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Author Topic: Guitar Tone wood cutting question  (Read 1376 times)

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Offline forrestM

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Guitar Tone wood cutting question
« on: May 08, 2018, 11:14:18 AM »
Hello,

New to the forum, here! I am planning to buy a woodmizer LT15 for doing whatever i can think of. One of the main reasons I am getting it is so I can mill some local woods into guitar and other acoustic instrument tone woods. These end up being pretty thin ~1/8 inch. I am thinking I would definitely not want to cut my wet would down to any thing close to that because i feel like the thinner the piece the more likely it is to crack and warp (correct me if i am wrong). so i am thinking I would cut a larger slab - say ~2 or 3 inches - and let that dry. After it dries i would then resaw it into something I can work with. Will I be able to take that large DRY slab and cut down to 1/4 inch or so on the woodmizer? more importantly, would i be able to do it without buying the re-saw attachment?

the tone woods will all be quarter sawn if that makes any substantial difference.

Thank You,
Forrest

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Guitar Tone wood cutting question
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 12:57:17 PM »
It would take years for a 2 - 3" slab to dry so I would experiment with cutting wood green and immediately sandwich it between dry flat boards to allow it to dry slowly. I have had success doing that on thin (1/4") boards I cut from cants to resize them. Other media besides boards may work too. I know there are others who know more than I on this subject. Let's see what they say.
Bob
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Guitar Tone wood cutting question
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 05:03:54 PM »
Depends on the market. Lot of difference between a violin belly, a guitar belly, the top for an electric, and a flute
Depends on the nature of the wood too.

Guitars we mostly cut ours at 1" and dry. Our luthier customers then flatten, split with a bandsaw, dress and sand. Bookmatching tends to be considered aesthetically pleasing and this way the two leaves are kept together until its someone elses problem. But it varies a lot... my major brand acoustic customer likes 3" thick stock. 
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Re: Guitar Tone wood cutting question
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 07:34:29 PM »
  If you are thinking about re-sawing to 1/8"- 1/4" or so keep in mind, if the LT15 clamping system is somewhat similar to my LT35, you are not going to be able to cut the bottom board much below 1" without some real special jigs or such to raise and clamp that bottom board. If I really planned on cutting lots of thin slices like that I'd think you need a different type of re-saw with a slower speed and and finer teeth - but I am not a woodworker so can't swear to it. Good luck.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Guitar Tone wood cutting question
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 08:48:12 PM »
so i am thinking I would cut a larger slab - say ~2 or 3 inches - and let that dry.
Not the best plan for high quality thin stock in my experience.  Thick wood dries very slowly and is subject to checking and cracking more since the shell can dry faster than the core, setting up stress, and resulting in more cracking and checking.  Better to saw it thinner to make the drying faster and with less stress.  Less stress will give you a better product when you re-saw to thin stock.  I think that kelLOGg has a better plan. 
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Offline Brucer

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Re: Guitar Tone wood cutting question
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2018, 12:01:53 AM »
Kootenay Tonewood (just across the valley and over the hill) that's been making tonewood for several years. Graham ran an LT15 for several years. When I was out at his place a few years ago he'd upgraded to an LT50 plus a twin-blade edger.

I know he was very picky about the logs he used. He built his own kilns with specially designed controls. His final product was about 3/16" thick, but I believe he sawed larger cants and dried them before resawing.

I don't know if he's still operating or not.

Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
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Offline Satamax

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Re: Guitar Tone wood cutting question
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2018, 02:22:58 AM »
Well, for guitar tonewood, i think i know a few things. 

First of all, you don't need a LT15.  Length of the pieces you want to cut doesn't exceed 4ft, may be a smidge more. You need an extremely good resaw; with a wide blade, for straighter cuts. 

Then you need to learn how to choose your logs, how to cut the areas with knots away. You can make decent tonewood, out of ugly logs sometimes. But most of the tonewood makers use "caviar" wood. Straight as an arrow, no cheeks, splits, twist, no taper, etc. 

Then you split it into blocks, that you will resaw. You split, with a maul and wedges. You still haven't  cut yet. 

Check google for splitting tonewood, there is pictures from Larry Stamm, Roy Tonewood, and few others, who show the process of splitting. 

Then you plane the  faces where your wood is on the quater, and start to cut two slices. 

 I would say, at Rivolta, where i used to get my wood. https://www.riwoods.com/abete-di-risonanza.aspx  they cut when fresh, most of the spruce. And maple, cypress too. I bought some green or nearly. 

For tops, back and sides, they put the bookmatched pair face against face, between four stickers, and air dry. They cut each slice of the bookmatched pair at 5 or 6mm.  Having bookmatched pairs kept together, means you don't loose them. 

You cut two slices each time, from the opening face onwards, then when your wood is not much on the quater, you re split, a violin wedge if possible, or a bracewood wedge, the plane your opening face, and you're at cutting slices again.  This is a lengthy process, with a lot of waste. 

In some woods, like maple, in the re-quatering wedges, you could cut some neck blanks, for example. For this purpose, you would cut  your log section long enough for the sides and neck. And leave the back pieces the same length. 

I think for somebody with good skills, and the right supply of "caviar" wood, there is money to be made. Tho, there is some big players in the field. 

Look on ebay, how much tonewood is sold. Cheap too. 

Hth. 

Max. 


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Offline stihlsawer

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Re: Guitar Tone wood cutting question
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 09:39:16 AM »
Well, for guitar tonewood, i think i know a few things.

First of all, you don't need a LT15.  Length of the pieces you want to cut doesn't exceed 4ft, may be a smidge more. You need an extremely good resaw; with a wide blade, for straighter cuts.

Then you need to learn how to choose your logs, how to cut the areas with knots away. You can make decent tonewood, out of ugly logs sometimes. But most of the tonewood makers use "caviar" wood. Straight as an arrow, no cheeks, splits, twist, no taper, etc.

Then you split it into blocks, that you will resaw. You split, with a maul and wedges. You still haven't  cut yet.

Check google for splitting tonewood, there is pictures from Larry Stamm, Roy Tonewood, and few others, who show the process of splitting.

Then you plane the  faces where your wood is on the quater, and start to cut two slices.

 I would say, at Rivolta, where i used to get my wood. Rivolta Snc - ABETE ROSSO: un prodotto italiano riconosciuto in tutto il mondo  they cut when fresh, most of the spruce. And maple, cypress too. I bought some green or nearly.

For tops, back and sides, they put the bookmatched pair face against face, between four stickers, and air dry. They cut each slice of the bookmatched pair at 5 or 6mm.  Having bookmatched pairs kept together, means you don't loose them.

You cut two slices each time, from the opening face onwards, then when your wood is not much on the quater, you re split, a violin wedge if possible, or a bracewood wedge, the plane your opening face, and you're at cutting slices again.  This is a lengthy process, with a lot of waste.

In some woods, like maple, in the re-quatering wedges, you could cut some neck blanks, for example. For this purpose, you would cut  your log section long enough for the sides and neck. And leave the back pieces the same length.

I think for somebody with good skills, and the right supply of "caviar" wood, there is money to be made. Tho, there is some big players in the field.

Look on ebay, how much tonewood is sold. Cheap too.

Hth.

Max.
Max is spot on. Most logs yield very little tonewood. "Caviar" wood will have almost zero runout. I will attempt my first acoustic guitar build later this year Lord willing. Watch the John Arnold video of how he cuts logs to length around 4' in length. He splits the log using wedges which is how producing tonewood is done correctly. Luthiers vary on their final thicknesses and bracing methods. Tonewood should around 3/16" - 1/4" sold in bookmatched halves and produce a good resonant tap test (watch videos). Just my two cents worth. Hope you all have a blessed day.
Trever Jones
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