Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba
Glad I could be a service. Musical instrument makers are similarly obsessed with grain runout since they feel that decreases tonal qualities in the wood.
Its not as critical for me, I can use normally sawn lumber for the most part, but it does come into effect and as I've progressed I've worked to improve my eye for selecting VG (vertical grain) lumber, which is separate from the sawing programs like flat sawn or quarter sawn. At glance it seems rather easy, but digging through what is typically available in walnut....you become keenly aware that it is not so simple.
Joinery is obviously stronger where there is little to no grain runout.
some luthiers will work from split billets and then plane down to spec.
then again, there are plenty of magic instruments that don't follow the ideals and end up amazing.
small arched instruments like violins and mandolins are hand carved, so there will be runout regardless since hardly any trees grow with pre-arched grain lol. don't forget also, there is always runout at the sound holes, f-holes, etc.
there are techniques for commanding tone via "tap-tuning", which i understand is a matter of using sand patterns on shaped wood to determine where the resonance lives
even with the other rules, like looking for winter wood, tight grain spacing etc it honestly seems like more a matter of playing the odds, executing well, and crossing one's fingers.