Headplates

Approximated headplates dimensions for classic guitar: 200x90x3,5 mm

Headplates for classic guitar are located on the head of the guitar. They have a similar function to the fingerboard, so these two parts are usually done with the same tonewood.

In order to select the wood for the headplate, it’s important to chose one with great density, since this part of the instrument suffer a lot of wear.

It’s necessary to remark that headplate is not a decisive piece in the sound of the guitar, although it is one of the most visible parts of the instrument. Even when the guitarist is playing the instrument, the headplate is never covered or hidden, that’s the reason why some brands put there its logo.

Besides, headplates are very used by constructors in order to give the instrument an exotic or special esthetic. The most used tonewoods in headplates are Ebony and Indian Rosewood, but in Maderas Barber we have a range variety of woods which can be also used in this part of the instrument because they have many good proprieties.

If you want to make something new or different in your guitar or if you prefer a classic style, try our headplates for classic guitar in different models and tonewoods. They won’t let you down!

Headplates 

Subcategories

  • Bocote

    Bocote is a wood that is being very used by luthiers worldwide thanks to its natural beauty and great sonority. Bocote has usually special figures like eyes or little circles which will make your guitar quite different than others.

    Bocote has good sustain, a powerfull and warm tone and a great stability which make this wood perfect for this part of the instrument. Get impressed by the precious figures of Bocote headplates that you will find in Maderas Barber.

    BOTANIC NAME: Cordia eleagnoides

    COMMON NAMES : Bocote, Bucote, Cordia, Barcino, Cueramo

    ORIGIN:  Mexico

    DESCRIPTION: Density 950-1200 Kg/m3.  Has a yellowish-brown body with dramatic dark brown to almost black stripes. Colour tends to darken with age. The grain patterning can be quite striking, particularly on flatsawn areas. It’s not uncommon to see many “eyes” and other figuring in Bocote.  It is heavy and resistant.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Bocote is easily worked and machined with good results.  Bocote also turns and finishes well. knots do not seem to present any special challenges in machining.

    DRYING: Drying process is slow and must be done carefully.

    USES:  Guitar  backs and sides, headplates, fingerboards and bridges.

  • Cocobolo (CITES)

    There is no doubt that Cocobolo is a tonewood which surprises everyone who knows it both for its wide range of colors and for its figures. However, we can’t forget its excellent acoustic qualities, since it is a wood similar to Koa, but with better resonance in low tones.

    Discover this hard and resistant wood perfect for classic guitar headplates that you can find in Maderas Barber.

    BOTANIC NAME: Dalbergia retusa.

    COMMON NAMES: Cocobolo, Granadilla, Cocobola.

    ORIGIN: Nicaragua.

    DESCRIPTION: Density 990-1250 Kg/m3. Cocobolo can have different colours, ranging from yellow, orange, red, and shades of brown with streaks of black or purple. Sapwood is typically a very pale yellow. Colours are lighter when freshly sanded/cut, and darken with age. Grain is straight to interlocked, with a fine even texture. Good natural luster.

    Notoriously allergenic.

    RECOMMENDATIONS:  Due to the high oil content found in this wood, it can occasionally cause problems with gluing. Also, the wood’s colour can bleed into surrounding wood when applying a finish, so care must be taken on the initial seal coats not to smear the wood’s colour/oils into surrounding areas. Tear out can occur during planning if interlocked grain is present; the wood also has a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges/tools due to its high density. Cocobolo has excellent turning properties.

    DRYING: Slow drying wood. Risk of deformation or cracks.

    USES:  Guitar backs and sides, fingerboards, bridges, headplates. Wind instruments.

  • Amara Ebony

    Amara Ebony is an exotic and interesting option for this part of the instrument. This wood has a high density, so it is very recommendable when supporting the tension of the strings.

    Regarding to its appearance, Amara Ebony is a beautiful tonewood with a combination of different colors in the same wood: red, green and black.

    Try this Asiatic Ebony and fall in love with these Amara headplates for your classic guitar.

    BOTANIC NAME: Diospyros Celebica

    COMMON NAMES: Amara Ebony

    ORIGIN:  Asia.

    DESCRIPTION:   Density 1100-1300 Kg/m3. Sapwood colour goes from white to reddish brown. Heartwood is dark with different black colours with some bright stripes and green colour. Compare to the Makassar Ebony it is more opaque and less shinny.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Tends to be difficult to work with due to its high density. Blunting effect on cutters. It is slightly easier to work with than the Makasssar Ebony.

    DRYING: Drying process must be slow to prevent cracks.  Wooden parts can become deformed.

    USES:  Guitar backs and sides.

  • African Ebony

    African Ebony is a tonewood very treasured by its appearance, most of all, for its dark and powerful color. Its sound proprieties have to be also mentioned, because African Ebony will give to your instrument a surprising, dynamic and brilliant touch.

    Regarding to headplates, this tonewood is very wanted thanks to its great resistance to wear, its hardness and for being a magnificent option against spots and marks.

    In Maderas Barber, we have African Ebony headplates for classic guitar in different qualities, so you could choose the best option according to your needs.

    BOTANIC NAME: Diospyros crassiflora hiern.

    COMMON NAMES: African Ebony, Black Ebony.

    ORIGIN:  Central and Western Africa.

    DESCRIPTION:   Density 1030-1050 Kg/m3. Sapwood is light colour and hardwood is jet-black.

    Occasionally dark brown or greyish-brown streaks may be present. Grain is usually straight but can also be interlocked. Fine even texture with very high natural luster.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Easy sawing but can be difficult to work due to its extremely high density. Has a dulling effect on cutters. Tear out may occur on pieces that have interlocked or irregular grain. Due to the high oil content found in this wood, it can occasionally cause problems with gluing. Finishes well, and polishes to a high luster. Responds well to steam bending.

    DRYING: Drying process speed can vary from normal to low speed. Tendency to split.

    USES:  Fingerboards. Wind instruments.

  • African Exotic Ebony

    African Exotic Ebony is a perfect option for this part of the instrument thanks to its hardness and resistance, as it happens with its brother, African Ebony. Both of them are able to transmit the vibrations of the soundboard while hugely resist wear and friction.

    BOTANIC NAME: Diospyros crassiflora hiern.

    COMMON NAMES: Exotic African Ebony, Exotic Black Ebony.

    ORIGIN:  Central and Western Africa.

    DESCRIPTION:   Density 1030-1050 Kg/m3. Sapwood is light colour and hardwood is jet-black. We can find on this specie a wide variety of colours.  Grain is usually straight but can also be interlocked. Fine even texture with very high natural luster.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Easy sawing but can be difficult to work. Has a dulling effect on cutters. Tear out may occur on pieces that have interlocked or irregular grain. It can crack easily under changes in temperature or because of humidity. Machining and gluing can be complicated due to its high density. Finishes well. Can cause skin problems.

    DRYING: Drying process speed can vary from normal to low speed. Tendency to split.

    USES:  Musical instruments fingerboards. Wind instruments.

  • Makassar Ebony

    The use of Makassar Ebony in instrument construction is increasing every day. Makassar Ebony is admired by its sound qualities and by its hardness, which make it perfect for its use in guitar headplates. In addition, its exotic and Asiatic touch will make your instrument quite special and singular.

    Don’t miss the special figures you can find in Makassar Ebony headplates for your classic guitar. It will be worth it!

    BOTANIC NAME: Diospyros Celebica

    COMMON NAMES: Macassar Ebony , Striped Ebony

    ORIGIN:  Asia.

    DESCRIPTION:   Density 1000-1300 Kg/m3 .Heartwood has a striped appearance, somewhat similar to Zebrawood. Yellow to reddish brown body with darker brown or black stripes. Sharply demarcated sapwood is pale gold colour. Grain is usually straight, but can sometimes be interlocked; fine uniform texture and good natural luster. 

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Tends to be rather difficult to work, due to its high density, blunting effect on cutters, and its occasionally interlocked grain. Humidity must be controlled during storage. Machining must be sharp.

    DRYING: Drying process is slow.  Wooden parts can crack or become deformed after drying.

    USES:  Guitar backs and sides and also fingerboards.

  • Green Ebony

    As all varieties of Ebony, Green Ebony is a dense and hard tonewood perfect for headplates. This exotic and special tonewood has natural green tonalities that many luthiers love.

    Take Green Ebony headplates for your classic guitar and get surprised by this wonderful wood with all the quality of Ebony specie.

    BOTANIC NAME: Diospyros Durionoides

    COMMON NAMES: Green Ebony

    ORIGIN:  Central America.

    DESCRIPTION:   Density 1000-1300 Kg/m3 . Sapwood is white and heartwood is black/brown with stripes in different tones but mainly green olive colour.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Store it at right temperature to prevent cracks. Can cause skin problems.

    DRYING: An uncommon characteristic of the green ebony , if it cracks before drying process it is possible that after drying the crack seals disappearing without a trace.

    USES:  Guitar backs and sides and also fingerboards, bridges and headplates.

  • Mexican Granadillo

    Mexican Granadillo is one of the most chosen woods in order to replace Rosewood, specially in fingerboards. But with any doubt, Mexican Granadillo is also a good option for headplates thanks to its hardness and tonal quality.

    The high quality and appearance of this wood are both very valued by luthiers, and the use of this tonewood in classic guitar construction has hugely increased. Check all the properties of Mexican Granadillo with these headplates of Maderas Barber.

    BOTANIC NAME: Platymiscium Yucatanum

    COMMON NAMES: Mexican cocobolo, Zangalicua, Mexican granadillo.

    ORIGIN:  Central America

    DESCRIPTION:   Density 800-1000 Kg/m3 .

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Store it at right temperature. It is recommended to work with sharp  blades.

    DRYING: Slow drying speed.

    USES:  Guitar backs and sides, fingerboards. Castanets and marimba.

  • American Walnut

    The use of American Walnut in musical construction is hugely increasing thanks to its great qualities: good register of mid and high tones and an incredible grain. On the other side, it is a wood very easy to work with and very sustainable. And once American Walnut is dried, it is stable and resistant, what make this wood perfect for headplates.

    Try American Walnut for your classic guitar headplate and get to know this tonewood more deeply.

    BOTANIC NAME: Juglans nigra

    COMMON NAMES: Black walnut, American Walnut.

    ORIGIN: United States and Canada.

    DESCRIPTION:   Heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Colour can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish cast. Sapwood is pale yellow-grey to nearly white. Grain is usually straight, but can be irregular. Has a medium texture and moderate natural luster.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Easy to work provided the grain is straight and regular. Glues, stain and finishes well. It is recommended to wear a face mask. Can cause eye and skin irritation.

    DRYING: Drying process must be slow.

    USES:  Guitar backs and sides. Fingerboards.

  • Amazon Rosewood

    Due to the restriction of getting Brazilian Rosewood, Amazon Rosewood has become the most popular and similar option in order to replace it. This tonewood is very recommended to being used in headplates thanks to its hardness and durability: perfect properties to endure the friction and tension that this part of the guitar suffers.

    Discover our high-quality Amazon Rosewood headplates for classic guitar in Maderas Barber and get also surprised with its stunning figures and appearance.

    BOTANIC NAME: Dalbergia spruceana.

    COMMON NAMES: Amazon Rosewood.

    ORIGIN: Brazil.

    DESCRIPTION: Density 1100 kg/m3. Amazon Rosewood tends to be an orange or reddish brown, with darker contrasting streaks. Lighter yellowish sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood. It has uniform, medium texture with open pores.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Amazon Rosewood can be fairly difficult to work on account of its density. It also needs to be glued with care ,as do most other true rosewoods.). It turns and finishes well, and can be polished to a high natural luster.

    DRYING: Due to its density, it dries slowly. Risk of cracks.

    USES: Guitar backs, sides and fingerboards. Xylophones.

  • Indian Rosewoood

    Indian Rosewood is probably the most used tonewood in headplates building. Luthiers and big brands of instrument builders use Indian Rosewood thanks to its incredibly beauty with brown, rose and purple colors and to its wonderful acoustic with a dark and warm sound.

    In Maderas Barber we offer Indian Rosewood headplates for your classic guitar: don’t miss the opportunity of tasting the sweetness of this marvelous wood.

    BOTANIC NAME: Dalbergia latifolia.

    COMMON NAMES: Indian Rosewood, East Indian Rosewood.

    ORIGIN: India.

    DESCRIPTION: Density 870-900 kg/m3. Heartwood can vary from a golden brown to a deep purplish brown, with darker brown streaks. The wood darkens with age, usually becoming a deep brown. Has a medium texture and fairly small pores. The grain is usually narrowly interlocked.

    RECOMMENDATIONS:  It can be difficult to work with tools because of its interlocked grain and density. The wood can sometimes contain chalky deposits that will rapidly dull cutting edges. Glues and finishes well, though colour from the wood’s natural resins can inadvertently bleed onto surrounding surfaces when applying a finish, so care must be taken on the initial seal coats.  Can cause skin irritation

    DRYING: Dries slowly. There is no risk of deformation but it can crack. The wood colour improves with the drying.

    USES: Guitar tops , backs, fingerboards, bridges, headplates and Zanfoña pieces.

  • Madagascar Rosewood (CITES)

    Madagascar Rosewood is a hard tonewood very similar to Brazilian Rosewood. However, it is less heavy, but as valued by luthiers as the first one in the construction of headplates for classic guitar.

    Get to know this beauty tonewood with powerful colors and an amazing sound, which will give to your instrument elegance and a great quality.

    BOTANIC NAME: Dalbergia baronii.

    COMMON NAMES: Madagascar Rosewood, Palisander.

    ORIGIN: Madagascar.

    DESCRIPTION: Density 920 kg/m3. Heartwood generally ranges from a light yellow-brown to a darker orange or reddish brown. Darker black streaks are common, and can produce a grain figure known as “spider-webbing” .Pale yellow sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood. Grain is usually straight, with a uniform medium-fine texture.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though depending on the species, it can blunt cutting edges rapidly. Care should be taken in gluing and finishing, due to natural oils in the wood that can disrupt the drying process. Turns and polishes well.

    DRYING: Dries slowly . Natural oils  can interrupt the process.

    USES: Guitar tops , backs, fingerboards, bridges, headplates.

  • Kingwood

    Kingwood is a very valued wood both for its physical and acoustic proprieties. It is also the densest one from the family of Dalbergias.

    Kingwood is a colorful wood, with a mix of brown and purple. Its appearance and its smooth touch which will provide elegance and quality to your instrument. Discover the stability and hardness of these Kingwood headplates in your classic guitar.

    BOTANIC NAME: Dalbergia cearensis.

    COMMON NAMES: Kingwood.

    ORIGIN: Brazil.

    DESCRIPTION: Density 1020 kg/m3. Heartwood is a dark purplish or reddish brown with darker black streaks. Sapwood is a pale yellow. Grain is usually straight; occasionally interlocked. Fine, uniform texture and a high natural luster.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Tends to be difficult to work due to its high density. Kingwood has a moderate blunting effect on cutters, and tear out can occur during planning if interlocked grain is present. Can be difficult to glue due to natural oils and high density. Turns very well and takes a high polish.

    DRYING: Dries slowly. Natural oils can interrupt the process.

    USES: Guitar tops, backs, fingerboards and bridges.

  • Santos Rosewood

    Santos Rosewood is a great option to replace tonewood from the family of Dalbergias or even Bubinga wood. While Santos Rosewood is a strong and hard wood, it is also easy to work with and has a great value for money.

    Its acoustic proprieties are also something to take into account: brilliant, clear and low tone what has as result an impressive sound.

    Discover the stunning grain and appearance of this headplates for your classic guitar, always with the best quality of Maderas Barber.

    BOTANIC NAME: Machaerium scleroxylon.

    COMMON NAMES: Pau Ferro, Morado, Bolivian Rosewood, Santos Rosewood.

    ORIGIN: Brazil.

    DESCRIPTION: Density 940 kg/m3. Colour can be highly varied, ranging from reddish/orange to a dark violet/brown, usually with contrasting darker black streaks. Narrow sapwood is a pale yellow and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Grain is typically straight, though sometimes slightly irregular or interlocked. Fine, even texture and a naturally high luster.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Pau Ferro is considered overall to be of fair workability, as it can blunt the cutting edges of tools, and any irregular grain has a tendency to tear out during machining operations. Also, many of the same challenges in gluing rosewoods are common to Pau Ferro as well. Pau Ferro turns and finishes well. Can cause eye and skin irritation.

    DRYING: Dries slowly. No risk of deformation but it can crack.

    USES: Guitar tops, backs, fingerboards , headplates and bridges. Wind instruments.

  • Sycamore

    Sycamore has lately become a very valued tonewood due to all its proprieties: density, rigidity and brilliant sound, qualities very admired by luthiers. If we also take into account its great performance and efficiency, only exceed by Spruce, Sycamore headplates becomes a safe option for your instrument.

    Besides, this tonewood is very sustainable and accessible, what makes it even better for your classic guitar. Try Sycamore headplates for your classic guitar, you will not regret!

    BOTANIC NAME: Acer pseudoplatanus.

    COMMON NAMES: Sycamore, Maple.

    ORIGIN: Central Europe, Eastern Asia.

    DESCRIPTION: Density 640 kg/m3. Sapwood colour ranges from almost white, to a light golden or reddish brown, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. Grain is generally straight, but may be wavy. Has a fine, even texture.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Fairly easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though it has a tendency to burn when being machined with high-speed cutters such as in a router. Turns, glues, and finishes well, though blotches can occur when staining, and a pre-conditioner, gel stain, or toner may be necessary to get an even colour.

    DRYING: Allow air dry but can cause spots and colour alterations. It is important to dry it quickly to keep the white colour.

    USES: Guitar , backs and sides, bindings and fingerboards.

  • Sonokeling (double)

    Sonokeling is a wood that shares botanical name with Indian Rosewood. Both of them have similarities, but also differences because each one has a different growth. Sonokeling is less hard, it has a thicker grain and also some differences in its color.

    If we also add its great value for money, Sonokeling becomes a good option for your classic guitar headplates. Discover them with the best quality at Maderas Barber.

    BOTANIC NAME: Dalbergia latifolia

    COMMON NAMES: Sonokeling. East Indian Rosewood.

    ORIGIN: Indonesia.

    DESCRIPTION: Density 820 kg/m3. Heartwood can vary from a golden brown to a deep purplish brown, with darker brown streaks. The wood darkens with age, usually becoming a deep brown. Has a medium texture and fairly small pores. The grain is usually narrowly interlocked.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: It can be difficult to work with tools because of its interlocked grain and density. The wood can sometimes contain chalky deposits that will rapidly dull cutting edges. Glues and finishes well, though colour from the wood’s natural resins can inadvertently bleed onto surrounding surfaces when applying a finish, so care must be taken on the initial seal coats.

    DRYING: Low drying speed. Risk of deformations and cracks.

    USES: Fingerboards, bridges, headplates and bindings.

  • Wenge

    Wenge needs a good treatment to been used in musical instruments. But if you do it accurately and carefully, the result will hugely surprise you.

    Wenge is hard, steady, and not a very flexible tonewood: proprieties very valued in classic guitar headplates. Besides, it has a stunning appearance, very similar to Blackwood. About the sound, Wenge is between Ebony and Rosewood, with precise and good medium and low tones.

    In Maderas Barber we have Wenge headplates for classic guitar with the best quality for your instrument, try this dense and heavy tonewood with an amazing acoustic.

    BOTANIC NAME: Milettia laurentii.

    COMMON NAMES: Wengue, Panga-Panga

    ORIGIN: Central Africa

    DESCRIPTION: Density 830 kg/m3. Heartwood is medium brown, sometimes with a reddish or yellowish hue, with nearly black streaks. Upon application of a wood finish the wood can become nearly black. Grain is straight, with a very coarse texture. Low natural luster.

    RECOMMENDATIONS Can be difficult to work with hand and machine tools. Blunts tool edges. Sands unevenly due to differences in density between light and dark areas. Very large pores can be difficult to fill if a perfectly smooth/level finish is desired.

    DRYING: Slow drying speed. Low risk of deformations.

    USES: Guitar fingerboards, bridges, headplates, backs and sides. Bodies for electric and bass guitars.

  • Ziricote

    Ziricote is one of the most impressive tonewood worldwide, both physically and acoustically. The beauty figures we can find in its surface are in line with its magnificent sound, similar to Makassar Ebony and Indian Rosewood, but with even more clearly than the first one. The result is a very balanced tonewood perfect for headplates.

    The density and hardness of this wood can be the best partner of your classic guitar in order to bear the common friction and tension of this part of the instrument. Discover these high quality headplates in your own instrument!

    BOTANIC NAME: Cordia Dodecandra.

    COMMON NAMES: Ziricote

    ORIGIN: Central America.

    DESCRIPTION: Density 805 kg/m3. Ziricote has colour ranges from medium to dark brown, sometimes with either a green or purple hue, with darker bands of black growth rings intermixed. Ziricote has a very unique appearance, which is sometimes referred to as “spider-webbing” grain figure. The pale yellowish sapwood is sometimes incorporated into designs for aesthetic effect, or to cut down on wastage. Grain is straight to slightly interlocked. Medium to fine texture, with good natural luster.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Ziricote is fairly easy to work considering its high density. The wood tends to develop end and surface checks during drying, which can be problematic: though the wood is stable once dry. Ziricote turns and finishes well, and in most instances, it can also be glued with no problems.

    DRYING: Dries slowly. Risk of deformations or cracks.

    USES: Guitar backs and sides, fingerboards.

  • Purple Heart
  • Ovangkol

    Ovangkol has been used for years with the purpose of reaching a beauty appearance and a traditional and powerful acoustic. This wood also offers high notes and good harmonics.

    Ovangkol is easy to work with, cheap and extremely beautiful. In a few words, this wood is a sustainable alternative if we compare it with other species more popular.

    BOTANIC NAME: Guibouthia ehie.

    COMMON NAMES: Ovangkol

    ORIGIN:  Central Africa.

    DESCRIPTION:   Density 780-825 Kg/m3. Varying shades of yellowish to reddish brown with darker brown, grey, or black stripes. Moderately wide sapwood is a pale yellow, clearly demarcated from heartwood. Sometimes seen with a curly or mottled grain pattern. Grain is straight to slightly interlocked. Medium to coarse texture, with moderate natural luster.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Overall a fairly easy wood to work, though Ovangkol contains silica and can therefore dull cutters prematurely. Also, if the grain is interlocked, or if there is other figure present in the wood, planning and other machining operations may be troublesome and cause tear out. Turns, glues and finishes well.

    DRYING: Slow to normal drying process. Risk of deformation.

    USES:  Musical instruments. Floors and furniture.


Do you need help?
If you have any question, please contact and we will be happy to help you.

10 reasons to buy at MB