Bookmatched east Indian rosewood guitar back
(Dalbergia latifolia)

Bookmatching is a term used by instrument makers to describe specially sawn pieces of wood used to fabricate major components of the musical instrument. Typically the top, back and sides of the instrument all employ the use of these specially sawn timbers. Bookmatching yields nearly identical half pieces that are typically joined along a center line. Bookmatching is aesthetically pleasing and more importantly provides predictability in terms of expansion and contraction characteristics of the finished component. The best bookmatched stock comes from resawing material that is perfectly quartersawn, that is to say that the annual rings are perfectly perpendicular to the face plane of the board. The less perpendicular the grain line, the less the bookmatch will reveal mirrored pieces; and the less predictably the pieces will respond in the drying process.

Photograph index

copyright 1997, anthony huvard, site maintained by