Guitar Making Tip No. 47 – Standard Grade Wood

Guitar Making Tip No. 47 is about standard grade wood. On your first guitar, there are several benefits to using standard grade wood. It will make the process easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable. Here is why.

The Book Store is Now Open!   Happy Building!

Standard Grade Guitar Making Wood

guitar making tip number 47In the guitar making industry, wood is classified into categories. These categories are based on the look and quality of the board. Boards that have more of the features that guitar makers and customer are looking for are classed higher than those without.

In all of the classification methods, nothing is mentioned about the sound of the wood. There is no way to classify wood based on how well it will sound on a guitar, because that’s all up to the maker. Wood grading is more about the look than anything else.

Also, wood is graded on rarity too. Highly figured pieces are rare, which is why they are more expensive than regular pieces. The grading has nothing to do with the sound quality, it has everything to do with the look and the rarity.

There are several benefits to using standard grade wood on your first few builds…

Standard Grade Wood is Less Stressful

Standard grade wood is easier to purchase, which makes the build less expensive. In the beginning, the expense of the wood does matter, because it adds stress to the build. When you are about to do an unfamiliar step, the cost of the materials comes into play.

Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!

When you are trying to bend a set of sides that are $200, there is a much higher stress level than when bending a set of $40 sides. If you make a mistake with the less expensive wood, the burden to get started again is fairly low in comparison.

Simply using less expensive materials means that you will not have to worry about making mistakes as much. This is great, because when you work from a less worried perspective, you make better decisions and you do better work.

acoustic guitar making how to make tools templates and jigs 3d cover number 4

 Attention New Guitar Makers!

Do you want to make a guitar but you are worried about the cost, time, and if you can even do it? My book can help, and you will learn:
  • How to save money making your own tools and jigs.
  • How to finish your guitar without expensive equipment.
  • Use normal woodworking tools to make your guitar.
  • Easy inlay work that looks much harder than it is.
  • 508 helpful pages with over 1600 images.

Buy My Book Now on Amazon!

Related: 25 Simple Ways to Customize Your Guitar Without Altering the Tone

Standard Grade Guitar Wood is Easier to Work With

In general, standard grade wood is easier to work with than higher grade wood. Especially when you get into figured wood, which is much more difficult in some cases, working with standard grade wood will be easier.

Highly figured pieces of wood are harder to work with. The grain runs in all directions, and the pieces work differently. If you are new to woodworking too, and you are learning your tools, adding the extra difficulty layer of figured wood is not necessary.

In the beginning, there is already a lot to learn. Adding anything extra to the mix is just not a good idea. If you are already experienced in woodworking, and working with exotic woods, then you already know how to deal with the differences. Until then, use standard grade.

High End Wood is Much More Expensive

When you compare the prices of standard wood and high end wood, there is a huge difference in cost. The high end of anything will always command a higher price, and it is typically not proportionate to the performance of the higher end piece.

Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!

In general, a master grade board can be five times the price of a standard grade board, and in some cases many more times than that. The performance of the board is not necessarily that many times better.

As far as bang for the buck goes, you get more value from the standard/middle of the road category than any other. The pieces are still good looking, and you can get much more value for your money than spending on the master grade stuff.

Guitar Making Tip No. 47 Wrap-Up

High end guitar making wood is beautiful. However, it does not guarantee a great sounding guitar. In the beginning, you can benefit from using standard grade wood or entry level wood on your instruments.

If you are new to guitar making, working with expensive wood adds stress to the build. You are already going to have to learn a lot, so don’t make it worse. If you make a mistake with less expensive wood, it will be easier to recover from, and less stressful to work.

If you have any questions on Guitar Making Tip No. 47, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

More From Westfarthing Woodworks

woodworking and guitar making books
Buy My Woodworking Books on Amazon!

I give away the majority of my woodworking, wood finishing, and guitar making tips, but I also have several books if you want to take the next step.

You can see them in my Book Store, and they are all on Amazon.

Also, if you want to Join the Facebook Group, you can do that as well. We are just starting to grow a fantastic community and I would love for you to be part of it. 



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here