Tonewoods

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At KJP, we’re proud to offer one of the largest selections of wood and woodworking products in all of Canada. We love woodworking.

We also love music. That’s why we’re proud to announce that we’ve been expanding our selection of tonewoods. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own guitar, bass, or any other musical instrument, our tonewoods are the perfect place to start.
Quality tonewood for luthiers  Guitar body blank Guitar parts

What are tonewoods?

Tonewoods, sometimes called musical woods, are woods that are commonly used in the creation of musical instruments. A wide variety of tonal and structural properties can make a given type of wood a good candidate for use in an instrument. These properties include:
  • A high stiffness-to-weight ratio
  • High hardness (for example, to withstand string tension on the neck of stringed instruments)
There are also a variety of subjective factors that can make a player favour one tonewood over another. These factors include:
  • Aesthetics
  • Frequency range (high to low)
  • Overtone profile (harmonics vs. fundamentals)
  • Touch sensitivity
Different tonewoods are best suited to different instruments - and indeed, to different parts of those instruments. The science and art of choosing the right tonewood also depend on player preference and style. A flamenco guitarist might, for example, benefit from a very different tonewood than a player with a gentle, fingerpicking style.

Not sure which tonewoods are best suited to your needs? Get in touch with us. We’ll help you shop through our tonewood products and find the woods that are best for your instrument and playing style.

How do you select your tonewoods?

All of our tonewoods are handpicked by our in-house luthier. A luthier is someone who crafts and repairs stringed instruments. Our luthier has an intimate knowledge of tonewoods and the processes by which those woods can be crafted into fine instruments.

With the help of our luthier, we’re currently expanding the selection of tonewoods we have available.As of the time this blog is being written, we have:

  • Bass necks (Maple, Roasted Maple, and Padauk)
  • Guitar necks (Maple and Roasted Maple)
  • Bass fingerboards
  • Guitar fingerboards (Ebony and Camatillo)
  • Guitar body blanks (Maple, Padauk, Roasted Ash, and Walnut)
  • A variety of pieces for small parts

Can I really make an instrument by hand?

You absolutely can - and we can help! Building an instrument is an intermediate woodworking project, so we do recommend some prior woodworking experience before you begin. Even if you have no woodworking experience at all, however, the experts at KJP Select Hardwoods can help you on your journey. We can recommend tonewoods and provide you with guides and other resources.

We offer tonewoods in custom sizes, and we have options for beginners and experienced luthiers. We can even help you create a chalk outline of your instrument’s body on one of our tonewoods to give you a better idea of how large the final piece will be and what it will look like.

With all of the resources we offer, you’ll be able to build a beautiful instrument yourself, with a tone customized to your style.

As our tonewoods are selected by our luthier, we specialize in tonewoods perfect for guitars and bass guitars. Many of our tonewoods can be used for other instruments; however - if you’re not sure which wood to select, feel free to ask!

Creating the instrument you’ll play from scratch is an incredibly rewarding experience. We’re excited to help you make a custom instrument that’s all your own!

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