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Luthier Materials

Luthier Materials are very specific to stringed instrument construction, find out where to purchase them and which are the best sources for your needs

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What are Luthier Materials?

First of all, a luthier is defined as a person, who either repairs or constructs stringed instruments.

The term is rarely used here in the USA, and these instrument builders are often referred to by their specialty, such as a guitar maker, violin maker, lute maker, etc.

Guitar Bridge - The Belly Bridge

Luthier Materials - Palisander - Gilmer Wood, Company.


Two Major Luthier Material Categories

Lutherie used to describe the craft of making stringed instruments and is divided into 2 main categories, plucked or strummed instruments, and instrument utilizing a bow.

Luthier Materials is the term that is used to describe all of the materials that are used specifically in the creation of stringed instruments and can include the following:

Bowed Instrument top and back blanks repeatedly have hand-split, wedge-shapes which make provisions for the arching of the plate.

Also, these types of top and back plates are used for a few plucked and strummed instruments such as the mandolin, or arch-topped guitar

Tayor Version of the Belly Guitar Bridge

Luthier Materials - Koa Back Sets - Allied Lutherie Ltd.


Luthier Materials - The List:

Luthier materials dedicated to Acoustic and Classical Guitar construction can be divided into four major categories:

Luthier Materials related to Finishing Processes, Tonewood and Other Wood Products, Decoration and Hardware.

Guitar Finishing Luthier Materials:

Lacquer Type Finishes Finishes With a Spirit Base
Finishes and Stains with a Water Base
Oil-Based Varnishes and Stains
Wash Coats Based on Vinyl, Shellac, and Lacquer
Wood Pore Fillers
Products Used for Buffing

Wood Product Luthier Materials:

Top Plates or Tonewood>br> Tonewood Used for Side and Back Plates
Brace Materials
Wood Products use For Necks
Fingerboard Wood

Decorative Luthier Materials:

Binding and Plastic Purfling Materials
Purfling and Binding Constructed From Wood
Shell Inlay Products
Rosettes and Sound Hole Decorations
Pick guard Materials
Guitar Bridge Blanks
Pre-constructed Bridges
Head Plate Woods
Various Exotic Veneers

Luthier Materials - Various Hardware Products

String Tuning Machines
Bone, Ivory or Plastic Nuts and Saddles
Guitar Strings
Acoustic Pickups
Guitar Fretwire
Bridge Pins - Wood and Plastic
Adjustable Truss Rods

C.F. Martin Prisim Guitar Bridge

Luthier Materials - Gilmer Wood, Company. - Walnut Billet Wood Blanks


Luthier Materials - Sources:

There are outstanding sources available to the luthier for each of these four categories.

You will find that certain suppliers specialize in tonewood only and others in top tonewood only.

Some suppliers offer larger varieties of luthier materials, and a select few offer every material that the luthier needs to build a complete guitar.

For your convenience we have put together a list of Luthier Materials Suppliers, with links to their web sites and listing of materials that are usable.

Guitar Bridge - The Belly Bridge

Luthier Materials - Honduran Rosewood - Exotic Lumber, Inc.


This will be a growing list as we find quality suppliers and give our analysis of each supplier. Also as we receive feedback from you, our readers, this list will be amended.

Many suppliers stand steadfastly behind their materials that they sell. You do need to understand that wood is natural product and varies widely due to growing circumstances and the area from which it is harvested.

This can account for some variations and minor defects, some of which are hidden. Listed below is a typical satisfaction agreement that you will see from many of these quality and quality suppliers:

Gibson Mustache Guitar Bridge

Luthier Materials - Pallet of Ebony Fretboards - Allied Lutherie Ltd.


Customer Satisfaction Guarantee - An Example:

As you might guess, we are confident in our products. If we send you any item that does not meet your standards for quality, please feel free to return it—for exchange, credit, or refund.

We only ask that you speak to a salesperson, that the product be unaltered and unworked, and returned within 2 weeks of receiving it.

If products are shipped from our service department, which are altered products, this policy does not apply to those particular products.

As you can tell from this example customer satisfaction document, many of these suppliers are willing to go the extra mile to enhance their customer experience.