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Custom Shop Home: On Wood

At Ballurio Guitars, we select only the highest grade woods for our custom electric guitars. We choose woods for their stability, acoustic properties and appearance. At Ballurio Guitars, we strive to use only woods that are not over-forested or endangered.

We purchase woods from multiple sources including independent, small wood clearing projects and kiln operators who provide some of our "exotics."

For additional information on currently available wood please see our Wood Bank section.

The following snapshots illustrate some of the various woods we use.  (We will be adding more pictures in the near-future)

Northern White Ash (Filled & Finished) Basswood (Finished) Kingswood
Quarter Sawn Hard Maple (Finished) Bird's Eye Hard Maple (Finished) Figured Hard Maple (Finished)
Honduras Mahogany (Filled & Finished) African Padauk (Filled & Finished) Purple Heart
Black Walnut (Filled & Finished) Figured Black Walnut (Filled & Finished) ZebraWood (Filled & Finished)
Indian Rosewood (320 Sanding)

Wood Stock List

Wood Cost Usages Tone Notes
Top Body Neck Fb
Northern White Ash

(Fraxinus americana)

L Y Y Y N

Bright and loud (growls) with a strong clear bass and mid range.
Northern White Ash is a great tone wood with fine definition and grain, very strong.

 

 

Basswood

(Tilia americana)

L Y Y N N Basswood has a nice, warm tone, that lacks a strong bottom, but the mid range is consistent.  It is an excellent when used in  combination with Maple. Basswood is a very light-weight wood, light in color and can have color discolorations.  Because of its softness, it is not a great wood for clear finishes.
Yellow Poplar

(Liriodendron tulipifera

L Y Y N N Poplar has a nice, warm tone similar to Basswood with slightly more bottom, and consistent mid range.  In addition it has slightly more dynamics then Basswood making an excellent choice for both complete bodies as well as through-body wings. Poplar is a light-weight wood, color can range from light tan to green and can can have color discolorations.  Generally it does not make a good choice for clear finishes.
Bloodwood

(Brosium paraense)

M Y Y Y Y   We have suspended use of this wood
Bocote H Y Y Y Y  
Cherry

(Prunus serotina)

M Y Y 2 N Density is similar to Maple but without its projection and weight. It has a consistent bottom, rich mid range and good warm upper.  Very consistent overall tonal characteristics.  A fine choice when used for a chambered body guitar.

Very difficult to find cherry without gum pockets.

Figured Cherry H Y Y N N See cherry Difficult to find pieces  without gum pockets
Cypress

(Cupressus lindeyi)

M Y 2 N N  
Ebony

(Diospyrus crassiflora & Diospyros celebica)

H 1 N 1 Y  
Kingwood

(Dalbergia cearensis)

H 1 N 1 Y The tone is bright, similar to Hard Maple. Highs are a bit restrained due to the oil content of the wood.
Koa

(Acacia koa)

H 1 1 1 Y Koa is a nice sounding wood that favors the middle range.  We generally laminate Maple veneer to help project and focus the woods higher tonal properties. Wood is not consistent as many variation of this wood can take place.
Macacauba

(Platymiscium pinnatum)

H N N 1 Y The tone is bright with an overall tone similar to Hard Maple, but warmer. The highs are a bit restrained due to the oil content of the wood.  Very difficult to work this wood and we currently have a small quantity for fingerboards only.  Future availability of this wood is in question.
Mahogany

(Swietenia macrophylla)

H Y Y Y N Tone is full and warm and nice sustain. Mahogany is a medium wood with nice grain. Mahogany and Maple are an excellent combination.
Hard Maple 

(Acer saccharum)

M Y Y Y Y The tone is very bright with very good sustain.
Figured Maple H Y Y Y Y See Hard Maple
Soft Maple

(Acer rubrum,  A. saccharinum, A. negundo, & A. machrophyllum)

M Y Y N Soft Maple is slightly softer and heavier than Hard Maple although its tone is similar with a compression of the upper-range and a fall off towards the lower range. This can cause a dulling on tone. 
Honey Mesquite

(Prosopis juliflora)

H Y 1 1 Y  
Ipe 

(Tabebuia serratifolia)

H N N N Y The tone is bright with an overall tone similar to Hard Maple with highs are a bit restrained due to the silicon content of the wood.  It does make and excellent fingerboard wood. Very difficult to work this wood and we currently only use it for fingerboards.
African Padauk

(Pterocarpus soyauxii)

H Y Y Y Y The tone is bright with an overall tone similar to Hard Maple, but warmer. The highs are a bit restrained due to the oil content of the wood.   Slightly difficult to work this wood because of its density and grain.  Finishes  well with a great look and warm feel.
Purpleheart

(Peltogyne pubescens)

M Y Y Y Y The tone is bright with an overall tone similar to Hard Maple, but warmer.  The highs are a bit restrained due to the oil content of the wood.  

Very difficult to work because of the density and grain.  Finishes  well, with great look and dramatic color.

Redwood

(Sequoia sempervirens)

H Y Y N N Exceptionally warm ton, consistent and overall balanced.  Makes and exceptional top wood & body core.  
Redwood Vavona Burl

(Sequoia sempervirens)

H Y N N N Many of the characteristic of the woods found higher in the tree, however with age added density of the wood changes as does some of its attributes, the natural projection increases as well as the dynamics making for exceptional and exciting top wood   Downside, if not properly handled, can shatter.  Overall burls that have substantial age can be very fragile.  Tops made from this wood are exceptional in appearance and acoustical properties, however must be properly maintained.
Sycamore

(Platanus occidentalis)

L Y Y N N  
Tulipwood

(Dalbergia frutenscens)

H 1 1 1 Y The tone is bright and similar to Hard Maple. The highs are a bit restrained due to the oil content of the wood.   Very hard to find this wood in anything with width much greater then a fingerboard.
Black Walnut

(Juglans nigra)

M Y Y Y N The overall tone is similar to Hard Maple with a restrained upper range and deeper lower. The overall tone is warm. Black Walnut is a beautiful wood with exceptional figure and feel.

 

Figured Black Walnut H Y 1 1 N See Black Walnut
African Zebrawood/Zebrano

(Microberlinia brazzavillensis)

H Y 1 N N Tone is similar to Hard Maple with a slight restriction on the highs. Slightly temperamental wood to work.
  1. Can be used but cost makes it prohibitive

  2. Can be used if properly laminated