Cost of wood in a guitar?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Johnnythunders, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Johnnythunders

    Johnnythunders Member

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    Anyone know what the cost of wood in a mahogony neck and body with a good maple top? I know it depends but is it like $100, $500 or 1,000?
     
  2. doctorjp

    doctorjp Member

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    body = 75$
    neck= 35$
    top = 100$ ("Good" enough?)

    very rough calculation but a fair benchmark.

    jp
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    Top plates or billets "good enough" for my guitars can run as much as $300!
     
  4. dwes

    dwes Member

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    A fine maple cap, depending upon figure and thickness will run a few hundred (at best) alone! Good mahogany is fairly pricey, too. With the finger board, I'd guess (just a guess) that a good-wood guitar would run $500.00+. There are people here who know much better than I...
    Dave
     
  5. Johnnythunders

    Johnnythunders Member

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    Thanks so between 200-500 is good enough for me. Thanks.
     
  6. cmatthes

    cmatthes Member

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    Hey JT!

    I've got a fair stockpile of "project" wood (Korina and Honduras mahogany body blanks, Korina, maple and Indian rosewood neck blanks, highly flamed bookmatched thick tops and billets), and it isn't typically cheap for quality stuff. I managed to get some of mine being in the right place/right time, but I'd ballpark a "good" guitar's worth of wood starting at $300+. If you want a great maple top, you could double that easily, unless you went with a veneer or thinner cap (less than 1/2" or so).

    Better to buy it from a reputable, knowledgeable wood shop or mill, as things like grain orientation/cut, moisture content, etc. will all be important factors in your selection.
     
  7. Liquid Quarter

    Liquid Quarter Member

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    I spoke with a Luither who is building a guitar for me. He says some of the exotic woods are getting very scarce and are about to surpass Gold prices, ounce for ounce. OUCH!!

    :dude
     
  8. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    I talked to a replica builder a few years back about building me a Les Paul (this was before the Keebler surfaced).

    Highly flamed maple cap, bookmatched, etc. $200
    Mahogany back & neck $100-150
    Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard (a nice one) $28

    Around $400 for the premium wood to make a Les Paul two years ago. Inflation could take it slightly higher two years later, so $500 or just under seems about right to me. His asking price on a dead nuts knockoff Les Paul was $4500 at that time, now it's $5000.

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. lookslikemeband

    lookslikemeband Member

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    Yeah - It all depends.

    Right now.... What I'm spending from my suppliers on WOOD alone:

    Body Blank: $75
    Cap Billet: $100 - $300 (depending on what I'm doing)
    Neck Blank: $50 - 100
    Fretboard: $25 - 100

    It all depends on what you're doing.
     
  10. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    That would mean that one pound of wood (not very much wood!!) 'would' cost $8000. I don't know of any wood that is anywhere in that neighborhood!
     
  11. Liquid Quarter

    Liquid Quarter Member

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    Well...................

    I think he was speaking figuratively using this analogy. I don't remember the name of the wood he mentioned but it was damned expensive.

    LQ
     
  12. sparky_8

    sparky_8 Member

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    I payed $500 for my Koa top for my driskill. Well worth the money IMHO. That was with me finding the wood and sending it to Joe.
     
  13. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm dreading the day that someone calls me for a pink guitar because my first though will be to use pink ivory. That'll be one very expensive experiment.
     
  14. fretnot

    fretnot Gold Supporting Member

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    I dropped $500 on Koa for a Heatley Standard. Not cheap, but damn it's pretty!
     

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