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Sourcing the finest Sitka Spruce tonewood for soundboards available through sustainable forestry and responsible wood use.
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By Vince Gill from
Sounds of Wood and Steel

Tonewood guitar
Click the image for larger view of this guitar made by
Grey Burchette
using our
Sitka Spruce
tone wood!

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About our products

Tonewood Nomenclature, Grading and Sizes.

This is a BRIEF description of "grade on aesthetics" only. Other criteria are also considered. Any wood that meets the criteria for instrument grade is of the highest quality in the overall spectrum of lumber grading. That high quality is divided into the following grade classifications.

Texture is the character of the growth, the ring count. Can be Fine, Coarse, graduating from fine to coarse or somewhat uneven across the board.

Medularies is the cross grain silk that is apparent when a board is cut nearly perfect VG

Stiffness refers to cross grain stiffness

This is brief grade for Guitars and all smaller instruments, also larger instruments up to cello size.
Sometimes grade between 1 and the next is virtually indistinguishable to the untrained eye.

Master Grade has very fine even texture, moderate to strong medularies, very even color. One of those "one in a-thousand" tops

AAA Grade also has very even texture and color, but there is just something that makes it not one of those "one-in a-thousand" tops.

Sitka Spruce

Yellow Cedar Tone Wood

Western Red Cedar

AA grade is a NICE Grade that can have even texture but some subtle color or even color with uneven texture. It is the grade used for most moderate priced [$800-$1000] instruments of manufacturers.

Sitka Spruce

Yellow Cedar

Western Red Cedar

A grade still makes a nice instrument with character. Manufacturers use this grade on their models that average $300-$700. It just has an appearance that won,t allow it into the next grade.

Sitka Spruce

Yellow Cedar

Western Red Cedar

#1 grade is used in the smaller instrument to generalize a- AA/AAA- grades
#2 grade is used in the smaller instrument to generalize a- A-/AA- grades

Double Bass fronts have somewhat different grade criteria in that the texture is considerably coarser over-all, sometimes to ¼" growth ring.

Figured Spruce is divided into 3 categories:

Bear Claw, sometimes called Hazelfichte, is broken into 2 sub-categories of LF [light figure] and FF [full figure], named so by the amount of figure across the board.
As the name implies, it looks as if a bear had dragged it`s claws across the grain, pulling it in that spot. The way it`s cut will alter that effect somewhat. The curl is not the the real strong curl found in Maples, but is more subtle. It is still a beautiful effect of depth.

3-A FF Sitka Spruce

3-A LF Sitka Spruce

2-A FF Sitka Spruce
2-A LF Sitka Spruce

1-A Bear Claw Sitka Spruce

Curl: A wave in the grain very similar to curly maple, but more subtle.

Carved Top Instruments

3-A FF Sitka Spruce

3-A LF Sitka Spruce

2-A FF Sitka Spruce
2-A LF Sitka Spruce

1-A Bear Claw Sitka Spruce

Curl: A wave in the grain very similar to curly maple, but more subtle.

3-A one piece violin tonewood

Violin 1 piece min. size 15" X 9.25" X ¼" thick at center 2 pc wedge set- each pc-15" X 5" X ¼" joining edge X " outside edge

3-A violin wedge

3-A Mandolin Wedge
Mandolin 1 pc- min size 17" X 11" X  7/8" thick at the center 2 pc wedge set- each pc.17" X 5.75" X 1" joining edge  Most mandolin tops are cut 18"-20" long x 6+" wide.

3-A FF Arch-top Wedge
Arch-top guitar Plank cut 2 pc. Book-set, min. pc. size 23" X 9" X 1 1/8" thick
Wedge Cut, 2 pc. Bookset, min pc size 23" X 9" X 1 1/8" X  3/8" at the out side edge. Most arch-top guitar are cut 1 ¼" thick x 10" wide.

3-A NF Plank Cut

3-A Bear Claw Cello
Cello wedges  2 pc. Book-set, min.pc size 34" X 10" x 1 ¼" thick x 3/8" outside edge
Double Bass  2 pc. Book-set, min. pc size- 44" x 14" X 2" X 3/8"  Most are cut 48-51" long X 16-18" wide X 2 ½" thick at the joining edge tapering to ¾"

Flat top instruments

Jumbo/Acoustic Bass Guitar 2 pc set, min. pc size 23.5" x 9.5" x 3/16".
Dreadnaught Guitar- 2 pc Book-set, min. pc size- 22.25" x 8.25" x 3/16"
Classical Guitar- 2 pc. Book-set, min. pc size 20" long x 7.5" x 3/16"
Flat top mandolin- 2 pc. Bookset, min. pc size 17" x 5 1/2'" x 3/16"
Ukulele Tonewood 2 pc set- min pc size-  13"x 5"x
Mountain Dulcimer/Flamenco Guitar Sides- 2 pc set-min. pc size, 34"X 4.25" X 3/16" *will cut larger by request*
Harp Guitar 2pc bookset. Min. pc size 46" X 9" X 3/16"

*most all the flat top stock is surfaced to 5mm thick

Other Tonewood Products

Native Flute Stock
Small-min. size, 2"x2"x 23"
Large- min size, 2.5"x 2.5"x 35"
Sold by the board foot not by the piece.
For comparison, other vendors sell by the piece and when the volume is calculated, that volume is about .2bdft[2/10ths bdft] 1 bdft = 144 cu. Inches.
The bracewood is random size pieces. These are from the correction wedges and end trims from guitar blocks.
Block stock  2" [thick] x 3" -6"[wide] x whatever length, 6"-23" and also sold by the bdft

Ordering notes
From the ONLINE STORE you will see most of what we cut and or stock.
If something is not listed, we can most likely cut it for you.

If you are rebuilding an instrument that is peculiar in size, like a bouzouki, or if you are building an over-size mandolin (and the regular top is too small and the archtop guitar is too big) contact me. I may have stock that is just right or just slightly oversize, such as a small body archtop. We are a violin tonewood suppliers and much more

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