Tonewood refers to wood used to make musical instruments. Most luthiers prefer spruce and maple for the violin family of instruments. Spruce is favoured for the front panel and maple for the back and sides. Maple is also used for the neck and scroll with ebony for the finger board. Hardwoods such as willow and box are used for structural support.
Close grained timbers are best and are found at altitude where growth is slow. Preparation of tonewood is done by quarter sawing and then cutting or splitting into radial wedges. These are then further divided into two sections which present matching grain surfaces.
This gallery presents a chronological set of images displaying the preparation of tonewood for use by luthiers. It begins with quarter sawing a trunk, cutting on a band saw, setting out for instrument parts, sealing the ends, removal for air drying and final finishing and planing.
Luthiers in all stages of their careers take great care in selecting the boards they will use.
To view the gallery click HERE.