Attached are a few good charts that describes most North American and some foriegn/exotic woods in their Janka hardness. Keep this in mind, this is NOT intended to promote one wood over another or act as a definitive guide to all things wood, but a good comparison chart if you have questions on 'which wood to use for X'.

WoodHardnessChart.pdf
Wood-Hardness-Chart-1.pdf

-WY

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Very cool, Wes. Thanks for posting this (these?)
.
Thanks. that's a nice chart. i sure wish i could find some those wood varieties where i live. i've found some oak but here in Japan it's almost entirely cedar and pine for sale at the hardware stores.

i'm using the oak as a brace and attaching some hard pine to the outer sides. what i was hoping is that i could find something other than oak for the fingerboard (looks like i'll be ordering some rosewood from stewmac at this point).
Thanks for this, Wes. It is very helpful, and also just really cool. Still, I want anecdotes, not data. :-)

If I am used to shaping necks quickly with a sureform and rasp on Poplar boards, will I find the same technique lacking/exhausting with Maple? With Red Oak?
Well I would imagine so. Those woods are hard but different. If you use oak, bear in mind the grain is wider than on maple and I have had some trouble making sure I don't dig into the wood causing divits. Go slow. I would use maple at all possible. Makes a better project in my opinion. But then again, I do use poplar which is not as popular now days. I have a secret that helps out -- laminated neck. I will do a laminated neck now and if you go to my page and albums, you will see some info on that.

I use a sureform and its great so you should be ok.

-WY

Jeremiah Cornelius said:
Thanks for this, Wes. It is very helpful, and also just really cool. Still, I want anecdotes, not data. :-)

If I am used to shaping necks quickly with a sureform and rasp on Poplar boards, will I find the same technique lacking/exhausting with Maple? With Red Oak?
Thanks, again. This is a help!
I am building (planning) a short scale bass - and even with a steel truss rod, I expect that Poplar might disappoint me. I do through the body designs, where the strings are anchored to a tailpiece on the base of the same wood that the tuners are attached at the other end. This is strong, and with dense wood, tends to provide great sustain - the necks hum in my palm.

But with bass tuners cranking 4 big weed whip lines? I need a hard, flex resistant post down the middle. There is at least 12" more leverage on this one piece. That much more to go bow-shaped!
Exhausting? Probably, but it a good way. I use a sureform a lot, too, and oak really requires you to get a little more physical with it. But a lot of folks (myself included) think the neck shaping part of the equation is one of the most rewarding, so it's worth it.

Jeremiah Cornelius said:
Thanks for this, Wes. It is very helpful, and also just really cool. Still, I want anecdotes, not data. :-)

If I am used to shaping necks quickly with a sureform and rasp on Poplar boards, will I find the same technique lacking/exhausting with Maple? With Red Oak?
Here is a guide from the University of Tennessee that talks about hardwood identification.

-WY

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