Sitka Spruce, bearclaw tops
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"
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