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Why not bloodwood?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Apr 12, 2006.


  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Hey all,

    I was inspired by the purpleheart thread http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=241822 , and was wondering about bloodwood.

    I've seen it as a top on a few basses, and as stringers in a few necks, but wonder why it's not used more frequently. It could definitely be that I'm not looking hard enough and that it's used quite often, but in case it's not...?

    The last time I bought bloodwood lumber, it was comparable to purpleheart, was nice and dense, it looks fantastic after planing, and finishes to a beautifully rich color. I don't have the experience yet, so can anyone tell me if it has a tendency to move, not glue well, or something? I don't have the numbers in front of me with regards to density/weight, so I guess I'll be looking while waiting for responses...
     
  2. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Bloodwood is awesome, and makes a great fingerboard wood on a fretless. Pete Skjold uses Bloodwood a lot for neck stringer and fingerboard woods. I dont like the look of Purpleheart, so my bass has Bloodwood stringers instead. From a construction standpoint, I havent heard any mention of it being any different to work with than Purpleheart.
     
  3. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    It seems to me that the bloodwood has the same drawback as purpleheart in that the colour fades with time. Personally I think it looks fine but it doesn't have any astonishing aesthetics beyond the colour. If that fades with time then you'll likely end up with a fine piece of plain wood. That said, I suppose the biggest reason it wouldn't be more prominent as a body wood is that it's heavy. You don't see many solid purpleheart bodies around for the same reason.

    -Nate
     
  4. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    With some creative shaping, contouring, and chambering, it's possible to get around this though...?

    As far as the color goes, is that a UV photodegradation (used to say "an oxidation thing"), or a fading due to sunlight? I've got a piece that I planed down to be a marimba test key, and finished one end with wax, the other with poly, and the center I left unfinished. It's been sitting in the garage out of direct sunlight, so the results wouldn't be overly valid...there was some color change, but it is still a fairly rich shade of dark red, almost more "bloody" than after being freshly worked.
     
  5. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Of course. Then there are the people who don't really care and build themselves solid purpleheart basses anyway. If they've got the back for it, then more power to them.

    I can't comment on the nature of the colour change, or even how prominent it is. In my experience just about any wood will change colour to some degree over time, the question is whether or not you can live with it. I seem to recall bloodwood fading to a deep brown eventually, but I could be wrong.

    I'm curious to hear just how prominent it might be. Maybe it's time to get Larry in on the discussion?

    -Nate
     
  6. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Yup, he might be the guy to go to on this. As far as fading to the deep brown, it might be paduak that you're thinking of. That one DEFINITELY changes color significantly. I've got a big chunk, and when you cut it...well, imagine a Reeses' peanut butter cup filled with orange (rather than light brown), and that's what it's like to cut into it. Well, something like that, anyway.:p
     
  7. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Well I dont know if two years is enough to judge, but I've seen a bass of Pete's thats got a bloodwood fingerboard, and is about 2 years old. I dont believe the color has changed noticably at all.
     
  8. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Bloodwood holds it color much better than padauk. Purpleheart will photodegrade more drastically than bloodwood as well. Oxidation is much less of a problem for most (all?) woods than UV. Use all the bloodwood you want and stop taking your bass into the tanning booth with you.
     
  9. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Cool. I really, really liked the way my bloodwood turned out with a fine sanding and wax finish. It's just so deeply maroon.

    btw: I changed the "oxidation" comment above, as I just saw that Larry specified that that term usually refers to burning of wood :D .
     
  10. michele

    michele

    Apr 2, 2004
    Italy
    I'm sorry but anytime I read "bloodwood" I can't resist posting this beauty! Well, maybe I'll stop when MY bloodwood topped CB will be completed! :D
     

    Attached Files:

  11. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    Pictures of Cliffs' basses are welcomed here anytime! I love the smell of bloodwood, myself :D
     
  12. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  13. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Don't forget this one...bloodwood fingerboard, matching pickup covers...great match to the thuya burl top.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. JJBACOOMBA

    JJBACOOMBA Commercial User

    May 31, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Lecompte Bass Owners Club Member #2
    The Lecompte VB4 has a bloodwood top. Very sweet looking bass. Lecomptebass.com
     
  15. There is thsi one finish that you can use on padauk that will stop it from changing colour at all, not sure what it is though. My dad has some that he uses on his turnings.

    lowsound
     
  16. michele

    michele

    Apr 2, 2004
    Italy
    Sorry guys, but since I posted a bloodwood topped bass that Cliff Bordwell made some times ago, now it seems to me a sacrilege not posting MY OWN bloodwood! :hyper:

    zzzd-060422-bf.
     
    kkaarrll likes this.
  17. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Nice!


     
  18. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    Has anyone here had experience with any kind of UV protective finish? I've heard them mentioned many times but I'd like to learn more. Those CB Bloodwood tops have made me lust after some bloodwood in my next project.
     
  19. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Bloodwood does hold it's color really well. Purpleheart can turn brown over time, but it is a funny thing. I have purpleheart in my shop that is 10 years old, and has only become a much richer purple color, and have had some that turned that nice chocolate brown in a few months. you just never know when it will happen. Bloodwood works for every part of a bass, and only weight will ever be a factor. It is a very stable and very visually pleasing species.
     
  20. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Don't do this things! I hate wiping coffee off my screen.:p :D

    Seriously, what is this "bloodwood", really?
     

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