Hello to all!
I just acquired some Black Walnut from a very generous tree excavator. He's had the stuff sitting in his garage for a while and asked me if i could use some, so of course i said yes. He handed over to me yesterday planed down to about 3/16" and well kind of bookmatched. Problem is the the stuff is slab sawn. It's some gorgeous wood though! My question here is, do back and sides absolutely have to be quarter sawn? I sure hope not. The wood is beautiful! And help would be appreciated! Thanks!

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No they don't need to be matched. most all the old parlor guitars were Brazilian flat grain and beautiful! I have a 1936 D28 Martin that is VG and it is blaw! Isn't pretty at all!! The top on this Martin is not all VG but about 45 degrees from VG and has never cracked yet.

But Ron, with regard to slab cut backs and sides, doesn't it give at least a little case of the willies to contemplate the instability of the wood? I'll grant you slabby stuff can be drop dead gorgeous, and even I will bend the rules a bit for a cute piece of cocobolo with slabby edges, but something south of my shoulder blades tightens whenever I use that kind of stuff.

Some of the early Gibson guitars were sawn en toto from one large slab of wood - sides and neck - with no jointery. Only the top and the back was then glues/pinned on. Wood was cheap and much more available (I suspect that they managed to carve a few more goodies out of the "trimmin's").

Thanks for the replies gentlemen! I'll have to post some pictures of the wood! Right now it's down south a ways from me but ill get them up here as soon as I can. Whew, so glad to know i can use this wood! We are working on a way to get some cleaner cuts out of the saw so we can keep the book-match as close as possible but at the moment were having to take about a 1/16th off to cut a smooth piece of wood! Thanks again all!


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