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Splitting Planks To Specific Thickness?


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So, I'm interested in making some acoustic guitars. I've found a lot of wood vendors that I'm interested in buying from, but they sell all their stuff in planks, much too thick. Is there some way to "shave off" or split the plank to the correct thickness? I just need to know before I buy $100 or more of exotic wood and then it's useless.

Thanks.

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So, I'm interested in making some acoustic guitars. I've found a lot of wood vendors that I'm interested in buying from, but they sell all their stuff in planks, much too thick. Is there some way to "shave off" or split the plank to the correct thickness? I just need to know before I buy $100 or more of exotic wood and then it's useless.

Thanks.

When you say much too thick? What are your thoughts on this? As Gilmer wood and many others offer backs , sides and tops that are within limits of acoustic build specs. So please give us more info on your requirements and who it is that you are referring to that don't offer this. Now if you are looking at Billets and want to resaw or split your own, then that's different. some more info will help to answer the question.

MK

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So, I'm interested in making some acoustic guitars. I've found a lot of wood vendors that I'm interested in buying from, but they sell all their stuff in planks, much too thick. Is there some way to "shave off" or split the plank to the correct thickness? I just need to know before I buy $100 or more of exotic wood and then it's useless.

Thanks.

When you say much too thick? What are your thoughts on this? As Gilmer wood and many others offer backs , sides and tops that are within limits of acoustic build specs. So please give us more info on your requirements and who it is that you are referring to that don't offer this. Now if you are looking at Billets and want to resaw or split your own, then that's different. some more info will help to answer the question.

MK

The company I'm looking at sells the wood in board feet. 12x12x1 is 1 board foot, some wood is available in 2 inch thicknesses, so it's 2 board feet. Of course, 1 or 2 inches is way too thick for acoustic guitars. I'm no experienced with carpentry, so is there a tool/table that will plane wood to re-adjust it's thickness? I'm assuming acoustic soundbards and backs and sides are 1/8-2/8 inches thick, am I not correct? So, that's my target thickness.

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So, I'm interested in making some acoustic guitars. I've found a lot of wood vendors that I'm interested in buying from, but they sell all their stuff in planks, much too thick. Is there some way to "shave off" or split the plank to the correct thickness? I just need to know before I buy $100 or more of exotic wood and then it's useless.

Thanks.

When you say much too thick? What are your thoughts on this? As Gilmer wood and many others offer backs , sides and tops that are within limits of acoustic build specs. So please give us more info on your requirements and who it is that you are referring to that don't offer this. Now if you are looking at Billets and want to resaw or split your own, then that's different. some more info will help to answer the question.

MK

The company I'm looking at sells the wood in board feet. 12x12x1 is 1 board foot, some wood is available in 2 inch thicknesses, so it's 2 board feet. Of course, 1 or 2 inches is way too thick for acoustic guitars. I'm no experienced with carpentry, so is there a tool/table that will plane wood to re-adjust it's thickness? I'm assuming acoustic soundbards and backs and sides are 1/8-2/8 inches thick, am I not correct? So, that's my target thickness.

I am fully aware of board foot measurements. Now back to the question. Yes you could use a planer to thickness it down. I would suggest though that it be resawed on a bandsaw first to maximize the wood gain and minimize waste. Then using a planer or thickness drum sander you can refine it to the desired thickness. I would maybe suggest that you start with buying wood from somewhere like Stewmac, or LMI, or maybe Gilmerwood. They have wood for luthiery that will be more to your desired thickness requiring less major tools on your part. Just a suggestion. :D

Hope that helps you some?

MK

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Sweet, as long as I can get figured tonewood/soundboards. I want a very exotic wood, but I'm not too crazy about Zebrawood, so hopefully I can get what want.

PS - What is a saw called that cuts on a horizontal plane?

Thanks

You don't want a saw that cuts on a horizontal plane. You want to turn the wood 90 degrees so it's vertical and then saw through that way using a bandsaw.

Though if you don't realise that I'd strongly, strongly recommend you either start with a supplied back/side/top set from someone like Gilmer or Stewmac, or buy a kit to put together.

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Sweet, as long as I can get figured tonewood/soundboards. I want a very exotic wood, but I'm not too crazy about Zebrawood, so hopefully I can get what want.

PS - What is a saw called that cuts on a horizontal plane?

Thanks

You don't want a saw that cuts on a horizontal plane. You want to turn the wood 90 degrees so it's vertical and then saw through that way using a bandsaw.

Though if you don't realise that I'd strongly, strongly recommend you either start with a supplied back/side/top set from someone like Gilmer or Stewmac, or buy a kit to put together.

Okay, I'll start with some pretty generic stuff and then do the more advanced stuff.

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Also, in all honesty, the funkiest/craziest/most exotic woods you'll be able to find will be very difficult to find in plank form, and fairly easy to find in pre-cut back/side form. You pay a bit more, but remember you're paying the dealers for sourcing the best of the best of a given wood species, for sawing it to thickness (tools you don't own and cost at least 500-1000 dollars to get set up to deal with it all, often more considering you also need a thickness sander and a big dust collector) and dealing with the fact that many a hunk of wood has flaws in it that will mean the final pieces are unusable.

Check out places like allied lutherie or RCtonewoods.com (Bob's a great guy, smallish operation, top-notch product and service).

BTW, zebrawood's pretty common/cheap.

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Also, in all honesty, the funkiest/craziest/most exotic woods you'll be able to find will be very difficult to find in plank form, and fairly easy to find in pre-cut back/side form. You pay a bit more, but remember you're paying the dealers for sourcing the best of the best of a given wood species, for sawing it to thickness (tools you don't own and cost at least 500-1000 dollars to get set up to deal with it all, often more considering you also need a thickness sander and a big dust collector) and dealing with the fact that many a hunk of wood has flaws in it that will mean the final pieces are unusable.

Check out places like allied lutherie or RCtonewoods.com (Bob's a great guy, smallish operation, top-notch product and service).

BTW, zebrawood's pretty common/cheap.

We all want to make great guitars, how many tools do you have for this? What is your woodworking experience? This is fairly detailed, sometimes maddening woodworking to thousanths of an inch tolerances.

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