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Author Topic: Wood Choices...  (Read 26630 times)

Offline Lwinn171

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Wood Choices...
« on: August 13, 2006, 12:46:34 AM »
I just read the bit on the Parker website about wood (in the factory tour section). I love it! As a woodworker, I am constantly digging through piles of rough lumber, looking for the "diamonds in the rough". My ability to choose great pieces of rough lumber caught the eye of my main supplier, now they set aside (or point out) cool pieces when I show up. Great guys, at the Hardwood Store of NC.(Sorry for the plug, but they by God deserve it).
 I've been thinking though...why not a cherry Fly? Why not a walnut Fly? Zebrawood? (Okay, that would cost a bit more). But seriously, there are a lot of woods to choose from. It seems to me that one of the things inherent to Parkers is a fairly bright tone. The stainless steel frets and carbon-fiber exoskeleton seem to make for an over-all emphasis on the over-tones, generally. Cherry and walnut would darken the sound a bit, mellowing it, as does the mahogany models. It would also give us some more interesting Fly finishes to look at. Cherry and walnut often have stunning figure (If you get the good stuff, with cherry...more hit and miss with walnut). The Curly cherry can be as wild as maple can get, usually more quilted than tiger-stripe. Walnut with curl is incredible, but usually limited to small areas.
  Anyway, show me the wood! Domestically grown hardwoods are available at reasonable prices (roughly the same or less than mahogany and maple-grades not withstanding). Limited editions? Custom oders? Any one else like to see a Figured cherry fly?

Lawrence Winn
"42.7 percent of all statistics are made-up on the spot."
2001 Fly Classic, Green
Larivee Parlour Guitar
Several inferior others
Mesa Boogie MK IV
Marshall 2-12 cab

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Wood Choices...

Offline loumt123

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2006, 02:44:59 AM »
a splated maple fly...or...Paduak...or my favorite...

BUCKEYE BURL [:p]


mmmm exotic woods
 

Wood Choices...

Offline 908ssp

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2006, 08:42:43 AM »
Ken did a lot of experimenting in 1993 and 94 with different woods. I think he decided what was working best and what was the most consistent. This is really important because you don't want to put a lot of work into a guitar only to find that particular piece of wood doesn't sound like another. Also I read that Ken used ceder for time and half the staff was allergic so he had to stop. It is reported that the guitars with a redwood neck can be too boomy for example while others were fine. Figured redwood for the body would be amazing. John P has mentioned that different woods are a prime example of what they are willing to do in the custom shop. For me the added cost and wait of custom is hard to endure, but I may do it yet primarily to get a thicker neck.
[^]

Alex

Alex

[IMG]http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r245/908ssp/ThumbNails/_1010802.jpg[/IMG

Wood Choices...

Offline Lwinn171

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2006, 11:59:43 PM »
Redwood, or any other burl, is a bit difficult to machine, although not impossible, but it's hard to find (ie. expensive as %$#@!) pieces big enough to do a whole guitar body. Difficult to machine, because the grain runs every possible direction, swirling in all 3 dimensions (maybe more, LOL).
   That's why burl is most often used as a veneer, making the most use out of the tiny portion available from any given tree (usually the base, or stump of the tree will display this figure). The grain problem also means an unpredictable (stability-wise) product, done in solid form (like a one-piece body, say). Using it as a veneer allows a stable substrate, of stable straight grained wood, to stabilize the wild grain.
  Two things worry me about mahogany, though. And Parker has made plaenty of mahogany models, mine (2001 Classic) included. Problem 1: There are, like 60 or 70 species of mahogany, from different places, around the globe. They differ more than you'd think, Asian mahogany's being lighter and easier to carve, but less stable and strong. Less dense and lightly colored, too. There's a lot of this being sold as mahogany (with no disclaimer). The better mahogany comes from (you guessed it) the rain forrest of Central America. The very best comes from Cuba (if Castro dies and we can get it, Parker should buy ALL THEY CAN, and SO SHOULD I). African mahogany is good as well, but usually more brown than red. So, problem one: What Kind of mahogany? From where?
  Problem 2: What is the harvesting doing to the local landscape, wherever it's coming from. Mahogany doesn't grow in stands. It grows about 2 or maybe 3 trees to an acre, and that's a GOOD acre. 75 acres might only have a dozen trees. Or none at all. It won't grow any closer to itself than that. The tree's are huge, but so is the demand, and they take 50 plus years to mature. This means alot of other stuff gets cleared to grab a money (I mean mahogany) tree. This worries me. Some forrests are well managed, others not so. Certification seems dodgy, and hard to verify, although there are some folks out there dedicated to doing so. It is my hope that Parker is careful about their sourcing.
  A domestic hardwood would solve all these issues. I'll still take all the Cuban mahogany I can get my hands on. (It's actually worth the moral sacrifice, so beautiful). So, like any woodworker, I'm a hypocrite. But it does worry me.
  Thanks for reading my diatribe...

Lawrence Winn
"42.7 percent of all statistics are made-up on the spot."
2001 Fly Classic, Green
Larivee Parlour Guitar
Several inferior others
Mesa Boogie MK IV
Marshall 2-12 cab
« Last Edit: August 14, 2006, 01:47:07 AM by Lwinn171 »

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Wood Choices...

Offline Bill

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2006, 07:02:50 AM »
That was a good kind of rant.[:)]

Of course Martin (and others) have come out with a series of "rain forest safe" woods that are supposedly certified to come from "managed" forests so we can all pay a little extra and feel better about cutting down a 100 plus year old tree.

I don't mean to sound cynical as I do think its a start and appreciate the effort and it gets awareness out there that with the world population explosion, it is our individual and national responcibility to replenish what we consume, recycle what we excrete, and generally become "carbon neutral". Of course only a minority of populations will do this voluntarily as most are fine to shoving the problems they create off to the next generation to wollow in. Of course such irresponsible action goes against all conservative ideals, all liberal ideals, and most of the world religion's ideals. But if nothing else, we humans have used our big brains to become great rationalizers.

No doubt Haiti had Mahogony every bit as good as Cuba. Overpopulation (and world demand) resulted in total deforestation that is directly responsible to the poverty and misery there. A microcosm of things to come on a grand (worldwide) scale?

I know this started with wood. How can I turn this rant back on topic? I'll close by saying(to no one in particular)

Put that in your burl and smoke it [:D] [:D] [:D]

(burl is also used for pipes of course).

Custom '03 Hardtail Artist ; Fly Deluxe 2000; Gibson ES137; 1974 K.Yari DY85; Waterproof SchecterDisposable; Martin Backpacker/paddle combo;LarriveeParlor
« Last Edit: August 14, 2006, 07:11:17 AM by Bill »
A few Flys in my soup

Wood Choices...

Offline Bill

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2006, 07:09:55 AM »
PS. Sanctamonius ass that I am, I'm almost sure I can rationalize with the best of them....[}:)]

Custom '03 Hardtail Artist ; Fly Deluxe 2000; Gibson ES137; 1974 K.Yari DY85; Waterproof SchecterDisposable; Martin Backpacker/paddle combo;LarriveeParlor
A few Flys in my soup

Wood Choices...

Offline Lwinn171

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2006, 01:17:40 PM »
I agree with your points about politics and religion, Bill. Greed at the expense of the only conveniently located planet we can survive on, goes against practically every true ideology. There are those from every category whose greed outweighs what we all know to be right. They do so to the detriment of us all, and especially for those to come. I'll be the first to admit, I've used wood in many pieces of furniture that I can't vouch for, in these kinds of terms. We're not talking about much wood, really; and sure, it was already cut and dried before I showed up to buy it (rationalizing begins)... It's true, though, that manufacturers dealing with large quantities of wood, have the buying power to effect change. The guitar industry (because of the few who've shown interest) has done more than the furniture industry, which only discusses the topic in magazines devoted to the individual woodworker. So much of the furniture today is coming from the 3rd world, who knows what's going on with those forests. I can only imagine.
  So, I've made the switch to using "primarily" domestically grown hardwoods in my furniture. I try to minimize any use that is quetionable. And I planted 3 trees this year. I plan to plant more this coming year. Maybe by the time I die, I can replace the wood I've used, and then some...

Lawrence Winn
"42.7 percent of all statistics are made-up on the spot."
2001 Fly Classic, Green
Larivee Parlour Guitar
Several inferior others
Mesa Boogie MK IV
Marshall 2-12 cab

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Wood Choices...

Offline Bill

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2006, 05:58:19 PM »
Lawrence,I know we always tend to agree. [:)]

Like you,I also love beautiful (exotic) wood. It only makes good since to treat it as a sustainable resource (as well as a living organism).

Of course human encroachment (over population of humans resulting in loss of habitat for non humans) is the primary reason for deforestation. The increased consumptive demand (more people will desire more wood products) is the secondary reason. In fact, managed forests for sustainable lumbar is only possible when/where land is more valuble for lumber than it is for farmland or condos. In that since, its good to keep demand (price) for lumber high in developed countries. Only if demand is high does it make since to replant. Unfortounatly the reverse is true for "developing countries".

Controlling Human population is the ultimate key. War and pestulance has historically served that purpose well. If we wish less war and pestulence we need to "evolve" a collective conscience that understands the importance of population control.

Bottom line: Better to have excess guitars than excess kids [:)]

Planting a meaninful tree is one of the most gracious and selfless acts modern man can do. It will be of no use to you. Only to those who come after. My hats off to you. [:)]



Custom '03 Hardtail Artist ; Fly Deluxe 2000; Gibson ES137; 1974 K.Yari DY85; Waterproof SchecterDisposable; Martin Backpacker/paddle combo;LarriveeParlor
A few Flys in my soup

Wood Choices...

Offline Lwinn171

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2006, 01:13:40 AM »
Bill,
On the bright side, due to global warming, I'll soon be able to grow Cuban mahogany and rosewood right here in NC. I'll have to get a summer (spring/fall) home in Nova Scotia, to beat the heat, but I'll be able to afford it with just one tree!

Lawrence Winn
"42.7 percent of all statistics are made-up on the spot."
2001 Fly Classic, Green
Larivee Parlour Guitar
Several inferior others
Mesa Boogie MK IV
Marshall 2-12 cab

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Wood Choices...

Offline uburoibob

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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2006, 06:56:15 AM »
Lawrence. you are underestimating global warming. I have a cuban mahogany tree already growing in Rochester, NY! It's crowding out the palm trees. [;)][}:)]

Bob

2000 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail  *  1999 Parker Fly Deluxe w/DiBurro Roland Mod Metallic Red  * 1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue (thanks, Darren!) •  Now on a signature reduction program! Just the Flies, maam. *  www.rtmadvertising.com
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 06:56:39 AM by uburoibob »
1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com

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Offline Bill

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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2006, 04:34:58 PM »
Quote
Originally posted by uburoibob

Lawrence. you are underestimating global warming. I have a cuban mahogany tree already growing in Rochester, NY! It's crowding out the palm trees. -- Bob[;)][}:)]


Bob, Are you sure those are Palm Trees? [:D]



Custom '03 Hardtail Artist ; Fly Deluxe 2000; Gibson ES137; 1974 K.Yari DY85; Waterproof SchecterDisposable; Martin Backpacker/paddle combo;LarriveeParlor
A few Flys in my soup

Wood Choices...

Offline uburoibob

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2006, 08:38:37 PM »
Yeah - Palm trees. You cut em, dry em, smoke em, and they make you feel funny. Palm trees!

Bob

2000 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail  *  1999 Parker Fly Deluxe w/DiBurro Roland Mod Metallic Red  * 1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue (thanks, Darren!) •  Now on a signature reduction program! Just the Flies, maam. *  www.rtmadvertising.com
1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com

Wood Choices...

Offline GuitarGuy510

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2006, 09:06:24 PM »
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you use some of those other woods, you could probably kiss the whole 4-6 lb Fly goodbye, which is part of the appeal of the Fly! [:D]  FWIW, my Thorn will be made out of a 1-piece walnut body and a bookmatched HIGHLY figured FLAMED WALNUT top!!!  The body is chambered to reduce the weight, and aside from the fact that I wouldn't feel safe with a guitar that expensive on stage, it will probably never leave my house due to the weight even after the chambering! [;)]

-[matt]-

My Gear:
Thorn # 153 (in progress), Parker Fly Deluxe and Nitefly-M, PRS CE-24

Egnater M4, Mesa 50/50, EarCandy BuzzBombs, Mesa Thiele (EVM12-L)

PumaBoard #11, HBE Psilocybe, Boss DD-20, BYOC Delay and Deluxe Chorus, Line 6 Verbzilla
-[matt]-

My Gear:
Thorn # 153
Assorted other guitars :)

Hughes and Kettner - TriAmp MKII Alex Lifeson sig model

Bogner 4x12 cabinet

Wood Choices...

Offline Lwinn171

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2006, 02:30:05 AM »
Walnut and cherry both weigh less than maple and mahogany. Show us a pic of your Thorn when you get it, though... sounds beautiful...

Lawrence Winn
"42.7 percent of all statistics are made-up on the spot."
2001 Fly Classic, Green
Larivee Parlour Guitar
Several inferior others
Mesa Boogie MK IV
Marshall 2-12 cab

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic, 98 Deluxe
various amps, various toys

Wood Choices...

Offline kwcabs

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Wood Choices...
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2006, 03:48:27 AM »
Back to the different woods side of this thread, I totally agree, and I actually had a similar thread going somewhere else on here.  There are a host of different woods out there that would make awesome guitars for Parker.  908 mentioned Ken having done a lot of work with other woods, it may be possible and I don't doubt it, but I would largely bet that Ken's ultimate choice to use Poplar, Mahogany, and Maple came down to marketing and business.  And as for the added weight of exotics, it is possible, but with such a small piece of wood that is in a Parker, I would bet that really heavy lumbers wouldn't influence the weigh by more than about a pound.  Another thing that gets me is that we keep hearing from people that the custom shop is willing to use different woods, but has anyone actually ever seen one?  I would love to see a fly made from something else.  There was one bronze fly variety for a time on Roman's site that was what looked like curly walnut or perhaps figured bubinga in burst of sort.  Really gorgeous.  It's around somewhere here on the site, as I think I had a link to the pic up somewhere.  But what gets me is, not only do we hear about these guitars and never see them, but we're also told that the custom shop is really big $.  I've never fully understood this coming from smaller sized manufacturers, and make no mistake Parker while still growing is no where near the size of most of the other brand names.  In fact, to a large extent their guitars are still very hand made, which is why I don't understand the premium $ standpoint.  To my knowledge they aren't really running a production line facility although now with the move to US Music that may have changed.  Fact is that these exotic lumbers, take Zebrawood for instance wouldn't cost any more than a piece of mild flame maple, and when you talk about the actual $ involved we're talking single digits.  Most of the cost assoiciated with custom shop instruments and products comes from the fact that an object as to be removed from the production line and therefore individual consideration has to be put forth for it. A friend of mine once wanted to order a custom bass from Ibanez, all he wanted was no fret board markers, less work right?  Well they wanted almost $800 extra for that, really rediculous.  PRS will charge 10k for a private stock, and the only differences are usually about a $20 more piece of wood and sometimes fancier materials for the birds.  Some companies have their reasons, and some have justifiable ones, but in my opinion most companies don't bother, or try to charge so much for custom work that it is used as a deterrant simply so they don't have to interupt the normal operational flow.  Now, that rant withstanding, if anyone out there has a custom Parker please post pics, everyone wants to see them, in fact, I really think that Parker should start a small photo gallery section of their custom shops the same way that PRS has a section dedicated to Private Stock photos.  Aside from a few cool paint job Parkers, I have only seen three really interesting different parkers, the one I mentioned above and two natural amazing flame maple supremes, and I even visited the factory. Anyway, sorry to make it a long post, but like Lwinn I've always been very dissappointed at this aspect.  Hell they can use Bubinga and Mappa Burl on the P series, but the premium line gets Tulipwood (aka a stainted instead of painted deluxe) and butternut, nice but far from interesting.

Owner of KWCABS guitar speaker cabinets.  We specialize in making simply the best speaker cabinets out there, constructed out of top-quality hardwoods, standard lines as well as custom work.  WWW.KWCABS.COM

Check out my Parker Supreme here www.kwcabs.com/parker%20page.htm

Kurt Wyberanec
Owner of KWCABS guitar speaker cabinets.  We specialize in making simply the best speaker cabinets out there, constructed out of top-quality hardwoods, standard lines as well as custom work.  WWW.KWCABS.COM

Check out my Parker Supreme here www.kwcabs.com/parker%20page.htm