Redwood top?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Paul Micheletti
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by Paul Micheletti » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:53 pm

One more point that I haven't seen listed here. Redwood is the easiest wood to dent. If you think cedar shows every single nail dent and blemish from handling, wait until you see how easily dents can be put into Redwood. I understand that the sinker redwood does not dent quite as easily as recently cut redwood, but that is just an anecdote I've heard.

Alan Carruth
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by Alan Carruth » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:25 pm

That's odd: all the redwood I've used has much more surface hardness than cedar, and it can be a lot like the harder spruces. All woods vary, of course; the stuff I've had was on the dense side. Maybe you got some light stuff?

Paul Micheletti
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by Paul Micheletti » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:46 pm

I have not used it myself. But I was in a steel string making class where a number of builders were using redwood tops. Those tops were fragile and dented much more easily than cedar.

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andreas777
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by andreas777 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:31 pm

I just saw an online ad that someone in my neighborhood must cut his 25m high redwood tree and wants to give away the wood for free. I don't know if this is of interest for a luthier in Germany...
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Alan Carruth
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by Alan Carruth » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:07 pm

That's interesting: all of the redwood I've used has had greater surface hardness than cedar, and been far less prone to dents. Curious. Maybe we don't get the good light stuff out here on the right coast.

Jim Frieson
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by Jim Frieson » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:45 am

It is tempting to compare , especially since redwood can look an awful lot like cedar .
But it is really not like cedar nor is it like spruce .
It is in a category unto itself , and like spruce , varies in density .
Personally , subjectively , I find the tone I get out of it rich and full and capable of great response to delicacy of touch .

lux
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by lux » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:02 pm

I think redwood tends to be a "wood of opportunity" for some builders on the West Coast. In extreme northwestern California there are a couple of stump millers who go out to private landholders and bid on stump wood. Most big redwoods were felled with 3-8' of stump left in the ground, which then resprouts with wild abandon. Stump wood is a niche market; most people who want redwood want longer lumber. But if you just need a 20" long board, old-growth wood is still available without downing any new trees. You just have to know where to look -- easy to say if you live in the area. I bought some stump wood from a miller in Crescent City, CA for a small greenhouse some years back. At the same time, I searched through as many of his wood piles as I could, looking for prospective soundboards. I found nothing but wide growth rings and very soft wood, frequently with small pockets of punky peck that aren't always visible upon casual inspection. Some great guitars have been made with redwood soundboards, but as with so many "alternative" woods, it is the exceptional flitch, not the typical one, that will have the characteristics sought after by builders. Most lumber yards don't mill their wood in a way that yields boards that will be acceptable for resawing into soundboards. There will be just ONE board from each flat-sawn stack that has any potential at all.

Not only would a typical piece of quarter-sawn redwood not make a great soundboard, it would most likely make a substandard one, IMO. But if you manage to find that elusive needle in the haystack, by all means, go for it.

Alan Carruth
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by Alan Carruth » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:00 pm

Some of the 'stump' redwood that I've gotten has been notably low in stiffness and high in damping. I suspect (but can't prove) that the built-in stress of the lower pat of the tree has a lot to do with that. I think there were reasons that they left the stumps. OTOH, the famous 'LS' redwood stump that Craig Carter cut was excellent wood. As always, there's no substitute for actually measuring the properties of the piece you've got.

hatalap
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by hatalap » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:57 am

I recently had a redwood top and cherry back and sides guitar made for me by Andy Culpepper. I can't say enough about it or Andy as a builder. It is not traditional, and I'm okay with that.
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Muggins Simoon
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by Muggins Simoon » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:54 am

My 1995 Schneider Sequoia top. It has a fantastic tone. Warm, rich, powerful, balanced. Love it.
A0EE151D-B2A6-4730-8910-D67A719579FF.jpeg
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2011 Mathieu Trepanier Sitka/Koa
2000 Otto Vowinkel Concert Spruce/Brazilian
1998 Christopher Dean Spruce/Indian
1995 Richard Schneider Sequoia/Brazilian
1979 Dauphin Model 40 (Japan-signed label) Cedar/Indian

SteveL123
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:49 pm

lux wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:02 pm
...................................................................................................... Most big redwoods were felled with 3-8' of stump left in the ground, which then resprouts with wild abandon. Stump wood is a niche market; most people who want redwood want longer lumber. But if you just need a 20" long board, old-growth wood is still available without downing any new trees. You just have to know where to look -- easy to say if you live in the area. I bought some stump wood from a miller in Crescent City, CA for a small greenhouse some years back. At the same time, I searched through as many of his wood piles as I could, looking for prospective soundboards. I found nothing but wide growth rings and very soft wood, frequently with small pockets of punky peck that aren't always visible upon casual inspection. Some great guitars have been made with redwood soundboards, but as with so many "alternative" woods, it is the exceptional flitch, not the typical one, that will have the characteristics sought after by builders. Most lumber yards don't mill their wood in a way that yields boards that will be acceptable for resawing into soundboards. There will be just ONE board from each flat-sawn stack that has any potential at all.

Not only would a typical piece of quarter-sawn redwood not make a great soundboard, it would most likely make a substandard one, IMO. But if you manage to find that elusive needle in the haystack, by all means, go for it.
I recall a manager of a garden nursery told me many years ago that if you cut a deciduous tree down, it will send shoots and sprouts up. Not so with evergreens (conifers). I am from the east coast and have personally observed that to be true, i.e. I have seen shoots growing out of the stump of a White Oak and a Sweet Gum (both deciduous trees), but have seen not shoots from the stump of a pine tree. These are all trees in our yard.

May I ask if you have actually seen sprouts growing out of a Redwood stump?
A Redwood is a conifer and evergreen, right?

Sequoia
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by Sequoia » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:21 pm

"May I ask if you have actually seen sprouts growing out of a Redwood stump?
A Redwood is a conifer and evergreen, right?"

I live in the Santa Cruz mountain where redwoods grow. Yes, there will be sprouts when a trunk is cut if the trees is 6" or more. The same goes with all the spruce species in the Chrismas tree farm around here.

I believe it's just the pinus family that will not sprout.

Sequoia
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by Sequoia » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:44 pm

Can someone show me how to attach a picture to a "reply", I've tied and failed. Thanks

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pogmoor
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by pogmoor » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:56 pm

Sequoia wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:44 pm
Can someone show me how to attach a picture to a "reply", I've tied and failed. Thanks
Have you read the instructions here: viewtopic.php?f=30&t=49807#p11241?

Once you have a picture file in the right format (and size) click the Attachments tab below the composing window; then click the Add files button and navigate to your picture file and click OK - and there you have it.
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Paul Fischer (1995) and Lester Backshall (2008)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014), Ramirez Guitarra del Tiempo (2017)

SteveL123
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Re: Redwood top?

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:35 pm

Sequoia wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:21 pm
"May I ask if you have actually seen sprouts growing out of a Redwood stump?
A Redwood is a conifer and evergreen, right?"

I live in the Santa Cruz mountain where redwoods grow. Yes, there will be sprouts when a trunk is cut if the trees is 6" or more. The same goes with all the spruce species in the Chrismas tree farm around here.

I believe it's just the pinus family that will not sprout.
It appears Redwood is one of the few conifers that stump sprouts. http://www.forestryforum.com/board/inde ... #msg669133

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