The Wood

How will my Ancient Kauri bend?

As experienced luthiers know, some grain raising or chipping is common when bending guitar sides. Especially with figured wood, patience is the best tool to use.
Here are some techniques from luthiers experienced with Ancient Kauri.

Stefan Nicholas, an innovative builder of classical guitars, like to use a veneer softener such as Better Bond super Soft. He reports that liberal application over a period of 3-4 days will make your sides very pliable in the mold.
We have used this technique in our shop to good success as well and keep this product on hand.

John Grey, very experienced builder and innovative repair expert, has been a long time friend to Ancientwood.

He reports soaking the sides overnight before boiling them helps the pliability immensely. Should grain lifting occur, dilute your wood glue with one third water for better penetration. A great tip from John, use a wine cork for your clamping caul as it will provide even pressure on the curve.

Joshua Muntur, founder of Homeless Dog Custom guitars, reports it is necessary to allow the sides to dry completely before removing them from the forms.

What does Kauri sound like?
Tone is, of course, very subjective. Jordan Grunow has owned over 40 electric guitars and notes a present upper midrange attack supported by a well balanced and warm sustain in a solid body Kauri Telecaster.
Builders of acoustic guitars have uniformly expressed satisfaction with their instruments.

Do I need pore or grain sealer to finish Ancient Kauri?
No, Ancient Kauri accepts most finishes readily.

What is the specific gravity of Ancient Kauri?
There are accurate measurements for modern Kauri but Ancient Kauri has undergone changes while underground. Within one tree there will be a lot of variation. We can attempt to select density for each customer. The tele body built in house weighed 5.5 lbs before any routing was done.
Jordan Grunow


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