What are Luthier Materials?
Luthiers produce and/or repair stringed instruments. The term is rarely used here in the USA, and these instrument makers are often referred to by their specialty, such as a guitar maker, violin maker, lute maker, etc.
Lutherie used to describe the craft of making stringed instruments and is divided into 2 main categories, plucked or strummed instruments, and instrument utilizing a bow.
Luthier Materials is the term that is used to describe all of the materials that are used specifically in the creation of stringed instruments and can include the following:
Bowed instrument luthier materials will frequently have top and back blanks that are hand split into wedge-shaped, book-matched pieces, which make provisions for the arch-shaped top. This is additionally true for other arch tops instruments such as the mandolin, and the arch top guitars.
Luthier Materials that are related to the construction of Acoustic and Classical Guitars are classified in the following four categories: Guitar Finishing Luthier Materials, Wood Product Luthier Material, Decorative Luthier Materials, and Hardware Luthier Materials.
Luthier Materials Used for Guitar Finishing:
Finishes That are Spirit-Based
Water-Based Lacquers and Stains
Varnishes and Stains With an Oil Base
Wash Coats Based on Vinyl, Shellac, and Lacquer
Fillers Used For Wood Pores
Products Used for Buffing
Luthier Materials – Wood Products:
Tonewood Top Plates
Back Plate and Side Tonewood
Guitar Neck Wood
Wood Used for Fretboards
Decorative Luthier Materials:
Binding and Plastic Purfling Materials
Wood Binding and Purfling Materials
Shell Inlay Products
Sound Hole Decoration and Rosettes
Materials Used for Pick guards
Guitar Bridge Blanks
Woods Utilized for Head Piece Decoration
Various Wood Veneers
Luthier Materials – Various Hardware Products
Ivory, Plastic and Bone Saddles and Nuts
Bridge Pins – Various Materials
Neck Reinforcing Stock
Each of these four categories have many great sources for you to select your luthier materials. You will discover that certain suppliers specialize in tonewood only and others in top tonewood only. Many other suppliers offer wide-ranging materials and a few offer luthier materials that the luthier needs to build a great guitar.
We have put together a list of the most beneficial Luthier Material Suppliers, with links and lists of available materials for your convenience. This list will growing over time as we identify new suppliers and received feedback from our readers.
For the most part, these suppliers are very proud of the products they sell and offer outstanding product satisfaction guarantees. Do be aware that wood products are a natural product, and are subject to some imperfections, some of which may be hidden. Also they do not adhere to the tight tolerances of manufactured products. Below is an excerpt from a typical customer satisfaction guarantee that many supply houses will state.
Luthier Materials Satisfaction Guarantee:
We are very confident in our materials as you may well guess. If any products you receive from us do not live up to your standard for quality, you are free to return it for an exchange, a credit or refund. We only ask that you speak to a salesperson, that the product be unaltered and unworked, and returned within 2 weeks of receiving it. This policy does not apply to items from our service department as these items have been altered.
As you can see from this documentary, they are very proud of their products, and you are given an out to exchange or get a refund, which allows you to shop with confidence and get the highest and best luthier materials that are selected through experts in the industry, saving you a lot of time and trouble.
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