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I was wondering if quilted maple which I think is flat sawn can still be planed and sanded to the same dimensions as a quarter sawn wood when making the back of an f5 mandolin? thinking about flat sawn woods' strength and tendency to cup. thanks a million.
Talk about timely: I just got in the latest American Lutherie yesterday, and there's an article by Jim Blilie that addresses that. Building on his and my prior work, he measured the properties of a lot of samples of both hard and soft woods. One thing he found was that flat cut wood had 15%-30% lower bending stiffness than quartered wood. Naturally the only way you can be sure of the stiffness of the wood you have is to test it, and that might be difficult up front. However, leaving it 5% to 10% thicker to begin with wouldn't hurt. As you approach the final numbers you can use something like a deflection test to home in on the proper value for that piece.
Flatsawn wood on the back and sides of an arched instrument is just fine. I carve to my normal dimensions and don't worry about it at all. I home in on final thickness by the sound of the tap tone.
I did notice a tendency towards cupping of the sides with flatsawn maple on my current build, which is kinda flamey quilty maple. You won't notice that on a F5 mandolin, though.