Wood Information

Here is some information on some of the wood species we offer.  Various factors in today’s global economy mean there is different situations for different species and this is meant to give you an idea of what to expect for those species.  In addition, detailed below are a few new options we are offering as alternatives to traditional choices used for instrument construction.

Western (Bigleaf) Flame Maple Carved Tops

Availability is good, but the highest grades are currently scarce due to lack of logging in previous years.  

4A Examples:

3A Examples:

Character Flame Examples:

Western (Bigleaf) Quilt Maple Carved Tops

These are really scarce in all grades right now due to lack of logging in previous years.  Highest grades are currently not available at all.

4A Examples:

3A Examples:

Limba (Black & White (Korina)) 

First note is that this material is only commercially available in 2″ thickness.  This means that if you order any of our carved top guitars, we need to laminate for thickness on the neck in order to accommodate the steeper headstock angle.  This leaves a tiny “sliver” at the very tip of the headstock:

We’ve had many requests for “no streaks” or “perfectly white” White Limba.  While we will do our best, it’s hard to reject a body or neck at the final stages of construction just because a tiny dark streak or spot is exposed during machining.  When you order White Limba from PGK, you can expect it to be 95% or better white, but please expect there to be one or 2 small areas like this:

Lastly, this material is prone to wormholes.  You can fill these carefully to be almost invisible in the case of White Limba, or as part of the streaking in Black Limba:

1pc Bodies

While we expect to have consistent stock in African Mahogany 1pc body blanks, all other species are special order for us.  Some orders will come in with many wide boards, some will come in with none.  We have no choice but to take what we can get at the moment.  If you don’t see 1pc bodies available in the custom builder, try switching to a chambered body for more 1pc options.

Spalt & Burl Maple Tops

We think it goes without saying, but these woods are likely to have soft spots and large, open voids.  This is part of the character of these woods, but be aware that some filling / sanding may be needed on your end:

Ebony Fretboards

Availability is good, but the grade is falling steadily. These are rarely jet black any more, many grey patches and streaks.  Some examples of what 1st grade Ebony fretboards currently look like:

We are now offering Royal Blackwood as an alternative.

Indian Rosewood Fretboards

We are not currently able to import these from the United States due to US Customs.  This means we need to source them directly from India.  Because of long delays in getting CITIES and customs paperwork done there, there will be gaps in our IRW supply from time to time but we will do our best to keep this stocked. 

As an alternative, we are offering Roasted Ash & Roasted Acacia fretboards, see below for more information. 

Alternate Wood Options

Royal Blackwood is thermally modified Purpleheart (Peltogyne catingae).  This species is readily available and roasting gives it pure black color through and through.  We have many customers asking for Jet Black Ebony boards, but that is quickly becoming impossible.  For those who require the blackest boards, Royal Blackwood will be a better choice.

Roasted Acacia is thermally modified Black Locust (Pseudoacacia robinia).  These are North American sourced and environmentally sustainable.  Quartersawn for stability and thermally modified for long term resistance to climate and decay.  

Roasted Ash is thermally modified Northern Hard Ash (Fraxinus americana).  These are North American sourced and environmentally sustainable.  Quartersawn for stability and thermally modified for long term resistance to climate and decay.  Here is what they look like up close and compared to Indian Rosewood (right):

Roasted Spruce is thermally modified Spruce sourced in our backyard, British Columbia.  This is the same material that’s used for high-end acoustic guitars so it’s tonal value is already proven.  We’ve taken what can not be used for those acoustic guitars, roasted it, bookmatched it and now offer it for our semi-hollowbody guitars.  They look great, sound great and are extremely light as compared to the hardwoods traditionally used: