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Articles & Stories

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More music from sustainably harvested wood in Spain

Juanma Miranda



Guitars are Jorge Simons’ passion – the entire journey from selecting the standing Spanish cypress tree to seeing the final instrument in a musician’s capable hands. He runs the Madinter Factory, located just outside Madrid, which specializes not in actually building guitars themselves, but rather in supplying private and commercial guitar makers with all the tools and materials to build their own guitars.

Guitar builders can select the wood they wish at www.madinter.com, where a wide selection is available to them. Beginning enthusiasts can even select ready kits for building their own guitars, in addition to the tools, glues, and plans needed to finish their guitar with confidence.

“For example, these trees were in someone’s yard,” explains Jorge, pointing at two logs about to be sawn. “The owners got the permit to cut them down. Initially, the wood was going to be cut in pieces for woodworking, but a guitarist in the family contacted our company to see if we could make soundboard backs and sides with them.”

The two logs measured 77 cm and 84 cm in diameter respectively. Jorge had to trim them somewhat before they would fit into the sawmill.

After sawing, 70% of the wood from each log was successfully converted into useable timber, and Jorge estimated that he could be able to use 45% of the total to manufacture guitar soundboards, sides, and backs.

Madinter chose a Wood-Mizer LT10 sawmill to do the initial sawing. “We chose Wood-Mizer for its versatility and mobility. It’s an easy-to-operate machine that doesn’t take up much space and does what it needs to do when we need it.”

Musical instruments—and guitars in particular—are often made of a very dense wood such as cocobolo or ziricote. This is the reason Jorge uses a tungsten blade on his LT10, for more efficient sawing. “These are very demanding wood species for the sawmill and the blades,” explains Jorge.

Madinter supplies guitar manufacturers wood whose value reaches 60,000 per cubic meter. Getting the most possible product from each log is essential.

“Log handling and making the first cut is easier with a Wood-Mizer than with a conventional band saw,” Jorge continues. “We achieve a thin cut thanks to the narrow bandsaw blade width, with which there is almost no wood wasted —that’s what we value most.”

 The Wood-Mizer LT10 portable sawmill is safe and easy to use, with very low maintenance. It doesn’t have all the advanced controls and automated functions that more expensive sawmills provide. “It’s a simple machine,” says Jorge, “and the pleasant smell of the Cypress reaches us as it’s cut up into sections.”

 Jorge also values the energy savings that cutting with Wood-Mizer gives him compared to stationary band saws. “Electricity consumption is kept to a minimum, especially compared with the old engines of 40 and 50 HP saws,” says Jorge.





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