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  #1  
Old 05-19-2011, 01:34 PM
Loki Loki is offline
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Default Douglas Fir for top wood?

I am working on the build spec for an instrument in the mando family by a well known UK luthier.

He has a small supply of very old, well seasoned and stable Douglas Fir.

This has been used on a few select instruments including a rather lovely custom build guitar.

The wood in question has very tight grain and beautiful cream and pink colouration which would complement the flamed maple body.

I like the idea of having 'local' wood incorporated in the build, aesthetically, emotionally and environmentally; but I can't help wondering if the great well of experience here has any knowledge on the use of Douglas Fir.

If anyone does I'd love to hear!
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:56 PM
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I've played a few Doug Fir topped guitars built by A.J. Lucas of the UK, and they were each very, very nice guitars.

I wouldn't hesitate to commission an instrument from a builder that has some experience with this wood.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:58 PM
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I have not used it but I want to try it sometime. I have only heard good things about it. Assuming that it has been properly seasoned, I can't think of a reason not to use it if that's what you want.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:06 PM
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Can you only play Christmas music on that guitar?
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:07 PM
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I live in the land of Douglas Fir trees. They're all around and are used for all types of work including furniture. The old growth tight ring material is gorgeous stuff. If it sounds like it looks, you'll really enjoy it.


For comparison: Doug Fir Tone Wood



Jerry
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:22 PM
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If it's Stefan Sobell then go for it! I played a New World model with a Douglas fir top that was great. But that was, as always, due more to the maker than the materials...
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:49 PM
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The wood in question comes from a very old driftwood tree washed up on Fair Isle, so I suppose it has a bit of innate romance imbued in it.

The builder in question is Scottish luthier Jimmy Moon, who himself was originally from Arran, and the instrument in question is (approximately) a bozouki scale length cittern which will be deployed for both traddy and general use.

I am leaning towards the Douglas Fir.

If anyone knows of any just impediment speak now, or forever...

Also any more info opinions welcome! Thanks good people.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:03 PM
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Hey JCave. A shout out from another Oregonian here. In Portland, but love Zig Zag. God's Country brother. Give a shout if you wish.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:19 PM
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There has been a couple of threads on some of the builder forums lately, mostly very positive. If your builder has built with it and suggests it to you...and you think it's cool as well, I'd say go for it.

I love the idea of using saltwater drifted woods in a guitar myself.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:37 PM
JRB JRB is offline
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Yup, folks on luthier forums seem to like the stuff.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clifton View Post
Can you only play Christmas music on that guitar?
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:50 PM
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We built a couple at McPherson. They sounded like spruce topped McPherson guitars. They weren't the prettiest to look at if you like wood that looks like poundcake though.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:01 PM
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.............
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post
The wood in question comes from a very old driftwood tree washed up on Fair Isle, so I suppose it has a bit of innate romance imbued in it..........
Driftwood fir does not sound like a great choice for a top. If it was exposed to only salt water than it could be OK, but if it was exposed to fresh water, stay away. How could anyone know what drift wood was exposed to?
Why use something like that when there are so many other great choices?
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveS View Post
If it was exposed to only salt water than it could be OK, but if it was exposed to fresh water, stay away.
Why? How would that be different from sinker redwood taken from a river?
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