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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 5:21 pm 
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Mahogany
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First name: Colleen
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Paid a visit to my local musical instrument wood store, because I needed some mahogany to make end blocks with. While I was there, I bought a rosewood fingerboard and bridge blank, EIR matched back and side set, a couple extra neck blanks, and an Englemann spruce top. Guitar #1 has a Sitka spruce top, with EIR back and sides. I’m thinking of saving my ebony fingerboard and bridge blank for guitar #2, and using the rosewood fb and bridge blank for guitar #1. Questions:

1. Can I expect the Englemann top to work well with an ebony bridge?

2. Should I plan guitar #2 to be an OM or 00 model, or can I expect the Englemann top to work for a dread?

Any thoughts appreciated.



These users thanked the author Colleen_M for the post: James Orr (Mon Sep 12, 2022 8:48 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 6:02 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Finish #1 and play it for a while before you make detailed plans for #2. There’s a whole lot of learning going on.

Whether the Engelmann top is good for a large guitar depends on its cross grain stiffness. If it’s floppy, use it in a smaller guitar. If it’s stiff, it will work fine in a big guitar. In general, all other things being equal, the rosewood bridge will be a little lighter than the ebony bridge, making the guitar with the rosewood bridge a bit brighter and more responsive.

You are lucky to have a local store with instrument woods.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 6:16 pm 
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Mahogany
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bobgramann wrote:
You are lucky to have a local store with instrument woods.



They even have fretboards that are already thicknessed and slotted. I might have bought one, but I ordered a fret slot template from LMI (25.4” scale), and I don’t want to waste that money. Plus, how do I know the scale length the boards were slotted for (that just came to mind)?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 6:28 pm 
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Koa
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Hi, measure from the nut slot to the 12th fret and multiply by 2. Or nut to first fret and compare to scale measurements available online to match


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 6:37 pm 
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Colleen—

I recommend avoiding the tendency to think that the species of a piece of wood will tell you what you need to know about how it will sound or otherwise perform. There is so much variation in wood, even among boards from the same tree, that the species just doesn’t give you the information you need. Subjecting the specific piece of wood to examination and tire kicking (per what Bob describes) will give you better information than the species. Just my opinion. Good luck with the building!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 8:14 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Engelmann is one of the most variable top woods I have used. Some of it is paper white and soft and light and some of it is heavy and stiff might be hard to tell from red spruce. I like it, but I choose a particular top to suit the type of guitar I am building.
To learn about top woods you might buy half a dozen "A" grade tops and test them for stiffness, runout, and appearance. Out of the 6 you will probably find one that you will want to build with - it might be the ugliest of the group. The others can make nice instruments once you learn how to work with their limitations.
Happy building!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 8:32 pm 
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Mahogany
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This one’s AAA…


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 8:50 pm 
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Colleen_M wrote:
Paid a visit to my local musical instrument wood store...


Burying the lead. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2022 7:11 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Colleen_M wrote:
This one’s AAA…



That should be a pretty top. Many tops are graded on cosmetics rather than their acoustic qualities. It is somewhat true that a top with straight even grain and showing vertical end grain will have better qualities, but that is not always the case. Sometimes an "A" graded top with cosmetic flaws will be acoustically better.
If you want to gain some experience evaluating soundboards without breaking the bank, buying half a dozen lower graded tops for the price of one higher graded top will give you a cheap education - and probably a very nice top or two.
If you go to the Alaska Specialty Woods website (banner ad at the top of the page) and go to the "Product and Grade Descriptions" under the "Shop" heading you will get a good idea of how tops are graded from a very reputable seller.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:14 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Yay!! Number two is great Colleen congrats!!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2022 9:00 pm 
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Ok get ready and start looking for wood for #3.And don't get too hung up on expensive tone woods. The first few instruments are wall hangers. I'm glad I predominantly build ukuleles as the Tonewood can be significantly less $$$. Anyhoot glad to see you getting exciting about future builds, it only gets better with time.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2022 10:29 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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When I lived in the Washington DC area there was a very good hardwood dealer only 15 minutes away from me, not a tonewood supplier per se but they did have some tops and one time scored a whole bunch of rosewood fingerboard blanks. This was some 20 years ago. When I am up there I always make it point to go by the store. Last time I came home with some nice mahogany, zebra wood and maple. With a good resaw that I have it's amazing how cheap I can get my gutiar wood sets down buying in bulk.

Anyway you are lucky to have a supply like that. I miss that shop badly.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:11 pm 
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I have to ask, what is the local store you are referring to? I am always interested in finding Canadian suppliers. 8-)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:28 pm 
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Mahogany
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LaurieW wrote:
I have to ask, what is the local store you are referring to? I am always interested in finding Canadian suppliers. 8-)


It’s called “Exotic Woods”, and is located in Burlington, Ontario. I used to live there, before I moved to St. Catharines, and I could go there on my lunch hour when I was working (I’m retired now). They have their musical instrument wood in a temperature and humidity-controlled room. They have a lot of amazing wood in larger billets in the main part of the store, and when I get a bigger bandsaw, I’ll go have a look with resawing in mind…



These users thanked the author Colleen_M for the post: LaurieW (Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:07 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 9:55 pm 
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Cocobolo
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WAS claims another victim!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 7:36 am 
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Mahogany
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I assume you’re talking about Wood Acquisition Syndrome, and yes, I’m familiar with it. I once drove 3 hours each way to acquire a carload of violin wood at a fraction of its value. I got a number of highly figured backs, some of them one piece, and wonderful tops and necks. It was from a person whose father, an artist and luthier, had passed away, and he had rooms of the stuff. As a musician, I’ve been afflicted with GAS from time to time, and currently I’m in the throes of TAS (Tool Acquisition Syndrome). I have all the syndromes, lol… please pray for me…


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:43 pm 
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Cocobolo
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I often think about the differences between #1 and #2. They were identical in terms of species and geometry, but #2 sold #3, and I don't even have strings on #1 any more.

I did a ton of reading and re-reading before #1. Did the Companio book, Gore/Gilet Set and Somogyi Set. Read them each 2-3 times, making lots of notes, comparing techniques and theories. Then, when I finally played #1 I went back through what I had learned from the reading, and the notes and, for the most part, was able to figure out "why" #1 sounded and played the way it did. Certainly wasn't a concrete list of "fixes" but it allowed me to make intentional choices on #2 that, all together, made a dramatic difference.

If I could recommend anything, that's what I would suggest. Ton of reading, make the exact same instrument the second time and figure out as much cause and affect as you can.

Build on!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2022 12:10 pm 
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Koa
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I agree w making the same instrument if possible. You’ll be surprised how you improve from 1 to 2. Simply knowing what the next step is will help you make fewer mistakes (keeping from going back and redoing or fixing things). I’d also suggest finishing the first one if you haven’t no matter what. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2022 2:29 pm 
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It only gets worse.

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