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A strange top wood / weird find.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Scott French, Sep 2, 2004.


  1. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    I was out on a vacation/road trip last week with a friend and we passed through Oregon along the coast. I saw a sign (the first of what I didn't know at the time would be about 100 signs) saying mrytlewood. So we turned down the road and pretty much drove into someones front yard. An old woman came out to greet us and showed us around some of the stuff they had available (not much). I guess her son actually ran the place but he was out for a few hours doing something else. I found one piece of wood that was *decent* among about 30 boards and grabbed it so we could come away with something. We were ready to take off but she just wanted to keep showing us more stuff. We went into their workshop and she went digging around. I looked at the stuff they had out but most of what they had was too thin or to narrow for any instruments. Finally she pulled out this board that was covered in moss and dirt and totally rough cut. It was impossible to tell what was dirt, what was saw marks, and what was figure. It was thick enough and wide enough for a 1 piece top so I asked how much she wanted for it. It was pretty close to nothing and we had room in the car so I grabbed it. 6 days later we got home and a planed it/sanded it out and man is it a crazy piece of wood. There's funky flame all up and down it, weird burl/birdseyes all over it, some strange knots. etc. Needless to say it's just about my favorite type of thing... a weird piece of strangely attractive wood I found on a road trip and it was very cheap. So........ here's a picture. It's going to become an unlined fretless 4 string SF-4 when the time comes. That's all I've got.
     
  2. Worshiper

    Worshiper

    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    I like it... have no idea what kind of wood it is.. but none the less, like it. It looks a bit like a yellow tinted koa. I can't help but notice that you have a emplate layed out on it. Are you sure you don't want to take advantage of those light spots. i don't know if I would if it were mine, but it might give it some interesting character. Just a thought
     
  3. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    that's quite a find IMO.

    i like it.

    scott, i really REALLY like your body shapes.

    nice!

    f
     
  4. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    my faves:

    [​IMG]

    f
     
  5. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Worshiper, The wood is Mrytle. It's common around Oregon like coastal redwood is around Northern California. It's not hugely popular for bass stuff but if you went looking for it around the forum I'm sure you could find a lot of basses with mrytle tops. The light spots on the wood are just areas I didn't put down any naptha. The naptha brings out the color and grain for photos the same way finish will down the line. Without finish the entire blank looks white like that.

    Thanks, fhodshon. That's the OLD version of the SF-4. It was just too big for my taste so it's been downsized a bit. I hope you'll like the new ones too!
     
  6. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    i'll take em!!!!!!!!!!!!


    ;)

    f
     
  7. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    I've seen a lot of MTD with myrtle tops, very nice.
    I agree with fhodshon, your design is cool - but I like the newer version. :cool:
     
  8. Worshiper

    Worshiper

    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    Ahhh, now I see Scott. Myrtle huh? Well, still an odd wood to me but can't doubt that it looks amazing! What are the characteristics of it. Is it dense? how about for a body?
     
  9. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    I'm not sure how it's going to work out yet exactly. I have seen myrtle used for acoustic guitar back and sides before and it looked/sounded great. I'm not sure if this is from the same area/species as the others I've seen. I noticed a lot of variations just from the stuff they had the the place I bought this, some very yellow, some gray, some brown, and some very dark (nearly black in places). It's not one of the more common tone woods so those type of specs online seem to be harder to find.
     
  10. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    oooo, that's purdy! Great story and a great find!
     
  11. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Thanks for the headsup on Myrtlewood places on the coast in the first place, Tim!


    [​IMG]