We recently announced our latest project with Charvel – a run of guitars that are being built using wood that, using a proprietary kiln-drying process, has 6% moisture content. To fuel the fire (no pun intended), here are some more details about this amazing “cooked wood”:
The wood is cooked in a kiln in its own smoke with steam introduced throughout the process. The resulting moisture content is locked at 6% and should not change over time. This means that the guitars, especially the necks, should be much more resistant to atmospheric and climatic changes; in other words, fewer neck adjustments. We are planning to do cooked maple necks to start with, then branch out into using cooked wood necks with regular wood fingerboards and other such combinations.
How light is the wood? Very light. We don’t have a fully built guitar weight yet, but when we were at the factory our “arm scales” told us that the treated body and neck together was comparable in weight to a single untreated maple neck. That’s really light, y’all. And the wood is very resonant; tapping the bodies revealed a loud, higher-pitched resonance than what you would get from an untreated body blank. To maximize the resonance of the body, our first guitars will have an oil/wax finish and direct mounted pickups.
There is one other nice attribute the raw cooked wood has that will unfortunately most likely not exist on a finished guitar: it smells like delicious mesquite bar-b-q. Mmmmmm, bar-b-q.