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"I’m about 10 tops into a stack of 40 cedar tops I got from you, and whenever I want to start a new guitar, I just walk over and pick a top off the stack, and start building.
They are all that great! I don’t have to dink around with the pattern, or select the “best" one: I just start building. I love that!  I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your high standards, and what a pleasure it is to do business with you!"

Ben

Sitka Spruce, bearclaw tops

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Tops Dimensions
Wood Grading article
Soundboard quality terms

Also see our Sitka Spruce tops

 

Picea sitchensis

Bearclaw is unusual in that the figure is very random. The pattern does not typically run deep into the billet, so it is common that the figure on one half of a top is not mirrored in the other (bookmatched) half. There are two basic kinds of bearclaw. The most common looks as if the wood were scratched, with long, squiggling "claw marks". The marks often run perpendicular to the grain. The second type shows shorter "striations", where the "claw marks" run in the general direction of the grain, are thinner and more numerous than the first type resulting in a fantastic shimmer.

Because each occurrence of bearclaw is unique, it can add to the individuality of the instrument. Many feel that this figure adds a small measure of added stiffness, so the guitar may have the potential for a stronger sound. 
See article "About Bearclaw"

PLEASE NOTE: Because these sets are one-of-a-kind, they cannot be reserved.  Once a set is purchased, it will disappear from the page. If a set was already put in another persons cart, they will not be able to check out until they remove it.