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African Blackwood

  BSBlackwoodMichihiroMatsudaWABKSJ
 

African Blackwood guitar by Michihiro Matsuda.

 

Back & Sides Dimensions
Wood Grading article

See article 
Harvesting African Blackwood
in Mozambique

 

Dalbergia melanoxylon

African Blackwood (a member of the Rosewood family, Dalbergia) has long been recognized by classical guitar builders as the "holy grail" of tonewoods. With a strong responsive taptone that surpasses even Brazilian Rosewood, it can contribute great volume, power and brilliance to a guitar.

Now many prominent steel string builders (among them Kevin Ryan and Marc Maingard) are building with it, with equally impressive results.

African Blackwood is difficult to work and can be hard to bend, but it is strikingly beautiful and polishes to a high luster. It is very fine grained, quite stable when dry (more stable than most Ebonies), and glues satisfactorily.

Due to the small size of African Blackwood trees, obtaining guitar sets is difficult. Most sets will show some defects within the pattern such as solid pin knots and/or wormholes that can be filled.

 

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  Working with problem woods