Specific Koa top opinions, please.

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by jfgesquire, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    So, back in March I posted in the "other guitars" section of TDPRI that my son was building a Jazzmaster based Partscaster with Warmoth wood.

    He got the body, neck and a few other parts over the last week and I just wanted to get first impression opinions.

    Please, don't interject what you think I may be implying with this post. I would like purely objective opinions of the wood as seen in this photo.

    20210614_175438_HDR.jpg
     
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  2. fidopunk

    fidopunk Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    it is certainly unique and looks good. it's one of a kind. Needs more switches. Looks like a ton of fun.
     
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  3. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    The Humbucker gets it's own 4 way switch so that you can have either single coil, series or parallel.

    Each of the 3 pickups then gets its own on-off switch and it's own volume and tone control.

    Then it all feeds into a master volume.

    The middle pickup is RWRP so that when the Humbucker is split it still be hum cancelling with either the middle or neck pickup depending on the 4 way selection.

    Is that enough switches!?!?

    Thank you for your comment, too; yes it very unique, that's for sure.
     
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  4. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    That is certainly an unusual piece of Koa wood. It looks more like Bocote (Cordia) than Koa. That's as objective as I can be short of saying it doesn't look like Koa wood.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  5. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'm so used to seeing high-figure Koa that has darker colors and crazy curl to it. I wonder if it is "Brazilian Koa"?
     
  6. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    I'm guessing that's an unfinished body.

    I would not have guessed koa though.

    I'm sure it will change a quite a bit with a good finish, something to bring out the graining and colors.

    .
     
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  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have built three guitars out of koa and worked on several more. I have never seen koa with that kind of grain. Not saying it isn't but I would question it.

    With that said I am used to suppliers of pretty (and expensive) wood sending me pictures of it dampened with DNA or naphtha so I can see what I'm getting.

    It is interesting, however, and I think it will finish very nicely. Remember that koa is an open pore wood and does best with pore filling, and if you have seen any of my posts you will know I like finishing resin.
     
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  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    You might call Warmoth and see if they have any off cuts from that body that you could use to practice your finishing schedule. If nothing else wipe it with DNA or naphtha to see how the grain will pop with a wetting finish. I think its going to look great.
     
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  9. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank you. Not a lot of open grain on the top piece, especially compared to the mahogany back, but I was still planning on grain fill.

    I was considering a neutral dark brown for the mahogany wood back, but wasn't sure what grain filler goes best on Koa, if I should use the same brown.
     
  10. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    I did wipe it with Naptha. There was only one flame/figured spot, it was around the grain between the tremolo and bridge. That did look like Koa. There's not a lot of bare wood on a Jazzmaster anyway.

    The light sections turned much more red than I had expected.
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've tried a lot of different pore fillers and Zpoxy wins hands down. There are a number of mahogany guitars and one flamed koa here

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/zpoxy-for-pore-fill-and-grain-enhancement.940522/

    I've never tried tinting the Zpoxy but I do both stains and tinted finishes when I want to change color. All the more reason to experiment on scrap.

    The wipe with naphtha will show you the color that a wetting finish like lacquer will give.
     
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  12. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank you for the tips.

    I'm just stumped. On the one hand I was a little disappointed, in that even the blandest looking plain Koa I have seen was still mostly straight grained. This looks flat sawn.

    On the other hand it is unlike anything I've ever seen on a Koa guitar, front or back, solid or acoustic, and unique is special, too.
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Wet it with something and take a pic, it will change a lot.
     
  14. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    I will, and I did already, but it didn't change much. No flame or figuring anywhere except the small patch between the tremolo and bridge.

    Have you ever seen Koa with this kind of grain pattern? That is supposed to be an honest question, although it doesn't read that way, I admit.
     
  15. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    As others have said. it is flat sawn Koa. Here's a pic of a blank similar to your body.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had forgotten about this. It is an old broken coffee table that I was told was koa. Obviously there is no flame or figure, but when you think about it most maple has no flame, its just the good stuff that we think about.

    IMG_6756.JPG
     
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  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yes, that looks very common for Koa grain pattern to me. I don't know that I have seen a lot of flame in Koa guitars , but then, you dont see that many. I think that body looks killer good, especially if it darkens up a bit.
     
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  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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  19. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  20. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    I think that body is really cool. I have not see n Koa like that but I haven't seen much Koa. Here is a strat of mine that has a Koa top.
    upload_2021-6-15_9-2-4.jpeg upload_2021-6-15_9-2-4.jpeg
     
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