Luthier’s Private Reserve Rare Tonewoods

In 2015, I had a rare opportunity to acquire a retiring luthier’s stash of gorgeous, pre-ban Brazilian Rosewood, old-growth Indian rosewood, hand-picked, highest quality German spruce, high-altitude Idaho Engelmann spruce, maple, mahogany, ebony, Koa and other miscellaneous tonewoods. For a luthier, properly selected and well aged tonewoods are worth their weight in gold! This wood has been naturally aging since the late 70’s–early 80’s and is ripe for a metamorphosis into musical instruments.

The collection of European spruce was hand-picked by the late master-luthier Robert Lundberg, who traveled to Europe in the late 70’s and 80’s to teach lute construction and history courses in Erlangen, Germany. Guild of American Luthiers published Mr. Lundberg’s essays in a beautiful book titled Historical Lute Construction. GAL draws attention to Lundberg’s credentials, noting “…his encyclopedic knowledge, insightful analysis, and mastery of woodworking techniques [which] grew out of a distinguished 30-year career in which he examined and measured over 250 extant ancient lutes and built hundreds of fine instruments”.

aged-spruce-tonewood

Aside from spruce, the stash included Brazilian and Indian rosewoods dating back to early 80’s and 70’s. The quality of these rosewoods is unlike any available today. Long considered the golden standard of guitar tonewoods, the pre-ban Brazilian rosewood was cut from thick, quarter-sawn slabs.

aged-guitar-tonewood

Besides spruces and rosewoods, there was a nice supply of ebony fingerboards, mahogany, maple, and tight-curl, flamed Koa.

flamed-koa-tonewood-tsiorba

Most of the wood in this collection was cut from larger planks or even a single tree. To have multiple sets of “sister cuts” is a huge bonus, as it allows the luthier an opportunity to familiarize oneself with the nuances of the wood, improving the outcome of each successive guitar. It’s a bit like getting to know a larger tonewood family, rather than meeting tonewood strangers with every new guitar project.

If you would like to reserve as set of this very special wood for your own guitar, please let me know. Contact me directly to learn more.

5 Comments

  1. Dear Bill,

    Thank you for your kind words! What a delight to hear that your guitar holds meaning in your music, and your heart. That is my highest hope, to create meaningful connections for musicians and the muses that surround them.

    As to the reasonable donation for the shavings box…it is entirely up to you. I will not withhold a box of shavings, be it a $1 or $.50. Anything north of that, will be helpful in my efforts to secure this rare tonewood stash. Whatever is on your heart, Bill, will be appreciated dearly. Thank you.

  2. Wow Peter! I hope you reach this goal to buy all the wood.
    how much is it for the whole lot ?

  3. Great opportunity Peter!

    What do you think a reasonable donation would be for a shavings box?

    By the way, the Maple/Spruce guitar still brings me to tears at moments–she is SO responsive and lyrical!

    Yours,
    Bill

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