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Redbud for fretboard and bridges

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Redbud for fretboard and bridges

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:54 pm

The county just removed the neighbor's redbud tree. It was not a very big tree but one section would give me several quartered fretboards. Is it worth cutting up and drying a few chunks in case I ever want to do an all local (I mean really local) wood instrument?

I don't know much about redbud but I think it is hard and not completely unattractive. Is it up to the task for fretboards? Is it reasonable easy to dry, say stickers in an attic? Is it stable enough?
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Re: Redbud for fretboard and bridges

Postby Bill Raymond » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:38 pm

I did a quick search (not extensive) and only found this about cercis canadensis: heavy, hard, coarse-grained, not strong. Sp. gr., 0.6363; weight of cu. ft. 39.65 lbs. I know that's not much help, but perhaps it's a little more than you already know. It's apparently not a commercial species, but on one forum a participant noted that it turns well; he was making file handles and maybe some pens.
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Re: Redbud for fretboard and bridges

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:44 pm

You found pretty much what I found. I do remember Roy Underhill mentioning it in his show about making jointer's mallets. Other than hard, the demands of a mallet head don't have a lot in common with the demands of a fretboard. I'm hoping someone here will have used it for something and could hazard a guess about it as a fretboard. Your right, it is not commercially available so someone would have had to do what I'm considering. . . perhaps I'm stabbing in the dark. Maybe I'll try it and have an answer in five or so years if someone else asks <g>
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Re: Redbud for fretboard and bridges

Postby Bryan Bear » Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:04 pm

Sadly, I delayed too long. When I came home from work the logs had been removed. I should have just grabbed the good log in the morning and used it for firewood if I decided it wasn't worth milling up. Oh well, live and learn.
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Re: Redbud for fretboard and bridges

Postby David King » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:14 pm

I just tried to break a small stick of dry dogwood over my knee last night to make a fire and I was astounded at how strong that wood is. When it broke it splintered in dozens of pieces with the splinters going 3" out on either side of the break. The wood inside was pleasantly dark and very fine-grained. Lots of street dogwoods out there.
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Re: Redbud for fretboard and bridges

Postby Bryan Bear » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:25 pm

Interesting, thanks David. A local maker and friend of mine uses the dogwood blossom as his logo (there is a sentimental story there). I think he and I should keep our eyes open. It should be easy to find fret board sized logs around here.
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