Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Ask your wood and other materials questions here. Please DO NOT post pictures and ask us to identify your wood, we have found that accurate ID is nearly impossible, and such discussions will be deleted. Thanks.
Post Reply
Jason Lawson
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:55 pm

Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by Jason Lawson »

Hi everybody, first time on the new forum here. I have been commissioned to build a pretty spectacular dreadnought for a family friend and he wants a really nicely figured koa for the b&s. I have scoured the web and sent multiple emails to the suppliers I could find and it seems like the available options are pretty slim and the best sets I'm finding that are available don't quite possess that amazing uniform figure we are looking for. LMI lists their premium flame sets as available on their website, but I'd like to find other options if possible. I found a set I really like at a great price, but the sides are only 4/12" wide, slightly too small for the dreadnought depth i'm looking for. Does anyone know of any wood suppliers that have master grade dreadnought b&s koa sets in stock? Thanks everybody.

Michael Lewis
Posts: 1473
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:22 am
Location: Northern California USA
Contact:

Re: Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by Michael Lewis »

Get that koa and put it on your shelf for later. In the mean time you can find a koa set that suits your needs but it will likely be spendy. Bob Gleason at Pegasus Guitars and Ukes in Hawaii is a good place to start.

Arnt Rian
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:41 am
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Contact:

Re: Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by Arnt Rian »

Notable Tonewoods, Hidbon, and Bob Cefalu are other good options for koa.

David King
Posts: 2673
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by David King »

You are going to be paying top dollar regardless so you might as well post your best offer on the classifieds section and see who bites.
I'd be scouring ebay too.

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1470
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Hi Jason,
If the set you found has 4 1/2 inch wide sides you may be able to "grow" them a bit by gluing the linings slightly above the edges of the sides and covering the gap with the bindings. The top and back will also add some thickness. You could end up pretty close to "standard" depth this way.

Jason Lawson
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by Jason Lawson »

Michael Lewis wrote:Get that koa and put it on your shelf for later. In the mean time you can find a koa set that suits your needs but it will likely be spendy. Bob Gleason at Pegasus Guitars and Ukes in Hawaii is a good place to start.
Thanks Michael, the set I found that is slightly too small but I really love is from Bob at Pegasus. I may end up ordering a couple sets from him for future builds.

Has anyone ever stretched a set of sides by gluing some "wings" onto the sides before bending to make them a little wider just like you would with a headstock? This appeals a little more to me more than the idea of bumping the kerfing up since my build process would stay the same and the "wings" would get routed off when making the binding channel. Thanks Clay for helping me think outside the box about this, I may just have to give it a shot.

Darrel Friesen
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by Darrel Friesen »

I "stretched" a set of pine sides by doing just that. I used Titebond 3 thinking it would resist the heat of the bender better. It worked just fine and you can't tell where the joint is.

Jason Lawson
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by Jason Lawson »

Darrel Friesen wrote:I "stretched" a set of pine sides by doing just that. I used Titebond 3 thinking it would resist the heat of the bender better. It worked just fine and you can't tell where the joint is.
Thanks Darrel, I was thinking about using CA since that is what I use to glue purfling to wood binding before bending it, but I think I'll use the Titebond 3 since it won't discolor the wood like the CA would without sealing it first.

Simon Magennis
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:51 am
Location: Menorca. Spain.

Re: Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by Simon Magennis »

Clay Schaeffer wrote:Hi Jason,
If the set you found has 4 1/2 inch wide sides you may be able to "grow" them a bit by gluing the linings slightly above the edges of the sides and covering the gap with the bindings….
I have never done this but I have considered it. Over on another forum (the delcamp classical guitar forum) there was a discussion about it and it turns out that it is being done more than I would have guessed. Some people glue the linings the full binding height above the sides. The only bit is making sure that the top if the side is ready to take the binding after it is glued it. So you would gain about 5-6mm x 2 depending of the depth of binding you favour. (total 3/8" approx giving you just shy of 5").

Mario Proulx
Posts: 821
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:08 pm

Re: Sourcing High Grade Dreadnought Koa Sets

Post by Mario Proulx »

Jason, those 4-1/2" sides will do a dread nicely. The depth is 4-7/8" at the heel, subtract approx. 1/4" for the thickness of the top and back, and you're at 4-5/8", which leaves you only 1/8" shy. All you need to do is glue the linings 1/16" proud on both surfaces to "grow" the height, and 1/16" proud is easily done no matter what method you build with.

Post Reply