Posted on

Selecting Australian Timbers

Selecting Australian Timbers

by Lindsay Hewson

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Quarterly, Volume 7 #1, 1979 and Lutherie Woods and Steel String Guitars, 1997

All luthiers no matter what their nationality, have one quest that binds them together more strongly than does the maternal cord: the eternal search for the materials and timbers needed to continue their art. In Europe and America, timbers traditionally used in lutherie grow in some areas, and despite the dwindling supplies of really top-grade wood, such materials are still available from retail outlets. However, here in Australia, some additional obstacles exist.

The geographic isolation of this country, combined with the relatively minute luthier population, does not present a sufficiently valid reason for the commercial importation of the traditional lutherie timbers. When someone does arrange to have some spruce or rosewoods imported in large enough quantities to be worthwhile, they are often bitterly disappointed to find that by the time the consignment arrives it has been very carefully ransacked, and the best pieces removed on the docks of the countries involved. Once again, being so far removed from the source of supply, little recall is possible without personally traveling overseas.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.