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I got some sauna wood from a company in Finland, birch baked at 190 degrees Celsius. All water is smoked out and the material is definitly killed and without tensions. Aged 150 years over a night. Besides, the sugar is burnt, so the wood darkens all the way through. It becomes harder an weaker and a lot lighter. Dense materials like birch weighs less than mahogany!
At the hospital where I work there's a wood workshop where they did some rough shaping of the pieces. Then a guy I know made a neck and a body from the pieces. The other day we routed the neck pocket and set the neck. My original idea was a bolt-on neck, but for a number of practical reasons we used glue. Therefore we also added an extra neck heal for more contact between neck and body. The fingerboard is also glued to the neck now.
There are still a lot to do. First of all I need to trim the neck against the fingerboard and sand the profile, then there are the routings for the electronics and the shield that will be covering the routings. Nut and bridge must be made, don't know how to get those things done. There will be a score routed down in the fingerboard for the nut. I will probably make a temporary fixed bridge before making the final one with individually adjustable string height. The body is to thin to fit a normal chinrest, so I'll need to glue it to the body. This means the bottom must be flatter, so I'm afraid I must do it on my own. Shoulder rest is the next problem. I've solved it theoretically but I don't know how to actually make it.
The pickup will be made from three coils from an old LM Ericson bakelite phone. They're rather weak, so I don't know how well they'll work.
Looks like an interesting little instrument! From the looks of it, you plan on using tuning machines instead of pegs, Svento? I've never heard of sauna wood. Sounds like an interesting concept.
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman
Machinery, yes. I've never liked pegs.
Problem with machines is the weight, but this will weigh so much more than an acoustic anyway. Besides, the balance point will be so much closer to me than on an acoustic, I think balance is more relevant than weight itself.
I call it sauna wood because it's used when building saunas. It's not very sensitive to changes in moisture and temperature. It's very suitable for exteriors too. And musical instruments. Ruokangas is using it for electric guitar bodies and Gibson for fingerboards.