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Michigan hardwoods

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:25 pm
by Mark Day
For any luthiers within driving distance to Dryden Michigan.
http://www.hardwoodmichigan.com/index.php

I just got back from there with a carload of wood for $100. enough hopefully for several guitars and lutes. I got a 6x8x10' beam of maple with some nice figure, a 1x6x9' plank of butternut, a 1x10x10' plank of beech, and a 2x18x2' or better hunk of osage orange. The beech is for pegboxes, the butternut will hopefully make a couple necks and maybe some lute ribs, the osage will hopefully end up as lute ribs and maybe a few bridges, maybe a fingerboard or two, and the maple should make some back/side sets and lute ribs.
The guy is straight up fair, and negotiable on prices. The wood is stored in a polebarn and is not totally organized so you can expect to spend some time sifting through, but I think it was worth it. I'm happier giving my money to a local guy for locally harvested wood that otherwise would have either been burned or ended up in a landfill. I hope to build with nothing but local woods eventually once my stock is there.
I don't know if I can get anything put together in time for the local materials challenge, but this stuff is definitely local.
I just wanted to pass this along in case anyone close enough can make use of the information. If not, check your local Craig's list for hardwood. That's how I found this guy.

Re: Michigan hardwoods

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:08 pm
by Mark Swanson
I'll look into that! I'm on the west side, but I do look around. And Craigslist is a good place to find wood.

Re: Michigan hardwoods

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:07 pm
by Mark Day
yeah, I thought of you, Mark since you're the only other person on here that I know is from Michigan, but you never know. There may be others. Dryden is north of Detroit by probably 50 miles or more but if you ever come out this way you could always stock up. He has a lot of spalted maple which would probably be the most sought after timber for most guitar builders, but there's walnut and a lot of ash too.

Re: Michigan hardwoods

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:12 pm
by Mark Swanson
There are actually a lot of luthiers in our area, many are here too. I have told some local lumber dealers that they should cut up some of the local lumber into instrument sets and sell it to all the local luthiers, I think someone could do quite well but no one has done it yet.

Re: Michigan hardwoods

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:25 pm
by Mark Day
That's cool! I didn't know there were too many around here. I know of one guy up in Ionia who builds lutes, but I've never talked to him. Prior to finding this guy with the Woodmizer, I bought some wood from Armstrong in Howel:
http://www.armstrongmillworks.com/

They have a pretty huge selection and they mention "musical instrument wood" in their ads, but I didn't see anything sawn up into actual "sets". They do have photographs in their lobby of a guitar a Michigan luthier built for Paul McCartney, though. Places like Armstrong and Michigan Hardwoods sell rough lumber so you have to do your own resawing, but you save a lot of money that way. The closer you get to the tree, the less expensive it is! I finally got a 14" bandsaw so I can at least saw up reasonable size stock.
We could always use another lumber supplier who specializes in resawing for luthery, though. The closest one to our area that I know of is A&M in Ontario.
I've also made Elderly in Lansing my supplier of choice for strings and sundries. I'm all for shopping locally and helping out Michigan's lethargic economy!