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Next board off the wall

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Next board off the wall

Postby Eric Knapp » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:32 pm

I pulled another board off my wall that I knew I had but didn't know exactly what it was. This one turns out to be spruce. It is 9 ft. 2 1/2" (2.8 meters) long and 10" (25.4cm) wide. The thickness varies up to 7/8" (22mm).

IMG_0999.JPG
Full Board


It is quartersawn. I think I remember I got this for almost nothing because it was mis-cut. You can see that it's a wedge. The thinnest part is 5/8" (16mm). The cut improves towards the other end and I can probably get several tops and lots of braces out of it.

IMG_1002.JPG
End Grain


The grain looks nice to these untrained eyes.

IMG_1003.JPG
Face


Here's a gratuitous closeup. Pretty. I have a lot more wood that I can't even get to yet. I'm like a kid in a candy shop, eh?

IMG_1001.JPG
Closeup


I'd love to hear an expert evaluation of this board. It is over 30 years old, btw.

Thanks,

-Eric
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Re: Next board off the wall

Postby Randolph Rhett » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:07 am

Yeah, I'm going to post a picture of my sexy young girlfriend too. No to make anyone jealous, just to hear "an expert evaluation."
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Re: Next board off the wall

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:16 am

Randolph Rhett wrote:Yeah, I'm going to post a picture of my sexy young girlfriend too. No to make anyone jealous, just to hear "an expert evaluation."


:lol:

Yah - he "finds" this perfectly cut piece of gorgeous spruce, and wants opinions...

I think it's awful, Eric - not worth bothering with. I've been reading Mike Connors' archtop build log, and I know I'm going to screw up the first one, so I might as well use a piece of crap like you have there so it won't be any loss.

I'll even pay the freight to get it out of your stash so it doesn't contaminate anything else with it's inferior vibe...
==Steve==
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Re: Next board off the wall

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:38 am

Randolph Rhett wrote:Yeah, I'm going to post a picture of my sexy young girlfriend too. No to make anyone jealous, just to hear "an expert evaluation."


Well. . . We're waiting. . .


That board looks great and likely will give you some wonderful tops. A long sawn board like that may have a lot of runnout. If you don't mind the two toned top effect you likely have lots of good tops. Bracewood is another matter. You'll want to split it so see how it runs. Splitting brace stock out of billets is much easier with flatsawn timber. With Vertical grain stuff like that, the split will often run out steep enough that you don't have enough thickness left from the split face. With a flatsawn board you are splitting across the wide face and can usually establish the line of the split and get several tall enough braces even if you have a big triangular piece after the split.

Of course this is probably all moot since, given your magic stash, I'm sure this board has zero runnout over the full 9 feet or whatever it is.

I'll be waiting for the next post: "Hey I just opened up this shipping container I forgot I had and remembered it contained 1,000 board beet of Brazillian Rosewood. It's 40 years old and has three filing cabinets full of documentation chronicling the process of selecting the trees all the way through delivering it to my shop. Is this usable?"
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Re: Next board off the wall

Postby Eric Knapp » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:17 pm

Bryan Bear wrote:
Randolph Rhett wrote:Yeah, I'm going to post a picture of my sexy young girlfriend too. No to make anyone jealous, just to hear "an expert evaluation."


Well. . . We're waiting. . .

I did have a sexy young girlfriend for a short time. We've been married for 24 years. 8-)

Bryan Bear wrote:That board looks great and likely will give you some wonderful tops. A long sawn board like that may have a lot of runnout. If you don't mind the two toned top effect you likely have lots of good tops.

Since I'm not trying to make guitars to sell I think I'll decide to love two-toned tops. As long as there are no structural problems I might even really love them.

Bryan Bear wrote:Bracewood is another matter. You'll want to split it so see how it runs. Splitting brace stock out of billets is much easier with flatsawn timber. With Vertical grain stuff like that, the split will often run out steep enough that you don't have enough thickness left from the split face. With a flatsawn board you are splitting across the wide face and can usually establish the line of the split and get several tall enough braces even if you have a big triangular piece after the split.

Looking at the grain there is probably only 1 inch of drift over the whole board. We'll see if that translates into good splits. I'm hoping.

Bryan Bear wrote:Of course this is probably all moot since, given your magic stash, I'm sure this board has zero runnout over the full 9 feet or whatever it is.

I'll be waiting for the next post: "Hey I just opened up this shipping container I forgot I had and remembered it contained 1,000 board beet of Brazillian Rosewood. It's 40 years old and has three filing cabinets full of documentation chronicling the process of selecting the trees all the way through delivering it to my shop. Is this usable?"

OK, OK, I'll stop torturing everyone. I won't mention all the ebony, maple, and cherry I have. Or the spalted maple logs. Or the rosewood that's not Brazilian that I know of. I got it so long ago it might be, though. Naw, cant' be... Can it?

BTW, I'm posting these to get me more inspired to use them. I'm back to school and the life of a college teacher is busy. I'm always tired and pressured when I go to my shop. I need some motivation to keep going. I never really looked at some of the stock I have from an instrument builder's perspective. A lot is still rough and I don't know what the grain looks like. That maple board was a complete surprise. I didn't remember that this spruce board was so nice and it was buried for a long time. Seeing them and getting a positive response from you all is helping me a lot. Thanks.

-Eric
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Re: Next board off the wall

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:54 pm

Eric Knapp wrote:Since I'm not trying to make guitars to sell I think I'll decide to love two-toned tops. As long as there are no structural problems I might even really love them.

One of the things that I believe distinguish craftsman-made wooden articles, whether they be guitars or furniture, is the use of the kind of wood that would be rejected (or masked) by those mass-producing product. Manufacturers of high-end commercial furniture and guitars select woods for their uniformity. If the wood is figured (as in a guitar top) it is an extremely regular pattern. Reaching a mass market means knocking off all the "sharp edges" - the very things that could make the articles highly individual and unique, but which also narrows the market segment for that item.

If you've ever been a fly-on-the-wall in a focus group, you can watch this happen. The moderators are very careful to note ANY complaint or exception voiced by any focus group participant as a negative, i.e. something that narrows the market. Positive comments are frequently ignored, especially if at least one other participant cites the same feature as something negative.

While it might indeed narrow the market, I believe the use of otherwise sub-prime woods (e.g. sapwood or stained, spalted, wormy, striking figure etc.) as a design element enhances the beauty and the value of the item.

So yeah - I'd encourage you to embrace the two-tone pieces!! :mrgreen:
==Steve==
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Re: Next board off the wall

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:40 pm

Don't stop posting them. I love to see the cool wood someone stumbles on. Even if it does make me jealous.

Steve, by two tone tops, he isn't referring to color variation (which many of us actually like) but the two tone effect from having runnout in the top.
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Re: Next board off the wall

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:17 pm

Bryan Bear wrote:Steve, by two tone tops, he isn't referring to color variation (which many of us actually like) but the two tone effect from having runnout in the top.


Ah! Thanks for the clarification - I didn't catch that.

I have a piece of quarter-sawn spruce I bought for making a dulcimer some time ago - I'll have to take a look at it and see if it's worth tucking away for an archtop should I ever get to the point of trying one...
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Re: Next board off the wall

Postby John Clarke » Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:45 am

Looking at the grain there is probably only 1 inch of drift over the whole board.
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