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Best use of Tulipwood

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by TolerancEJ, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. I've been intrigued by tulipwood. What would be its best use in the construction of a bass guitar, in terms of a body, top, neck, tonewood, or fretboard (whether best for fretted or durable for fretless)?



  2. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013
    I know Mick Karn had a Wal made out of one. He said in an inteview that it was rare to find a piece big enough to make a guitar body so he had the only one.

    Not sure if that's true or not. Remember reading this in an old issue of bass player.
  3. BruceBass3901


    Oct 17, 2009
    Wickham, UK
    I have a few bits of tulipwood kicking around my workshop which are big enough for guitars. Nowhere near as colourful as that though. Beautiful lighter grain with a bloodwood that starts out purple but goes green/brown with exposure to air. It takes stain very nicely, but is quite soft. Fine for a top if you are going to use a decent poly top coat.

    Hope that helps :)
  4. DaanW


    Oct 21, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Looks amazing as a top:

    But pieces that wide (even bookmatched) are very rare
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I've used it for fingerboards, both fretless and fretted. It's in the rosewood genus, it's hard enough for either. It is tough to find wide. Its smell is amazing.
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  6. Thanks for the information everyone. That singlecut posted by DaanW looks very good. Interesting to know it has a nice fragrance. What other woods/finishes might present an interesting contrast?

    Do you have a few FBB sample pictures of your fingerboards (maybe 1 fretted / 1 fretless)? Just curious to see how they look. Did you leave them as-is or had you chosen to apply a darker stain, or other finish? I would imagine a decent epoxy job is required to use it as a fretless.
  7. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    If you make something out of it, please make a build thread. I've been wanting to see it in an instrument too. It has a really nice look to it.

  8. For now, just gathering information. Perhaps a build at some point in the future. But of course, a build thread would be added.
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works

    The bridge is also tulipwood. The fretted one is old so I don't think I have a decent picture.

    No stain is required, just oil. This stuff is true rosewood, it is hard enough to use without epoxy. The published numbers I have seen have janka at 2500lbf, which is quite hard.
    TolerancEJ likes this.

  10. Looks really good. Thanks for sharing your picture.
  11. tbrannon


    Jun 11, 2006
    I've seen it used on several Alembic's as a top.


    TolerancEJ likes this.

  12. Looks great!
  13. I just got my Adamovic Halo and it´s got an American Tulipwood body. I´ll post a picture when I get home.
  14. fjadams

    fjadams Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    Another one interested in using Tulip wood. All the info will be read and stored.
  15. JayGunn

    JayGunn Supporting Member

    American Tulipwood? Wouldn't that be tulip poplar, which is drastically different in color, texture, weight, etc...
  16. Here it is, Yeah I think it´s also called tulip poplar...

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