Timber supply - Auckland

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nikolav
Gidgee
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:37 am
Location: Auckland

Timber supply - Auckland

Post by nikolav » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:42 am

Hey guys.
My name is Nick and no, I'm not a luthier, but just a person with too much spare time :)
I started working on some of my own bass guitar projects. Just for fun, I reckon for the moment. So far I've made two bodies made from kauri and epoxy resin. Again, that's for fun only and I'm not sure about any sonic properties of this wood.
Now I want to try to make my own necks and as far I know it must be maple and probably mahogany or rosewood for the fingerboard. So my question is can you recommend a supplier that can supply small quantities of these woods preferably close to Auckland.
I'm also keen to try a body wit some other woods I know are used for making solid bodies - ash, alder, etc.
Your input will be very much appreciated.

Cheers!

seeaxe
Blackwood
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:20 pm
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Timber supply - Auckland

Post by seeaxe » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:02 pm

Hi Nick, fellow Aucklander here.

This topic has come up a few times, so would be worth a search on this site when you can.

Getting top quality wood in small quantities is difficult everywhere but lately harder in Auckland. There used to be timber yards that imported stuff for boatbuilders but as that industry has gone down the scuppers there's less around.

Timspec in Stoddard Road sell maple and I have bought some from them. It was slab cut but pretty solid and where I used it that way (tele necks) I didn't have any problems. You can always cut it into strips and turn it 90 degrees then laminate. Ive done that a few times and it gives you the opportunity to put some contrast timbers in the lamination.

About the only readily available source of mahogany is Fijian, which is used for flooring so you can find it if you look. Its actually swietenia macrophylla which is the real deal but as with all wood, it varies from piece to piece. I just used it to make a solid body electric with my son and its nice enough, not much grain but completely different to mahogany I have use din the past for boatbulding. Its very very soft for a start, or at least the stuff we had was. It was in TG and V boards and we laminated it for the body and neck.

You can buy new guinea rosewood brought in for flooring. See South Pacific Timber again in Stoddard Road, I have seen that used on luthier built acoustic guitars. Grain is a bit boring but its not too expensive. Its not like the rosewood you typically see on fret boards. I buy my fretboards from oz or USA.

You find the odd place has some more exotic timber (eg people in the cabinet and kitchen industry) but its rarely quarter sawn and its never cheap. The Plyman in The Concourse, Henderson is worth a visit asa they have an odds and sods rack of timber. They are also a great source of veneers if you need them. Not cheap.

Last but not least is Rarefind Timber in Hamilton (that's nearly Auckland, right?) Google them and have a look at what they have. They make a point of milling specimen trees that have been planted in farm gardens and the like, so probably your only chance of finding wood like ash or alder here. Again, not cheap. Of the NZ timbers, I would be careful using them as fretboards as most are pretty soft. Puriri is pretty hard but also hard to find.

To round this out, my advice would be don't stress about the sonic properties of the wood on an electric/bass guitar. The choice of pickup is far and away the most important thing, then what amp you plug it into. Wood choice is way down the list, after strings tuners and other hardware.

At the same time, you don't want it to fall apart/bend though so do get the best wood you can find and don't use junk because you are trying to save money. You will need a truss rod in the neck for a bass.

Hope that helps.

Richard
Richard

seeaxe
Blackwood
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:20 pm
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Timber supply - Auckland

Post by seeaxe » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:13 pm

And if all else fails, order some wood from Tim Spittle in OZ! Have a look at the other thread by the other Nick in OZ...is this some kind of parallel universe thing going on??
Richard

nikolav
Gidgee
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:37 am
Location: Auckland

Re: Timber supply - Auckland

Post by nikolav » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:25 am

Thank you, Richard!
I sow the other Nick post. Yep, we Nicks are everywhere :)
You gave me I reckon very good starting points to start looking for timber. I'll pay these spots a visit.
Two days ago I found this random guy on Trade me selling some timber in Browns Bay, so I purchased some maple, rosewood and mahogany. Not sure what to expect, but it was I reckon cheap. I'll get them this weekend.
Once I get the timber, I guess I'll ask here again if they are any good. I'm just starting with this and with my zero experience in woodworking I'm not even sure I can tell quartersawn from flatsawn etc. :)
I'll probably get some cheap truss rod from ali/ebay and give it a try. The first one will be for practice only.
My initial idea was to make some bodies and buy the necks form eBay, but the first one I ordered was a piece of crap. I can't comment on the build quality much, but even the frets are positioned wrong. So DIY it is.

Cheers!

seeaxe
Blackwood
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:20 pm
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Timber supply - Auckland

Post by seeaxe » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:39 am

Hmmmm...Browns Bay? About 5 mins away from me!.. Got a trade me reference so I can have a squizzle?

You will be fine with DIY and its very likely that it will turn out much better than a "practice" guitar.

Plus I'm around this weekend if you would like to pop round and see if there's anything I can help you with. I have amassed a few tools over the years.

If you're interested, send me a pm and Ill send you my contact details.
Richard

seeaxe
Blackwood
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:20 pm
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Timber supply - Auckland

Post by seeaxe » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:59 am

1 mins worth of googling will tell you the difference between quarter and flat sawn. And why quarter is better.
Richard

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