Less than perfect?

in #luthier2 months ago


Some people tend to shy away from these kinds of tops. I mean, if I'm honest, I get all the reasons why. There is a lot more work to be done, and because of the spalting, things can go wrong really fast.


In extreme cases, parts of the wood can be so soft that the router just decided to take a big chunk right off and ruin your day. Has this happened to me? Of course, more than once in my life, but I think the payoff makes it worth it.


The trick here, if there is a trick really, is to go really slow. Plunge very shallow, and cut almost to the line... As a matter of fact, it's best to finish certain parts with rasps and sand paper, than risk a power tool mishap.


This guitar's theme is the spalted wormy top.. I decided a pickup needed to be part of the composition... I think I'm on track for something special.



"...I'm on track for something special."

You sure are! I love highly figured wood. I have cased a built in shelf that holds the power and communications center in my home in wormwood that was part of a fishing dory once. The gorgeous cedar shiplap was sunk, I assume sometime in the 90s, and pieces recovered on the beach after they had been attacked by young teredo worms, leaving small holes with the characteristic calciferous lining in the red wood, which I treated with Brazilian Rosewood oil, making the wood a deep, rich, mahogany red.

I love it, but it could never make a useful guitar because of the very weak, wormhole ridden, soft cedar. The extraordinary textural quality of the wormwood also would be all but impossible to route into the more complex forms you need for a guitar, but the simple shelf was doable, or at least I did it. Your spalted and lightly wormy wood, with it's variety of colors, from dark brown to to very light, almost yellow, has enormous character you wisely take a very light hand with staining.

I think that's one of the most beautifully figured guitars I have ever seen.


thank you for the encouragement my friend

The interesting woods are likely to be harder to work with, but you get unique results. Definitely worth the effort.

self imposed difficulty but for a good cause... it also makes the instrument unrepeatable, does it not?

Every construction of a musical instrument carries in its soul the spirit of its creator. Blessed are the hands that build art. Greetings, @meno

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appreciate the kindness