Factory Tour: Wood & Lumber Selection
Feb 5, 2016 | Factory Tour
Curly (Tiger) Maple Logs Waiting to be cut.
One of our suppliers preparing to section a Tiger Maple log with a chainsaw.
Sawn in Half, it will yield Quartersawn Maple Blocks for Top & Back Sets
Maple Blocks Waxed, Stacked & Graded for Top & Back Sets
We have a tremendous selection of fine air & kiln dried Instrument Grade Tone Woods to choose from.
All woods for Smith Basses are acclimated for years before being used .
This stack of Eastern Black Walnut was slab-cut with the bark still on it. I asked the supplier not to square the boards. This way I have more room to play with the figured sections.
This stack of Claro Walnut is for Top & Back Sets. Some pieces are 24″ wide by 3″ thick.
End-coating a block of Walnut with ‘Anchorseal’ Wax. This will prevent the ends from splitting as the piece air dries & acclimates.
Walnut & Maple Blocks are waxed & stickered for air drying in these shelves. The Ebony lumber in the middle/right shelf will be cut for Elite Model tops.
I just had to crawl up here to see how much wood I’ve stacked in this room.
Here I am doing crunches with a Tiger Maple Block. This is not my normal daily exercise!
This room is used for Air Drying Maple & Walnut Blocks. They are waxed & stickered for long term storage. The un-stickered wood on top is already dried and is used as dead weight to prevent excess movement.
With several years worth of Figured Maple & Walnut already dried & in stock, the wood in this room will not be used for several years.
Tiger Maple Lumber stacked for air drying as of 6/29/1999. It will dry & acclimate for several years before we use it for Body Parts
This stack of Tiger Maple is Dated 3/23/2000 and will not be cut till earlier shipments have been used. Our vast Inventory of Lumber ensures you will get the best aged woods available.
This 6ft section of Tiger Maple will yield a BSR ‘M’ Model Body Wing Set as well as a ‘BSR’ Top & Back Set for Laminated Models. Layout is important for yield conservation. Good wood is hard to come by, therefore I personally stay involved in all stages of production.
This 2 piece Tiger Maple Set is for our BSR ‘J’ & ‘M’ Models. Each half is wider than our standard body wings because there is no center block.
This slab of Figured Claro Walnut is 10′ long x 24″ wide. I will take quite some time to lay out this valuable board for optimum yield.
These pieces of Highly Figured Claro Walnut are reserved for Elite Models only. Some of these will make Exhibition grade Tops.
These Figured Walnut pieces are being selected for Black Tiger Models. Existing Body Wings sets are used as grading samples.
Body Wing Sets & Bolt-on Bodies in our storage room. These are some of our most popular models. We’re always 1-step ahead in the aging & acclimation process.
All Fingerboard blanks are properly seasoned in our wood room before being used on a Smith Bass.
Dated neck billets are stored in this rack after glue-up (3pc, 5pc, etc.) Some necks sit for years before being used.
Necks are selected for production as needed. The oldest necks are used first.
That’s Right! No Smoking in this room or anywhere else in the building for that matter! Besides, it’s bad for you & everyone around you, especially children.
“SO DON’T SMOKE!!”
A Public Service Announcement Sponsored by Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.