To make the finest in handcrafted guitars, we start with the finest domestic and exotic woods sourced, whenever possible, from local suppliers in the greater Boston area. We also try to use reclaimed wood (as seen on all of our antique pine bodies) where possible, and steer clear of endangered species such as Brazilian rosewood.

Below you’ll find detailed information on some of our standard woods including where we think they work best. If you want to know even more about a wood species, check out the “read more..” link, which will take you to the species entry at The Wood Database, an excellent source of detailed information for just about any wood species you can imagine.

Ash ($$):

A light-colored, open grained, very hard and dense wood. It produces a nice bright midrange and sustain and is also an excellent candidate for a two-tone or antiqued finish due to the deep ridges in the grain. (Can also be grain-filled flat).
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Basswood ($):

Basswood is a budget wood, fine for a body but will dent easily, it has a very plain, white look and will dent easily. It produces good mids and cuts down on body weight.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Bubinga ($$$$):

An excellent body or neck wood, very strong and dense. Dark red in color with very interesting tight, ripply grain. Very heavy but it has sustain for days and a very bright sound. Great candidate for a clear coat or oil finish.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Black Limba / Korina ($$):

One of my all-time favorite woods. Black Limba comes from Africa, an olive colored wood with black streaks and some white sapwood occasionally. It is in the mahogany family but is mid-weight, has better mids, produces a warmer tone, and is generally more interesting looking. A great candidate for an oil finish!
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Cedar (Eastern Red / Aromatic) ($$):

Eastern Red Cedar is a good alternative body or top-wood due to it’s beautiful red color and excellent aromatic smell, as well as being very hard and resonant. It’s tone is more mellow than mahogany and will certainly catch the eye.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Cedar (Spanish) ($$$):

Spanish cedar does not look like American cedar much, it is actually more similar to mahogany in appearance, but is lighter in weight and is mellower in tone and still has an amazing smell even after oiling.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Cherry ($$):

Cherry is a superb tone wood. Sound-wise it falls between rosewood and mahogany. A bit more on the mellow side of half way. The color of the wood will darken in time with exposure to light into a gorgeous rich amber colour. Cherry also exhibits a visual “holographic” movement against the light at different angles, appearing to change from light to dark.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Mahogany (African) ($$):

A time-tested choice for guitar builders as seen on many acoustic and electric guitars over the past 100 years, mahogany is medium in weight, mellower in tone, and has a reddish-brown appearance with open grain. Produces good sustain and mids.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Maple (Hard) ($$):

Hard maple grows on the east coast and is a good choice for neck wood, can also be used for bodies but is less interesting looking than other types of maple. It is heavy, strong, straight, and produces great highs
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Maple (Soft) ($$):

Soft maple generally looks the same as hard maple but is much lighter in weight and is less dense. Still produces great highs and is used on many guitars.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Maple (Flame) ($$$):

Flame maple is used just as the other two above but has wavy figure going across (horizontally to) the grain. This is an excellent choice for a top, especially with an oil finish, clear coat or dyed finish.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Maple (Birdseye) ($$$):

Birdseye maple is similar in color to regular maple but with little birdseye spots in the grain, often accompanied with a beautiful rippled figure and/or wavy maple grain. Best for a laminate top.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Maple (Ambrosia) ($$):

Ambrosia maple is maple with blue and green streaks in it due to little bugs boring into the wood and secreting a chemical which produces an array of colors. An excellent choice for a bookmatched top due to the dramatic and pronounced nature of the streaking.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Pine (Eastern White Clear) ($):

Pine is in the budget wood category, and comes in a variety of grades but is a great option for someone looking for a very lightweight guitar without doing a chambered (semi-hollow) body. It is mostly white in nature with large, open grain patterns.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Poplar ($):

A plain green-white wood, another in my budget category. It is medium weight, produces good mids and is slightly heavier than alder. Good for a solid color finish.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Purpleheart ($$$$):

Purpleheart comes purple off the tree, although it will fade to brown over time and there’s nothing you can do about it. It is one of the strongest woods you could choose for a neck and would also make a fine body but might break your back. It produces great highs and mids and has tight open grain.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Rosewood (Honduran) ($$$$):

Rosewood is a time-tested fretboard wood and I can’t argue with it. It is very strong, beautiful and naturally porous and oily which is ideal for living beneath your fingers.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Walnut (Claro) ($$):

A brownish, wide grained wood with excellent mids and highs while being slightly lighter in weight than hard maple. Looks amazing with an oil or clear finish
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Walnut (Black) ($$):

Black walnut grows on the east coast and is one of my favorite woods to work with due to its amazing look, reasonable weight, and great tonal characteristics. A great candidate for a bookmatched top due to its interesting grain pattern. Dark brown with black streaks and some figure.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Walnut (Curly) ($$$):

Sometimes lighter brown than other walnut with pronounced ripply horizontal figure, this is a good choice for a bookmatched top or body.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Wenge ($$$$):

One of the hardest and strongest woods found in guitar making, it is blackish-brown and I usually just use this for laminating a neck to make it stronger, but can be used for an entire neck or body. It is usually quartersawn which reveals very tight straight grain but on the other side of the board it produces very wild looking grain that has to be seen to be understood.
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX

Zebrano (Zebrawood) ($$$$):

A very heavy and dense wood that is obvious why it has its name. Similar tonal properties to maple, but with an open grain and very distinct look. Usually used for tops but could be used for a whole body (It’s pretty heavy…).
YESNO
Used for topsX
Used for bodiesX
Used for necksX
Used for fretboardsX
Image(s) used by permission, The Wood Database

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