100 mile guitar - what woods to use?

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Celeste Hall
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Re: 100 mile guitar - what woods to use?

Post by Celeste Hall »

Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia is an invasive species in BC, so cutting it for lumber would be a good thing. I have an octave mandolin neck made from cherry with a locust FB. Its yellowness might not be aesthetically pleasing to you, it seems to be a bit polarizing, but it is hard enough

Howard Williamson
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Re: 100 mile guitar - what woods to use?

Post by Howard Williamson »

Oyvind Taraldsen;
Thanks so much for the name, a little google search and voila:
http://benedettoguitars.com/boutique/si ... red-cedar/
So, it has been done, that makes me feel much better. Mine will never approach the beauty of that one but at least now I know that I'm not completely out of my mind to attempt a WRC guitar body.
Thanks again to those that have contributed.
Howard Williamson

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Mark Day
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Re: 100 mile guitar - what woods to use?

Post by Mark Day »

Not that I'm the voice of vast experience, but I would also be afraid to use any softwood for back & sides for all the reasons already mentioned. Another reason not mentioned is you might find that once you build one, you become addicted to building like everyone else on this forum has, and you might wish you had saved that WRC and Doug Fir for tops, especially if it is nice stuff. Why waste good topwood? As far as preferring a deeper voice, I think a deeper or at least larger soundbox would do that, as in the gittarone from mariachi bands. Better experienced builders can probably confirm or counter that, though.

Howard Williamson
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Re: 100 mile guitar - what woods to use?

Post by Howard Williamson »

Thanks Mark;
I'm just getting started here, building moulds, go-bar jig, ordering some parts / tools etc.
I'm gonna start with the Cedar top and see how that goes, try bending some cedar sides, if nothing else but to get some experience and see how that goes.
If its going well with the Cedar, I'll carry on, if not, I'll change course.
Getting more Cedar or Fir is not a problem for me, I've got lots, enough for 3 or 4 guitars.
I didn't realize at first that there is a sound clip of that Benedetto / all cedar guitar, I've played it now and I must say that I find that one too "bright" for my taste. That one though, being an arch top W/3" deep body might contribute to it's brightness ??
I'm planning to build a flat top W/ +- 4" sides, I don't know how that will affect the tone but I'm hoping for not as bright .
There may very well be more than one guitar build in my future, building all these moulds, jigs etc. seems to be 1/2 the work ??

Karl Hoyt
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Location: Cape Cod

Re: 100 mile guitar - what woods to use?

Post by Karl Hoyt »

I teach guitar building at a high school on Cape Cod. We use domestic hardwoods almost exclusively for back and sides. One of the absolutely most wonderful sounding guitars we've ever made was a cherry body with doug fir top...... wonderful sustain, beautiful low-mid tone. I also do lots and lots of repairs for local musicians. an all-cedar guitar will undoubtedly become a split nightmare every time you bang it

a great fingerboard/bridge wood that people forget about is walnut! Ovation has been using it for decades now.

and this is coming from a 'just about to turn 60' guy as well..... so you know you can trust me ;)

The main rule is that there aren't that many rules... but the most important rule is to have fun!

Karl

Bill Hicklin
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Re: 100 mile guitar - what woods to use?

Post by Bill Hicklin »

Unfortunately, the name 'cedar' has wound up attached to a lot of trees which are completely unrelated whose woods have entirely different properties- Spanish "cedar" isn't even a conifer!

-Western Red Cedar is actually an arborvitae, with light, fairly stiff very soft wood, well-known as a soundboard wood
-Eastern Red Cedar is actually a juniper, with iron-hard, twisty, knotty wood used to line cedar chests, but no good for luthiery
-Eastern White Cedar is another arborvitae, but grows too small to produce tonewood.
-Alaskan Yellow Cedar is actually a cypress, similar in properties to Med/Spanish cypress and often used as a substitute
-Port Orford Cedar or "Lawson's Cypress" (both wrong! it's a "false cypress") has properties not unlike Yellow "Cedar"


Meanwhile,
-Spanish Cedar is neither Spanish nor even related to the cedars, but a broadleaf relative of mahogany from Central America, used for traditional classical necks and cigar boxes.
-Australian Redcedar is close kin to Spanish cedar.

Darrel Friesen
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Re: 100 mile guitar - what woods to use?

Post by Darrel Friesen »

Thanks Bill. You are correct. Just to futher clarify, yellow cedar and Western Red cedar are both in the Cypress family.

Bill Snyder
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Re: 100 mile guitar - what woods to use?

Post by Bill Snyder »

I may be reading too much into this from the description of the Benedetto Sinfonietta
"Bob took great pains to fashion this featherweight into a functional and spectacularly voiced instrument".
Like I said I may be reading too much into that statement, but it suggests to me that a lot of extra work went into this guitar because of the choice of materials.

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