Like a few other tropical timbers, it may sport insignificant-looking cross-grain fractures that may snap during bending, so examine boards carefully before purchasing or splurge on prepared guitar sets.
I used them to learn to process lumber into instrument wood and crafted them into a wide array of instruments while I learned the trade, then I left them behind.
The background color is a light gray. Walnut is exactly the right color for a guitar. More on this later. The wood is soft How is the alternative to the that a tree can be ripped up for resawing with a chain saw, a task that would be unbearable with oak or walnut.
Imbuya is often attractively figured, but not spectacularly so, and its base color is more like cinnamon than the brown of walnut. Ash is harder and stiffer than mahogany, sort of an open-grain maple.
The sides were like rubber.
This article first appeared in American Lutherie My paduak mandolin is long gone, too. I once accidentally bent a side into a tight cutaway, having forgotten to plug in the heat blanket.
This was during my hot pipe days, and the only solution I could find was to get an entire side as wet and warm as possible and then jam it into the mold with a bunch of clamps. Prominent curls may produce facets in the bent sides, but they always seem to dress out safely.
No one I know claims they can. A lacquer job might go faster if filler was used. It recalls ebony, but is pretty, and the figure is not obscured by time or finger grunge. We might expect this from the dregs of Brazilian that are left today, but I bought wood thirty years ago that was just as bad.
Cherry is everything a luthier could wish for, but walnut is easier to process, hardly more expensive within the scheme of things, and is easier to sell. I once helped take down an English walnut tree and was given half the trunk. Sycamore splits readily, and the infested wood makes wild looking instruments.
More on John may be found at his website JCalkinGuitars. I like them because I need a certain amount of variety in my life. My wood is unquartered, but demonstrated no warping during bending. Treat it like Brazilian or Honduras rosewood. As skill levels rise, they might as well be applied to wood that is held in higher esteem by potential customers.
The bosses will understand. Sanding this wood clean takes more effort than mahogany, but a good random orbital sander relieves most of the grief.
I know a music store owner who bought a zebra bass body, finished it in oil, then quickly assembled the piece and hung it in his shop.
Fine streaks of brown and black make it far more appealing than plain mahogany. Hand bending is the cheapest way to go, and learning the process with mahogany will make the process the most bearable. This African wood is in the mahogany family and as such as acceptable to guitarists.
My opinion, of course. If this soft and floppy American cardboard makes into a fine guitar--and it does--any wood will. For me, cherry and birch were locally available and cheap.
Can you tell what a guitar is made of while listening to an unfamiliar recording? The fill will show, but few will guess that there was a hole there. Contrary to some slanderers, paduak seems to stay red if lacquered soon after sanding, though an oil finish will quickly turn to a dingy brown.
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