Rare Judean Desert Acacia for our Thunder Child Handmade Guitars
The Judean Desert Acacia has been one of my dream lumber for quite a few years now.
Building handmade guitars from the ancient local trees of Israel, the ones that are mentioned in the Bible was a fantastic journey, for two reasons:
The first one is the historical background-that is the ancient connection to the land, to the old stories, to the people of my tribe.
The second one is curiosity.
There is a description of the exact trees that were used in the Bible for the building of the Tabernacle and the mysterious Ark of Covenant during the journey of the tribes of Israel in the Sinai desert.
Handmade Guitars with Soul
The Hebrew word for Acacia is “Shitta,” or Shittim in the plural. It is mentioned 12 times in the Bible: “And they shall make an ark of shittim wood … And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold” (Exodus 25: 10, 13); “And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up” (Exodus 16: 15); “And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood” (Exodus 27: 1); “And he made the incense altar of shittim wood” (Exodus 37: 25).
“Shittim wood” (Acacia) is mentioned 12 times in the Bible. They were the trees from which the Tabernacle and some of its utensils were made: “And they shall make an ark of shittim wood … And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold” (Exodus 25: 10, 13); “And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up” (Exodus 16: 15); “And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood” (Exodus 27: 1); “And he made the incense altar of shittim wood” (Exodus 37: 25).
It was also mentioned in the ancient consolation prophecies alongside the Cedar (I’m using this combination for the Thunder Child guitars).
“I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree” (Isaiah 41: 19). Acacia trees were sacred: “God will return any Acacia (shittah) tree that gentiles took from Jerusalem” (Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 23: 1).
So after all of the above, I became almost obsessed with building a guitar from the king of the desert -salvaged local Acacia.
Handmade Guitars from Salvaged Wood
Since there are no local Desert Acacia “forests,” I had to start looking for salvaged pieces.
It took me a while, but after persistent hunting, I’ve found a limited stock of salvaged wood that was brought from the Judean Desert.
Carried this stock to the workshop, and couldn’t help myself, so I immediately started cutting the huge chunks of lumber.
Two hours later, after cutting and planing, I was in awe.
The golden brownish coloration looked like a psychedelic picture of desert sand dunes. It looked amazing, and the other thing that struck me was the fact that it is a hardwood and at the same time extremely lightweight.
I’ve used it to create book-matched tops for the Thunder Child Guitar models.
These are some photos of these beautiful tops before the traditional Shellac finish.
You can order both the Thunder Child and the Thunder Child Veloce with these rare pieces.