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kenikas
12-21-2010, 03:19 PM
I have noticed several Redwood and "sinker" Redwood tops for sale lately and was wondering how it is to work with, and what kind of sound it has. I'm thinking of using it on my next soprano and would like to hear from you who have used it. Is there a real difference in the sinker wood?

CTurner
12-21-2010, 03:45 PM
Kenikas,

I'm not a luthier, but I am getting a sinker redwood topped tenor uke from Jay Lichty soon in the new year. When I visited him at his shop, I heard the taptone: like a bell it was, and of course the grain and color will be gorgeous. I have read, someplace, that sinker redwood is relatively easy to work with, but again I don't have expert knowledge about that.
Jay has worked with sinker a lot: maybe you could email him directly and ask some questions, luthier to luthier? I bet he'd be happy to respond. I found him very warm, friendly and a superb luthier. Tell him I suggested you ask him.

Gmoney
12-21-2010, 03:56 PM
http://12fret.com/new/Taylor_GA_Sinker_Redwood_pg.html

Sounds like it would be awesome!

thehappyukulele
12-22-2010, 03:09 AM
I haven't worked with sinker redwood but I've built two ukes with redwood. They sound great, the wood is beautiful and I'm using it for another tenor right now because I love the sound. I would say this about working with it. The difference in density between the dark and light rings is substantial, so cutting, planing and in particular sanding, is a little trickier. The dark grain lines are much denser than the lighter areas. It's not a really big deal but you have to pay attention to it.

Dave Iriguchi

JamieFromOntario
12-22-2010, 04:40 AM
I've noticed the interest in sinker redwood as well.

I've been thinking of getting a redwood topped custom. In fact, I just corresponded with Jerry from BoatPaddle about redwood. His feeling was that spruce likely makes a better top, a little crisper and cleaner.

Though, it sounds like from the link the Gmoney posted, sinker redwood will sound a little more like spruce. Here's a quote about sinker redwood from Taylor guitars:

"...not unlike Western Red cedar, but with more of the qualities associated with Spruce ... a bolder, crisper, punchier tone than Cedar, but with all the rich, strong overtones intact"

Allen
12-22-2010, 08:52 AM
It's working qualities are much like Western Red Cedar but a bit firmer. It splits and splinters much easier than Western Red Cedar though. Sound wise its hard I'd generalise but Id say that it's a little brighter than Cedar.

It makes a very nice soundboard. But don't go for the stuff that has curl in it. That's short grain making the pattern and while very pretty it's totally unsuitable as a sound board unless you are laminating it to something else.

JoshFromTallGrassUkes
12-22-2010, 09:25 AM
I built a guitar with a sinker redwood top––it's great stuff. As was mentioned before, the best qualities of cedar & spruce, plus it breaks in quickly and it's easy to work with. One thing to watch out for--the piece I had was quite thirsty for superglue. I had some near the rosette that permeated fairly deep. It was to my great relief that the finish concealed it.

UkeforJC
01-21-2011, 02:08 PM
It makes a very nice soundboard. But don't go for the stuff that has curl in it. That's short grain making the pattern and while very pretty it's totally unsuitable as a sound board unless you are laminating it to something else.

Does curl wood generally not a good choice for soundboard?
I am looking at some curl Spanish cedar top on ebay.
Do you think it is not a good choice?
Thank you

spruce
01-21-2011, 02:47 PM
Does curl wood generally not a good choice for soundboard?
I am looking at some curl Spanish cedar top on ebay.
Do you think it is not a good choice?
Thank you

Well, the problem is that with curly redwood, for instance, the curl is so intense that you are basically trying to glue a bridge to endgrain....
Not a good idea...
An archtop uke--that's another story....