LMI wood

Care to share your wood knowledge?

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Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:54 pm

I was just reflecting on everything that I've learned since I started building guitars (not much):

Here's what I know:
Good wood is good wood, regardless of species. I have Engleman spruce that matches any great German Spruce. I have redwood that reminds me of very light mahogany.
Soundboards: Generally, air dried for 7-10 years is about ideal if stored properly (this I learned from Randy Angella). There's a good balance of stiffness and flexibility. Sadly, I learned this after picking up about 8 sets of prewar adirondack spruce that acted very splitty (exceedingly light and stiff). I like tighter rings in the middle and wider rings to the side. Perfect quartering and proper drying matter omre to me than grain count.
Brazilian Rosewood: wood air-dried over 30 years in a controlled manner will likely not warp or crack. It truly makes great guitars...but there are many great woods--I prefer good Indian Rosewood over the fancy exotic stuff. Good EIR is almost imperceptably different to most people, and there's some overlap. Plus, it's much cheaper and overlooked.
Mahogany: can be very inconsistent: from ropy and floppy, to hard and bell-like.
The bridge makes a big difference. It must be very carefully fitted and glued.
Be very picky regarding neck stock.
I prefer less figure in wood. To me: quilting, fiddleback, birdseye, burls are pretty looking structural liabilities.
Most people can't tell tone, but they appreciate a good setup.
Bonk tone: I just look for a good ringing sound--not a specific key or note. I just want something that doesn't kill the sound generating energy.

More important than wood is the builder.
The wood just sets the maximum parameters for the instrument's physical capabilities.
It's like a marriage between you and the wood...the closest thing that a man can come to making a baby (paraphrased from Randy).

Anyways, I'd love to hear what others have learned.
Matthew Lau
 
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Dennis Weaver » Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:20 pm

Matt,
Here is some of my wood thoughts-

I have seen cedar soundboard guitars really "lose notes" when overdriving it with my five dollar jazz chords. One cedar topped guitar held up pretty nice though which I had, (store brand bought) but anyhow I guess really have to brace it good!

Necks- Best wood- Teak. It looks really nice and will never warp and stays dead straight!

Fingerboards- Ebony sure looks nice but is it really needed? Who ever wore out a guitar fretboard??? I like to also use woods like Bocote or whatever for grain looks.

I think aging wood is good. I know I can barely screw a sheet rock screw into the studs of my aprox. 90 year old bungalow house. The wood petrified!

Well I am only a beginner so that's about it from me, oh how about Tulipwood for a bridge? Pinkish, looks pretty cool.

I got a few sets of Cherry I will use for some classicals. I might use some soft maple for the necks just so its about the same color scheme is why.
I always thought, looks wise, cherry is more beautiful than maple (for living room furniture whatever).
Dennis Weaver
 

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Dennis Weaver » Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:14 pm

Here is another but most people here would probably know it. Cocobolo- the dust almost killed me!!!!!!!!!!! I had it in my lungs and my arms and chest were inflamed by it also.
I am allergic to cats and horses and feathers and Cocobolo rosewood (like poison ivy the dust is to me!!!!!!!!)
Dennis Weaver
 

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:55 pm

Dennis, I have seen a "few" worn out fretboards. A lot of them seemed to be rosewood boards on old Les Pauls or acoustic Gibsons.
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Dennis Weaver » Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:01 am

OK, I guess I just haven't been playing enough.
Dennis Weaver
 

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Tom Sommerville » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:04 pm

Dennis,

I don't even think of using cocobolo anymore.

However, as to your other allergies, consider this: I'm seeing an allergist and following a more recent desensitization therapy; instead of shots, you place a couple of drops of the allergens under the tongue every morning.
It's helped me, and it's affordable.

You may want to look into it.
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Joel Brown » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:50 pm

Dennis Weaver wrote:Here is another but most people here would probably know it. Cocobolo- the dust almost killed me!!!!!!!!!!! I had it in my lungs and my arms and chest were inflamed by it also.
I am allergic to cats and horses and feathers and Cocobolo rosewood (like poison ivy the dust is to me!!!!!!!!)


Dennis,

Do you use a respirator? How did it get into your lungs?
I am asking because I would like avoid anything like that happening to me.
I plan to use mostly EIR, cypress, Spanish Cedar and Spruce.
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Mark Swanson » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:31 am

Spanish Cedar can be a bad one, and spruce bothers me too. Folks, ANY wood dust is very bad to breathe. Use any and all precautions to keep it out of your system, it's as simple as that. Masks, respirators, air cleaners, ventilation, downdraft tables, working outdoors, use common sense and anything that you can think of to prevent breathing it in. If you think over your shop situation, you'll see how you can best do it. Just do it.
    Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Dennis Weaver » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:59 am

Cocobolo is a bad one. No respirator. Hand sanding. like in 1996. rashes inflamed to the point of a poison ivy type inflamed rash on chest, stomach, arms, and in lungs.

Bolivian rosewood- no allergic reaction to it.

Anyhow I just bought a palm 1/4 sheet Dewalt sander with a bag plus I wear dust masks now.
Dennis Weaver
 

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Mark Swanson » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:50 am

Dennis, you don't seem to understand what a "sensitizer" is, or some things about these reactions. These reactions may not happen at first, but the more you get exposed to the dust, the more they happen and all of a sudden it will hit you. The cocobolo may not have been bad either the first time or three, but all of a sudden you became sensitized to it. You don't have to listen to me, but I am telling you that the bolivian rosewood, after repeated exposure will give you a reaction that will make the cocobolo look mild in comparison.
    Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Dennis Weaver » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:08 pm

CUT ME A BREAK. I am not that allergic to or most woods. I KNOW when I am allergic to stuff- poison ivy very very bad in recent yrs. horses, . I WEAR A DUST MASK. I WEAR A DUST MASK. I WEAR A DUST MASK.
Ok I sanded etc... with Bolivian Rosewood NO REACTION.
P.S.- no big stock of Bolivian rosewood here. Had the wood for ONE GUITAR.

What did I incur to get all the lectures?
Dennis Weaver
 

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:47 pm

Take a chill pill there. We are just trying to help you.
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Dennis Weaver » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:54 pm

I did not ask for help.

Also a study would be on what does make the wood give an allergic reaction. The oils? Maybe.
My Bolivian rosewood is aged 16- 18 years.

Anyhow don't include my name or direction on any wood allergy talks please! Study yourself. I tried to help.

I just made two guitars and had more of a reaction in 2007 when I made my back porch with pressure treated lumber and didn't always wear a dust mask.
Dennis Weaver
 

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Bryan Bear » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:07 pm

Don't look at it as lectures. People here just want to help each other and matters of health are of paramount importance to all of us. The point Mark is making about sensitizers is that you DON'T know when you are allergic to stuff until you are. I was never allergic to poison ivy until one day when I became allergic to it. I encountered it every week when I did yard work (it was hiding in some other ivy that covered my fence). Then one day (several days after the exposure) I reacted. It actually took me a while to figure out what I was reacting to. Sometimes you never find out.

The big problem with sensitizers is that you never know how serious the next reaction will be (even if you have already reacted before). A horrible reaction on your skin is bad enough, but imagine that reaction happening inside your lungs or trachea. This brings me to my real point: We all work with woods that could become a problem for us and it may happen very unexpectedly, it may also not happen immediately during or after the exposure in the workshop. No matter how careful we are, we will still probably have potentially dangerous exposures form time to time. Please keep an eye out for signs of serious allergic reactions and don't hesitate to get treatment early if you suspect one. Especially things like tingling of the lips or around the mouth, we don't want any throats swelling shut.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Charlie Schultz » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:00 pm

And remember this forum is readable by the world (not just members)- as moderators we do try and keep that in mind (particularly with respect to safety) but forget occasionally and I apologize for the times when our comments are (rightly or wrongly) directed at one person.
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Randy Roberts » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:05 am

Dennis,

I would very strongly suggest that, if the "dust mask " you are using is the typical "Surgeon's" face mask, and you believe it is going to protect you from a true allergy to wood, you should stop a bit and listen to the advice being offered.

The same is true if you think the bag on a quarter sheet sander is doing anything at all protective.

The consequences of a believing that can be very serious.

I can't get the picture of a tombstone inscribed with..." I WEAR A DUST MASK. I WEAR A DUST MASK. I WEAR A DUST MASK. " out of my mind.
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Dennis Weaver » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:28 pm

I am not a asker of a question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
jOEL bROWN ASKED ME A QUESTION AND i GUESS i DIDN'T ANSWER IT TO EVERYONE'S SPECS. talk to joel with all advise not me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hERE IS THE QUOTE FROM jOEL-

Dennis,

Do you use a respirator? How did it get into your lungs?
I am asking because I would like avoid anything like that happening to me.
I plan to use mostly EIR, cypress, Spanish Cedar and Spruce.


i AM GOOD HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! no advise tzo me. tALK TO jOEL he asked not me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dennis Weaver
 

Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby David King » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:16 pm

"sen·si·tize
verb
cause (someone or something) to respond to certain stimuli; make sensitive."
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Bill Raymond » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:56 pm

Dennis, I believe you are overreacting a bit. No one here wants you to hurt yourself and is trying to offer advice (advise is a verb, advice a noun) that will help you as well as others who may be reading this thread, as was pointed out above. If you prefer not to take advice, just walk quietly away without shouting--your all-capitalized posts are considered shouting. You are certainly under no obligation to follow anyone's advice should you wish not to. I, as do the other Forum members, wish you well and good health whatever you choose to do.
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Re: Care to share your wood knowledge?

Postby Randy Roberts » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:05 am

The point of this forum is to share information about all aspects of instrument building. This, by its very nature means information posted here may be accurate, or it may be incorrect and misleading. Members of the forum range from beginners to experienced and accomplished builders and repair persons, and many members have expertise in fields ranging far from lutherie. When statements are made in these discussions that are inaccurate, or run the risk of misleading someone without a thorough backround in the topic being discussed, forum members have traditionally felt a responsibility to point this out. It is not an attempt to pick a fight, but an attempt to prevent those newer to the topic from being misled.

I would also suggest taking the time to read the Forum Rules found at the top of the Index Page.
For example:
We take the "be polite" rule VERY seriously - we do not tolerate ANY rudeness, or any messages that constitute a personal attack. While we recognize that anyone can have a bad day, a guest user or a relatively new MIMForum member who has no track record with us does not get the benefit of any doubt. If a new participant posts a message that is at all impolite or casts aspersions on another participant, it will be removed without comment regardless of other content because we have no interest in encouraging their continued participation here. We also don't allow sexually suggestive language, the gratuitous use of 4-letter words, and any use of obscene and/or derogatory terms. Any member who is intentionally unpleasant or disruptive will receive at most one warning, and will be permanently banned from the MIMForum if there is a second offense.


Most of us consider lines of statements in all capital letters to be the equivalent of being shouted at. If this was your intent, then perhaps a blog of some type would be a more appropriate venue.
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