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Brazilian rosewood for neck?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    The resources say it's strong enough, it's got a great grain: nice and straight. So, has anyone used it before? I got a big piece for a good price, so I figured why not? Unless, of course, you can tell me why not :eyebrow:
  2. dpmasunder


    Apr 30, 2005
    It tends to be unstable and cracks easily. Wonderful stuff to look at and amazing percussive tone. I wouldn't use it unless it's quartersawn.
    My experience with Braz. Rosewood is mainly with acoustic back and sides which are worked down to 2.2mm thick. The cracking may not be an issue on a whole neck.
    Balance (weight) might also be a concern, depending on the design and your preferences.
    Other than that you could also sell it off at a tidy profit. Especially if it's big enough to get some back and side sets out of it. Check the prices here - http://www.jamesjonesinstruments.com/misc/brazilianrosewood.html
    Rosewood necks are used on classicals occasionally btw.
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    That'd be nice, but I only bought a piece suitable for sutting up into laminate neck strips. It's about 1"x4"x6', and is quartersawn.
  4. prs use it for some of their guitars.. and i have seen rosewood necks from warmoth..
    it would sure make a beautiful neck.
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Sounds like the piece you have would be more efficient to cut into fingerboards. You'd get at least 4 of them, six if your resaw tolerances are tight enough.

    Real Brazilian (dalbergia nigra) is seriously endangered and there has been an import ban on the species to the US for 20+ years. It is illegal to buy or sell unless it was imported pre-ban, and people who sell the stuff publicly generally have to have papers to prove that it is pre-ban. The stuff that's around has typically gone through 20+ years of picking over and that's why mostly what you see is junk, at astronomical prices.

    Either you got very lucky or perhaps it is not really nigra. If it is the real deal I would NOT use it for neck stringers. Jatoba makes a great neck stringer and it's $4/bf. If it's the real deal then, IMHO, you have a very rare wood and a very rare opportunity, and it should be "on exhibit" on a bass. Personally, I would use it for fingerboards, and I'd probably mostly sit on it, waiting for the right project.

    I don't know where you got it or whether you're certain that the stuff is real nigra, but I'd be interested in getting a look at a photo if you can post it. There are other species that look similar. The smell of the stuff is unmistakably rosewood when you work it, strong smelling like an intense pipe tobacco. That's a good sign that you at least have a dalbergia (rosewood).
  6. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Because I lack the experience, I can't testify to it. I was one of the chain woodworking stores that I got it from, and I'm doubting now whether or not it was labeled correctly (and whether or not I can read :rolleyes: :D ). I'll take a few pics in a bit and post them. Assuming it's not Brazilian RW, I'd be interested in getting a correct id on it to see if it is suitable for neck use. I didn't realize just how rare it is...if it is Brazilian, it's going into a lock down facility.

  7. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    The Warmoths are mostly Indian Rosewood, different, but still DAMN nice looking.
  8. it's also very common for real brazilian rosewood to have a few good wormholes running through it... they love the stuff as much as us. Post a pic or two and i'm sure someone will be able to give you a definitive answer. ;)
  9. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Rosewood for a full neck?


    Much too heavy for the most of us, the neck will want to dive like a seal!
  10. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Turns out it's probably pau ferro (explains the price), which I believe is also know as Brazilwood (chime in here if I'm wrong). I guess someone at that store got carried away with labeling the woods.
  11. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've got an old set neck Curbow with a Brazilian rosewood fretboard/neck. Not too heavy (of course, it's teeny, too), and it sounds great.

    Absolutely beautiful to look at:


  12. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    Pau Ferro is also known as Morado or Bolivian Rosewood (Cordia Trichotoma). It is not delbergia or a true rosewood, but is often used as a substitute for Braz Rosewood.
  13. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I think the genus is typically machaerium on pau ferro/bolivian rosewood/morado. Cordia is the ziricote/bocote genus. It's definately one of the more squirrelly woods to pin a genus to as there are about 100 different species names pinned to it on the internet.
  14. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    If I'm not mistaken pau ferro means "iron wood" in Portugese. Traditionally just about any heavy, strong wood can be (and has been) referred to as pau ferro.