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Old 01-29-2022, 10:41 AM
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Default Weight of maple

Quick question. How heavy a wood is maple, say, compared to cocobolo?

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Old 01-29-2022, 10:58 AM
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The Wood Database is the best source for this kind of stuff: https://www.wood-database.com/

Hard maple is 44 lbs per cubic foot.
Cocobolo is 69 lbs per cubic foot...

so the maple is about 1/3 lighter
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Old 01-29-2022, 11:48 AM
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Keep in mind that a good luthier will probably make the back&sides of the guitar of different thicknesses for different woods, so 2 very similar guitars will not necessarily show that kind of difference in weight when you pick them up -
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadol View Post
Keep in mind that a good luthier will probably make the back&sides of the guitar of different thicknesses for different woods, so 2 very similar guitars will not necessarily show that kind of difference in weight when you pick them up -
I’m glad you brought this up Tad. My SCGC Euro/Cocobolo OMG (0000 - sized) is lighter than most of my OM guitars.
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Old 01-29-2022, 02:42 PM
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Also, there are many species of maple used in lutherie, and Eastern sugar maple approaches twice the weight of Western Big Leaf (my favorite domestic maple), with typical European "maple" (a sycamore, they say) being somewhere in between.
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Old 02-02-2022, 02:12 AM
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... and there's differences within each species. Often quite significant differences. The good luthier will tune the pieces according to what is wanted.
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Old 02-02-2022, 07:27 AM
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I would add beware of the point estimates of average dried weight on websites. These are based on variable sample sizes and do not represent the range of a species. The specific gravity range numbers on that website begin to provide a hint on this. Some Hard Maples overlap with the lower ranges of Rosewoods.

As others have said, on average Hard Maple < European Sycamore or Red Maple < Bigleaf Maple (these are the most common maples used in guitars). Backs and rims can be thinned to compensate for inherent density, but there is a mechanical limit to that limits fully matching the weight (e.g., Cocobolo vs. one of the Maples).
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:30 AM
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It’s weighing on me that I don’t have good maple boxed guitar.
I want one, because they often sound wonderful.
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Old 02-02-2022, 11:48 AM
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I would like to add that my “seat of the pants” comments re Maple weight a few posts ago were not science based, but rather subjective impressions from handling many example of maple over the years. Actual data shows that while Rock Maple does indeed approach twice the weight/density of Big Leaf, it is actually only a little over half again the density. This kind of approximate generalization works better for lutherie than it does for science, apparently. Thank goodness I am a luthier.
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