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Exotic Wood Question From An Absolute Newbie


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First off, I'm new to this site and forum, so Hi

Next, some quick background .. guitar player for 30ish years .. woodturner about 10 years ago until the shop I used closed about 8 years ago. When that happened I wound up with some stock that's been gathering dust now for 8 years. I was curious if any of this would be useful for making a guitar (which is something I'd really like to do).

Mostly, I have 3 pieces of Cocobolo measuring 2.5"x2.5"x24" that I planned to turn chess pieces from.

I also have a 1"x4"x14" piece of Cocobolo and a 1"x4"x12" piece of Zircote. I'd assume these would be good only for composites at best.

There's a small piece, 1"x1"x12" of something labelled "Leadwood" that I'm not familiar with. I remember turning some as a test piece, and it's quite dark and heavy. (Obviously too small for anything .. but curious what it is).

Before anyone thinks that I'd use exotic wood for my first guitar build, I would never do that. My plan is to build a guitar first from a purchased (Warmoth probably) body and neck, just to get familiar with the assembly and wiring (something I have zero experience with). After that I'll start thinking about going from scratch and using some of that wood.

Thanks in advance,

Evan

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Well, you can probably get 7 or 8 nice fretboards out of each of those 2.5"x2.5" pieces of cocobolo. :D

Heh .. when I read that I ran into the other room and took a tape measure to one of my guitars. I guess somehow I always thought that fretboards were longer than that - longer than 24" even (not sure why I thought that).

The cocobolo turning stock probably has too much sapwood to use the WHOLE thing for necks, but since I was using it for turning I was ok as long as it was on a corner. How thick should a fretboard be cut from a block like that?

Evan

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Depends on how thick you want the finished fretboard to be... I like to have mine finished at 1/4", so if you rough cut them to 3/8" or so, if you're careful you'd have plenty of room to play with. Wouldn't get 7 that way, out of 2.5", but doesn't sound like you need 7 anyway. :D

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Depends on how thick you want the finished fretboard to be... I like to have mine finished at 1/4", so if you rough cut them to 3/8" or so, if you're careful you'd have plenty of room to play with. Wouldn't get 7 that way, out of 2.5", but doesn't sound like you need 7 anyway. :D

1 would be nice :D

Thanks for the info,

Evan

Edited by ESDictor
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Mostly, I have 3 pieces of Cocobolo measuring 2.5"x2.5"x24" that I planned to turn chess pieces from.

Is cocobolo suitable for a neck? I know PRS makes rosewood-necked guitars. With all that wood, you could figure out a way to sacrifice one piece for head pieces etc. and cut the other two up for four neck blanks.

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Mostly, I have 3 pieces of Cocobolo measuring 2.5"x2.5"x24" that I planned to turn chess pieces from.

Is cocobolo suitable for a neck? I know PRS makes rosewood-necked guitars. With all that wood, you could figure out a way to sacrifice one piece for head pieces etc. and cut the other two up for four neck blanks.

Well .. Cocobolo is a type of rosewood, and I googled and found quite a few necks made from it. No idea what the properties are, but I'm hoping it's rosewood-ish :D

Doesn't matter really since it will be a long, long time before I try to make a neck from it.

Evan

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Cocobolo is a rosewood for sure, and is a majorly nasty irritant along with it! That stuff really blows me up. It takes a great mirror-like shine and works very well as fingerboard stock with no need to finish...polished well enough you can almost get a mirror look to it. Awesome stuff, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Unless you're a sawdust snorter in which case, AVOID!!

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Yeah, Prostheta is right. I have to immediately take a shower when I'm done cutting or sanding it, or I break out in a rash. I don't even want to think about what would happen if I breathed any of the dust.

Here's that mirror shine on a cocobolo fretboard I recently made:

fretboard_reflection.jpg

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Cocobolo is a rosewood for sure, and is a majorly nasty irritant along with it! That stuff really blows me up. It takes a great mirror-like shine and works very well as fingerboard stock with no need to finish...polished well enough you can almost get a mirror look to it. Awesome stuff, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Unless you're a sawdust snorter in which case, AVOID!!

I always use a mask when woodworking because of allergies. I've made some stuff from turned cocobolo (mostly bottle stoppers and pens) so hopefully it will work out.

Thanks,

Evan

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Another person irritated by Cocobolo right here

*raises hand*

I'm not allergic to anything, but that wood starts making my eyes and nose itchy and my face tingly.

So if you've been handling it and it doesn't irritate you, then you may be OK to use it for a fretboard (since everyone seems to leave Rosewood-types unfinished).

It's beautiful wood and is certainly suitable for a neck. It sounds great and isn't too difficult to hard with (I'd choose it over maple any day). It'd look sweat for a top where you could really show it off and have a clear coat over it to seal out those irritating oils.

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