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Roasted Maple

5393 Views 33 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  eleven59
Other than sounding really delicious, like some kind of candy that nobody ever told you about, apparently EBMM and Sadowski are offering "roasted maple" necks on some guitars these days.

First, I want to know where the hell they're getting the lumber. I suspect the same source for both builders, and I wonder if little custom shops can get theirs hands on it.

Second, wonder if anyone thinks this is bullshit. I'm vaguely familiar with the microstructure of wood :)miniwang:) but I don't know if oxidizing all the internal sugars, etc., would really result in the properties they're claiming.

I consider this to be analogous to sintering ceramics, where you basically bake out voids and moisture from a green ceramic product to increase mechanical properties and density.

Also, why does EBMM not offer the wood on Floyd Rose-equipped guitars? Is the wood too brittle to handle the locking nut, perhaps resulting in cracking over time with whammy abuse? If so, why aren't the tuners affected, or are they to a lesser degree?

Either way, I must admit it's pretty.
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Ah, yes.

Vulcanization implies the cross-linking of polymer chains through the structure, so that might translate to the network of sugars sort of bonding and shrinking, tightening the wood with them and sealing the moisture out.

Suhr's "vulcanized" maple is very dark - perhaps that's just a matter of finishing. I actually thought they were impregnating it with rubber based on it looking almost like rosewood.

Also - would love to learn where you got it - maybe a PM if it's super duper secret for cereal?
They must raise the temperature pretty high - they're roasting it in the vacuum so that the wood won't catch fire due to lack of oxygen. Nifty.
According to Wiki, the wood is more prone to splitting. Interesting.
I doubt it is in a vacuum. The off-gassing of carbon species at high temperatures would make it extremely hard to maintain a proper vacuum. :nuts:

I would guess that they use an inert gas furnace, utilizing either nitrogen or argon environments to maintain a non-oxidizing environment during the firing process. :yesway:
Inert atmosphere would work, but it's pointless when you can just suck the air out. Either way the carbon will outgas, and you want to get that shit out of the furnace. Ergo, according to Wiki (don't know who wrote that section, not cited), they pull a vacuum on the chamber. You're right that they won't be able to maintain a perfect vacuum, but they can start with a low pressure atmosphere and continue to draw out the moisture and gasses as they evolve. No fire will start.

Chemical Engineering Fail. They could absolutely replace the lost moisture with an oil (that can survive the high temps in the oven).
How? I think the sugars oxidize and fill up the porosity of the wood. The point is that the wood is no longer as flexible, so if you could get oil back into it, I don't think you'd have achieved your objective.
How would the sugars oxidize in an environment devoid of oxygen? :wub:
Because they're in the wood, which is full of water and oxygen.
:squint: I suppose... :lol:

I understand that they're making the neck more rigid, but as Darren pointed out, it's also going to be more brittle. I think the cure is worse than the problem, IMO.
Yeah, like I mentioned, EBMM won't do a Floyd guitar with the roasted neck, and I think that's why. It's an interesting idea - kind of accelerated aging - but sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Ahhh I see. So it is more of a lean flammability limit thing than a totally inert environment. Makes sense. I was thinking they were doing something like a 30 millitorr vacuum to create a totally inert environment, which would be extremely hard with water vapor and CO/CO2 off-gassing. (however, without combustion CO/CO2 off-gassing is << Water vapor)

They could purge the autoclave with Argon.
Yeah but then all the shit comes out... and maybe it's enough to combust. :shrug:
Good riddance, with all the talking and the tweaking and the ALNICO mwa-hey, bwa-hai.
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