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SEASONING GUITAR WOOD


“Green“ wood contains water both in the cellular ducts (moisture) and in the cellular structure (walls).

Wood exposed to rain or fog loses water relatively quickly from cellular ducts. Once the exposure is over, it begins to dry in the cell walls and it is this process that is called seasoning.

The cellular structure of wood seems to increase at the same rate as the seasoning, probably because the amorphous material inside the wood loses water relatively quickly while the crystalline part that makes up the real structure of the wood does not.

During the seasoning process, therefore, the wood undergoes variations in volume and reacts in different ways depending on how it has been cut. On average, a radial cut will react less to seasoning than a "slab" cut.

In the newly felled tree, the percentage of humidity can reach half of the total weight and a wooden board is defined as "seasoned" when its relative internal humidity reaches about 10-15%.

Ideally, the wood should be stored in a continuously ventilated environment for seasoning, so that the process takes place naturally and as quickly as possible.


Wood reacts differently to seasoning based on how it is cut.


KILN DRYING

In artificial curing procedures ("kiln drying"), the wood is placed on special supports in rooms ventilated by hot air. The process reduces the humidity of the wood in percentages ranging from 7 to 12%, thus obtaining an artificial seasoning that would take several years in naturally ventilated environments.

The artificially dried wood must always be re-conditioned for at least a few months before being used (process of "equalization" of the wood).

Kiln drying chamber.


HELPFUL TIPS
When preparing the cutting and storage for the seasoning of the blank for necks and bodies, attention should be paid to the structure and direction of the vein to predict how a piece of wood will behave as it dries. The wood actually tends to straighten the vein when seasoning and for this reason it is necessary to leave a certain abundance for the cut to size.

If we forgot to do so, we would risk finding ourselves with an unusable piece of wood.

The vein tends to straighten out during seasoning.


The wood taken from the inner part of the tree (heartwood) is increasingly dense, dry and stable than the wood taken from the younger and outer part (sapwood).




 
Galeazzo Frudua

Galeazzo Frudua

As a luthier and lutherie teacher, since 1988 he has been making about 350 boutique guitars and basses priced from 2,900 to 5,600 Euros and repaired and customized thousands of string instruments. His instruments and amplifiers are used by flagship artists, such as Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel, Ennio Morricone, Carl Verheyen. He owns two YouTube channels—where he teaches music—that count up to 25+ million views and almost 140.000 subscribers.

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