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opinions on bois de rose (wood)?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Taylor Livingston, Feb 24, 2003.


  1. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    it's a pretty cheap wood (not much more than east indian rosewood) and has a really nice color, imo. does anybody have any experience with it? is it easy to work with and have good tone (i'm using for the fingerboard, if i use it at all)?

    edit: oh yeah - this will be a fretted bass. and i forgot to attach this pic of the wood.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    This stuff is also called madagascar rosewood, right? It's been pretty expensive in my experience. The bois de rose I have seen was not nearly as red. If it's the real deal, it will work fine as a fingerboard. Almost all fingerboard woods share working properties (dense, hard) and work well, but slowly with sharp tools and abrasives. Some are very oily and clog abrasives quickly. Madagascar rosewood is moderately oil in my experience.

    Where are you getting it? Fingerboard wood is probably the most difficult wood on a bass to select. If you mail order it from a lumber place without giving them specific input on what you need, you might get something rift sawn or worse yet with defects that you can't work around. Or something warped. I've been there.

    Ordering from Luthier's Mercantile is probably a good idea. They have a good selection, which I think includes bois de rose, and I have never gotten a bad fingerboard from them. Their morado is excellent, and even cheaper than the bois de rose. While you're at it, have them slot the board, it will save you a lot of work.
     
  3. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    thanks for your input. i got this picture and information on bois de rose from exoticwoods.com - it was recommended to me by the guy who may be making the neck for me. he didn't say if this is where he has gotten wood in the past, only that i should look at that wood and pricing to get an idea of the cost. a fingerboard of bois de rose there is about $20 for a 4x27x5/16 to 3/8 piece - as opposed to $16 for rosewood. it seems to be on the higher end (price-wise) for neck blanks. i'll look into luthier's mercantile. thanks again.
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Exotic woods does seem to know what goes into a good fingerboard. I do know someone who has gotten a bad piece of wood from them, although most people seem satisfied. I think you'd be safe getting bois de rose from them if you wanted it, and it would make a fine fingerboard.
     
  5. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    well, i really liked that color of the bois de rose, but on luthier's mercantile, the pictures look much more like indian rosewood. it says there that it is very colorful when first cut, but turns almost black soon afterwards. maybe that picture on exoticwoods.com was taken when the wood was first cut. i think i might go for the morado/pau ferro from luthier's mercantile, since it's nice and and pretty cheap. i wish they had neck-through length neck blanks - they are cheaper than exotic woods. you've been very helpful, fbb custom. thanks (i'm glad i had a good normal question to ask this time :D )
     
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Bois de rose IS madagascar rosewood.
    There is an idiomatic with this. :)

    Word to word, rosewood translates to "bois de rose" in french, where the real word should be "palissandre".

    It comes from the strange french people speak in Madagascar. :)
     
  7. Dumfish

    Dumfish

    Oct 6, 2001
    Santa Rosa, Ca
    When I went up and got my fingerboard from LMI I had them slot it and radius it. I don't know how hard it is to radius a board, but I figured that as long as they are slotting they might as well radius it.

    P.S. I think that they are getting more radiusing machines. A while ago they could only do 16", thus limiting your options.
     
  8. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    i think they still only do 16" at the moment.
     
  9. Skerik1

    Skerik1

    Sep 21, 2002
    Saint Paul, MN
  10. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    arg! that is nice looking wood. it looks more like the picture i posted at the top than the picture on luthier's mercantile. well, shucks. if that wood is only four dollars more than indian rosewood at exoticwoods.com, i'm getting it. that is, if the wood really looks like that. arg number 2! should i assume the wood looks like that really pretty red stuff or not? i'm inclined to listen to fbb; despite the fact that he/she generally is the person who shoots down my more extravagant ideas, he/she is still a luthier and purports to have experience with the wood. well, should i go for it?
     
  11. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Give them a call and ask them if the stuff they've got is red or not. Also ask them if it will stay that way or if it will turn brown. Or get bloodwood, which is very red. Make sure they give you a quartersawn fingerboard blank, though.

    Exotic woods has a slotting service also.
     
  12. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    make sure you read the fine print before you order from exoticwoods; if you happen to want t ogo there in person and choose your own boards they charge you an extra 20%.

    I do not know if this is the case for you (didn't look to see where you are) but i purchased some neck woods from them several months ago and this was the case.
     
  13. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Does that sound like a bad sign to you? I'm not too thrilled with that policy.
     
  14. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    no...but i still have my lovely purpleheart and maple baseball bat;)
     
  15. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    this is what exotic woods calls "madagascar rosewood". apparently it isn't the same as bois de rose.

    http://www.exoticwoods.com/images/madrswd.jpg

    this is luthier's mercantile's picture of bois de rose.

    http://lmii.com/CartTwo/headerimage/BoisdRoseFingerboards2clip.jpg

    lmii has no picture of madagascar rosewood, but it is listed separately.

    exotic woods doesn't offer bloodwood for fingerboards. it may be possible to get them to cut a piece for making a fingerboards, but i wouldn't know the essential points of a good fingerboard wood (i know the size, but dryness and the way it's been sawn are important and i don't know enough to tell them what i need). can one get bloodwood for a fingerboard?

    also, where could i find prices for wenge (neck blank), and, can anybody suggest any other guitar wood sites besides luthier's mercantile and exoticwoods?
     
  16. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    galleryhardwoods.com is a nice site. Larry Davis is very knowledgeable about what goes into a good piece of wood. He may or may not have bloodwood, but I guarantee he has something that wil rock your socks. Also righteouswoods.com is good. The guy there (Steve) knows wood and will sell you quartersawn wood if he has it. I prefer to pick through the stacks myself, but if you don't know what you're looking for, then ya gotta hope that the guys at the store know how to pull a clear, quartersawn board for you.

    I have some bloodwood here, but I think mine is flatsawn. What I have is not great for fingerboards. Not sure who would sell bloodwood fb blanks. Does Exotic Woods? It's also called Satine.
     
  17. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    thanks for the wood tips. just looking for a really stunning fingerboard.

    no, exotic woods doesn't have bloodwood for fingerboards. i'm not sure what they offer it for; i haven't seen it in the lists of neck, fingerboard, or (i think) body blanks. i think they sell it for furniture. i honestly don't know what flatsawn, etc. means. i know it's the direction of the cut, but what is flat, quarter, etc.?
     
  18. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    The orientation of the ring structure of the wood with respect to the face of the lumber. Quartersawn wood is cut such that the rings are perpendicular to the face of the board, in flatsawn wood the rings are parallel. Rift sawn is anything in between.
     
  19. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    so, then, quartersawn is what i would need for a fingerboard?
     
  20. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    quartersawn is best.