Where Do Guitars Go To Die?


Nov 18, 2021
Trees don't get 'cut down to make guitars', and the vast majority don't use 'exotic woods'.
Wood is sourced from timber yards. The stuff guitars are made of are what isn't used to make furniture.
As I said, in the grand scheme of things, the guitar industry is small. It's not a top priority for 'the best wood', and let's face it, the vast majority of guitars are made of the cheapest woods available - maple and alder are a long way from being exotic, and not that many use rosewood or ebony anymore.

I think it depends on what you call "exotic". If you mean by that wood coming from rainforest areas, I'd assume one would be suprised, how much of that stuff is used in chinese guitar making, the biggest producer of such things in the world. Also, the use of rosewood may have been more limited since Cites II, but the numbers went up again when the exceptions for MI were made, even if they are not up to the numbers, they were before Cites II.

It is imho more intimidating when you think about, how cheap the wood must be, to make a 89$ guitar profitable, incl parts, paint, work, shipping , packaging and marketing. It must be the cheapest stuff you can get. And if it is that cheap, it cannot be harvested ecologically responsible, no way. And even if guitar manafuacturing is small compared to furniture business, it still is big.

Did you check pallets or BBQ coal lately? You would be surprised that you can find "exotic" wood used in there. Illegally harvested maybe, or from other shady sources, no matter, as long as it's cheap, I guess.

Here in Germany there was a time, when the cheapest hardwood staircase you could buy was made from mahogany, solid mahogany (well and their relatives Meranti etc.). That was the cheapest hardwood option. And that stuff came from South America . Nowadays people renovate their houses and throw the wood away, or sell it dirt cheap and a lot goes through the funnel. For me it gives a never lasting source for great wood to build more guitars from, than I could ever need.

I guess what I am ranting about is, I would love to see people become more aware of the resources they use and the impact it has. As @jvin248 already stated, one would wish that guitar players would be more open to accept wood as a natural product, that is always unique and may have optical flaws, which won't make a guitar anything worse than one, that may suit our visual standard better.

Taylor made it happen with ebony, people accept striped ebony now and even pay a premium for these unique patterns. Would be cool if that could happen with other wood as well.


Ad Free Member
Jan 18, 2013
West O' Philly, PA
I threw my first guitar away in the trash. It had become unplayable. I wasn’t willing to learn slide guitar on it. Acoustic arch top from Western Auto.
I haven’t thrown any away since.

To answer the OP question—hoarding!

I threw away my second guitar. It was a Conn acoustic, and for being a cheapy, it didn’t have a bad sound. Also, it had a booming voice, which was a good match with my booming voice.

Unfortunately, one day the bridge pulled away from the body, taking a piece of the body with it. I didn’t know how to repair guitars back then, but even if did, it would have been a daunting repair. So, in the dumpster it went.


Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Dec 3, 2019
Wisconsin, Das Land von Käse und Bier
Maybe, but he didn't start the Industrial Revolution. That began much earlier, in a far away place.

I know, I was being silly with that statement. The other day I said to someone "every laptop built since 1957 has had at least one USB port on it". Same kind of intentional historical inaccuracy to save us a boring conversation about port replicators and data transfer standards.


Nov 28, 2022
Palm Coast, FL
Never spent much time at the county landfill, but some have to end up there. Lived in Fernandina Beach, they have a pulp mill (Rayonier), wonder how many are recycled into the boxes that deliver the next guitars that get dropped & damaged ?


Friend of Leo's
Jan 15, 2007
Rochester, NY
Most people don't want to give up the idea that they'll play it again someday. So under the bed.


Fiend of Leo's
Jun 4, 2005
Western NY
In the 70s some acquaintences doused a Les Paul Junior in lighter fluid and gave it a Viking funeral on the river.