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Some pics of an acoustic I'm working on............

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  • Some pics of an acoustic I'm working on............

    It's a 000/OM size. The top is 50,000 year old kauri wood. Back and sides are mesquite (back "burl mesquite") Neck is Honduran mahogany. Ebony fingerboard and the bridge will be too. Binding is snakewood. Classical mosaic style rosette.

    The neck is bolt on. Finish is French polish. I'm still working on the finish a tade more and then I still have to cut the nut. Drill and install tuners. Fret the fretboard. Position and glue the bridge. Cut a saddle. Heel cap. fret markers. The tedius part.

     

    I'll post sound clips after I do all that stuff.

     

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    Attached Files
    Originally Posted by DToad:

    Lets face it- today's GOP is all about the richest one percent exploiting the dumbest fifty percent.

  • #2

    Wow - those are beautiful photos. 


    Still wondering about the "50,000 year old" thing - is that a typo? Is this actually wood from that amazing and imaginary age when Conan the Barbarian was doing his thing?

    "I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile"

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow! So hard to work with Mesquite! Living in Tucson, we had some Mesquite furniture: it liked to crack here and there.

      Looks very nice,
      Greg

      Comment


      • Opa John
        Opa John commented
        Editing a comment

        Very nice, guitarcapo. If I could do stuff like that I'd spend a lot less time on this forum.


      • guitarcapo
        guitarcapo commented
        Editing a comment

        Greg.Coal wrote:
        Wow! So hard to work with Mesquite! Living in Tucson, we had some Mesquite furniture: it liked to crack here and there.

        Looks very nice,
        Greg

        Thie mesquite was actually pretty stable. I got two mesquite back and side sets from a dealer that sort of tossed it in with a larger Brazilian rosewood order. No one seemed to want to work with them. Probably because it was "burl" and luthiers were afraid of stability, working properties and sound issues. One set was 000 size and the other drednaught. I had this single kauri wood top that was also 000 that didn't have anywhere to go so they got matched up.

        The back was "burl" and the sides pretty much clear and quartersawn mesquite. None of the stuff cracked or warped at any time during the build and the sides bent pretty easily....like mahogany. I've had a way tougher time with Brazilian rosewood and koa cracking during bending than this stuff. The burl WAS a bit of a pain to fill when finishing. I ended up using pumice power/French polish with maybe a bit of thin cyanoacrylate to stabilize the larger cavities and crevices in the burl figure.

        I left the mequite back and sides a bit thicker in order to keep things stable and it IS a bit heavy for a 000 size....but the top makes up for it by being lively and it didn't seem to hurt the sound any. At any rate it didn't warp or crack during the build and seems really stable to humidity changes. Even though the mesquite sides were a tad thicker than I usually build with, they bent easily and didn't "spring back" after bending even months later outside a mold.

        My take on this ancient kauri wood after playing it a bit is that it seems to exihibit a "mid scooped" quality when used as a soundboard. It's very hard which makes it bright.....but it's also dense which makes gives it a nice underlying bass. I had assumed that it would have properties more like a hardwood top like koa or mahogany. Most guitars I've seen online using ancient kauri have used it for a solid body electric or back and sides. Since it's technically a softwood I figured I'd try it as a soundboard.  It's got HUGE sustain....again probably because it has low damping because it's so hard.

        When routing for the rosette and bindings, the kauri left little crumbs instead of typical sawdust. It cut cleanly but felt more like I was working formica or MDF than wood. It doesn't splinter or "shave" like new wood. It seems that the entire cell structure is compressed and homogenized.

        So bottom line I would say that ancient kauri's strengths as a soundboard material might be sustain along with a mid-scooped sound which might compliment smaller guitar designs that are more prone to mids and a strong fundamental. Of course also beauty, and mojo. I doubt if the sound will change as much over time like traditional softwood soundboard do. After a few millenia, whatever it is is what it's always going to be.


    • #4

       Very nice!

       Is that glue I see around the kerfing?:smiley-bounce015:

      Lon

      Gear:
      More than I need.

      Comment


      • guitarcapo
        guitarcapo commented
        Editing a comment

        50,000 years is NOT a typo. This is wood that grew in prehistoric times.

         

        How can this be? Is it petrified wood? How could wood that old be possible? Wouldn't it have rotted after a few hundred years?

         

        Here's the story in case you don't want to google "kauri":

         

        These are huge trees that fell into peat bogs in northern New Zealand that became sort of tarpits. Since they were hermetically sealed in an oxygen-free environment they didn't decay. They are being excavated as a kind of "sinker wood".

        The wood is genetically supposed to be a soft wood like pine or spruce....but it's nothing like any wood (hard or soft) I've ever worked with. It seems like over the centuries, the cell structure has compressed to the point that it has the density of MDF. It doesn't "splinter" like wood when you break it...it sort of crumbles. Tapping it and flexing it...it seems to have the sonic and working properties more like a medium density hardwood like mahogany or koa. It's really tough to sand and plane....but I treated it like mahogany in terms of tuning it for sound on the top. It has no pores to fill and when you hit it with shellac it gives off a shimmering 3-D quality that's like spun gold.

        I've seen luthiers build mostly electric guitar bodies with this wood...and ocassionaly back and sides of an acoustic with it, but I figured I'd give it a try as a top by thinning it out a lot. My guess is that it will sound like a mahogany topped 000/OM more than anything else. Stability over time and beauty being a plus. I doubt the sound will change much over time. And 50,000 year old mojo.

        The mesquite is burl on the back but the sides are just quartersawn. Sides were pretty easy to bend with a Fox bender. No surprizes. I just happened to have this 000 set that matched the size of the kauri top wood.

        I'm planning on using mammoth ivory for the bridge saddle and nut....in keeping with the prehistoric mojo.

         

        I got the top from a dealer on Ebay about 5 years ago. I don't know where to get more but I see it for sale online mostly in lumber for high grade furniture manufacture. This set was already sawn for a guitar top (bookmatched)

        kj

         

        gt

         

         n

         

        ty

        Attached Files

    • #5
      I could install one anytime. That's a 10 minute job.
      Originally Posted by DToad:

      Lets face it- today's GOP is all about the richest one percent exploiting the dumbest fifty percent.

      Comment


      • poppytater
        poppytater commented
        Editing a comment
        Sounds and looks mighty purty


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