Renato Bellucci Guitars Built from 280 Year Old Wood?

I stumbled across a luthier claiming to make guitars from 280 year old wood...

My first thought was "How on earth can someone know exactly how long ago a tree was cut down? Is this just a case of marketing hype to attract attention?".

So I fired off an email never really expecting to get a reply - but Renato Bellucci emailed back and the information he gave was intriguing.

As it turns out - it is entirely possible to date very old woods!

Renato is the man behind Bellucci Guitars, and he specializes in Classical and Flamenco models - and once you look through the detailed information he provides on the construction of each guitar, you quickly realize this is a man with a passion.

So, back to my questions about the veracity of his claims - here is what Renato was kind enough to tell me...

Depending on the type of tools used to cut the trees, it is possible to know the time when the sinker woods were harvested (There is a picture I have on the website where the marks of a stone hatchet are visible).

Sinker logs with hatchet marks
[Sinker logs with hatchet marks]

Brazilian Rosewood has only recently (100 years) become such a sought after wood. In Brazil, it was used to make furniture, doors, telegraph poles and even kitchen utensils...

Some of the best cuts come from "recycled" doors of demolished fazendas, churches etc. and in these cases, it is very easy to put a date on the wood. In my gallery you will find a guitar called "The little chapel" ... The wood was derived from the demolition of a small country Chapel in Southern Brazil. A friend brought one of the 2 panels of the door to me.

Many trees were cut to make room for plantation and cattle... huge stacks of the woods were put to air dry in the fazendas and later used for all type of needs...

Even if you're not into classical guitars that much (I am a nylon string player myself), please do yourself a favor and spend some time browsing through the works of art that Renato calls guitars:

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Old Wood

Wood is wood. As long as it's not green and dripping with resin it really doesn't matter all that much. Now we can have the poly vs. nitro arguments over 100-yr-old wood vs. 280-yr-old wood. And while you spend all your time on the forums night after night, yacking away, I'm taking your gigs. I'll play, you blow air over old wood. Deal? (Lord, this whole business is full of idiots.)

A lot of guitarists take their wood seriously

Wood might not matter to you but there are enough guitarists out there who get wood over wood that endangered species are being cut down just to satisfy them. Remember the legal problems Gibson had with protected wood species.

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