Guitar Tonewoods for Luthiers

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. steffansobell wenge

Guitar backs and sides.

The selection of the guitar backs and sides allows the maker to fine tune the overall aesthetic beauty of the instrument, and influence the tonal characteristics of the finished guitar.

Scroll down to see a selection of backs and sides

On the subsequent pages are individual sets,(individually priced) in species that vary to dramatically set to set, to offer for sale from a single picture.

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. irbs

INDIAN ROSEWOOD (Dalbergia latifolia)

Indian Rosewood has been the mainstay of guitar makers large and small around the world since the mid 60s, when Brazilian Rosewood was banned from export. As this is now by far the most popular material for backs and sides, it stands to reason that we would carry huge stocks of this beautiful wood.

Indian Rosewood guitar backs & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. flame maple back & sides

Flame Figured Maple

Also known as fiddle back - examples of this wood are quite striking and the preferred figure of violin makers.
We are delighted to have managed to secure a limited number of extremely high quality flame maple back and side sets!

Flame figured Maple guitar backs & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. figured Walnut b&s


Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. waterfall maple


Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. fumed oak b&s

Old English Antiqued Oak

Old English Antiqued Oak,
darkened to a deep dark brown
to highlight the beautiful medullary rays.

A great alternative to Bog Oak
At a fraction of the price!

Old English Antiqued Oak

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. walnut b&s


Walnut back & sides sets

Walnut guitar back & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. mahog b&s


Mahogany is a wonderful and traditional tonewood for guitar making,
That is a delight to work, and will polish up beautifully,

Mahogany guitar backs &sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. pear b&s

Swiss steamed pear wood
(Pyrus Communis)

Swiss steamed pear wood is a beautiful subtle species that is a delight to work with.

Swiss Steamed Pear wood back & sides Flamed & Plain

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. ziricote b&s

Ziricote (Cordia dodecandra) Guitar Back & Side Sets.

This is a truly striking species, the grain characteristics are very similar to old Rio Rosewood spider-web markings etc, but instead of being a background of reds with black lines, the lines are grey over olive greens, this is the preferred wood for some very high class makers, and could make a truly fantastic instrument. these sets are dry and stored in our climate controlled stockroom.


Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. jarrah b&s

Figured Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata)

A beautiful species for those looking for something a little different.

Figured Jarrah guitar back & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. wenge b&s

Wenge (Millettia laurentii)

Even colour, chocolate brown, quite hard heavier than Indian Rosewood, with pores within the grain. This wood can make a very nice instrument, and is relatively inexpensive.
Western size sets only.

Wenge guitar backs & sides set

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. birdseye maple b&s

Birds eye maple (Acer saccharum)

Birds eye figure is a phenomenon that occurs naturally in very few species, most notably hard maple, it is not known what causes this effect, theories include Temperature, altitude, pecking birds, fungal attack, soil properties, insects, or a combination of some or all of these, sufficed to say that it is extremely rare, virtually undetectable until the tree is felled, and very often is only evident for a few centimetres beneath the bark.

Birseye Maple guitar backs & sides & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. taz black b&s

Tasmanian Blackwood (Acacia Blackwood) (Acacia Melanoxylon)

A Fantastic substitute for Hawaiian Koa
and a great tonewood in its own right.
Tasmanian Blackwood or Acacia Blackwood as it is sometimes called, has a striking similarity to Koa.
Classical size only
£135 + carriage..

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. zebrano b&s

Zebrano or Zebra wood (Microberlina Brazzavillensis)

Creamy gold in colour with very strong dark brown lines usually cut fully on the quarter, to give a pleasing stripy effect. Works reasonably well to a good finish.western size sets only.
£55.00 per set.

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. padouk b&s

Padouk ( Pterocarpus soyauxii)

Bright orange when first worked, it will darken down eventually to a more subtle shade of brownish purple. A good tone wood, stable and relatively easy to work.jumbo & acoustic bass sets only. £55.00 per set.

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. cypress b&s

Spanish Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

Introduced into Spain centuries ago from Asia Minor, and is traditionally the preferred tonewood for most flamenco guitar makers, but it’s becoming scarce and expensive. It has a creamy-yellowish colour. Spanish Cypress works well, is quite stable if the wood quartersawn, but is a little difficult to bend.

Spanish Cypress guitar back & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. purpleheart

Purpleheart (Peltogyne pubescens)

Dull brown when first cut, quickly oxidises to a stunning bright deep purple,
Hard, stable, relatively easy to work, and relatively inexpensive!
This species makes a great tonewood!

Purpleheart guitar set

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. bo41

Bog Oak Guitar back & sides sets.

Due to customer demand we are now stocking both the Jet Black Figured Sets and the Sunburst Black & Tan sets of this
Extraordinarily rare species.
With significantly higher density and hardness than ordinary oak, Bog Oak typically has 35-40 annular growth rings per inch.
When carbon dated, Bog Oak from this source was found to be 5300 years old, many of the trees in these prehistoric forests were already hundreds of years old when they fell into the fenland peat bogs.

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