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Snakewood Fb Arrived..so So Heavy?!


Bobby

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The board that arrived is drop dead gorgeous but I had no idea was so very heavy, its like a piece of aluminium for weight way heavier than any ebony I have ever felt. I was thinking about those full snakewood necks that somebody linked to earlier..those must seriously be very very heavy necks. I am pretty sure that the blades I have will not even cut it efficiently, especially the veneer I was planning for the headstock. 30 seconds of light sanding brings it up like glass on the upside....cut the veneer with a high quality fine tooth metal saw perhaps?

snakewoodFB.jpg

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The board that arrived is drop dead gorgeous but I had no idea was so very heavy, its like a piece of aluminium for weight way heavier than any ebony I have ever felt. I was thinking about those full snakewood necks that somebody linked to earlier..those must seriously be very very heavy necks. I am pretty sure that the blades I have will not even cut it efficiently, especially the veneer I was planning for the headstock. 30 seconds of light sanding brings it up like glass on the upside....cut the veneer with a high quality fine tooth metal saw perhaps?

snakewoodFB.jpg

Nope, I cut Snakewood with my woodcutting blades and have no issues. Now it is a good idea to use a woodcutting blade that is designed for cutting very hard woods. Generally carbon blades will dull quickly, bi-metal generally hold there edge better, Carbide tipped will hold its edge much much longer. Metal cutting teeth configurations are generally too close and do not have deep enough gullets to carry the wood cut wood away. This will lead to higher temperatures, clogging the blade which leads to wander. A low loss blade would be a really good idea(bladerunner or woodslicer-thin kerf, smooth cut, bi-metal blades).

I have never seen a full Snakewood neck, That would be one expensive chunk of wood(probably in the $500-$800 range depending on the quality of the wood.

It does take a nice polish though. It looks amazing on the guitar :D . You will love it.

Peace,Rich

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Ya thanks for that Rich thats a very handy post, if I visualise the metal cutting blade doing its work I think your right it would probably have to create clogging issue, and I learned a new word today "gullet" lol..nice word, I take it thats the valley between the teeth? Here is a pic of one of the snakewood necks also Rich, looks great of course but the cost and the weight ..man o man. CleverPun if you have a squiz around sites like gilmerwoods.com and similar you will get an idea of costs from those type of suppliers. The board I bought is quite thick (in fact i am almost convinced could get two boards out of it!) and is bass sized as I wanted to try a veneer as well and have an idea about some knobs also. I was scratching my head about the money I paid, until it arrived, its just breath taking and well worth it. In fact due to its cost and beauty I am starting to consider it might be better to get a pro to do the radius and frets etc for me, ..I would maybe suicide if I screwed this board up becuase the missus would never let me buy edition 2 lol....

Snake4.jpg

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You will notice on the black machine guitar above that doug used 4 seperate peices of snakewood for that neck - it really would be hard to find in a suitable size for a one piece neck.

I was looking at snakewood for a fretboard for a new commision but the guy has gone of the idea after speaking to Tim at bare knuckle pickups, who i believe owns one of the Black Machines with a snakewood neck. So we are going with ziracote instead which suits me fine!! He never told me what Tim said that had put him off the idea of a snakewood but when i played the the BKP equipped Black machine at a guitar show the neck felt a little drier than i like - i just thought it needed a re-oil though! The other blackmachine guitars felt much nicer to me.

I still want to try it so i might end up buying a board or two anyway!!

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Id didnt pay attention to the other side of that black machine, miracle man, warpigs or nail bombs? lol..ya a dryish board is certainly fixable ...I might be wrong but hasnt it been used succesfully over time on acoustics as well?...damn I love the look of those "distressed" nail bombs..sigh... one day, anyhoo here Wez I found some chunks 'o' snakewood big enough to carve a body out of let alone a neck!

snakewood2.jpg

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LOL, I believe thats a picture from the place not far from me, tropical exotic hardwoods. I was just there checking out some nice flamed myrtle they had, though they didn't have much of the best stuff left. They have a lot of nice stuff there, prices are good on some woods and high on others. They get new stuff in a lot and have good sales. I just noticed they have that crazy tagua nut that matt is using for his nut,$.50 a pop, might have to buy a dozen or two for fun. There is a new place I still need to check that people have been telling me is the best place and that carries tons of exotics for way cheaper than the rest around here, we shall see!! J

Edited by jmrentis
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Well it doesnt just need to be big enough , it still needs to have all the grain properties that make it suitable for a neck, those logs still look quite small to me, cant really tell from the picture though but i wouldnt say any look over a metre long. Whilst they may be big enough to get a neck blank sized piece of wood from, size alone doesnt make them suitable neck blanks.

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That is a cool looking neck. Lams seem pretty sesable for a Snakewood neck. As mentioned Snakewood generally does have checks, cracks, knots etc... I live about 5 minutes away from Gilmer, and visit them of and on. They are a very good source(Marc is a sharp fella when it comes to selecting musical grade wood, VERY high standards and a builder himself).

I have seen 8-9" logs at dealers around here(besides Gilmer). One thing to remember about Snakewood though, is that it does not all look like the heavily figured stuff. Snakewood can look quite plain(coloration is a deep rich color, but little black mottling). Many times those larger logs have less figure.

Peace,Rich

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Ya thats true, I was reading a week or two ago that buying the logs is a real lottery in terms of quality and figuring, something like around 20% is useful for figure?. The smallish nature of pieces simply reflects the characteristics of the branches..smallish (trunk diameters around 20 inch?)..

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Uh, no, those aren't branches (as a rule, you don't sell or use branches for timber), those are trunks, diameters of around 4-5", which is dead-on average for the stuff you'll find on the market. A bit of googling reveals commercial timbers can get as wide as 14", but that's the top end of the scale, and I've personally never seen any snakewood half-logs wider than 5.5".

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What Mattia said, although 8-10" is not too uncommon(however expensive of course). 20" would be a pretty rare amazing find, certainly not what would be typical of the top of the range. Whole logs should be less expensive, with quarter and half being slightly more. Dimensioned should hold premiums, and highly figured dimensioned being top rung pricing. Unfortunately, many dealers will sell(or try to sell) whole or part logs at full dimensioned even figured prices). This is great for them, because this wood is hard as heck to dry, and prone to defects. Gilmer is a great reference for pricing, because although they tend to price to the high end of market prices(but still at market prices). You will see them discount partials and whole logs vs dimensioned. This is how it should be. I have ran into logs that would have been interesting to take a shot at(good size and dimension) that the dealer was asking $1600 for. About 2 years later(after it had collected plenty of dust setting), they cut the price in half, and it sold in about 2 months. Another dealer has a half log(mild figure, but very good size) and again priced at $1200. It has set for 3 years, being moved 4 times as the store was re-modeled(if memory serves. They placed it on sale about 6 months ago at 30% off(still too high for what it is). When they catch a hint of what the market value actually is they will price it at 50% off and it will sell in a couple months. There should be about a 70% reduction in price of whole logs v.s. dimensioned clear cuts, and between 30-60% reduction for half or quarter logs(you can see what your getting a little better so value will vary). Anytime you buy hard to dry or high risk logs, these rules apply(Ebony, Rosewoods, Pink Ivory, Maple, and so on).

Peace,Rich

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