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Density and the Impact on the Guitar Body

Density and the Impact on the Guitar Body

Posted by Daniel Austin Cooke on 26th Jul 2018

High level Review.

By Daniel Austin Cooke

July 25, 2018

Heavy vs. Light Genuine Mahogany Comparison

This Study is to find the similarities and differences between boards of genuine Mahogany where the difference is shown and calculated by density.

How is the Density of the board Calculated?

  • 1.The Weight of the board is found by weighing the board and determining the weight. Example 8lbs 4.2oz
  • 2.The board is measured by the Length, Width, and Thickness of the board. Example 20” Long, 14” wide, 2” thick
  • 3.The area is found by multiplying the Length, Width, and Thickness then dividing the amount by 144. Example 20 x 14 x 2 = 560. 560/144= 3.89 bf
  • 4.The Weight is then calculated into a decimal. 4.2/16=.263+8=8.263lbs
  • 5.The weight is then divided by the area. Example 8.263lbs/3.89=2.12 lbs/bf

Dimensions of Board 1

  • Weight: 10.02 lbs
  • Length: 20”
  • Width: 16”
  • Thickness: 1.875”
  • Area: 4.17 bf
  • Density: 2.4 lbs/bf

Dimensions of Board 2

  • Weight: 14.72 lbs
  • Length: 20”
  • Width: 16.25”
  • Thickness: 1.875”
  • Area: 4.23 bf
  • Density: 3.48 lbs/bf

We cut these 2 boards with the same saw blade for the below pictures.

Both Boards are within 1.4% of the same size.

Boards however show a difference of 31.93% in weight.

Because they are so close in size they are also at a 31% difference in density.

Real World Difference for Body Weight (calculations based on 2.8lbs/bf resulting in a 7.5 lbs Body

Finished Body

2.0lbs/bf 2.4lbs/bf 2.8lbs/bf 3.2lbs/bf

- 5.36 lbs -6.43 lbs -7.5 lbs -10.725 lbs

With this knowledge it shows how much of an impact the density of the wood will really change your overall build. This is just a calculation right from the wood. If you plan on chambering your body the impact will be even greater. Lets say you plan on taking out 30%. This can be a good amount of wood.

Finished Chambered Body (30% removed)

2.0lbs/bf 2.4lbs/bf 2.8lbs/bf 3.2lbs/bf

-3.752 lbs -4.5 lbs -5.25 lbs -7.508 lbs