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Annular Ring Orientation On One Piece Bodies


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I was wondering if there is sound reasoning behind my thoughts of orienting the annular rings so that the outside of the tree is at the front of the instrument.

My feeling is that the vibrations in the wood tend to collect a bit more towards the top of the hill so to speak.

The other reason for orienting the wood this way, and this is a woodworking habit, is if the wood were to cup it would do so towards the back of the guitar.

My question is, whether or not folks feel there is any vibrational difference, no matter how subtle.

If it matters not at all, we can always pick the best looking grain as the visible side for a laminate body.

Thank you,

John

Edited by orangedrop
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Keep in mind that as a piece of flatsawn wood dries, it cups in a way that make it seem as though the rings are straightening out.

I usually try to keep the "bark side" of the wood to the back of the body, so that if it ever got too dry and started cupping, the face of the guitar would be convex, rather than concave. Hopefully this never will happen, but it is a bigger issue on a one piece body than on a multiple piece one, where you can alternate the ring orientation.

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Keep in mind that as a piece of flatsawn wood dries, it cups in a way that make it seem as though the rings are straightening out.

I usually try to keep the "bark side" of the wood to the back of the body, so that if it ever got too dry and started cupping, the face of the guitar would be convex, rather than concave. Hopefully this never will happen, but it is a bigger issue on a one piece body than on a multiple piece one, where you can alternate the ring orientation.

This is what I was getting at, however from experience and old timer info, the board will tend to cup so that the rings become more deeply curved rather than straighten out.

While not 100% I can say when we build decks we face the annular rings concave side down so that the cupped boards do not hold water.

Most of the boards shed water for the life of the deck this way but if you have a really ugly plank, it goes nice side up no matter which way the rings are oriented.

Chris, I was hoping it was way more negligible than I though and I could use "The Vanity Factor" in selecting face grain for viewing :D

I would like to thank everyone for chiming in, and I hope Paul Reed Smith can forgive me. lol

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John, a board will cup that way if it takes up moisture and expands, but when it dries/shrinks, it goes the other way.

shrinkage.png

That's why you are right to do that for a deck, but a guitar is more likely to get too dry than too moist.

I'm not quite an old timer yet, but I have watched many hundreds of boards dry ( I know, I need to get a life. :D .)

The only possible difference in the sound I can think of (and it's a stretch) is that the sound waves would radiate differently from the face of the body, due to the difference in density between the summer and winter wood, in a convex vs. concave pattern; and that would only be detectible (if at all) acoustically and have no bearing on what the pickups "hear"

But like you say, appearance is usually the best thing to go by.

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Org,

Great chart...

Thank you for that!

I see exactly why the wood would cup as you say as the fibers shrink due to even drying.

Love the post #, I bow down to your sound advice oh Master :D

Do you find that slab sawn tends to have the loudest ring for bodies?

I have always looked at this like a drum head, but will still knock on any piece of lumber

to have a listen and see what it has to say.

Thanks again!

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