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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SuperDuperStar, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Just wondering what the minimum diameter of a log would be to get any usefull material out of it(for guitar or bass)? I managed to get my hands on a walnut Log (14.5"D/8.5'L)and 2 sweet peices of spalted alder(12"D/30"L, 14"D/30"L) off of a construction site that was clear cut.

    Yeah so what diameters are good for what? Just want to know if should keep these around for a future project or give them to a couple neighbours who turn wood.

    I may run into the opportunity to get more wood off of sites. What diameter should I look for if I wanted to do book matched guitar or bass tops?

  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    From what I've learned (but not from personal experience), I think you may have to get the logs sawed into slabs before they dry out too much, otherwise they'll develop radial cracks. If Ken Smith pokes his head in on this thread, I'm sure he can tell you.

    The walnut log might be too short to be of any use, but the alder seems like a good size.
  3. The walnut log is 8 feet, 6 inches long! I'm not looking to make a ships mast out of this thing :D
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Doh! All the other measurements were inches, so I misread and thought that it was only 8.5 inches long.
  5. Thanks for the info.

    Looks like I may be able to get some usable planks out of the walnut. Now all I have to do is find someone with a 14" band saw. Looks like those woodturners may get some material after all ;)
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    KS, thanks for the wealth of information. You are the only person that I know of who participates in the entire process, from raw logs to instruments. I half expect to be able to ask you the best way to cut down the tree!

    Regarding the section of your reply that I quoted above: Is the log only usable if it is from the trunk portion? I am thinking that this is what you are implying here. And I would imagine that this would be because limb wood warps due to the compression wood contained in it? Please clarify, if you would. Thanks.