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JasonM

Posts: 1806
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

Roasted spruce 

I was comparing 3 Engleman spruce tops the other day, one of which was torrefied. I was really shocked by the contrast in tap tones coming from the torrefied Engleman versus the other two standard tops. The torrefied wood produced a sound like tapping on a piece of window glass. Whereas the standard Engleman produced a much lower tone, like that of a drum. The difference was major.

Has anyone worked with torrefied spruce? The only down side is the dark color of the wood. Looks more like cedar than spruce. But I was told the process also makes the top less prone to cracking. But I have no idea what kind of sound the wood would produce in a guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2018 18:15:43
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

This process has been experimented with for a few years and it remains to be seen if it will hold to natural building practice as an aging technique, without a drastic change in its inner structure.

Any time you monkey with nature you run the risk of damaging something. But one thing that could be happening with the process is that the inner core that houses pectin might create a crystallization that could lock the substance into the wood pores that would contribute to its ringing sensation.

This, in turn, could prolong the ringing sensation since the pectin would not be released over a period of time by natural means of vibration/playing wear. IMO.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2018 19:12:55
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

I've been logged out half the summer, but had to log in to register laughing out loud.

Pectin? Pectin?

What the hell are you talking about, putting up black berry jelly in mason jars or guitarmaking? WTF?

Jason, just build the damn guitar with the torrified top. It's sound great.

Pectin............

Ok I go back to sleep.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2018 0:33:35
 
JasonM

Posts: 1806
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to estebanana

I done built my top already I’m just curious. Maybe next build
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2018 1:29:01
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to estebanana

quote:

What the hell are you talking about,


Years ago I did some work with Joseph Nagavary who developed a system of soaking wood in a mineral bath to remove, (pectin) a starchy substance to allow sound to penetrate top wood in a more pure fashion. This worked well for violins as it was necessary to lose the ringing sensation; to remove an unwanted screeching sound in new instruments.

But my experience with this system showed me that retaining the pectin was beneficial to the guitar sound, as a booster to the ringing and dimensional quality of the top.

BTW, Joseph has since made a deal with Taiwanese violin makers to continue his process.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2018 11:41:33
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 598
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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11224-009-9442-z

Pectin is in cell walls and 'governs the water holding capacity of the cell'. But, yeah, jam, huh duh.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2018 16:10:52
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

Down with all news that are new to me; and long live emperor Friedrich!

Eucalyptus is THE wood! It doesn´t even need aging or baking.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2018 17:48:28
 
RobF

Posts: 1197
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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

I’ve been thinking about getting a torrefied Engelmann top and pairing it with a back and sides set of torrefied Nootka Cypress to make a flamenco Blanca. My main reason for wanting to try this combination is I think it will look cool, lol. I’m pretty sure it can make for a good guitar.

I might order two sets of sides, however, because I don’t know how easily torrefied wood bends.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2018 18:25:32
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

Nagyavari is a quack and everyone knows it. He has no credibility in the violin world.

Second, Torrefaction means the wood is heated in an low oxygen or 02 free chamber. Whether or not that removes the pectin or changes the structure of the wood is information you have not given factual information to prove. It's your unscientific guess as to what torrefaction does to wood.

You have no actual idea what you are talking about, so show the data before you open your big mouth.

I did a google search on the 'Effects of Torrefction on Wood' - It rendered 157,000 results with no less than a dozen pages of hits on scientific papers that discuss the chemical effect of torrefaction.

Please tell me which research papers your information comes from? Myself, Ilm not a bio chemist and I would not presume to understand the complex chemistry of trees, much less make pronouncements on the effect of a complicated treatment applied to those chemicals and natural processes within trees.



https://www.google.co.jp/search?client=opera&ei=M5CMW52xAZuqoASd5ovgDg&q=torrefaction+effect+on+wood&oq=torrefaction+effect+on+wood&gs_l=psy-ab.3...10256.13975.0.14775.9.9.0.0.0.0.113.880.6j3.9.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..0.1.112...33i10k1.0.zDzGqW8LyQs

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 3 2018 1:30:22
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

If you parse your way through it, this paper right here discusses the upper limits of biomass torrefaciton as related to different kinds of woods. It breaks down the physical limits of woods subjected to the torrefaction process. It explains why wood becomes brittle and will not be viable as a product due to the break down of the structure of the wood at a cellular level. It's pretty complicated, but by the time you get to the end of page two you will have some information about why too much torrefaction treatment can break down woods past the point of being useful for a guitar top.

One would hope the research and technical work done by guitar companies that offer torrefied tops has include information and research by qualified people so they develop a product well within these limits.


And the next link is a to an article by Dana Bourgeois that talks about the observation of these limits and why in the Martin and Yamaha factories where they do torrefaction processes. The article s from 2014 and deals with the information up to that time. He had already been working with torrified tops for few years. Now four years later there even more testaments and research.

The bottom line seems to be that there is a happy medium of treatment to the wood which accelerates it's 'oldness' but also a limit on how far the process can be pushed before the wood becomes brittle charcoal.

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/ind.2011.7.384


https://bourgeoisguitars.net/our-news/dana-bourgeois-on-torrefaction-for-acoustic-guitar/

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 3 2018 2:13:26
 
estebanana

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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

Down with all news that are new to me; and long live emperor Friedrich!

Eucalyptus is THE wood! It doesn´t even need aging or baking.


Not so fast.

Read the Dana Bourgeois article. The Martin Company did work with hard woods and came to the conclusion that these treatments DID NOT turn average wood into great guitar wood. They came to the opposite conclusion as guitar makers that the process diminished the quality of the wood when applied to body woods ( backs and sides)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 3 2018 2:19:14
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Nagyavari is a quack and everyone knows it. He has no credibility in the violin world.


Dr. Joseph Nagyvary is a friend and long time acquaintance of mine and he does know what he's talking about. He has secured grants in the past from notable companies and foundations to explore his hypothesis toward proving an intellectual exchange of how and why the Strad violins do what they do. Information can be found in Science 84 Magazine.

I worked with him for a year and came to my own conclusions about his top treatment for my guitar wood, which went through a soaking and washing process that removed a good portion of pectin and then restored strength back into the wood by a mineral bath.

Since I've had personal experience with this process for guitar tops, I would be satisfied to not say anymore about it, to avoid any unpleasantness on this forum.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 3 2018 7:35:55
 
estebanana

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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

Oh please be unpleasant.

Nagavari is a figure in the violin scene who has been proven to be inaccurate.

Read the examples. There are makers in the guitar milleu who have written with authority and experience on the subject of torrefied tops. I find no unpleasantness in diligent research and reportage.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 3 2018 11:38:17
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

quote:

Down with all news that are new to me; and long live emperor Friedrich!

Eucalyptus is THE wood! It doesn´t even need aging or baking.


Not so fast.

Read the Dana Bourgeois article. The Martin Company did work with hard woods and came to the conclusion that these treatments DID NOT turn average wood into great guitar wood. They came to the opposite conclusion as guitar makers that the process diminished the quality of the wood when applied to body woods ( backs and sides)


It sounds entirely possible that certain parts of the guitar may benefit from other characteristics / changes than the rest of the instrument.

However, that thermal treatment can and will display desired alteration to tonewood was proven before by a team who systematically tested and determined / studied yields on different species under diverse baking conditions. You may remember the thread, which I couldn´t find back with the forums search engine.

But here the same fact is alternatively being named:

quote:


The unique mechanical and acoustical properties of wood and its aesthetic appeal still make it the material of choice for musical instruments. Here tropical hardwoods are typically used in musical instruments. This paper gives an overview of how the use of thermally modified wood can contribute to the use of raw materials for musical instruments. It is shown that a mild thermal treatment leads to clear changes of the measurable acoustic characteristics, such as Young’s modulus, damping and sound velocity. In conclusion, thermally modified wood (mild treatment) is a material with favorable characteristics for making musical instruments.


https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282074512_Thermally_Modified_Wood_for_Use_in_Musical_Instruments

Thermal treatment can even switch some otherwise humble (nonetropical) woods into equivalent of finest tropical picks.

The more even intersting thing which I remember was that some 'ordinary' species that were unexpected, benefitted most in terms of tone wood characteristics.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 3 2018 19:28:33
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

No, you can't get superior wood by baking wood that's not great. What you get is no so great baked wood.

An anonymous contact who is a bio chemist wrote me a private message which explains the chemistry of what happens when wood is heated in a reduction of moisture process. I'll try to post as much of it as I can. Since I'm not a chemist I wasn't certain of some things, but the contact confirmed what I understood about basic chemistry which I took in high school and college biology class. Feel free to cut paste it and send to a professional chemist for peer review.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 4 2018 0:28:02
 
estebanana

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Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

The PM I received on the subject at hand. This came with an introduction and a short section that expressed exasperation with chat rooms in which participants neglect to fact check or cross reference posts on subjects they are not experts on.

Here you go:

Stephen I saw your postings about Torifried wood.
Again this is why I say that Internet boards are such a mixed bag, they can be a source of
information or the vehicles of fake news or in this case fake science , myth perpetuation.
I spend a lot of time debunking why certain strings are better than others and why it makes no
sense to spend more money on one string type vs another. I usually sum up my discussion with"
It's a matter of personal taste" meaning if you think it is better then it must be. Logic and reasoning
have little to do with it.

This whole discussion of pectin removal is incredibly stupid.
1. Baking off Pectin? Pectin is a carbohydrate and a polysaccharide a long chain sugar much like
starch. It is not like a myriad of small molecules that are volatile. You cannot drive off a large
molecule like that through cell walls by heating and volatilizing it.

2. Permeability of large molecules in or out of cells. Even if the wood cells are dead and and
somewhat porous, those points of porosity are incredibly small.In the cell biology business we do
what's called a cell permeability test, if cells take up the dye methylene blue from the surrounding
area and the cell interior turns blue it means the cell cannot control intake or export of small
molecules. But if you try that with Blue dextran a polysaccharide much like pectin it doesn't
penetrate unless the cell wall is ruptured , because the dextran is so much bigger. It's the difference
of getting sand through a colander and getting golf balls through a colander.

3. Permeation into a multilayer strata: Even if Nagavary were right about leaching out minerals in
the logs, how long would it take to penetrate into the core of a billet? For those who have tried
dying woods How long would it take to get dye to penetrate 1 inch into a four inch thick billet? How
long does it take for soy to penetrate to the core of a rump roast. Through the wonders of calculus
you would approach the limit ( The core ) as you reach infinity. The other example is case hardened
lumber.

4. Tory fried wood probably effects strength and responsiveness due to driving water and further
distorting the structure of the cells. There is a phenomena called bound water and free water: Free
water the water in an environment acting as an envrionment, solvent is readily volatilized , Bound
water is water that is associated with proteins , carbohydrates and salt comlpexes as part of a
larger molecular complex. Given enough energy that water can driven off but in the process alters
those chemical complexes.That's why jerky can never be reconstituted into prime rib.

5. Ask Tom if he actually measured the pectin content in his experiments with Nagyvariation. How
does he know he drove off pectin and not something else? If he insists it really is Pectin, ask him
how to assay Pectin. It's not exactly a cakewalk you can do in your kitchen.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 4 2018 1:05:05
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

No, you can't get superior wood by baking wood that's not great. What you get is no so great baked wood.


To your reminder:

quote:

Tech folks were from the Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde (Academy for sustaining development Eberswalde)

Shortcuts:
# Chemical compund of wood changes with heat.
# The proportion of cellulosis and firmness determining lignin and hemicellulosis are defining sound characteristics of wood.
# Statement: It is unclear what exactly makes the acoustic properties of tropical woods, but quest has been to see whether and in how far local wood specimens could be altered in ways so that they would come close to prefered tropical material.

# The people at HNEE examined 30 different native woods (in Germany) and reserached which amount of time and temperature would yield optimal sound results for individual specimens.
The max. temp was 180°C, not 300 as I recalled above. Max. h was 3 hours.

# It was stated that much to their surprise ash and alder improved the most and delivered best results.
Unfortunately, ash however due to shoot dying is only scarcely availabe anymore. Alder however being well in supply still.

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=311541&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=temperatures&tmode=&smode=&s=#311658

Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 4 2018 15:52:38
 
Ruphus

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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

Here is the report as video.
https://www.dw.com/de/projekt-zukunft-tropenholz-autonomes-auto-hirnforschung/av-42617898

It starts at 18:46.

One of the instruments built of the "not so great wood" kann be heard at 24:41.

The geeks´ judgement on the overall instrumental quality in comparison to tropical woods can be heard right before 24:41, and right after the playing sequence the opinion of the player.

Unfortunately a steeler, but as my headphones tell: Certainly no shabby one by any means.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 4 2018 16:12:35
 
JasonM

Posts: 1806
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

From what I read the cellulose binds to a pectin matrix in the cell. I have a bottle of argon gas for a welder. im kind of tempted to make a little science experiment oven. You can even turn Wonderbread into a carbon foam if you cook it long enough.

Watched the vid but I dont speak a da German.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 4 2018 19:41:39
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1541
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

Maybe we should torrify the whole guitar? Oh yeah, the glue....

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www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 4 2018 20:38:19
 
RobF

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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to constructordeguitarras

I’m pretty sure I read somewhere on the internet that with the judicious use of a brad nailer, a staple gun and a few carriage bolts, there’s no real need for glue, whatsoever. The only reason I’m still using it is because I don’t have a proper brad nailer....

But seriously, I think a flamenco Blanca made with torrefied wood would look pretty cool, kind of a natural old gold. It’s intriguing, so I asked a supplier for a quote on a B&S set of torrefied Nootka Cypress today. He said people haven’t reported any issues with bending torrefied sides, but I’d get an extra set, just in case.

He also said that Nootka Cypress responds well to the process. I guess I’ll find out what he means by that if I get some. I’ve used it in its natural state before and the guitar turned out great. I think the Blanca that Anders made for Simon uses Nootka (aka Alaskan Yellow Cedar or Canadian Cypress).

But my interest in it is mainly cosmetic, I’m not expecting any sonic miracles or anything. If I do get a set, I’ll post my impressions.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 4 2018 22:46:50
 
estebanana

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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

What's the scientific name of the species? Just curious.

The subject of long chain molecules being washed or cooked out, I hope everyone got the memo and read why or now understands the difference between cooking off water that's not intrinsic to long chain molecules vs. Water that is integral to wood structure.

The cooking process makes the wood less massive and the vacating water makes the structure that is holding it change shape. When the water is removed the structure that held it reshapes into a lighter structure.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2018 1:38:24
 
RobF

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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to estebanana

quote:

What's the scientific name of the species? Just curious


If you’re asking about the Nootka Cypress, its scientific name is Cupressus Nootkatensis. Its classification has been bounced in and out of the true cypress family more than once over the years. From what I just read on Wikipedia, its membership is still disputed in some circles.

I was given a set by a friend ten years ago and promptly sought out and bought ten more sets. The supplier at the time said he was selling large quantities of the lumber to Japan for use in temple building. The ten sets I got were tight grained, clear, straight, and pretty near perfect, so I understood why it would be used for special purposes.

I’ve only made one guitar out of that batch, about six years ago, and I was quite pleased with the result.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2018 2:05:39
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to estebanana

When the water is removed the structure that held it reshapes into a lighter structure..............'

I almost hate to say this but Arcangel Fernandez's warm water and course sea salt rubbed on fan braces at or near the bridge inside, had an effect of changing the tone and articulation on his guitars.

This is a known fact from a mutual friend of ours.

But then what does this have to do with the current topic? Think about it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2018 2:23:13
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

Tom,

Pure quackery. Fake science. I just presented a chemical refute to your anecdotal myth and you just ignore it. So this is where the world stands today. Those who believe what they want to believe, and those who concur on scientific fact.

You're welcome to your own belief system, but not your own physics and biochemistry.

End of story.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2018 2:40:32
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

quote:

ORIGINAL: JasonM

Watched the vid but I dont speak a da German.


That is why I translated the basic context. So one can have an idea in advance.

Getting oneself just heated wood wouldn´t already guarantee improvement on the source material.
Crucial being that each kind of wood having been treated to the individual species´ optimal specs.

Meaning in accordance to data determined through systematic and scientific evaluation.

In the study that I linked to such evaluation was done and yielded results as well as unexpected choices among local species, that can either be taken advantage of or ignored.
That is everyone´s own choice.

I have seen so many examples of how people rejecting from the get go what they don´t know, that it appears just common.

From ordinary and outright blatantly obvious things in the guitar world like fine tuners, fine tuning, tempered tuning to general items like credit cards, PCs, digital photography, 96 kHz audio or currently AI and electric motor bikes, just to name a few.

Always have their been nihilism of traditional or pseudo scientific kinds, and usually then followed by practical reasoning in the long run, even if delayed.

BTW: "Lame" e-bikes outperformed combustion vehicles in the moto cross world already when it was still ugly proto boxes in frames, and the styled Lightning bike put all super bikes to shame by 20 seconds lead in the race.

Makes me interested once there be one with maybe just ~ 130 hp at ~150 kg wet weight. Silent power with hundreds of Nm right there at low turns already; yummy.
As technically is however, it takes caution at the end of curves and with slowing down on slippery / wet bitumen.

Even reluctant Mercedes just introduced their e-SUV and hear, hear: Harely Davidson their e-version.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2018 2:48:44
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1541
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to Ruphus

Ruphus--

Are you suggesting...e-guitars?

_____________________________

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www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2018 3:01:24
 
Ruphus

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Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

Niyet ...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2018 3:03:28
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

Ruphus--

Are you suggesting...e-guitars?


He seems confused between More Paul and Les Paul.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Rob,

It seems like one of the species similar to Port Orford cedar. Right, the false cypress false cedar group. They are all close in character as far as guitar making goes. They are either Cupresses or Chamaecyparis - I see Nootka is listed as both depending on who is doing the listing. Cupresses Nootka of Nootka Chamaecyparis....he says tomato, she says tomahto.

All I wanted was a general idea of what it is. It's another of the Pacific cypress/cedars that are yellowish that make great flamenco guitars that dealers are hip to yet. Soon enough these woods will be more known by guitarists ans they'll ask for the material. I started using Lawson or Port Orford in 2001 and Hinoki in 2014.

Cess la vee A

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2018 4:25:37
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Roasted spruce (in reply to JasonM

More Paul; isn´t that they guy who sang with Peter and Mary?
Or was it that chap who comes through the chimney in wintertime?


Now, you flinching Windmills: Who by now has taken the opportunity to at all listen to the "not so good" guitar of alder? You know, just for silly sakes of profanity / checking facts.

Come on, expose your knickers of composure and admit that you couldn´t even care to click on it!

Just to think of ... Having to admit blind worshipping. What a disgrace, innit?
Never, ever! Never, ever! Never, never, never!

"Martha ...! Where are my little yellow pills?!!"
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2018 5:36:03
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