“Dear Sir,
A few months ago I placed my first order with you and built my very first guitar. Ovangkol back and sides with sitka top.
I have been a craftsman for a number of years, rebuilding antique pianos, including making new soundboards and bridges, and decided to try my hand at guitars after buying a Taylor 814ce.
The results of my first attempt were surprising, to me and to others. Since I'm a bit "old-school" I built it entirey by hand, no table saw, router, joiner etc. (I did use a driss press!). I have already received requests for custom made guitars, and from a store interested in selling them.
It really helped to find quality supplies, all in one place, so I could start this experiment - which may just turn out to be my next and final career.
Many Thanks.
ps. I have just placed a second order so I can start making a few more......”

- Jon Ballard

Maple, European


Flamed Maple, Jeff Babicz Designs

Maple is well known for its use in carved back instruments as well as flat back instruments (It is the traditional wood for instruments of the violin family). It is prized for figured specimens, particularly “curly” or “flamed” wood exhibiting the tight even curls of "”fiddleback” figure, as well as “birds-eye” and “quilted” or “blister” figure. "Curly" figure is most prominent on quartersawn surfaces, while “birds-eye” and quilted show best on flat-sawn faces. Good quilted Maple sets are difficult to obtain and we will frequently be our of them for this reason.

See the "Figured Wood Terms" link below to familiarize yourself with how we grade Maple.  Because of the tension in the wood and the relative instability of thinner stock, backs and sides of this material are rarely flat. You may even require board supports on either side of the backs to be jointed. As with many figured woods, expect movement in the sets until you have them braced. We will not accept returns on Maple for warp or cup unless it is extreme. For this reason Maple may be more suitable for experienced luthiers.

Back & Sides Dimensions
Wood Grading article
• Figured Wood Terms