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  #31  
Old 12-23-2016, 12:17 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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The Osage I've measured has been just about a drop-in replacement for BRW in terms of the mechanical and acoustic properties that ought to make a difference. That assumes we actually know something about how these things work, of course. The guitars I've made from it have certainly sounded good.
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  #32  
Old 12-23-2016, 03:20 PM
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The Osage I've measured has been just about a drop-in replacement for BRW in terms of the mechanical and acoustic properties that ought to make a difference. That assumes we actually know something about how these things work, of course. The guitars I've made from it have certainly sounded good.
Wonderful. From what I can tell, it grows like a weed all over the midwest. In fact that seems to be a reason why it's been popular as a natural fence tree.

What do you think are the reasons for its relative lack of popularity as a tonewood, if it sounds so good? Is it the color, the difficulty to find large enough trees, something else?
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  #33  
Old 12-24-2016, 05:26 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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I think that it's not popular because Martin didn't use it in the 30's. The fact that the color and odor don't match BRW doesn't help, in that it's easy to tell the difference.
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  #34  
Old 12-27-2016, 09:12 PM
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Much of the inside of the guitar will be cherry. But when it comes to the armrest area, I don't want to add that much weight. So I went with fir. It's strong yet light. It also shapes easily when carving the armrest for its overlay later.





And then this happened:



Somebody cut a big ol' hole in that perfectly good top.
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  #35  
Old 12-28-2016, 05:17 AM
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Looking good Chris and a great theme for a guitar.

Laurie Williams built me a guitar with all Australian and New Zealand woods last year (except for the ebony fingerboard and bridge). Sourcing the woods from across the country was great fun and it makes the guitar just that little bit more special. Best find was a desert hardwood (for the trims) that is called "old man wodjil".

BTW, what sort of sound does the Osage give?

Col
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  #36  
Old 12-30-2016, 08:36 AM
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BTW, what sort of sound does the Osage give?

Col
I have pretty high hopes for Osage orange. It taps like the denser rosewoods- there is a gong like quality to it from one tapping location and a bell like tap from another. It has great sustain too. Should make a stellar sounding guitar.
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  #37  
Old 12-30-2016, 12:31 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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In terms of it's measureable properties, density, stiffness and damping, OO is pretty much on par with BRW. Since those are the things that ought to determine how it 'sounds' you'd expect it to be right in line with Brazilian. It's really hard to say how true this is. There's always the possibility that we don't understand how these things work as well as we think we do, and there could be something else that we don't measure and have not factored in yet. Obviously, Osage doesn't look like Brazilian, at least when it's new, and people hear so much with their eyes that they tend to think it's not a perfect match. It would be possible to do real 'blind' tests, but you run into the problem that even 'identical' guitars made from the same wood tend to sound a bit different. Is the difference between a given BRW guitar and an Osage one of the same size and shape greater or less than you'd get between two Brazilian instruments? It would be hard to get a good solid answer to that question.

The Osage guitars that I've made have tended to have what I'd call a 'rosewood' timbre, and have been quite nice. I sold one at a Healdsburg festival within a couple of hours of opening.
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  #38  
Old 12-30-2016, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Carruth View Post
In terms of it's measureable properties, density, stiffness and damping, OO is pretty much on par with BRW. Since those are the things that ought to determine how it 'sounds' you'd expect it to be right in line with Brazilian. It's really hard to say how true this is. There's always the possibility that we don't understand how these things work as well as we think we do, and there could be something else that we don't measure and have not factored in yet. Obviously, Osage doesn't look like Brazilian, at least when it's new, and people hear so much with their eyes that they tend to think it's not a perfect match. It would be possible to do real 'blind' tests, but you run into the problem that even 'identical' guitars made from the same wood tend to sound a bit different. Is the difference between a given BRW guitar and an Osage one of the same size and shape greater or less than you'd get between two Brazilian instruments? It would be hard to get a good solid answer to that question.

The Osage guitars that I've made have tended to have what I'd call a 'rosewood' timbre, and have been quite nice. I sold one at a Healdsburg festival within a couple of hours of opening.
Makes me wish I kept all those trees I cut down for fence posts.

If you called the wood the more exotic sounding "Bois d'arc", you could have charged more...
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  #39  
Old 12-30-2016, 08:57 PM
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I think that it's not popular because Martin didn't use it in the 30's. The fact that the color and odor don't match BRW doesn't help, in that it's easy to tell the difference.
Sigh.

You're probably right.
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  #40  
Old 01-06-2017, 04:43 PM
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When working with a new tonewood, it is always exciting to observe how it responds to being shaped and voiced. The back being osage intrigued me in particular. I braced it in my normal pattern. The braces, sticking with the USA theme, are beautifully quartered cherry.

Each braces is carefully fit into the back strap.






Because this is a new tonewood for me, as I carved, I stopped often, tapped, flexed, talked with the wood... You know, just to get to know it. The conversation was wonderful.



Once I'm happy with how everything is sounding and feeling, there's just one last touch to cap it all off- an osage button:



The top is next.
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  #41  
Old 01-06-2017, 05:22 PM
JSDenvir JSDenvir is offline
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Really nice Chris. Love the rosette. Simple and elegant.

And btw, love the binding cutter.

Steve
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  #42  
Old 01-11-2017, 09:45 AM
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And btw, love the binding cutter.
It does a heck of job.
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  #43  
Old 01-11-2017, 09:53 AM
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Bracing the top is when the voice comes to life. It is also a time that requires a lot of focus. I enjoy hearing the top change as the braces are carved to their final shape, so I am constantly checking the top- tapping it and flexing it.








I also utilize frequency analysis to help me dial in my tops and give me some consistency between them. Though to be honest, I have a love, hate thing for it. I mean, look at all that glitter! I hate glitter! Oh well. C'est la vie.



Meanwhile, I also put yet another hole in the guitar. Made some pretty shavings, too.



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  #44  
Old 01-11-2017, 10:04 AM
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I'm curious how the O-O wood ages? Does it oxidize to a deeper color or retain that bright yellow? Is it typically fairly straight grained, or has some been found with curl or other interesting grain features?
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  #45  
Old 01-11-2017, 12:51 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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Osage ages to a fairly dark brown over time with exposure to air and light. I friend of mine mistook some for BRW once. Finishing slows the process down, of course.

A lot of OO trees seem to be fairly gnarly. I'm not sure whether that's characteristic or simply due to the fact that the old, big ones may have started life as hedge trees, and were trained that way. I've seen pictures of large, straight ones as well. Gnarly ones will have gnarly grain, of course. I haven't seen curl of the sort you get in maple and some other woods in OO, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
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