The Wood

By John Fisher

A maker of violins searched all his life for wood that would serve for making violins with a certain beautiful and haunting resonance. At last he succeeded when he came into possession of wood gathered from the timberline, the last stand of the trees of the Rockies, 12,000 feet above sea level. Up there where the winds blow so fiercely and steadily that the bark to windward has no chance to grow, where the branches all point one way, and where a tree to live must stay on its knees all through its life, that is where the world's most resonant wood for violins is born and lives and dies.


As far as I know , most Strat bodies are made of : Ash, Alder and there are a few other woods that are used. The necks are usually made of Maple.

Unfortunately at the time that I started this project, I was living in Brazil where such woods are very scarce if not pretty much non existent because they are grown in the north. Brazil has very nice tropical woods for instruments like Brazilian Rose wood, Mahogany and other woods that are very exotic and beautiful. There are of coarse some woods that are native woods like "Brazilian Rose Wood" that is still almost impossible to get anywhere (even in Brazil) because they are considered "endangered species".

So this was a dilemma that I had to somehow conquer. It is my philosophy not to let circumstances stand in the way of progress as where there is a will there is a way and this is just an obstacle that I had to somehow be overcome.

Thanks to "GRF" who I met on the internet over at "Ampage" , he (living in Brazil) supplied me with a lot of valuable information on alternative woods for guitars in Brazil. After investigating the availability of different alternative woods for guitars, I decided to use what they call in Brazil "Cherry wood" for the body which is very similar in looks to "Ash". It is not only very beautiful but has a very pleasant cherry like smell.

For the neck I used "Ivory Wood" which is a very beautiful and very hard wood similar to Maple.

I must say that although I was very pleased how these woods worked out on the final product of the guitar, I would still use the more traditional woods used for a Strat if I had them available at the time. As of now, the guitar still came out beautiful and it plays and sounds great.


When the first iron bridge was building at Colebrook Dale, England, it is said a fiddler came along and threatened to "fiddle the bridge down." The workmen laughingly bade him "fiddle away!"

He tried note after note on his instrument until he hit upon one that coincided with the structure's vibratory movement, and as he sounded that note with prolonged effort, the structure began to quiver so perceptibly, that the workmen begged him to stop lest the half-completed bridge should fall.


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