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I like 'em natural, so point me in the right direction

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    "Mahogany" There does seem to be quite a range of wood with that name with very different weights and colors. Some of the stuff I have comes out of the planer almost fuzzy, is very light and has a nice tone to it. I am guessing it is the Honduran type?
  2. there is a type of mahogany called 'mahogany sapele' which is darker than honduran and also has very interlocked grain, making it almost impossible to run it through a planer and get a good surface. It is definetly harder and stronger than honduran.

    There is also another type, which is very very light as in weight, and light, as in color. They call it mahogany carapa. This one is a joy to work with, it's got a good warm tone to it.
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Not to hijack this thread, but...

    Honduras mahogany works like butter. It will not fuzz up. Most likely what you have is not even in the swietenia genus. It could be luan (light in color, also called "phillipine mahogany") or possibly a very lightweight piece of khaya (african). There are a multitude of other woods that look vaguely like mahogany and I'm sure these end up in containers with the real deal and find their way onto the shelves of lumberyards everywhere.

    Sapele is also not a swietenia. It is entandrophragma (sp?). As wilser says, it's darker with interlocked grain, showing great ribbon figure on radial surfaces. Difficult to plane. Heavier than most mahoganies. Probably not the fuzzy stuff, but worth a look if you can get it.
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    It is not Sapele. I have used that a lot. It is very light in color and weight.....t
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    African mahogany?
    A bright orange-ish yellow and light in weight
  6. ArtisFallen


    Jul 21, 2004
    using a light polyurithane finish on the back of a neck works OK for me. If you give it a light sanding with some four-ought steel wool, or emory cloth, it leaves a nice smooth surface. i've never had any of my necks warp, and i've accidentally left my bass in my car in below freezing weather. That may be due to other factors though... also polyurithane reacts well with the heat of your hands, and gets even easier to play as you go.

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