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Highly Flamed Maple


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Hello, and welcome!

I don´t know where you can get a highly flamed maple, but there are a lot of vendors and online stores you can check out. Also, I advice you to check out the "Wood toxicity" thread on the solidbody guitar and bass chat.

Secondly, get a good book on the subject. Melvyn Hiscock´s "Build your own electric guitar" is a staple (sp?)...Er...a very well regarded book!

Thirdly, there are many threads on building Les Pauls here. If you donate to the forum, you can have access to the download section where there are many plans and tidbits. Also, the MIMF forum has a very good library you can check out when you sign up for free.

See you around!

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Hello, and welcome!

I don´t know where you can get a highly flamed maple, but there are a lot of vendors and online stores you can check out. Also, I advice you to check out the "Wood toxicity" thread on the solidbody guitar and bass chat.

Secondly, get a good book on the subject. Melvyn Hiscock´s "Build your own electric guitar" is a staple (sp?)...Er...a very well regarded book!

Thirdly, there are many threads on building Les Pauls here. If you donate to the forum, you can have access to the download section where there are many plans and tidbits. Also, the MIMF forum has a very good library you can check out when you sign up for free.

See you around!

Hi

Thanks for your welcome :D

What do you mean if i donate to the forum? And how can i do that?

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I'll throw my .02 in here. Do some research and find a reputable lumber yard in your area. You'll find that you can likely find some excellent hardwoods and rummaging though a couple hundred thousand BF of lumber can be an addicting experience. I've gotten a lot of great lumber online but nothing beats my twice a year trip to Hearne Hardwoods in southern PA. http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/

If I do buy online it's usually from here http://www.hardwoodlumberagent.com/

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... rummaging though a couple hundred thousand BF of lumber can be an addicting experience. ...

I love digging through racks of wood hunting for those hidden treasures :D

For some nice maple, I just bought a couple 8/4 pieces from Maple Leaf Hardwoods http://www.curlymaple.com/

Have not got them yet, but he sure does have some good looking stuff, looking forward to seeing it in the flesh.

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There are several dealers that were mentioned that are very good. You will find pricing can be fair(although that does not mean cheap, it is full retail for high grade luthier stock) with some dealers 3D Hardwoods(Chuck) and Gilmer(Marc) come to mind. At times I find some dealers have some good stock but prices are not what I would call fair(they are out of line with current market prices). Then you will find random stock good, bad and the dealer wouldn't know the difference, which I see in their pricing(junk and great stock at the same price). If you are truely looking for the best flamed maple, be sure you buy quartersawn, bright, strong figure throughout, and little or not discoloration. Be careful when you look at pictures, MANY dealers photoshop the pics to make figure that is not strong and even appear so. Photoshop is ok to correct color for a better representation of what it really looks like, but if it looks like the contrast has been raised, and brightness has been heavily modified. That is not what the wood looks like(figure is likely not nearly as strong as it appears). Bear in mind curly figured wood starts with a value around $5 bd. ft.(2A), Bright clear, with fair figure may double that $10 bd. ft. (3A), Very nice but broken or not as full $15 (4A). The next grade 5A should be closer to $25bd. ft. (that is five times the price of basic curly lumber). You will find extreamly exceptional wood may be even closer to ten times normal price $50-65 bd. ft.(I mean exceptional wood at those prices). When you see prices go much higher than that be skeptical as to the valuation, as they may be playing the your a luthier(sucker) card. I should also not that that is lumber prices, and price for resawing and surfacing should be added to the cost of a set(paying around $60 hr. for that service is reasonable, but it only takes a fraction of an hour to do these tasks).

These days there are a LOT of dealers out there taking advantage of what luthier, gun stock, turners and so forth are willing to pay for the best of the best stock. The people they are taking advantage of are new to buying these woods and don't understand grading, or exactly what they are buying. When we pay EXTREAMLY high premiums for these select pieces of wood, grading must justify that price(or else what is the point). Keep that in mind. Dealers like Gallery, Gilmer, 3Dhardwoods and so forth know the standards and are going to give you what you are paying for(that may be high at times, but at least you are paying for a higher standard, and can rely on their integrity).

Rich

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Anything you buy from a 'tonewood' supplier will be overpriced, and no better than what you can find searching through the stacks at your local hardwood place. Quarter sawn wood is stiffer for the mass, so a quarter sawn neck will have more sustain than a slab sawn one. Also, some violin luthiers avoid using very figured wood for necks because it's thought to be less stiff than straight grained.

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Quarter sawn wood is stiffer for the mass, so a quarter sawn neck will have more sustain than a slab sawn one. Also, some violin luthiers avoid using very figured wood for necks because it's thought to be less stiff than straight grained.

That's a very odd statement that seems to have little basis in reality.

Why would quartersawn be stiffer? A perfectly flatsawn, square cross section length of wood is quartersawn if you turn it 90 degrees. You won't find it's significantly stiffer in one direction than the other.

The only advantage I can see to quartersawn is that the shrinkage planes are in line, and if you have different shrinkage %s in the radial and tangential directions, then a quartersawn neck will change less in it's width than a flatsawn neck.

I'd only worry about it if I were laminating a wood that expands a lot to one that doesn't, in which case I'd want the one that shrinks/expands more to be quartersawn. But if your wood is at 6%, that difference is pretty small! You don't see many issues gluing a flatsawn maple top on a mahogany back, and that's more than a foot wide. With a neck, you're talking 2 inches.

I won't argue that people mark up the "tone wood". I will say that finding super fancy quilt or flame is not easy at the lumber yards around here.

Regards,

Todd

Edited to add: violin makers would avoid the highly figured woods because they expand/contract unevenly and the necks are more likely twist or warp.

Edited by ToddW
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Anything you buy from a 'tonewood' supplier will be overpriced, and no better than what you can find searching through the stacks at your local hardwood place. Quarter sawn wood is stiffer for the mass, so a quarter sawn neck will have more sustain than a slab sawn one. Also, some violin luthiers avoid using very figured wood for necks because it's thought to be less stiff than straight grained.

It's got very little to do with stiffness; in some woods there's a difference, some woods are stiffer in the flatsawn direction (which, incidentally, is the traditional grain orientation for violins and mandolins), some woods, it doesn't matter. What is difference is shrinkage and movement, although again, depends on the wood. With mahogany it doesn't matter much, for example.

Basically, quartersawn is about stability more than anything else. Should stay flat and not warp.

Figured stuff often is less stiff, less nice 'tap tone', often because its grain wiggles every which way. You get a lot of runout, few long, continuous fibres, so yes, material properties differ.

But it's nowhere near as simple as 'quartersawn' or 'flatsawn' being better tonally, or stiffer, or more stable. Depends on the species, depends on the piece.

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  • 7 months later...
Has anyone experience with North Ridge Hardwoods? If I can't find anything curly enough locally for my next neck, I might grab something from them to test out. I really will just need a center strip, but I'll probably cut some binding from it as well. J

Bought 2 drop tops and an acoustic set from them... good stuff. Nice service.

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