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light weight, dark woods, available 6/4+

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by FBB Custom, Nov 18, 2013.


  1. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland
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    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Just thought I'd throw the question out here. Most dark woods are dense, right? Are there any less dense options? Criteria:

    1) less dense than black walnut (41 lbs/ft3)
    2) available 6/4 and thicker
    3) not impossible to find
    4) dark -- mahogany/sapele is not dark enough

    Peruvian walnut would be great, but no one cuts thicker than 4/4.
    Post sources if you've got them.
     
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

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    Wow, I was thinking, "this is a question for fbb" until I saw who was asking it! :)

    I don't know of anything. I'll just say that I now have gotten Peruvian from two different sources, and they were both nearly identical boards. I'd call them pretty light, pretty porous, and somewhat warmer and lighter than what I usually think of as the dark end of black walnut.
     
  3. LightGroove

    LightGroove

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    Happy Bottom, VA
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro

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    Hah! I do my homework but there are so many species, and it seems each year we see a few new ones becoming available commercially. Hoping that there is something that I've missed, or that there is a source for roasted poplar that I don't know about.

    Peruvian is pretty uniform in color and texture from what I've seen. The stuff that I have is much less dense than most black walnut. It feels around spanish cedar in density. Very nice, but 4/4. The problem, as I understand, is that it develops internal cracks while drying when it's cut 6/4 or thicker.

    Black limba is nice, but uniform darkness is not something one can count on. Much of what I see is mostly straw-colored with some dark streaks.
     
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  6. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    Southwestern Michigan
    I'd never thought about it till now but I sure can't think of a naturally dark wood that isn't fairly heavy! ......and I personally hate to see a drastic color change done with stain or dye,just my little pet peeve. I love a bunch of different tropical exotics but they're all pretty much dense and heavy,part of what I like about them.
    I'll be watching this thread with interest!
     
  7. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member

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    I hear you boss. Dark and light weight? Nothing I know of. The darkest light weight wood I have is Spanish Cedar and that isn't dark enough for you. Good luck man!
     
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

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    BTW I didn't get your PM because my box was full, but I've since made some space.
     
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro

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    I think you are still too full.

    Any sense of whether imbuia is typically lighter or heavier than black walnut? I have some Indiana walnut that is quite dense. I have not used imbuia in a while but I seem to recall it being sort of not too bad, density-wise.
     
  10. LightGroove

    LightGroove

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  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

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    I don't know what's up with my PMs - I deleted at least forty messages. You can get me at pwpatengineerdotcom.

    Sorry, I've got no personal experience with imbuia. If you like I can check tonight whether I have any published numbers that you don't.
     

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