Reply To: lignum vitae

Richard Hoover
Senior Moderator

That’s a fun wood question Zorro thank you! I don’t have a wood problem! I could quit anytime I want… but not today.

“Wood of Life”: Lignum Vitae has been spoken of in mystical tones, at least since I began paying attention to woods back in the last¬†millennium.¬† Crickett balls, Bobby’s Truncheons, Merlin’s magic wand, Submarine bearings and Pete Seeger’s long banjo neck. Most of those applications could have chosen the wood because of it’s weight, durability, bruising, instead of bone breaking density and its self lubricating qualities. these all make sense; except for Pete’s banjo neck. I don’t know how the maker got the fretboard to stay glued to this otherwise versatile material.

This brings me to speculation about how compatible it is for guitar making. Opinion only here; because of its self lubricating nature how do you get components to stick together and if used for sides and back its density would contribute to a very bright tone. Would such a tone be desirable or aggravating? I did find a back and sides set for sale on eBay: so someone thinks its appropriate for guitars.

If you do pose the question elsewhere and get some definitive answer’s please report back so that I can sound smarter the next time I get asked this question. Until then…

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

All the best,