The Parker Guitars Forum

Let's Hear and See Your Parker => Show Us Your Parker => Topic started by: simonlock on July 11, 2009, 10:37:22 AM

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Post by: simonlock on July 11, 2009, 10:37:22 AM
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 10:38:59 AM
Now I ___really____ hate you!
[:)]


EDIT: Are these plank or quarter sawn?

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 10:42:14 AM
that one is obviously slab cut.  Beautiful though.  I think some Jerome Little knobs are in order for that guitar.
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 10:54:48 AM
I'm a bit of a wood novice; how can you tell without seeing the sides?

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: danjazzny on July 11, 2009, 12:31:53 PM
Another outstanding Fly Simon! [:D][8D]

'97 Alex Artist ; '99 Simonized Artist; '97 Custom Red Artist; '98 Custom Tobacco Artist (Hardtail); '96 Dayn Deluxe (Hardtail); Line6 Flextone 3 Amp; Line 6 Vetta II Amp
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Post by: Marco76 on July 11, 2009, 12:35:24 PM
Thanks for the photos; #20 is now in the Guide. Whenever possible, I'd like to include the serial number and even the weight. Could you provide these? Do you know how many were in the series altogether?
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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 12:41:41 PM
Titus,

If the billet was quarter sawn you would see annual rings that were straight, like you see in the spruce top of an acoustic guitar or even an Artist or a Bronze.  Since in Simon's guitar you see the rings going in sort of waves that would be slab cut. If I could draw a little picture it would be easy to see. My Bastogne Fly is slab cut too.



Here we go....

(http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s217/cy2989/treesection.jpg)
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 01:11:03 PM
quote:
Originally posted by cy2989

Titus,

If the billet was quarter sawn you would see annual rings that were straight, like you see in the spruce top of an acoustic guitar or even an Artist or a Bronze.




Thanks for the info.

Like this?

(http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv301/Titus_Pullo_photos/close_tw-1.jpg)

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 01:19:05 PM
Yes, that is slab but.  Sometimes slab but is more attractive due to the crazy things the grain does.  In a soundboard, like an acoustic top, you don't want that because quarter cut gives the greatest stiffness and stability.  A slab cut acoustic top would not vibrate symetrically and might even warp in strange ways over time.  It's not an issue for solid body electrics though as the body is so thick.
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 01:20:17 PM
quote:
Originally posted by cy2989

Yes, that is slab but.  


That's odd, because it's a shot of a Tulipwood LE!

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 01:29:46 PM
Not all the Tulipwoods were quarter sawn.  I had one that was almost quarter sawn.  It was number 9 if I remember.  Your picture is absolutely slab cut.

(http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s217/cy2989/Tulipwood%20Fly/IMG_7672.jpg)

See the difference?
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 01:34:33 PM
Hmm ... Mark F. would swear differently (#7). It's almost as if it's half and half - half the grain is straight up and down, while the other has some figuring.

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 01:37:32 PM
I used to be a violin maker.  I know about wood and how it is cut for instrument making.  With all due respect to Mark F, your picture is slab cut.

Even mine, with the grain looking so straight, was not perfectly quarter cut.  If you looked at the end grain you would see it was running at a severe slant.  Good quarter cut boards are perfectly perpendicular.
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 01:42:03 PM
Anyway, the way it was explained to me, the Q-sawn wood boards are taken from a log that's been cut into quarter chunks and the billets are taken from those quarter cuts.

As one travels up and around the quarter chunk, the grain will change from completely straight lines to a mixture of lines and figure.

You have to visualize the board representation in your graphic moving up and around (to obtain a large enough billet) the 1/4 chunk to see what was explained to me, but I'll ask again for clarification.

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 02:00:03 PM
You're confusing figure, which is the flame that you see running perpendicular to the grain in curly maple or my Bastogne Fly, with the annual rings.  Quarter cut boards are taken just as my diagram shows.  The explanation you were given isn't correct.  Actually the logs are split into billets that from a cross section perspective look like a wedge or a piece of pie.  Those billets are then cut into smaller wedges so that the annual rings are perpendicular to the flat surface of the wood.  Two of the smaller wedges are planed and joined together to form a top.
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 02:16:46 PM
I think I understand what you're saying, thanks. I've pretty much got it --all but the last part. I lose my way where the wedges are cut so the annual rings remain perpendicular to the flat surface.

I've a pie cut piece of log that's 1/4th. of the total circumference.
I cut out a full wedge as I move up the log. Question:
How are the cuts made so that the lines are (a) always straight without fanning the angle of the saw to the wood?

What am I missing?

Are the quarter-sawn Parkers a myth as per true quarter-sawn wood goes?
It would seem like only one or two (tree size depending) pieces of wood that would fit your description are available - true?

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 02:18:36 PM
Maybe Bob can speak to the source ...
... Bob?

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: Marco76 on July 11, 2009, 02:30:00 PM
In the diagram, a quarter-sawn board is indicated at 9:00, if the end of the log were a clock face. You might get several more quarter-sawn boards whose ends would be arranged radially around the "clock face." Maybe at 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, etc. The width of the board in the diagram is actually too wide (too close to the center of the log) to get more than about 4 boards from a log of that relative diameter.
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Post by: MFenkner on July 11, 2009, 02:30:15 PM
Maybe in a ideal world with perfectly round trees and perfectly cut wood, quarter sawn wood would have the grain running perfectly perpendicular the entire face of the board.  But with the irregularity of wood, not all quartersawn wood is "perfect" for the entire piece.  Similar to the guitar pictured above, the one I owned and sold had grain that was perpendicular through most of the body, but not the entire length.  Looking at the guitar from the bottom would clearly show it.

Here's a picture of quarter sawn wood.  Notice that to the left of the board, the grain begins to slant just like on the quarter sawn Tulipwoods I've seen.  And this is a very short piece of wood; imagine how much the grain would slant in another 12".

(http://www.phantasypsalteries.com/images/woodsmaterials/quartersawn.jpg)

Ultimately I'll defer to Ken Parker who advertised the Tulipwood as quarter sawn.  If it was good enough to meet Ken's standard, it's good enough for me.
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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 02:32:31 PM
Titus,

One of the reasons that quarter sawn wood is more expensive is because there is far more waste when cutting up a log.  Slab cutting yields more wood.

I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say quarter-sawn Parkers.  The Bronze and the Artist, which are made from mostly spruce, are quarter sawn. That's mainly because spruce and cedar are used as top woods.  When they are cut for use for instrument making they are already cut on the quarter.  Take a look at this picture of my cedar Bronze....
(http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s217/cy2989/IMG_8902v22.jpg)

You can see the end grain and see how perpendicular it is to the surface?  That's quarter sawn!

Most of these other hard woods that are used in making Flys come from sources supplying wood for solid body electric guitars.  It's not necessary to use quarter sawn wood for that purpose and maybe not even as desireable because the grain isn't as interesting if it is just perfectly straight.  You might find a piece here and there that are by accident but not by intention.  The Fly doesn't need to get strength from using woods that are stiffer because they're quarter cut.  The Fly uses CF for that.
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Post by: MFenkner on July 11, 2009, 02:40:52 PM
Here's one other picture that I find illustrative of the imperfection of quater sawn wood:
(http://www.indeco.net.au/images/quarter%20log.jpg)

Notice how the boards marked "A" and "1" are about as perfectly quarter sawn as you'll get.  And by that standard, there are only four "perfect" quarter sawn boards per tree.  But all the other boards are also considered quarter sawn, though the grain curves as you get further towards the outside of the trunk.

With all due respect to cy2989, you're full of cr*p; Tulipwoods are quarter sawn.

Mark

P.S.  And I do have an Artist too which isn't perfectly quarter sawn either.
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Post by: MFenkner on July 11, 2009, 02:48:23 PM
"The Parker Fly Tulipwood model will be limited to 35 instruments, each constructed of a single, solid piece of tulipwood quartersawn from large trees native to the eastern U.S. Each guitar shows light figuring running perpendicular to its wide grain, which is enhanced by a lush transparent emerald finish."
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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 02:48:29 PM
Yes Mark, that's a quarter sawn piece of wood.  The picture that Titus showed of his guitar is not.  It either is or it isn't, there is not in-between.  You can't have grain in the shape of a V and even be close.  

Again, I'm not sure why it is important.  It doesn't affect the guitars sound (in the case of a Fly or another solid body) or durability.  Still a beautiful guitar.  When I got my tulipwood the music store owner had two of them.  He by accident sent me the wrong one (not the one he showed me the picture of).  The first one he sent was slab cut.  NOT quarter sawn.  When I brought it to his attention he sent me the one I had seen the picture of, so for a day or two I have both of them.  I kept the #7 which is quarter sawn but only because I felt it played just slightly better.  The Tulips were not all quarter sawn and obviously the Butternuts aren't either.


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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 02:49:22 PM
quote:
Originally posted by cy2989

Titus,

One of the reasons that quarter sawn wood is more expensive is because there is far more waste when cutting up a log.  Slab cutting yields more wood.

I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say quarter-sawn Parkers.  The Bronze and the Artist, which are made from mostly spruce, are quarter sawn.


Great photo!

Yes, I know about the Bronze (at least the Cedar - I own one). What I meant by "quarter-sawn Parkers" is that the only Parker I'm aware of that made a point of using "Quarter-sawn" as a selling point was the LE Tulipwood. My research indicates a variance with the grain of this LE model, and when you suggest that the wood in the guitars is NOT quarter-sawn, well ... to the owners of said guitars, that's a serious charge!

My research (may be wrong) revealed that only a few boards per tree are truly what you describe, but that the remaining wood from this particular cut is not tossed in the bin; it's used as are the premium boards. I guess it comes down to semantics, but I think once a tree is destined to be quarter-sawn, and subsequently is, most - if not all - of the boards from that tree are designated "quarter-sawn."

That what I was driving at. But from a purist standpoint, I see what you're saying. Sort of like "heart of pine" cannot have a single knot, when many fine floors (and cabinetry) bear witness marks (knot holes) of this 'defect' but are still referred to as "heart pine."


--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 03:00:45 PM
"With all due respect to cy2989, you're full of cr*p; Tulipwoods are quarter sawn."

How many stringed instruments have you made Mark?

The picture you show perfectly illustrates my point.  None of those pieces of wood will have grain that runs in a V or an A shape (like Tutis' guitar) except that pie shaped piece.  That's because the annual rings, in the pie shaped piece, are running parallel to the surface, not perpendicular and the rings in Titus' guitar at some point are also.  Not what I would call quarter sawn.
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 03:18:11 PM
quote:
Originally posted by cy2989

Yes Mark, that's a quarter sawn piece of wood.  The picture that Titus showed of his guitar is not.  It either is or it isn't, there is not in-between.  You can't have grain in the shape of a V and even be close.  
  I kept the #7 which is quarter sawn but only because I felt it played just slightly better.  The Tulips were not all quarter sawn and obviously the Butternuts aren't either.


Just for clarification, the guitar I pictured was Mark's guitar (now mine), and is #7 of 35.

The grain, when sighted along the bottom, is perfectly perpendicular to the top grain from the control-side edge over to about two-thirds of the way to the opposite edge. At this point the wood becomes figured and more slab-like in uniformity.

However, you can trace the curve (like looking at the curve of the tree) and see where the wood goes from straight quarter-sawn -- through  & through -- to the figured portion on the thinnest side of the Fly. I found a picture of another LE TW very similar to this one. I wished I'd saved the picture because I can't find it now! In any event, the straight grain (top and sides) is nearly identical to that in my Cedar Bronze. I'd say that's either one tricky slab cut or it is indeed quarter-sawn.

So, to sum up, I believe the guitar qualifies as "quarter-sawn" even though a wood purist may not state as such, there is certainly grain in the guitar consistent with the definition of "quarter-sawn" wood.

I, too, as Mark states, seriously doubt Ken Parker would advertise and sell a run of 35 guitars based on a blatant lie regarding the wood used when checking it is so easy to do.

Good debates _are_ healthy [:)]

Edit: when I say "perpendicular" above, I mean at the appropriate angle to, but perfectly in line with, the top grain. Hope I have that right!
--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 03:30:33 PM
quote:
Originally posted by cy2989
The picture you show perfectly illustrates my point.  None of those pieces of wood will have grain that runs in a V or an A shape (like Tutis' guitar) except that pie shaped piece.  That's because the annual rings, in the pie shaped piece, are running parallel to the surface, not perpendicular and the rings in Titus' guitar at some point are also.  Not what I would call quarter sawn.


Wouldn't that depend somewhat on the size of the tree, the width of its grain, and the location of the board used?

If the trees used for the TW-LE were as advertised (old growth, large and with wide grain), isn't such a piece of wood certainly possible?

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 03:56:21 PM
Mark, Titus,

I'm not sure why it is this important to me to get my point across other than I just feel frustrated that I can't explain this clearly enough.  Take a look at this picture (sorry that my artwork is poor).  Maybe a 3D image will help.

(http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s217/cy2989/treesection2.jpg)

When you see the annual grain forming an A or a V, it is because the grain has become parallel with the top and as the rings come through it makes that pattern.  This is the very definition of slab cut.  This is not quarter cut in any sense of the term.  I don't care what Ken's marketing said.  This is a slab cut piece of wood and you don't have to be genius luthier to know that.  Anyone who knows anything about wood working knows this.  This is my last attempt at this explanation. If I'm still not successful then we will just have to let this lie where it is.  I enjoyed the discussion.
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 04:10:28 PM
No problem, Chris. Thanks for taking the time on the topic. I'll take some pictures when the weather's better - It's raining here and I'm such a bad photographer my pictures always do much better in natural light. My camera isn't the best (8MP samsung) but it does macro fairly well, so I'll try to post some end/top grain shots.

I see your point and appreciate your effort (drawing) and input.

Best,
Mark (2)

PS: It's all Simon's fault anyway ...[:)]

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: cy2989 on July 11, 2009, 04:47:03 PM
"PS: It's all Simon's fault anyway ."

LOL!  I was thinking the exact same thing.  Just kidding Simon.
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Post by: MFenkner on July 11, 2009, 07:15:20 PM
quote:
Originally posted by cy2989
How many stringed instruments have you made Mark?



I've made 752 guitars, 367 violins, 124 violas, 67 cellos, and 4 upright basses.  So of course I am right because I doubt you have made more than 1314 stringed instruments.

By my standard (and seemingly the standard of many lumber mills who display pictures on their website) it's quarter sawn.  By lumber mills' standards, quarter sawn can have a grain angle between 45 to 90 degrees (though usually 60 to 90 degrees is a higher spec).  You have the right to disagree, and in so doing call Ken Parker a liar, but clearly you are just using a different standard.  

Mark


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Post by: Marco76 on July 11, 2009, 07:32:43 PM
Well, turns out my post was totally F.O.S., so I thank you all for not handing me my head. :)
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Post by: uburoibob on July 11, 2009, 08:37:50 PM
Just out of curiosity, is the maple used for Fly guitars (or archtops or flattops) quartersawn or is it slab-cut? How 'bout Mahogany? And Oak used for furniture? I always see that referred to as 'quatersawn', but don't always see the vertical grain. What I am getting at here, is the question about Poplar. Is the poplar used, say, in Bubbles quartersawn?

(http://www.kenparkerarchtops.com/Bubbles/BubblesRearFull1000.jpg)

How bout the Koa in Olive?

(http://www.kenparkerarchtops.com/Resources/back_1000.jpg)

How bout the maple in Mrs Natural?

(http://www.kenparkerarchtops.com/Resources/MrsNaturalNeckAdj1K.jpg)

or the Aspen in Spot?

(http://www.kenparkerarchtops.com/SPOT1200/SpotBack.JPG)

or the German Maple in Grace?

(http://www.kenparkerarchtops.com/Grace/GraceBackFull1000.JPG)

Would the grain that's so clear and tight in spruce, but presents as not-so-symmetrical vertical grain in maple, be what is referred to as the medullary grain?

I am wondering if perhaps Poplar doesn't have the same presentation as spruce or cedar?  Or, for that matter, need it in a solid-body configuration. Just curious, cuz if Maple and mahogany are quartersawn for these instruments, and doesn't display the tight grain we see in spruce and cedar, mightn't poplar as well? (the Tulipwood is actually a type of poplar, rather than the Tulipwood that is more like Rosewood...).

Could it be that Tulipwood Poplar has a very inconsistent medullary grain pattern and, as such, might not appear as consistent and tight as spruce or cedar. Indeed, might it be named for its odd medullary pattern?

I am just posing wild questions here... cuz...

See, I don't really know much about this. Folks?

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  -  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod - 2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 08:43:14 PM
You know, there's always the possibility that some of these guitars (#7 inclusive) were milled from the outermost wedge piece, or one adjacent to it, if the trees were of suitable size, right?  A tree two and one-half feet -- or more -- wide would yield quarters half that -- enough for a Fly?

I don't know enough about it - the wood closest to the bark being discarded due to marked difference in hue, etc.

The ad for the guitars DID say, "solid piece of Tulipwood quartersawn from large trees native to the eastern U.S. Each guitar shows light figuring running perpendicular to its wide grain which is enhanced by a lush transparent emerald finish."
That reads like a description of my (and Mark's) #7 to a tee.

Furthermore, light figuring (I don't think) wouldn't be referring to the tight linear grain pattern of quarter-sawn wood.

Someone get Ken on the phone ...

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 11, 2009, 08:45:21 PM
Excellent questions, Bob!

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

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Post by: MFenkner on July 11, 2009, 08:56:09 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Titus Pullo

You know, there's always the possibility that some of these guitars (#7 inclusive) were milled from the outermost wedge piece, or one adjacent to it, if the trees were of suitable size, right?  A tree two and one-half feet -- or more -- wide would yield quarters half that -- enough for a Fly?

...


My thoughts exactly.  As stated, there are only a few pieces that will be perfectly quarter sawn.  Everything else will have less perfect angles in the grain, especially considering the size of the tree.

Ultimately, I really doesn't matter.  As I've heard second-hand from a person who spoke to Ken Parker about the Tulipwoods, "Ken told me that all of the Deluxe models were made of "Tulipwood" but that he had the staff watch for especially nice pieces with the best wood grain to make these guitars. They were not all made at once as they were very picky about the selection and when they had enough to make 3-4 of them they did so. All Poplar wood isn't the same and he selected this species of "Poplar" especially for the Fly. I do not claim to know about wood classification but I would have no reason to doubt the man himself!"

I trust that Ken felt the wood used for the Tulipwood was unique enough in comparison to the standard Deluxe models to create the limited edition guitars.

Mark
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Post by: uburoibob on July 11, 2009, 09:27:03 PM
We are looking at examples from the past and microscopically examining them and comparing them to press releases that Ken may have never even read. I do know this - that he did and still does concern himself primarily with making whatever is in front of him the best that it can possibly be - or even better than that (witness building an exoskeleton for thinly carved bodies - better than the wood would have ever been on its own for this purpose). I don't know how the wood came into Parker or whether there was a choice in how it was carved once there (ie: slight rotation on the quartersawn planks to bring out the most interesting grain patterns for each guitar or the best sound for each guitar or both). Even now, he's considering popping the top on on one of his earlier archtops and adjusting the bracing to lighten it up based on the guitars he's built since. He's a perfectionist to the nth degree - one that really didn't concern himself with marketing, but only with making the Fly that was in front of him be the best guitar it could.

I know - it's a skating answer, but it's an honest one. I don't know any luthier that has greater attention to detail than Ken Parker - and I know if a piece of wood said "um, I'm better as a slap cut than a quartersawn cut" to him, he'd evaluate and do what he thought best.

Hope this helps the argument...

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  -  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod - 2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com
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Post by: uburoibob on July 11, 2009, 09:37:29 PM
OK, here's the most detailed shot I could get of the back of Bubbles. You can see some of the medullary grain here, but you can see how erratic it is. Is this quatersawn? It's what Ken calls Kissed Poplar, but has the official name of Blistered Poplar.

(http://www.kenparkerarchtops.com/BubblesDetail.jpg)

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  -  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod - 2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com
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Post by: uburoibob on July 11, 2009, 09:52:32 PM
Sorry, but my interest is piqued.

Here are two shots of poplar/tulipwood from this page: http://www.timbersource.co.uk/american_poplar.asp

(http://www.timbersource.co.uk/images/american_poplar1.jpg)

and

(http://www.timbersource.co.uk/images/american_poplar2.jpg)

The second image seems to have a few things going on. A tighter, much more pronounced medullary grain AND the figure you see on the face of Titus' guitars. SO, is it possible that the presentation of the medullary grain is minimized AND it's got erratic grain -  more like Bubbes - unlike the image above? Looks like quite a few variables here.

Here's another shot from another site - seems this is one of those pieces that is an odd place in the quarter:

(http://www.yellow-poplar.com/images/poplar%201.jpg)

and one more that has pronounced medullary grain, but there's something else going on:

(http://clarksoutdoorchairs.com/library/P10101382.JPG)

Anyway, some interesting presentations...

Bob


1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  -  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod - 2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com
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Post by: cy2989 on July 12, 2009, 07:40:50 AM
I believe Titus was able to get some information, from a very good source, that would support what I originally said and my whole position.  That some of the Tulips were quarter sawn and some were slab or "flat" sawn.  Without sharing the specifics Titus can you back me up here?
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Post by: cy2989 on July 12, 2009, 07:57:33 AM
quote:
Originally posted by MFenkner
[br
I trust that Ken felt the wood used for the Tulipwood was unique enough in comparison to the standard Deluxe models to create the limited edition guitars.

Mark



It was never a discussion about how unique the wood was.  It was a discussion about what was quarter cut and what was not.  You now know I was correct.  Be big enough to admit you were wrong.
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Post by: uburoibob on July 12, 2009, 08:23:48 AM
It's good to see such a lively and spirited debate here. Emotionally, it seems to have jumped the shark just a bit.

Essentially, the response from the 'very good source' says that when using soft woods such as spruce or cedar for sound boards on acoustic instruments, the best quarter sawn wood is a must. Even for the Flys that were made from soft woods, for structural integrity, he chose the best quarter sawn. He also indicates that there are degrees of cut that qualify for quarter sawn.

HOWEVER... the 'very good source' stresses that for the solid body poplar guitars, or any solid body guitars that are made from hardwood, flat sawn, such as the poplar, was/is perfectly fine. As a hardwood, it's structurally suitable for its purpose and would never necessarily need to be quarter sawn - from a structural, expense or other perspective - for use as a solid body guitar.

Backing waaaaaay up to the beginning of this thread, here are the two comments that set this thread in motion:

1. Titus asks about Simon's guitar: "Are these plank or quarter sawn?"

2. cy2989 responds: "that one is obviously slab cut. Beautiful though."


As much as it may not have mattered, Titus asks a question that sparks a perceived sense of 'quality' about how the wood was cut to make the guitar.

cy2989's answer plays to that implying that in spite of its status as being slab cut, it's still beautiful.

And it escalated from there. At this point, it's simply a given that quarter sawn is better for these guitars when, according to the 'very good source', it isn't.

So, the entire thread - that got a bit heated - is really not so much about what is quarter sawn, although it certainly did qualify what quarter sawn is, but about whether someone's guitar is better or worse because of it.

I hate to say it, but the entire thread hinged on the word "though" as it immediately, intended or not, evaluated the Tulipwoods that weren't quarter sawn as somehow lesser instruments, creating offense/defense posturing.

The 'very good source' also goes on to say that he, over time, saved boards that were particularly nice examples of the poplar for a transparent finish run.

And finally, he goes on to say that he didn't pay a lot of attention to marketing speak - and had no idea how the term 'quarter sawn' made it into the press releases. I certainly believe that, as I stated in my earlier post about this.

SOOOOO... everyone... this is still, for the time being, the coolest forum on the internet, so let's let cooler heads prevail and say that everyone had a valid point to make. Chris, you were right in explaining what quarter sawn is and illustrating how a log is cut. Mark, you were right about the degrees that actually can qualify for a quarter sawn classification. Nobody was right about whether quarter sawn is better or more desirable in solid body guitars made of hardwood. And anyone who linked Ken Parker directly to the press releases was just plain wrong.

All in all an EXCEPTIONALLY informative post.

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  -  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod - 2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: .
Post by: cy2989 on July 12, 2009, 08:42:56 AM
If you read my replies, I stated over and over that a slab cut board for a solid body guitar is not an undesireable thing and in fact might even be more desireable because of the more interesting grain patterns.  This discussion was never about whether QS was more or less desireable in a Fly.  I was responding to a question about whether Simon's guitar was QS or not.  It's not.  I tried to explain why it's not and the whole Tulipwood example came up.  As I stated about that, not all Tulips are QS either.  I was then told that "I was full of cr*p" and that I was somehow calling Ken Parker a liar.  I'm not getting emotional, I just want people to admit when they're wrong and an apology for saying I'm "full of cr*p" (which was uncalled for) would be nice too.  This WAS a discussion about what QS is and is not and about whether the Tulips were QS as stated in the marketing hype.  Well, they aren't and that's all I said.
Title: .
Post by: Titus Pullo on July 12, 2009, 10:38:28 AM
Well, now this we've hashed this one out ... [:)]

What bothers me most is that Simon wins again! Remember, the 'source' also praised Butternut as a wonderful sounding wood and wished he could have found more of that material! If I could imitate Newman's voice from Seinfeld I'd say ... "Simon!" in just that way - he's won. AGAIN!!

Seriously, though, my Tulipwood is a wonderful guitar, as I'm sure all the LE Tulipwoods are. The fact that mine isn't what qualifies as a true slab of good quarter-sawn lumber isn't a huge deal to me at all. It sounds, plays and looks wonderful.  This same source also said he'd be glad to look at the guitar to help ID the guitar's cut, etc.

I lament the day that source took off (and the fact I don't have the change for one of his current works).

You guys are great - passionate about the guitars right down to the tree.   Things got a little heated, but I'll say in Mark's defense that I've spoken (and corresponded) with him, and not only is he a fantastic human being - and all around nice guy - but a bigger Parker fan you'll not find. I'm sure no personal offense was meant, and ... I'm blubbering now. Better sign off before Simon breaks a rib laughing [:)] over our little 'rift' (no pun) ...

And, Bob, you forgot to add that Mark was spot-on in that quote from a second source concerning the woods in the LE Tulipwood. And that shot you posted of the poplar DOES look a lot like the grain on #7.
And Chris, you were spot-on in your explanation of quarter-sawn wood.
And we're all spot-on because we own these guitars

EDIT: never type and talk to the cat simultaneously  
--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

Title: .
Post by: Titus Pullo on July 12, 2009, 10:51:09 AM
quote:
Originally posted by cy2989

I believe Titus was able to get some information, from a very good source, that would support what I originally said and my whole position.  That some of the Tulips were quarter sawn and some were slab or "flat" sawn.  Without sharing the specifics Titus can you back me up here?


That's true, Chris. Some were and some were not. The boards for the LE were collected over time (pulled from production stock used for painted Deluxe models) due to their unique character. Evidently, a number were quarter-sawn, but that exact number is unknown.

I further gathered that the maker didn't bother much with whether they were or were not; his intent was a limited run of transparent finish poplar guitars from a private stock of boards deemed worthy of a clear finish. Some were indeed flat sawn, but I don't think any were badly rift-sawn [:)] I think we can figure out (wood experts that we now are!) why he choose green as the trans-finish as well ~

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

Title: .
Post by: Marco76 on July 12, 2009, 10:51:26 AM
A few illustrations of quarter-sawn Fly bodies. (Sorry about the focus on the Mojo shots.) I think that the Mojo must be an example of a model for which slab is sometimes used and QS sometimes used. This particular instrument is a Custom Shop product, so maybe they hand-picked a QS for it.

(http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn191/Marco76_photos/Transporter/P0801304endgrain1VGA.jpg)(http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn191/Marco76_photos/Transporter/P0801304endgrain2VGA.jpg)



(http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn191/Marco76_photos/Transporter/P0612050endgrain1VGA.jpg)(http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn191/Marco76_photos/Transporter/P0612050endgrain2VGA.jpg)



(http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn191/Marco76_photos/Transporter/P0809129endgrain1VGAa.jpg)(http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn191/Marco76_photos/Transporter/P0809129endgrain2VGAa.jpg)
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Post by: Titus Pullo on July 12, 2009, 12:08:44 PM
Marco - nice shots. My Cedar's end grain looks like the Sitka - tight lines. I really have to post some pictures.
But then I can't get around to ebaying my Nitefly-M ...

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

Title: .
Post by: Titus Pullo on July 12, 2009, 12:31:40 PM
quote:
Originally posted by uburoibob
I hate to say it, but the entire thread hinged on the word "though" as it immediately, intended or not, evaluated the Tulipwoods that weren't quarter sawn as somehow lesser instruments, creating offense/defense posturing.


Guilty as charged (at least in the beginning) and I think your entire post nails it pretty good, Bob.

But, in my defense, as the thread continued I became quite interested in the wood debate, etc. However, underlying and propelling all of this -- perhaps subconsciously --  was the fact that someone in marketing might have claimed something in the press release that wasn't true, and that was in my thought process. Turns out that was the case after all. Having said that, no harm and no foul; the source cleared it up for me. Now, how other people may interpret the mea culpa is a different story, even though I'm completely happy and satisfied.

--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

Title: .
Post by: Strandwolf on July 12, 2009, 12:43:40 PM
In the final analysis perhaps it's all rock and roll.
I'll take one of each please, and play them in the dark.

(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd90/strandwolf/JokerAAa.jpg)Parkers: Sp Fly, PM20Pro, Mojo SC. (http://inlinethumb43.webshots.com/43242/1056275925038868113S200x200Q85.jpg)(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd90/strandwolf/smallestviolinwz4.jpg)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBFUDbOldMs
Title: .
Post by: Lwinn171 on July 12, 2009, 01:15:42 PM
Dang. How did I miss a thread about wood?!? Anyway... interesting discussion. You guys seemed to have hashed it out. Personally, I think Ken decided to set some "prettier" pieces aside for the Tulipwood guitars. The fact is, no matter how it's sawn, most poplar isn't well suited for a clear finish. It has some weird colors going on, from browns and greens (hence the green trans on the Tulipwoods). I'd be willing to bet that coloration had more to do with which became trans green Tulipwoods than any other consideration.

A couple of things I'll add, though. Even slab cutting will produce a couple of boards that display the same grain orientation as quartered. It really doesn't make as much difference in a thicker slab (like a fly billet) as it does in a thinner cut (like an acoustic top/back/side) because a thicker cut (once properly dried and then dressed into a billet) will have more stability to counter any warping. Quarter-sawn is preferred for some applications because it expands and contracts with humidity more predictably than slab. This is good for neck, especially, so you don't get twisting and bowing. And thinner pieces like Kens archtops, would benefit from this as well. More stable, more predictable in it's seasonal movement.

Fly bodies are just fine with either. And most are slab cut, by far. There are only so many trees large enough to get full Fly billets from that are perfectly quartered. As a wood worker, I don't have a preference so much as I have an understanding of the two methods for slicing up trees. I think about it when I make decisions, but also consider (maybe more strongly) the appearance of the grain. But then, I'm making furniture not guitars (big difference). The trick is to build without introducing internal stresses into the piece.

Anyway, slab cut can reveal incredible grain, as can quartered. Depends on the tree, and what you like.[;)]
Title: .
Post by: Titus Pullo on July 12, 2009, 01:53:19 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Titus Pullo
(http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv301/Titus_Pullo_photos/close_tw-1.jpg)



I've had the 'source' look at this particular piece of wood (LE-TW #7) with an opinion that it's a hybrid of sorts (for lack of a better description) an his assessment is that the treble side of the guitar is rift and the bass side is flat-sawn.

Another image for anyone interested in wood cutting (and a link):
(http://westcoastlands.net/sitebuilder/images/cuts-451x489.jpg)

From yonder:

http://westcoastlands.net/SawmillCuttingMethods.html




--
"If you subscribe to the Stew-Mac style you have to have a template to blow your nose." - Ken Parker

Title: .
Post by: Lwinn171 on July 12, 2009, 02:12:35 PM
In a piece as large as a Fly billet, there is bound to be some variation in the grain structure. No surprises there. Besides, a lot of this discussion has left out an important variable. Trees are almost never perfectly round or regular. Grain can take startling twists and turns. That's what make each and every thing made from lumber a unique thing in this world. Some look more interesting or have a particular look that we find aesthetically pleasing, but every one is unique. #7 (and all the Tulipwoods) have the distinction of being especially nice pieces of poplar, hand culled from a huge amount of lumber. When you see a lot of wood, some of it starts speaking to you. The right ear can hear it loud and clear. What makes the Tulipwood's special is that they spoke to someone who was listening.
Title: .
Post by: uburoibob on July 13, 2009, 10:14:39 AM
Ken has asked me to  post this:

Nice to hear from you, and thanks for your kind words.

I guess I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised at the depth of passion in this discourse!  You guys are an inspiration.

It's nice to know that after all this time the Fly guitars continue to be valued by such a high functioning group of folks.  Thanks for your enthusiasm!

Let me try and help you understand the grain orientation issue.

First of all, the term "quarter sawn" is antiquated.  No one saws wood like this anymore, with only one exception, and that is for the purpose of rendering thin sheets of spruce or cedar for the purposes of making acoustic guitar tops.  In this case, short billets of very special spruce are radially split with wedges, and then a bandsaw is used to slice thin sheets from the split face.

As someone in the forum correctly points out  (along with an excellent illustration), in old-fashioned quarter sawing,  boards are sliced alternately from the two straight faces of a quartered log.
The only other exception is oak, which is  commercially available all three grain orientations, as the look of the board's surface is very different  in the 3 styles of lumber due to the gigantic medulary rays in oaks. ( see below)

There are three styles of lumber.

1)  The most common is known as flat sawn, or plain sawn material.  This means that the faces of the board are parallel to the tangent of the outside of the tree.  This is how you cut lumber in order to maximize yield.  When you look at the face of a flat sawn board, you might see undulating lines, sometimes ovals, V, or W shaped grain patterns.  Looking at the end grain, you see long arcs of growth lines.  There is nothing wrong with flat sawn wood for most purposes.  For example, nearly all the Fly guitars were made of flatsawn material with the exception of the softwood guitars made with Spruce or Cedar bodies, which were all vertical grain material.  Flat sawn wood has good stiffness, and is mostly a stable configuration, but it does have a tendency to curl, or "cup" with changes in moisture content.  When it does "cup" it curls in the opposite direction of the grain lines.  In other words, it would cup towards the outside of the tree.

2)  Vertical grain material means that the grain lines are perpendicular to the face of the board.  When people say, "quarter sawn"  they almost certainly mean vertical grain.  Vertical grain material has the best stiffness  both along and across the grain.  it is the only choice for soundboards, whether it is guitar, violin family, piano, harpsichord, etc.

The big advantages of using vertical grain material, aside from its very regular straight grained appearance, are two..........

 First, because wood shrinks, mostly in the direction of the grain lines, a vertical grain piece of material will shrink much less across its width than the other two grain orientations.  This is important not only to instrument makers, but to furniture makers, and for any wooden product that is precisely made and will be exposed to changing conditions of humidity.

 Second, in many species of wood,  there are fibers that emanate from the center of the tree, growing horizontally and extending through the wood, weaving between the vertical grain lines.  These fibers are called medulary rays, or cross grained fibers, and can materially contribute to the cross-grain stiffness of vertical grain material in which they occur.
Because these cross grain fibers constitute a small proportion of the wood, and because they only occur as radii, they do not greatly effect the properties of flat sawn material.

3)  if a piece of material falls between 1 and 2, it is said to be rift sawn, or slash grain.  Structurally, this is the least wonderful material, as when stressed it tends to bend off to one side.  For this reason, avoid a Fender style neck with rift grain.  Although vertical grain would be best for a neck, flat sawn material is a close second.

When you look at the end of a rift cut board, the grain lines form an angle with the face.  If you look at the quartersawn drawing on the forum, you'll see that most of the material produced by old-fashioned quartersawing is actually rift cut.  This is responsible for much of the confusion, as "quartersawn" lumber can be both vertical and rift.

It is worth knowing that the structural benefits contributed by the cross grained fibers in vertical grain material are dramatically reduced by the grain being even 5° off vertical.  So, when seeking ultimate structural properties, ( like I am, in thin material for acoustic guitar making), material that is not perfectly vertical grain can be considered rift material: that is, less stiff across the grain.

One more thing,.....  the material that we used to make the tulip guitars is exactly the same kind of material that was used in the deluxe.  That is, it is all tulip poplar, or yellow poplar.  The boards that we used for those special guitars were ones that I culled out over a period of years for evenness of color and appearance.  Almost all the poplar that we were able to buy was green in the middle ( heartwood ) and a kind of dirty off-white color on the edges ( sapwood ) .  No one considers this attractive, so all the deluxe guitars made of Poplar had solid finishes.  The poplar boards that I was able to set aside for this small run were very special and unusual boards.

I should also note that the butternut material used for that short run of "Butterflies" was also a rare find.  I wanted to make more of those guitars as they sounded so wonderful, but I could never get any other material of the right size and quality.  As an aside, Paul Simon owns two of them, and played them on stage the year he toured with Dylan.

Maybe you're sorry you asked now!  I could go on, but it's late.  I hope I have helped.

Best to you, and come visit sometime and play a raging acoustic archtop if you're ever near NYC,

Ken


1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  -  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod - 2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: .
Post by: Bill on July 17, 2009, 07:41:46 AM
Yeah that was a great post. It was very kind of Ken to share his thoughts on this. I'm sure we all wish and hope to have that happen again.

Simon the reason we don't hate you is because you know better than anyone just how lucky you are [;)]

I am glad these extra special Flys fall in the hands of those who most appreciate them. Congrads.

A few Flys in my soup
Title: .
Post by: Marco76 on July 17, 2009, 10:50:33 AM
He said we are "high functioning"! I'll never wash this monitor again.
Title: .
Post by: cy2989 on July 17, 2009, 11:06:23 AM
We don't hate you as long as two is your limit.  Snatching up any more than that and all bets are off.
Title: .
Post by: Strandwolf on July 17, 2009, 02:05:18 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Marco76

He said we are "high functioning"!


I'm thinking he saw a scrubbed version of the thread, w/o my post of  07/12/2009 :  12:43:40 PM.

Hey Kenny.
Tell you what, maybe you're done with solid body ghets, but cook something up for Jeff Beck, and the world will beat a path (for better or worse). Just sayin', he's got the Strat crowd in thrall.
Well, he's still coming up with tricks for that beast, but maybe he could feature a KP on an acoustic or jazz tune.

Hey I wonder if Les Paul has played a Parker, new or older, and commented on it. He's more of an effects guy, but may have engineered "the fretless wonder". (Wonder what he thinks of the auto tuner thing).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrC_oqWq2pU
Title: .
Post by: Lwinn171 on July 22, 2009, 10:23:50 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Marco76

He said we are "high functioning"! I'll never wash this monitor again.



This actually doesn't surprise me, that Ken would be impressed with our collective knowledge. Not being flip, just saying that's why I hang out here! This is a way above average forum because it's members are the thinking type. I would argue that Fly fans tend to be just that, because the Fly appeals to just that kind of player. So, really it's Ken's fault for making a thinking man's (and woman's) guitar.
Title: .
Post by: Tree Bones on December 09, 2009, 12:42:52 PM
Hi Guys,
Got to admit this thread is a little confusing and maybe wrong for some of it. Here's a few details about grain orientation and figure.

When plane sawing you don't position the log or cut in any particular fashion and are just cutting material in the shortest time possible. This is the most common type of cutting and yields a combination of each type of material, ie: quarter sawn, rift sawn and so on.

When I cut Oak I like to quarter saw because the "Tiger Stripe" figure is so cool (and worth more). It is best when the rings are as close to 90 degrees to the face of the board. As this gets to be less than 90 degrees you have less of the desired figure. This type of cutting is called "Cutting to Grade" and takes more time due to added log handling and repositioning.

Most times cutting to grade enables the figure to be brought out or for strength and stability of the finished lumber. It is easy to loose the value of quality saw logs that have figure if cut wrong, such as fiddleback, birdseye or burl and crotchwood.

Figured wood is my favorite, especially Walnut and Maple pin knot burl. [:D]

(http://westcoastlands.net/sitebuilder/images/cuts-451x489.jpg)

Just thought I would throw this in also. This is my "Guitar Table". It is Black Walnut with English Walnut that has been grafted (along the buldge).[;)]

(http://westcoastlands.net/sitebuilder/images/Mix_003-735x552.jpg)
(http://westcoastlands.net/sitebuilder/images/Shaving_Horse_025-732x551.jpg)

More photos here: http://westcoastlands.net/ISI-10.html
Title: .
Post by: robertmarlin on December 10, 2009, 10:37:55 AM
Wow love that Walnut table, my next guitar is going to be a walnut version, just need to rob a bank...

Charlene - ARC S2 :: Axel Rudich Custom S2
http://bestguitarworld.blogspot.com/
Title: .
Post by: delucmi on December 15, 2009, 03:42:11 PM
So there is a lot of talk about grain... when I got my Mojo 2 years ago or so I was thrilled at the oddity in the grain - I think it adds personality and a sense of  one-of-a-kind.

What would you call this mish-mosh of wood grain?  (besides LUCKY ME)
(http://www.delucia.org/images/temp/CIMG0545_sm.jpg)
(http://www.delucia.org/images/temp/CIMG0547_sm.jpg)

NEW Parker Fly Mojo - Natural Mahogany
'89 Ovation Custom Legend
Title: .
Post by: danjazzny on December 15, 2009, 03:45:33 PM
Outstanding!! [8D]

'97 Alex Artist 4lbs12oz; '99 Simonized Artist 4lbs13oz; '97 Custom TransRed Artist 4lbs9oz; '98 Custom 3-Tone Sunburst Artist (Hardtail)5lbs2oz; '96 Dayn Deluxe (Hardtail)5lbs; Line6 Flextone 3 Amp; Line 6 Vetta II Amp
Title: .
Post by: Lwinn171 on December 15, 2009, 09:16:52 PM
As a woodworker, I'd call that grain flat sawn, carved good luck. It's a really pretty piece, and the way the grain is running on it just happens to do neat things when cut and shaped to Fly spec. Very nice.

Tree Bones: Very nice table, BTW. Love the natural edges, and what a slab that is... I've found black walnut can be incredibly beautiful. And so have you. Welcome to the Parker Forum.
Title: .
Post by: doombilly on December 16, 2009, 09:21:32 AM
Durn, Duke energy cut down a nice black walnut in my backyard. I gave away all the wood to people to use in their fireplaces. Probably wasn't anything usable though.

http://illicitizen.com