i need help with jatoba .

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by madmachinist, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. madmachinist


    Dec 28, 2008
    wood is kind of sensitive to moisture , i've had it for 3 years now , and it's twisted a bit . i have 40 feet of
    4 x 4 of this stuff , and am ready to machine it into a few basses.

    what are the isssues w/ jatoba?

    where i've cut the stuff it will split on the endgrain
    if it isn't sealed within a few weeks. volatile, but i think it will make
    a good tonewood . smells disgusting to cut , makes me nauseous , probably poisonous to me.

    all the markings of a good tonewood!

    also , as a neck wood , 1 piece would likely be less stable , could i get away with it? or
    would i be asking for a headache . most builds i've seen w/ jatoba involved maple or mahogany or
    something else less hostile.
  2. vbasscustom

    vbasscustom Guest

    Sep 8, 2008
    well, it makes lovely finger boards, but from what i have used it is realtivly heavy. so im not sure, but your neck, you probably want a 2 or 3 peice to counter act the twisting
  3. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    The wood you have may not be dry. Cracking and moving is usually a sure sign it's still drying out. I would check the moisture content before I used it for anything. The Jatoba I’ve had in stock has always seemed to be really stable compared to other exotics. I’d rip that 4x4 down to 1” slabs and check the M.C after sawing.

    Jatoba is a great wood for bass building if used in moderation. It's extremely hard, and a bit heavy making a one-piece neck from it may not be a good idea. You need a little bit of neck relief (bow) for the strings to work properly. Jatoba is strong enough that the neck may not relief like it should. That said, I use a 1/4" center laminate of Jatoba in just about every bass I build, I put it in the center for the truss rod. In this area 10mm of wood is removed for the truss channel, so it’s an area that a good stout wood is beneficial, especially for thin necks :)