The first time I built a guitar myself in my youth, I used cheap plywood, it was just there! I just didn't think about it, which wood do I take and in which quality should I use it? I've been over that point for a few years now. The more I looked into it, the less clear the answers were. It also struck me that I found almost no literature on the subject, and if I did, it was not very in-depth. Why not simply gather experience myself? I would like to report about this experience here.

The following picture shows a pile of clay firewood - but don't worry, it was "only" the scraps, the rest sounds quite decent and not in the oven.

Tonholz crackles beautifully in the oven!

I would like to add a few words before the introduction: 

I now know why native tonewood is so expensive! It is very much work, an enormously high risk to catch bad wood! Who risks a lot, may also earn more from it.

It is also a lot of fun to work with your own tone wood in instrument making and to play on it - you have the quality in your own hands!

And I raise my hat to many a wooden owl! But I also know that they boil with water and that there are quite nice tone wood storytellers.

Something I heard over and over again and something to consider: 

"Buying value wood is a matter of luck!"

"I don't know why that log is 10x more expensive than the one next to it!"

"Keep your hands off it if you don't know enough about it"

"Why buy a steer when all you want is a good piece of steak!"

A simple question first: what is tonewood?

First and foremost, the natural raw material "wood" and nothing else! This can not be simply produced in the sense of mass production - it must grow! You can only ensure through further treatment / processing that it can be used for optimal sound production - just good tonewood.

Over the years, I've had success with tonewood from the tonewood dealer. I also ordered from catalogs. Usually you also get decent quality.
It was an event for me when I visited one or the other clay wood manufacturer. But I came to the saws and their use if, then by chance. Why can't you just watch and ask questions? I always felt like I was asking stupid questions. Is there a secret and if so, where? I always had in my head: what must be expensive, must have an insane process behind it, becomes valuable and also good!
But I did not really understand: wood, air, saw, are nothing special or?
How do I distinguish good tone wood from bad? How do you make tonewood? What is special about it? I asked luthiers, master instrument makers, master carpenters, sawmillers, forestry experts, etc. But somehow these seemed to be secretive lodges that passed the knowledge from generation to generation and century to century. Everybody had an opinion about it, but they hadn't done it yet, yes in school they had been in such a company once. Somehow some statements contradicted each other. A book with seven seals?

Since I was apparently crazy enough to occupy myself with the thoughts further, I carried for years always the curiosity in me to "make" once tonewood itself. Whether this makes sense or not, of course, I have "talked" long and in detail with my wife - I did it anyway. :-)

Literature sources used include:

"Solid Wood Handbook"
Solid wood working group
Heimhuder Street 22
D-20148 Hamburg
"Forest Utilization Core Block"
Institute for Forest Utilization and Forest Work Science
Werderring 6
79085 Freiburg
"The guitar and its construction"
Franz Jahnel
Erwin Buchinsky Publishing House
The musical instrument

Most of the pictures are from me. Over time, I have also found interesting pictures during research on the Internet and unfortunately not always remembered the origin. This is not done out of bad intention. If someone should see here his copyrights hurt, then I ask for information. I will remove the picture immediately.



Selecting Wood

On this site I go into the raw wood selection.

Cutting Wood

Here I would like to talk about the cutting of the logs.

Storage & Drying

On this site you will learn important about tonewood drying and storage.

Processing Tonewood

Here I describe in rough steps the development of the tonewood.