7520 Cavendish Road ~ Hunter River R.R#2 ~ Prince Edward Island ~ CANADA ~ C0A 1N0
(902) 963-2837 ~ brian@bckingston.com
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                All luthiers make a point of being aware of what tonewoods are available worldwide in their endless search to add the right pieces to their stashes. We make our choices based on species, grain spacing and orientation, stiffness, weight, tap tone, run out, etc. Certainly all wood pieces used in an acoustic guitar have some effect on the sound, however it is the choice of topwood and how it is treated that mostly defines the tone.

                Using experience and intuition I carve and meticulously graduate the thickness of each top plate and then brace it accordingly with the mission being to find where the plate can vibrate most freely without compromising structural integrity.

                It is easy to see that if I could get a large stash of topwood all from the same log I would become more and more familiar with its characteristics. This would enable me to be more consistent in my sound and allow me to better assess the results of any minor tweaking I explore. I am happy to report that after 30 years this dream has become reality and I have acquired from the same log, all the Sitka spruce I could ever need.

                Better still this isn’t just any Sitka: it is old-growth Sitka spruce from Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia) – the home of the world’s finest Sitka spruce. My good friend, Maurice Roy, has been working in the woods of Haida Gwaii for more than 20 years and has been offering an amazing selection of world class tonewoods for a number of years now through his company Maurice Contracting.

                Maurice sources all his old growth Sitka spruce as well as red and yellow cedar without cutting down any new trees. Blow downs that have been on the ground for 30 years or longer, and pieces long ago left behind by logging operations are no longer waste. Maurice blocks them up and splits them into billets, then gets them out of the woods often with the use of a helicopter. The billets are then air dried to the desired moisture content but it is as if they had been drying for decades already because since they ceased growing when they came down all those years ago, the pitch and resins have crystallized over time and the result is beautiful aged tonewood.

                Maurice will custom mill to your specs any of his tonewoods whether you require one set or a container load.

                I encourage anyone interested to contact Maurice at mroy@island.net and I assure you that you’ll find a guy that is a pleasure to deal with that can supply you with all the world class tonewood you require at a really fair price.

(this area is still under construction, check back for numerous pictures real soon)

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