What is Float Sitka you may ask? You may have heard of Sinker Redwood–those logs that didn’t make it to the mill but sank in the rivers of northern California only to be reclaimed in recent years to be milled and dried for projects that include musical instruments. Well, Float Sitka is wood from spruce logs with very low density and used to support house boats in the rivers and lakes of Oregon and Washington. These logs are occasionally replaced and are now seeing new life in wood working projects as well. This may not be the prettiest wood in town–sometimes stained from algae, rust and metal oxides as well as a hang out for huge wood boring worms–but it does have exceptional tap tone and is being used occasionally by luthiers world wide for their projects. Here’s my first instrument using this wood, the Float Sitka’n Koa Super Tenor.
Super tenor “J” style
The koa back and sides I felt would be neutral with more focus on the sound board. The purfling is red/black/brown rope-style as is the rosette. The neck is Honduran Mahogany and the fret board and bridge are Mexican Granadillo. This particular set of float sitka is well quartered, pretty darn clear and shows some remarkable medulary rays.