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>> Ukulele Hints >> Flat, Rift, Quarter sawn ????

Message started by K.D.M.I. on Jan 12th, 2003 at 11:23am

Title: Flat, Rift, Quarter sawn ????
Post by K.D.M.I. on Jan 12th, 2003 at 11:23am
   I have a question about which kind of sawn wood to use for instruments ?? Quarter, rift , or flat sawn?, and where is best to use that type of sawn wood ? (e.g. finger board, neck, top, back, and sides) Is there a rule of the thumb to only use quarter sawn wood for instrument building ? Another question is... can burls be used to make back and sides also?                                                                                                                                                 Mahalos, Zig

Title: Re: Flat, Rift, Quarter sawn ????
Post by ukeman on Jan 13th, 2003 at 2:56pm
aloha Zig......hmmmm good questions! In essence all instruments begin with wood selection to fit design criteria. A sure rule of thumb is that instrument grade wood is for the most part quarter sawn.Primary parts are the soundboard,fingerboard,sides and neck materials. If you would like to use burl,or flat sawn materials you could use it on backs but you would need to treat burl wood to stabilize the weird grain via resin or ca glue.If there is too much run out ala rift cuts on sides they could follow runout on the bending process and crack....best usage is still quarter sawn  for ease of workability as well as soundness of structure. Inlays and veneers which may go on headstocks and tail inlays can be of the crazy stuff as if doesnt effect structure.Since ya are building for the long term ya need the woods to be consistent,stable and structurally integral...ergo   quartered stuff.As always there are no set rules only tips via the experience of others...jes be judicious in your use of materials and weigh the aesthetics versus the stability. Hope this helps....

Title: Re: Flat, Rift, Quarter sawn ????
Post by Jeff B on Jan 30th, 2008 at 4:37am
Just a couple of personal observations:

1. I'd avoid flat sawn wood in instrument building unless there is some incredible grain or figure it shows and it won't be a significant structural part.

2. Rift sawing is not terribly different from quarter sawing provided you get pieces that are cut from close to the zero, 90, 180, and 270 degree positions of the log. As the cuts move out from a line parallel to those positions, the grain (growth rings) starts to angle relative to the side of the plank as you look at the end of the board. With quarter sawn, because each board is cut at a radial parallel to the center, the grain remains flat and perpendicular to the side of the plank. That makes the plank very stable.

I think LMI has a shop note on the different kinds of cuts on their website. I know they have it in their catalog. Check it out.


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