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African Rosewood

African Rosewood

by John Jordan

Originally published in American Lutherie #9, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume One, 2000

See also,
South American Rosewood by John Jordan

It’s been over a year since my last installment of this series, “South American Rosewood,” and now it’s time to cover African rosewood. At the 1986 GAL convention, I talked to several wood dealers to clarify and verify some of the information presented here. Also, I talked to many luthiers about what important information they felt was missing or incomplete in the first installment. Requests came for more specific lutherie information: How well does it bend? How good a tonewood is it? Does anyone sell back and side sets?

In preparing this article, I’ve tried to find people who have built with a particular variety to see how they feel about the wood. Also, in instances where I know of someone that sells back and side sets for guitar, I’ve mentioned them. I was pleasantly surprised to find a few guitars at the convention made from less common varieties of rosewoods, so I go on with some encouragement.

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