I see a lot of guys here using nice woods like cherry and exotic stuff to make their fretboards and neck and such.
Looking at the web sites that sell luthier supplies, they want hundreds of dollars for a couple pieces of wood.
Home depot etc. have poplar and oak and that's about it.
So, I sure would appreciate any tips or links to find some nicer varieties of wood that don't cost a fortune.
As such, I also see in the photos that some CBG builders are using these nice woods for fretboards in thicknesses of 1/4" or so.
Are you cutting this stuff down? or are you buying it in that thickness?
I want to make something really nice looking but ain't having any luck finding wood.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.


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I use Lowes maple and oak for necks, can't beat it. I have used cherry, walnut and mahogany for fretboards from Midwest Products that I found in a local hobby shop. Also if you have a Woodcraft store nearby, they also carry exotic woods for a reasonable price.
also try rockler.com
I happen to have a WoodCraft store nearby, but they also do online orders. The 1/8" x 3" x 24" planks work great for fret boards.
Yep, www.rockler.com has some nice fretboard material already sliced down to 1/4" thick.

And ask around, see if you can find any woodworkers in town. Then ask if they have any scraps they'd be willing to donate to you. One man's scrap wood is another's new (cigar box) guitar neck!
Affordable? Well maybe not so much. The web is however convenient and cheap in the sense that you won't need a bunch of equipment to mill your material down. Wood these days is just plain expensive. It is one of the reasons I'm turning to building instruments instead of furniture. I purchase wood in the rough and it still is prohibitively expensive. This means that it generally costs me triple for the privilege of building a piece of furniture as opposed to just buying it at the store.

I recently paid around $65 for a 2" x 8" x 5' piece of rough quarter sawn Sitka Spruce. Considering how many soundboards I can mill up from this one piece, it is a bargain but requires a large bandsaw to re-saw the boards and a jointer and surface planer. Another thing to consider are veneers. There are places on the web that sell exotic wood veneers by the single piece. For a headstock or top cover for a less than appealing cigarbox (some are nicer than others), it would be fairly cheap. I also see various species of wood for sale on craigslist all the time.
I guess I'm fortunate to have a borg store fairly close to home that has a decent stock of exotics, however I tend to use walnut for fret boards. I also resaw the stock to get my desired thicknesses, but if you aren't kitted out to do this then buying your stock already dressed down is the way to go. keep in mind that you can stain poplar to any color under the sun and it looks every bit as good as some of the exotics. A cheap stain alternative is the common marker and basic black will do a good job of ebonizing the poplar. Just be sure the markers are spirit based and not water based. Alternatively, check out the flooring section of the local borg, some times they dump broken boxes of hard wood flooring, I've used that stock as neck blanks alot.
Many towns have some sort of "used materials" store where you can pick up recycled bits of all sorts. Things to look for are old pieces of furniture, table-tops, that sort of thing.
Sometimes it's hard to identify the particular type of wood, but it's often quality hardwood. (Lots of "real" instrument makers haunt such places to get pieces of hard-to-obtain rosewood or walnut.)

Another source is demolitions-remodeling. Often, when older homes or flats are gutted, the crew just pitches everything, including good pieces used for various interior bits.
As Mark said: check for used and recycled materials. In my area there are a few Restore outlets. These are run by Habitat for Humanity and are donation drop offs for building supplies. I recently got a bundle of 6 six foot long 3/4 in. white oak stair treads for $8! (I think it might have been mismarked.....)
Oh, and while I might not be affordable, my wife says my wood is very, very nice....
used furniture....... seriously, I've gotten up to 20 necks from a used mahogany headboard and a bunch of walnut fretboards out of a table top.... oh, and if you like the Lowebow vibe... look for Formica covered table tops.... I saw the great one haggle over a 2foot table top that became one of his creations....

Chester Winowiecki said:
As Mark said: check for used and recycled materials. In my area there are a few Restore outlets. These are run by Habitat for Humanity and are donation drop offs for building supplies. I recently got a bundle of 6 six foot long 3/4 in. white oak stair treads for $8! (I think it might have been mismarked.....)
How about just googling "hardwood and exotic lumber" in your area.
Thats how I found my supplier.

Matt
I have bought a lot off e-bay. I bid on it at a set price I'm willing to pay and have been lucky several times. There are also several people that sell "thin wood" on e-bay at a decient price. just search.

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