WOOD QUESTIONS

How do you grade your wood? 
We take the following considerations into account when grading our wood:
  • The grain; straightness, evenness, closeness and grain runout i.e long or short grain
  • Stiffness
  • Evenness of colour
  • Figure; the degree and type of flame
  • Tonal qualities
  • Natural defects, such as knots etc
Our wood is either air or kiln dried or a combination of both. It is usually ready for use; however we cannot guarantee that this is always the case.

Definitions
Grain: Grain refers to the growth rings in the wood. Straight grain refers to the rings being straight and parallel to each other. Fine grain is when the rings are close together or appear as fine lines. Coarse grain is when the lines are wider apart and more visible.

Figure: Figure or flame and quilting is a genetic quality of the wood or growing conditions often due to location or climatic conditions and runs approximately at a right angle 90° to the grain.

Stiffness: This is an important quality; too much stiffness will cause less vibration and dampen the tone, too little will cause distortion in the wood. As a general rule, the stiffer the better as a top can always be made thinner.

Colour: Even, consistent colour is a feature of higher grade woods

What are ‘ribs’?
‘Ribs’ (or set of ribs) is the term used in lutherie to describe the sides of an instrument, or in the case of a lute or mandolin – the bowl back.

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