View Full Version : Any Douglas fir tops?

09-20-2013, 07:39 AM
Found a nice bit of Doug fir in a neighbor's trash pile. Snagged that and some mahogany too. I sawed up the Doug fir and glued up a top for a tenor. Anyone have any experience with DF tops? Has a ringing tap-tone. It's not the stiffest top, but not bad. Had to be planed smooth though, sandpaper just turned it into corduroy.

Wondering what back/side wood to pair this with?


Gary Gill
09-20-2013, 07:59 AM
I have been using Douglas Fir tops with mahogany sides and backs. I was fortunate in that a local veneer mill supplied some Douglas Fir backing boards to my Uncle DS Gill, and he gave some to me. Nice material to work with and sounds good too.

09-20-2013, 09:34 AM
Sounds good, but needs to be left a little thicker than some timbers if you don't want the bracing showing through after a few weeks. Doesn't like Tru-oil too much though! I've used walnut and Zebrano, both with nice results, as back and sides. HIH

Michael Smith
09-21-2013, 03:31 AM
doug fir varies wildly on density, stiffness, proneness to splitting. I like to use the less dense examples and treat them much like sitka. From the images it looks like this example is a little more toward the dense side.

09-21-2013, 05:03 AM
I have used it a few times with pretty good results. I agree with Michael a lot depends on the board the last one I built was from a sinker log and it sounded great


09-21-2013, 08:35 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Yep this piece is on the dense side. Rings nicely. Might have to think carefully on how to brace it. It's planed down to about .075" already, might be on the thin side.? I have some walnut and mahogany I can pair with. Both fairly plain boards, but the DF has pretty strong grain so let the top be the star. Also has a very strong perfumey smell to it. A little peculiar. Had planned to TruOil it, but maybe this is my big chance to try a French polish.

Perry, that stained dark stripe from the sinker log looks cool.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-21-2013, 08:44 AM
Doug fir was one of David Hurd's (Kawika) favorite sound board woods.

09-21-2013, 02:42 PM
cool to hear that. I would not have guessed.