Brazilian Cedar

Scientific name: Cedrela odorata

Origin: Central and South America and the Caribbean

Other names: Spanish Cedar, Cedro

Average density: 29lbs/ft3 – 470kg/m3

Uses: Guitar necks, heels, braces and kerfing

The heartwood is relatively uniform, light pinkish to reddish brown. Its color tends to darken with age. Grain is straight or shallowly interlocked, with a medium texture and moderate natural luster. Spanish Cedar is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. However, due to its low density and softness, it tends to leave fuzzy surfaces if not machined with sharp cutters; extra sanding up to finer grits may be required to obtain a smooth wood surface.  Due to its pleasant bitter smell (hence its botanic name, Cedrela odorata) it is the wood that cigar boxes are made of. Unfortunately this is a wood that is becoming scarcer, like other species such as Mahogany. It has been the traditional choice for making classical and flamenco guitar necks by its light weight and stability. Nowadays, some builders are using it on steel string and electric guitars with great success.