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Bankirai And Brothers


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Hi guys!

Been quite a while since I've been here, but my hands are itching to build something. I'm thinking about a fretless 4 string bass guitar.. to have something I can actually play (which, unfortunately, I cannot say of my lapsteel guitar)

I still have a piece of meranti left, about a meter long, 4 cm thick and 14 cm wide (used the other half to build a lap steel guitar). I found the stuff a little hard to work with, splinters like hell. But then again, I'm used to nice soft woods like spruce.

Anyway, to get to the point, I was searching our garage for some tools I'd lost, and I found a few pieces of Bankirai wood, some leftovers from some garden project my father built. I searched the internet for some info, and found out that it's botanical name is Shorea Atrivernosa (or at least, it's a Shorea) . I also found out that Meranti is a Shorea as well... but that's besides the point.

Now I know for a fact that Bankirai is used in a lot of garden furniture etc. It's durable stuff, and the pieces I found were quite heavy (Though www.af.nl , a dutch wood dealer, says that its weight can vary between 700 kg - 1150 kg per cubic meter, so between the weight of ash and ebony).

My question, therefore, is: Has any of you guys heard of the wood, or used it (or any of its close relatives) in a guitar before/ does any of you think I can actually use this wood? I'm thinking about using it for a neck (possibly neck-through even).

I know most of you will tell me to go out and buy myself a piece of alder or basswood. The only problem is that I'm a poor student :D and I'm just too inconfident about my woodworking capabilities to go out and mess up a nice piece of wood. I have this stuff lying around in my garage, collecting dust (and spiders)..so do you think I could use it? B)

Thanks!

- EDIT -

Well, came out of bed this morning and decided to actually check the wood out :D I took a small scrap of it, and submitted it to some torture tests. Tapping the wood with my knuckles produces an almost marimba-like sound. The wood is indeed a bit on the heavy side, but not backbreaking IMO .

But, the best thing about the stuff is: it's actually quite easy to saw, even with a worn out rusty hand saw. I could actually carve some wood off with a stanley knife. In that aspect it's way better than the meranti I used for my lapsteel, which was -IMO- a b*tch to work with . The stuff is also quite rigid in that I wasn't able to bend or break pieces of it.. not even when standing on them :D

anyway, I'm seriously considering this wood for my fretless project..as a neck wood. maybe even in the body.. I'll keep you guys updated. In the meanwhile, does any of you have any experience with using this wood for guitars?

Edited by zeegeit
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