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philippine wood for top?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by natas, Mar 19, 2014.


  1. natas

    natas

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    any luthier here who has used philippine wood as body top?
    it will be for an alder body and i want to make it brighter sounding.
    sorry first timer
     
  2. bassteban

    bassteban

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    What species is *Phillipine* wood?
     
  3. natas

    natas

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    i' thinking molave or philippine ebony. or if you can suggest me another, i may try to find it
     
  4. Beej

    Beej

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    Both of those are protected, so unlikely anyone outside of the Phillipines has used either of them recently. Reading up on them though, if you have access to existing lumber somewhere, they both look good for use in building. It seems like the branches of Molave are too flexible to be used in a neck, but lumber from the bole appears to be useful as a building hardwood...
     
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  6. natas

    natas

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    i have esy access on them mostly from old wooden doors or stair steps.

    thinking of using it as a top not neck

    tap tone both bright (compared to alder)

    will be topped on alder body

    looking for brighter tone for my bass and better aesthetics of course
     
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Philippine ebony looks a lot like Ziricote, maybe more a bit more brown, but the grain is very similar. If you can get a nice piece it would make an awesome top. From the pictures I saw of molave, it seems pretty boring.
     
  8. natas

    natas

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    old molave taken from the core gives a little bluish figuring.it actually looks mor exciting than philippine ebony.it is not that easy to find but not that scarce here too.i'm more concerned with the tonal effect each would tend to give to the bass itself
     
  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Nice Philippine Ebony looks pretty amazing to me
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It looks very similar to ziricote
    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't concern myself with the tonal aspects of a thin top wood, it should be chosen for its aesthetic qualities above all else as it will have very little effect on the overall sound of the bass.
     
  10. natas

    natas

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    thanks for the input man.will look for others too if its only a case of aesthetics there are lots of beautiful wood here.
    the initial figuring of philippine ebony may look like ziricote but after some time it tends to darken into almost solid black.atleast the ones i've seen.
     
  11. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Yeah, tops are chosen for aesthetics. Some people may disagree with me, but have you ever seen a bass with an ugly top wood?

    Snap a photo of some of that philippine ebony, and the molave if you can. I would like to see what the boards you have to choose from look like
     
  12. natas

    natas

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    will go there next weekend. will take pics of the available wood at that time
     
  13. Dave Curran

    Dave Curran Lilduke Supporting Member

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    Take some rubbing alcohol/naptha with you so you can wipe it on and get an idea what it'll look like finished.
     
  14. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    It looks very similar to Malaysian Blackwood. That might not mean that it is the same wood. Much like African Blackwood is not even though they look somewhat similar. I have used MB quite a bit and always have some laying around. It's a fantastic wood with excellent tonal qualities. It's great for fingerboards and it makes great acoustic guitars. Quite sought after and accordingly priced. I like the fact that, unlike Zericote and African Blackwood, it doesn't sound brittle. If the Philippine Ebony is similar or the same species (Diospyros ebonasea) I can only recommend it. Now, as a top it might not make that much difference unless is used very thick (and heavy). It looks great when finished clear gloss. yes, it darkens quite a bit. But the grain is still very visible. Lovely wood.
     
  15. natas

    natas

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    thanks for the tip about naptha/rubbing alcohol.how about denatured alcohol?
     
  16. natas

    natas

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    the scientific name is Diospyros blancoi or Diospyros philippinensis
     

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