Blackwood Tec - Why we use it and what it means for you and the enviroment.
We use Blackwood Tec for our fingerboards because we think it's a better material than the more traditional woods for the guitar and bass player. Benefits include better stability, higher levels of water and UV resistance and it's fully FSC approved. There is, however, another benefit which has become increasingly relevent with the uncertainty regarding importing and exporting rosewood and other traditional guitar tonewoods. It seems to be coming more difficult to travel with or ship guitars which use these woods in their construction. No one wants their guitars seized by customs ... Blackwood Tec eliminates this worry.
Read on for more details ...
Blackwood Tek is a technologically modified wood that exhibits the properties and appearance of African Ebony or Indian Rosewood. It is obtained by taking Pinus radiata through a technological process that uses natural products, without plastics or other petroleum derivatives.
Its high density, hardness and stability, in addition to its colour (black or brown depending on the variety) make it ideal for fingerboards and other parts of musical instruments. Moreover, Blackwood Tek is suitable for immediate use, with a stable moisture content of 5%, and is resistant to changes in humidity and temperature with minimal fluctuation.
Blackwood Tek is obtained from Pinus radiata wood, through a patented technological process using natural products.
All the wood used in Blackwood Tek is FSC® 100% Pinus radiata grown in short rotation plantations in New Zealand. This is the only suitable wood for obtaining Blackwood Tek, due to its ideal characteristics for the technological process.
Pinus radiata grows straight and with few branches, forming a very uniform wood. In New Zealand, high humidity promotes the fast growth of the trees, which form large growth rings, essential for the subsequent impregnation and compression process.
The fast growth also contributes to the constant renewal of plantations, and allows a high level of completely sustainable production.
The wood arrives in flatsawn cut boards. This cut is necessary for the subsequent compression process.
Once at the factory, the pine wood is cut into the pieces that will become fingerboards or other musical instrument parts. Then the wood is kiln dried to a 10% moisture.
The products used to impregnate the wood, such as pigments, catalyst, resin, etc. are prepared and stored at the same factory.
The impregnation process is done in two stages.
For the first stage, the wood is placed into a positive pressure vessel and the catalyst is introduced. For the black variety of Blackwood Tek, a natural pigment is added here to give the wood its final black colour.
After the impregnation, the pieces are placed in the kiln again for a second drying process, which will reduce the moisture content to 2-3%.
Once the second drying process is complete, the wood is placed in the pressure vessel for the second impregnation stage. An organic resin, derivated from agricultural waste, is introduced. The vessel’s positive pressure allows the resin to penetrate the wood completely.
After this process, the wood pieces are compressed in a hot press, which reduces their thickness by 40%, increasing the density.
Finally, the pieces are sanded to their final size before going though quality control.
The final product, Blackwood Tek, is a technological material with very different properties from the original Pinus radiata, while still maintaining its nature as wood, a natural product with an ideal appearance, quality and feel.
The fusion of wood and cutting edge technology allows us to obtain a natural product with a high density and stability, resistant to changes in temperature and humidity and with a solid dark colour.
Moreover, it is a sustainable product made from organic materials, free of phenolic resins and other petroleum products.
- Resistant to temperature and humidity changes
- Stable and durable
- Resistant to water
- Resistant to UV radiation
- Resistant to termites
- Resistant to fire
Originating from short rotation plantation FSC®100% Pinus radiata**
Ecological, made with organic materials.
Free of toxic products, phenolic resins and other petroleum derivates.