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Bending Spalted Maple

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Forum topic by Sirgreggins posted 08-01-2012 03:36 PM 1257 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sirgreggins

298 posts in 1699 days


08-01-2012 03:36 PM

I just came across this set of spalted maple sides that i’d like to use on an upcoming dreadnought guitar. I’m curious about the bending properties of this wood though. Since spalting is basically rotting wood i’d like to hear from those who have bent spalted woods. How bad is it? If It’s really difficult to bend I will just cut this stuff up and use it for other woodworking projects. Thanks guys.

Here’s the link to the photo of the spalted maple:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/67867680@N06/7691529234/in/photostream/lightbox/


7 replies so far

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2701 days


#1 posted 08-01-2012 04:40 PM

It depends on where the wood is in the spalting process. If it’s still hard, it should be as strong as any other maple. If it’s punky, it’s not usable for your purpose anyway. It sure is beautiful wood for a guitar body. With wood that pretty for the sides, what are you going to use for the top and bottom that won’t look plain? I’ll be watching to see your finished guitar.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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Sirgreggins

298 posts in 1699 days


#2 posted 08-01-2012 04:49 PM

Unfortunately there is no back to this set. I will wait until the seller has something closely resembling this though. The good thing is that this wood was kiln dried to 10% so the fungi growth should be done from what i understand. It seems hard enough to use. If it breaks, i’ll use it for jewlery box tops, etc. This stuff is simply too beautiful to pass up.

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Loren

8304 posts in 3112 days


#3 posted 08-01-2012 05:46 PM

Well the bend will be safest if you use a Fox bender or
similar jig instead of freehanding on a hot pipe.

Don’t try to do a cutaway. Dreadnought is the easiest
shape to bend and really not that hard to do.

You might want to take it down a bit thinner than normal
to make the bending easy, then laminate veneer to the
inside. I would.

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Sirgreggins

298 posts in 1699 days


#4 posted 08-01-2012 05:51 PM

I’m definitely using a fox style bender. I won’t bend with anything else ever again. I also chose the dreadnought since the waist isn’t severe. My backs/sides are usually brought own to .80” thick what would you go down to?

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Loren

8304 posts in 3112 days


#5 posted 08-01-2012 06:00 PM

.80” sounds ok. I think scraping saw marks of the waist part
before you bend can help a little.

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2422 days


#6 posted 08-02-2012 04:08 PM

The wood on the outer edges will work without a doubt, it is the center most area I would worry about; it looks as if it has a level of the final type of spalting which truly destroys the fibers and “fabric” of the wood. When it is that way it becomes very resistant to holding itself together when bent, it will tend to break apart as if brittle. I would think a thinner piece would be better, but to be honest I know of nobody who has tried to bend it for future use. I’ve handled tons of the stuff as scrap and it becomes difficult to even move without chunking away. I’m very interested in the outcome, please do show us what happens…one way or the other. Best of luck!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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Sirgreggins

298 posts in 1699 days


#7 posted 08-02-2012 04:19 PM

Thanks. What i’ll do is try to bend it and if it breaks, well, i’ll cut it up and use it for jewlery boxes. I’ve only played a couple spalted maple guitars but with automated bending equipment the big manufacturers have a bit of a leg up. I can’t wait to see what this will look like under a finish. thanks everyone. Keep the feedback coming!

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