Guitar Making Tip No. 78

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks author biography about me experience

Guitar Making Tip No. 78 is about tone tapping and the secret benefits. If there is a defect burred inside a piece of wood, tone tapping can help you find it. Whenever you tap a board and it sounds lifeless, leave it behind and look for something else. Here is how.

Tone Tapping Can Reveal Hidden Defects

guitar making tip number 78Sometimes a board just looks great, but it doesn’t end that way. You tap it, and for some strange reason, it just sounds dead. This is an indication that there is some kind of defect inside the board that is preventing the transfer of vibration.

Whatever you do, don’t use a great looking board that doesn’t vibrate. There are exceptions, like finding the defect and working around it, but in general you want boards that vibrate well.

In the perfect world, you would use the wood that had the most life and vibration, no matter what it looked like. In the real world, many times looks win out over function. When you tone tap your pieces, make sure that you don’t take home anything that makes a dead sound or doesn’t tone at all. Even if you cant see the defect, this is what may be the cause…

Hidden Cracks and Weak Points

If your board doesn’t tone at all, but others like it tone just fine, there may be a crack hiding in the board. This is a separation that prevents the board from vibrating as a unit. You may not even be able to see it, but it can be the cause in a lifeless board.

Before you dump a great looking piece for lack of tone, make sure that you are adjusting your grip and toning it correctly. If you are good at this process, you have probably already done this step.

Again, if the board tones poorly, or not at all, leave it behind.

Try Toning Wood With Visible Defects

If you want to get an idea for how a defective piece tones, just pick one up. Tone the wood as normal, and listen for the sound. If the defect is having an effect on how the wood vibrates, you will hear it.

Look for a board with an open crack or split. These typically make next to no sound. Some boards with knots will tone just fine. Other not. Most of the time it depends on the location of the knot.

Testing and listening to these kinds of boards will teach you what not to look for, which in many cases can be as helpful knowing what you need to look for. Add this experience to your tone tapping tool belt, and you will be even more equipped to make good buying decisions.

acoustic guitar making how to make tools templates and jigs book beginner book for new guitar makers

Post Author-

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
  • 7 Published Books Available on Amazon
  • 750+ Helpful Posts Written
  • 1 Million+ Words Published
 

You Can Find My Books on Amazon!

woodworking and guitar making books
 

Filter:AllOpenResolvedClosedUnanswered
Forum Guidelines (Please Read)
ClosedWestfarthing Woodworks asked 2 weeks ago • 
102 views0 answers0 votes
How do acoustic guitars work?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks asked 3 days ago • 
8 views0 answers0 votes
Could DIY guitars built from kits sell?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks asked 3 days ago • 
9 views0 answers0 votes
What tools does someone need to build electric guitars?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 days ago • 
25 views1 answers0 votes
What types of bone are guitar saddles made from?
AnsweredBrian answered 6 days ago • 
34 views1 answers0 votes
How can I build my own guitar?
OpenWestfarthing Woodworks asked 6 days ago • 
14 views0 answers0 votes
Where do You Get Guitar Making Wood?
AnsweredBrian answered 1 week ago • 
60 views1 answers0 votes
Do You Need a Lot of Tools to Make a Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
52 views1 answers0 votes
Is it Hard to Make a Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
52 views1 answers0 votes
Does Tru-Oil Change the Tone of Your Instrument?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
70 views1 answers0 votes
Can You Make Your Own Guitar Making Tools?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
35 views1 answers0 votes
Easy Finishes for Guitars?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
54 views1 answers0 votes
Headstock Relief Angle?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
52 views1 answers0 votes
Building the Fretboard Off the Neck?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
35 views1 answers0 votes
Should I make a Kit First?
OpenBrian asked 2 weeks ago • 
12 views0 answers0 votes
Finishing a Guitar With the Bridge and Neck Separate?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
27 views1 answers0 votes
Carbon Fiber and No Truss Rod?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
39 views1 answers0 votes
Do Carbon Fiber Rods Fight Against the Truss Rod?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
47 views1 answers0 votes
Epoxy to Fill Gaps on a Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
37 views1 answers0 votes
How Durable is Tru-Oil on an Electric Guitar?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
34 views1 answers0 votes
Do You Finish the Guitar with the Bridge On or Off?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 2 weeks ago • 
35 views1 answers0 votes

An Exclusive Member of Mediavine Home

Westfarthing Woodworks LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.