Pine Barrens Tonewood

JasonBreen

New Member
Sep 14, 2013
14
1
27
Toms River
I just got the idea last night, to make a acoustic guitar out of wood that grows here in the pines! Aside from AWC (Atlantic White Cedar), what other timber can be used as a good tonewood for a acoustic? I plan on making a topboard out of AWC. By the way, where can I get awc lumber from?
 

Sean Barry

Scout
Jul 16, 2006
37
1
Davis, California
I just got the idea last night, to make a acoustic guitar out of wood that grows here in the pines! Aside from AWC (Atlantic White Cedar), what other timber can be used as a good tonewood for a acoustic? I plan on making a topboard out of AWC. By the way, where can I get awc lumber from?

Remember that you need wood that has been dried, split, and sawn specially for use in guitar construction. Lumber yard lumber is unlikely to be suitable, even if the grain is nice and tight (lumber is not sawn parallel to split lines, which means that runout will usually be significant, and significant runout is unacceptable in tonewood). Although white cedar might be used by some luthiers, it would have to be pretty local--I've not seen it advertised in any luthiers supply catalogue (e.g., www.lmii.com). Western red cedar and Port Orford cedar are much more commonly used. As I recall maple grows in the Barrens, so there is your source for back and side wood. White cedar might work for the neck, although maple would be better (but heavier). You could possibly find a persimmon tree (in a garden) and use the heartwood for the fingerboard (persimmon is a type of ebony), but it would probably be more feasible to purchase an ebony or rosewood fingerboard blank from a luthiers supplier. Use split and sawn cedar for the heel and end blocks and for the kerf lining and bracing.

Of course you could broaden your search and still keep it in NJ if you go up to NE NJ and obtain some red spruce for the top and maple for the back, sides, and neck. Red spruce is the classic and currently most sought after guitar topwood.

Good luck

Sean Barry
 
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