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Redwood top?


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I searched on 'redwood' and got no hits so I posted a new topic:

Anyone have experience with redwood? I saw some cool figured redwood on eBay and wondered if it would be suitable as a top over alder or mahogany. I just wanted some advice before I bid. Thanks in advance.

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This guy "nicneufeld" over on the USA Custom Guitars website made a redwood-on-mahogany tele that was just beautiful. Here's the link (although the pics don't show up anymore).

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I liked it so much that I decided to go with a figured redwood top for my archtop proj (which I probably won't get to for a year at least).

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Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens): We have a nice stash of interesting figured redwood. It is available only as thin bookmatched laminate tops on flat top solid bodies. While the figure is intense and reflective, the depth isn't as dramatic as figured maple. It is not suitable for hollow bodies.
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Botanical Name:  Sequoia sempervirens, Family: Taxodiaceae. ( Other Common Names: Amerikansk sekvoja, California cedar, California redwood, Californische redwood, coast redwood, corla, giant-of-the-forest, Humboldt redwood, ledwood, Mexican cherry, palo colorado, pin rouge d'ambrique, pin rouge d'Amerique, pino rosso d'america, redwood, sequoia, sequoia de California, sequoia roja, sequoia rossa, sequoia toujours vert, sequoie, vavona, vavona burr.)

Grows In:  Redwood is native to the Pacific Coast region from extreme southwestern Oregon (Curry County) south to central California (Monterey County).

Description:  The genus Sequoia is represented by one species (S. sempervirens). A related tree, the giant sequoia (Sequoiadenrdon giganteum) is also called redwood, big tree or giant redwood.

  The Tree: Redwood trees reach heights of 200 to 300 feet, with diameters of 6 to 12 feet. The record is 376 feet tall, with a 20 foot diameter and an age of 2,200 years, and represents the world’s tallest tree.

  The sapwood of is white, while the heartwood is a dark reddish brown. The heartwood has no characteristic odor or taste. It has exceptionally straight grain, high dimensional stability and is resistant to warping. It is moderately strong in bending, strong in endwise compression, stiff, moderately low in shock resistance and holds paint well.

  Redwood works easily with both hand and machine tools, with little dulling effect on tools. It planes well, provided the cutters are sharp and it splinters easily when working on the end grain. It holds nails well, and paints and finishes satisfactorily. It also stains well, but glues best with alkaline adhesives.

Hardness:  Janka 480. (420 old growth), specific gravity  0.40 lb/ft3 - 0.35 ( old growth ). MOR  54000, MOE  7600.

Stability: Average.

Tonal Signature: Redwood responds to subtle playing with a crisp balanced sound. When used in conjunction with a harder body wood on a chambered body its bass response is particularly round and full with a piano-like crispnes. Somewhat similar to Sitka Spruce. High Velocity of Sound.

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I've ordered a bookmatched quilted redwood set (hasn't yet arrived) to use as a top for my first guitar project. Anyway, I'm curious about why Warmoth says it's "not suitable for hollow bodies"? I wasn't planning on making a proper hollowbody or anything, just chambering lightly, mainly for reduced weight - could this somehow be a problem?

Also, since redwood is quite soft and dents easily, will binding the body practically be a must? (for protection against dings and dents) Also, is there any easy way (I'm more or less a complete newbie to woodworking and such) to treat the wood to make it more durable without taking away from it's looks or tone?

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Not sure if I can be of much help but I'm using redwood on the back of my current hollow/chambered project. There are no sharp edges so binding isn't an option but it would be a good idea if they are more square.

A good sneeze would dent my hunk of wood so I gave it a CA treatment. I think I would use epoxy next time but only because I had a hard time with the CA. Had to be user error because many people use it with no problems.

I don't know if it would be a problem with a true hollow body but my walls are pretty thick so it's not really an issue on this one. I've seen plenty of redwood acoustics so it can be done. Warmoth gets pretty paranoid because of warranty issues so I take what they say with that in mind.

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I asked my luthuier about redwood some time ago, and he said that he does not like redwood because it dents easily, that it is soft. From personal experience, it is easily dented and marked with a finger nail.

Guitar Ed

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