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Burled Redwood?

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My first post! I've frequented the forums for some time now, but it's finally time to ask a question. Has anyone ever worked with burled redwood before? Is it suitable for a guitar body? If so, what's the tonal characteristics like? I've seen a few basses made from it, but just thought i'd ask people who know...

Any insight would be very appreciated.


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Redwood is really really soft, like Spruce, Pine, Basswood...like that.

It will dent so very easy. You can put a thumbnail right into no problem.

It goes REALLY dark when you put a finish on it, the pores are almost like endgrain pores, it sucks up finish like a sponge and as a result goes very dark.

I had some burled redwood, and to be honest, I threw it away and never used it, just not my cup of Jojoba.


Edited to add...Curly or Flamed Redwood makes good tops for acoustics and looks tremendous, that's a good point it has, because it's so much like spruce it makes good acoustic or arch tops and the curl is really sexy to look at.

But that's Curly, not Burled, and is usually quartersawn if used for any type of acoustic top.

Now THAT I still have some of, and am making an archtop out of. The burled stuff I didn't like and had no real use for.

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You bought a chunk of Solid Maple Burl big enough to make a 1-piece body out of?

Shades of El Blanco!

I did the same thing once, it's been documented here a few months ago. Tonally, the thing was pretty dead, almost no 'resonance' since there is no 'travelling' horizontal grain going in any one direction in a wood like that.

Actually, if it is a 1-piece burl, the grain is likely going vertically up and down, from top to bottom, not from neck to tailend, especially if it was 'pie sliced' from the tree.

But that's not necessarily a bad thing, it just might wind up as 'neutral' toned.

I wouldn't give it any bad connotations, just build it and see what you get, that's the fun part of building.

Got pics? :D

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Well, to be honest, it's not a 100% pure archtop, but pretty close.

More like a big-assed 335 I guess you could say, with a real carved top and buttum, but it does have a centerbar going all the way from neck to tail.

Look at the first picture in my 12 Teles thread, that picture of the Tele outline chambered with the centerblock going thru it made out of a single piece of Mahogony...it's a lot like that...minimalistic, but still a 1-piece, with a separate carved top and bottom.

What a tremendous waste of good mahogony, it tears me up every time I do that, because so little is left out of such a large hunk of nice wood.

Sometimes Drak must pay pennance to Great Wood God in Big Montana Sky.


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