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Buying Maple Burl

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Okay, so here's the deal: I can't find maple burl anywhere in the sizes I want! I've tried ebay, and I can find blocks big enough, but I have no means to resize, etc. so this does me no good. Moreover, no local wood place has the means (or in some cases, the will) to resaw wood or thickness sand it.

www.lumberlady.com has guitar tops, but they charge $135. Is this simply what I should expect if I want a maple burl top, or is there some other place I'm not seeing?

Thanks in advance for the help! :D

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Skibum.....It all depends on how much you want to spend. I have some very nice stuff suitable for a 1 piece top. I'm not going to let this stuff go at bargain basement prices. If you are interested .....contact me and lets see what we can do.

Here is a link to a pic of a bass I built using a slice from the same burl........


...Or if you want, try this guy.....


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i have seen some nice burl for less than a quilted top... i found one piece anyways. but its not too hard to find a good looking board for a deal.. check ebay n such. ive seen a few deals. maybe have a "top fund" so when u see one u can just grab it.

i just never have any damn money , lol


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Devon, Moreau: Thanks for the tips. I'm not expecting rock bottom prices by any means, but the price quoted at Lumberlady.com seemed disproportionate to the cost of larger, un-planed pieces on ebay, that's all.

Tdog: I'm afraid a one-piece burl top of that quality would be wasted on my project; I'd just end up cutting it in half, anyway. Thanks for the link, though; I'll be shooting that guy an email right away!

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1) Try Buzzsaw on e-Bay, he has really nice stuff, and he has burl tops if you keep watching. I doubt you'll get away for under a Benjamin tho.

2) Try Antlersexpress on e-Bay. Whatever auction you win, he will cut it for you in the size you request for a very modest sum. A lot of times his wood is not dry, you might have to wait it out awhile, but the thinner it is, the less drying time it needs. So you can buy a big hunk from him and have him resaw it into 3/16" sheets before he sends it to you. His machine is good, too, very clean and smooth cuts.

3) Try using Maple Burl -Veneer- instead. Easy to come by, try thouge on e-Bay. Another option.

The way you get cheap cool wood is to buy it raw and either cut it yourself or have someone do it for you. By the time it has been cut to size for bookmatched guitar tops, it has reached it's most expensive state, except for when the guitar sells with that topper for $3000.00. You have to intercept it higher up in the food chain to get the good deals. By the time it's bookmatched, planed, sanded, and looking great, well, who WOULDN'T want it presented to you on a silver platter like that? You'll rarely get a good deal on wood in that state.

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Thanks for the tips, Drak. (I was kinda waiting for your take on this... B) )

The problem is that I don't have the resources anywhere nearby to have the wood resawn, kiln dried, planed, etc. If I did, I would have my wood already, and then some!

Antlersexpress sounds like a fair bet; seeing as it'll be awhile before my guitar is ready for the top, it would be a great place to go. On that note, how can I know when the wood is dry enough to use, i.e. how do I test its moisture content?

If it looks like what I want just isn't plausible, then that's as valuable to know as finding what I want.

[edit] Man, Drak, AMAZING call with Antlersexpress! I've got an eye on one auction right now, which will give me everything I need, and enough to resell on the 'bay, if I'm lucky! Moreover, they're only an hour and a half from where I'm spending winter break in only 3 weeks. The stars are aligning, perhaps....

You RULE, Drak, you RULE!:D

Edited by skibum5545
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Shoot him an e-mail, tell him what you're looking at and ask him if he'll cut it and how much.

Actually, for this kind of stuff, I always CALL! Talking to someone on the phone is SO much easier and quicker and you get to know the guy.

With e-Bay ALWAYS find this stuff out for sure -first-. :D

As far as drying time, the general rule is 1 inch = 1 year. 1/2 inch, 6 months, etc.

But if it is wet, and he cuts it for you, be sure you understand how to sticker it and all that stuff so it doesn't warp on you.

The heavy crazy figure in burls -will- make them warp if it's wet, so be aware.

The stuff I bought from him that he cut for me DID move around, it was wet, as he advertised it, so just be prepared to handle it properly and you'll be fine.

BUT, I'll tell you, I bought a piece of quilted Maple from him about a year ago or more that is the Mother Freakin' Bejezzus of Maple Quilt. VERY good price too.

It's still sitting here, big and fat and thick as all hell, I haven't touched it for over a year, I'm still waiting to find someone local to cut it up for me who I TRUST will do an A+ job with it, it's probably some of the best Maple I've ever bought.

But I am patient. I have many other projects to keep me occupied until that Hunka Hunka Burnin' Maple is ready for me to approach it.

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