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Source for THICK piece of tonewood?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Captain_joe6, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Hey all. I'm wondering if anyone out there knows of a source for a particularly thick, around 5 inches, slab of wood that is 24" long and 15" wide. Yeah, it's a big sucker, I know, but I want to do some really depth-intensive carving on the body I'm designing. If at all possible (and I don't even know if the trees get this big) I'd like it to be European Walnut. Anybody know of anyone that might have something like that?
  2. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    It would never hurt to ask Larry Davis over at Gallery Hardwoods. You could also ask over at his forum here on Talkbass.
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I'd say your chances of finding that would be slim to none. You will eventually be able to find a billet of something that large, but not european walnut, probably not any walnut unless you find a mill that will custom cut a very large log that way for you. 20/4 lumber is a rarity because the mills don't want to cut stuff that thick since it takes so much longer to dry and 95% of their business is 8/4-4/4.

    It doesn't hurt to ask Larry as he has much more experience in the wood industry than me and he'd probably know what you can get in those sizes. My guess is probably to look around for 20/4 mahogany, Basswood/English Lime might be an easier find as it is sold to carvers.
  4. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I love the idea of deep carvings, but like others have said, finding the wood will be next to impossible. Even if you do find it they're gonna charge and arm and a leg. Have you thought about laminations? Personally I'd look to where the tallest parts of my design would be and glue extra wood onto a base piece at those locations. I'd also try to use contrasting woods to give an interesting layered effect (and to avoid the hassle of a change in grain between two pieces of the same wood).

    One way or another we'd love to hear how it works out.

  5. I got a 14.5" x 50" slab of curly soft maple from a guy off ebay. It cost less than $50 and was fine sanded on all 4 sides. Great deal indeed.
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Was it 20/4?
  7. I'm thinking I might take some of the above advice and figure my carving, then add wood in the deepest locations only, just to get the thickness I need. I wasn't too keen on doing that because I'm not a fan of glue joints, but I figure it'll be worth a try.