?
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Re: Spanish Cedar

Postby Brian Evans » Sun May 21, 2017 12:22 pm

I made an archtop with a spanish cedar back. It's characteristics are quite close to mahogany, so I felt it would do well. I wanted a light, responsive back and I felt it was that. I was going to use it for the neck as well, but I screwed up the fretboard install so ended cutting it off. I used maple sides, and a spruce top. I'd use spanish cedar again for back and sides.
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Re: Spanish Cedar

Postby Alan Carruth » Sun May 21, 2017 6:16 pm

Cedro varies a lot in properties, so it's hard to say anything general. Some of the denser stuff I've gotten has been pretty close to mahogany in hardness and stiffness, while the really light pieces can be pretty soft. I'm not sure how it would bend for sides, especially since archtops often use a pretty tight waist and cutaway. You may need to experiment a bit with that. It carves nicely, and smells great to work, but if you get any of the sanding dust on your lips and then lick them you'll find it's one of the worst tasting woods out there.
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Re: Spanish Cedar

Postby Matt Vernon » Mon May 22, 2017 7:50 pm

For the arched top. I am using curly maple for the back, sides and neck.
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Re: Spanish Cedar

Postby Freeman Keller » Mon May 22, 2017 10:03 pm

FWIW, the cap on this is flamed Spanish cedar

Image

I liked it so much I bought another set and one of these days I'll get around to building with it. It is my understanding that Spanish cedar is not a true cedar but more related to mahogany. The guitar in the picture is a chambered solid body so I can't tell you anything about how it would sound for an archtop unless you were going to be strictly plugged in, but its a lovely wood and works easily so it should carve well.
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Re: Spanish Cedar

Postby Brian Evans » Tue May 23, 2017 8:42 am

I was about to ask why you would choose a relatively dense, heavy hardwood for the top plate of an acoustic archtop, but who knows? The back of my guitar turned out to be pretty lively with a decent tap tone. Some electric archtops with built in pickups have tops carved from maple, and they are great guitars. But if it's intended to be an acoustic guitar I probably would stick with tried and true and choose a fine straight grained, quartersawn softwood. Spruce, real cedar, or redwood come to mind. I buy mine from Bow River mail order, they publish pictures of the exact pieces you are buying, and they have some quite inexpensive archtop sets if cost is an issue.
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