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  #16  
Old 01-14-2019, 12:18 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Macacauba, granadillo, and hormigo are all closely related species in the Platymiscium genus. IMHO, they are very close to BR, both in density and tap tone.
I do like the tap tone of Osage, but the bright yellow color takes some getting used to. It will eventually oxidize to a dark brown. Black locust is the other domestic wood that sounds similar to Brazilian RW. Fresh cut locust is more of a greenish-yellow, but it oxidizes to a deep golden color. It takes stain well. Locust has found favor with local luthiers including Caleb Smith; I have built two myself.
Though I do like the finished appearance and the tap tone of wenge, the large pores and evil splinters are a turn-off.

Last edited by John Arnold; 01-14-2019 at 01:16 PM.
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  #17  
Old 01-14-2019, 12:35 PM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
You may find this article on Wenge useful:

https://www.premierguitar.com/articl..._New_Brazilian

< snip>

Ervin Somogyi
A professional luthier since the early 1970s, Ervin Somogyi is one of the world’s most respected acoustic-guitar builders and rosette designers. To learn more about Somogyi, his instruments, or his rosette and inlay artwork, visit esomogyi.com.[/I]

That was indeed very interesting, thanks for posting it.
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  #18  
Old 01-14-2019, 12:37 PM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
Macacauba, granadillo, and hormigo are all closely related species in the Platymiscium genus. IMHO, they are very close to BR, both in density and tap tone.
I do like the tap tone of Osage, but the bright yellow color takes some getting used to. It will eventally oxidize to a dark brown. Black locust is the other domestic wood that sounds similar to Brazilian RW. Fresh cut locust is more of a greenish-yellow, but it oxidizes to a deep golden color. It takes stain well. Locust has found favor with local luthiers including Caleb Smith; I have built two myself.
Though I do like the finished appearance and the tap tone of wenge, the large pores and evil splinters are a turn-off.
lol, if a builder like you can get splinters from it, then I should probably stay far away from anyone building with it.
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  #19  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:03 PM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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Does anyone have an opinion on Jatoba? From the wood database, it looks like it's fairly similar to BRW. Seem like it might be a great tone wood.

https://www.wood-database.com/jatoba/
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  #20  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:20 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Jatoba also has a nice tap tone, and the hardness and density are in the rosewood range. The main downside is that it is reportedly very stiff, and resists bending unless it is thinned significantly.
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  #21  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:29 PM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
Jatoba also has a nice tap tone, and the hardness and density are in the rosewood range. The main downside is that it is reportedly very stiff, and resists bending unless it is thinned significantly.
That brings up something i've been very curious about over time. I've seen the occasional item over the years like bentwood furniture, where a quite thick piece of wood is bent. I realize that it is normally laminated, but is that the only reason it can be bent? Is it possible that a different method is being used?
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  #22  
Old 01-14-2019, 02:00 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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I've worked with osage a bit in general woodworking and as a fret board wood. Drawbacks include not being generally available in widths needed for tops / backs, it can be very unstable with twisting and splitting not uncommon, it is not colorfast and usually turns an unattractive brown, losing grain differentiation over time.
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  #23  
Old 01-14-2019, 02:05 PM
stringjunky stringjunky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
I've worked with osage a bit in general woodworking and as a fret board wood. Drawbacks include not being generally available in widths needed for tops / backs, it can be very unstable with twisting and splitting not uncommon, it is not colorfast and usually turns an unattractive brown, losing grain differentiation over time.
Splitting likely goes with the territory. I remember Somogyi once wrote that brittle is good sonically.
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  #24  
Old 01-14-2019, 02:38 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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The local makers who have used it call wenge 'African crack wood'. It's tendency to split is exacerbated by New England's variable climate.

My understanding is that in the areas where it grows most Osage gets used for fence posts, which are said to outlast the holes. It's very hard to split for fire wood, but burns well when you've got it into the stove, I'm told.

I think the problem with finding wide pieces for backs is more related to the fact that it's not a commercial species than anything else. I've gotten nice quartered two-piece back stock, so it's not an issue with the size of the trees if they're allowed to grow. One supplied I talked with said that he opened up a large tree and found that it had grow from a number of stems that were braided together when they were small; the legacy of a pre-barbed-wire hedge. There was not much usable wood. IMO there's nothing wrong with a three- or four-piece back.

I have not tested wenge, since it doesn't interest me. The osage I've tested has been a drop-in replacement for BRW in terms of properties. Like BRW it seems to undergo a lot of drying degrade, particularly with heart checking, so look for stuff that does not contain the center of the tree.

Osage can be fumed with ammonia to bring up the color. It doesn't turn as dark as BRW, at least in the short time I've had to fume it, but it gets about as dark as mahogany.

Black locust is, in some respects, an 'improved' substitute for Indian rosewood. It has similar stiffness and density, but lower damping, with a tap tome more like BRW. It makes a very nice guitar. It also turns dark when fumed with ammonia, taking more color than osage.
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  #25  
Old 01-14-2019, 07:49 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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OK, Alan, you've got me curious - - - fumed with what? It makes the wood darker, yes, but is that considered more attractive (ie figure or chatoyance)?
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  #26  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:11 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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I do not have any OO but I have Jatoba, Wenge and Black Locust as far as alternative woods in the ringing end of the spectrum. I have used the Jatoba for fretboards, can be very beautiful. Bruce Sexauer has said Jatoba needs to be thinned more to bend it but it is a tough wood otherwise. I had no problem bending my set, I bought a few more afterwards. The Wenge I have not built with yet but it does sound interesting when tapped.

The Black Locust also belongs in the same spectrum the others wade in, I had no problem working with it either. Some may find the look of it, different, I do not mind it. I did fume it though, ammonia makes it darker, as well as a few more woods. I used regular household cleaner in a pan under the box which was in a plastic bag. A test sample,



The guitar. Not a high buck set, I bought it cheap to try it out.



Fumed Jatoba.

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  #27  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:34 PM
Otterhound Otterhound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
Macacauba, granadillo, and hormigo are all closely related species in the Platymiscium genus. IMHO, they are very close to BR, both in density and tap tone.
I do like the tap tone of Osage, but the bright yellow color takes some getting used to. It will eventually oxidize to a dark brown. Black locust is the other domestic wood that sounds similar to Brazilian RW. Fresh cut locust is more of a greenish-yellow, but it oxidizes to a deep golden color. It takes stain well. Locust has found favor with local luthiers including Caleb Smith; I have built two myself.
Though I do like the finished appearance and the tap tone of wenge, the large pores and evil splinters are a turn-off.
Another mention for Black Locust . I am a fan . I had a log here that had been stored for about 10 years or so . When I finally had it cut , that first slice to halve the log gave off a sympathetic resonance that I have experienced with nothing else . It actually hummed as that blade made its way .
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  #28  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:05 PM
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Another vote for Wenge. I have have owned a Wenge slope D and have played a Wenge grand auditorium and both of these incredible rosewood-like sounding guitars. And because of this influence, my next custom build with Keisuke is going to be Sitka/Wenge Mod D.
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Last edited by pandaroo; 01-15-2019 at 03:35 AM.
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  #29  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:52 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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And another vote for Wenge.

I have a custom built guitar (Adrian Lucas) built in Sitka and Wenge. The tone has the versatility of BRW and is really opening out over 4 years.

Comparing woods is a bit pointless in many ways but I can tell you Wenge makes for a great guitar!
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  #30  
Old 01-15-2019, 07:47 AM
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awesome responses !!
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