OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Lead Guitars

The choice of tonewood—woods with tonal, or musical, properties—used in stringed instruments can affect the sound and quality of the music. According to Pacific Rim Tonewoods, a Washington company located in the North Cascades, “tonewood is more than lumber: it’s wood carefully chosen for specific properties, milled to precise specifications and expertly treated so that the instruments built from this wood will look good, sound good, and endure.”

Charlie Redden from Taylor Guitars wanted to study forestry in order to further his own knowledge of wood, as well as to contribute toward his company’s interest in forestry and its emphasis on sustainability. Chris Knowles from the College of Forestry and Redden put together a set of intensive workshops, not only for Redden, but for other manufacturers as well. Along with Taylor Guitars, attendees included representatives from another industry giant, C.F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar), and Pacific Rim Tonewoods, which supplies wood for guitar soundboards. Held at OSU and at Mississippi State University, the workshops covered a breadth of knowledge about forestry, wood, and wood products. For the Corvallis iteration, Knowles and other OSU faculty, including John Bliss (FES), Kevin Boston (FERM), and John Sessions (FERM) lectured on topics ranging from “Wood and Civilization” to “Silviculture Basics” and “Forest Management and Wildlife.”

Read more about the workshops in the Spring 2016 issue of Focus on Forestry.