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Silver Birch


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Well, a Silver Birch tree fell down in my back garden about a month ago and the landlord (being the lazy git he is) hasn't moved it. So yesterday, I went out the back armed with a dodgy handsaw and finished the job (the tree was just snapped in half but was still held up by a small bit of trunk about 12 feet off the floor).

Damn good job I used to be a climber because I was balanced on the fence next to the tree like karate kid doing swan kicks on the post on the beach.

Anyway, I've got a log of Silver Birch about 300mm diameter and about 2m long (as well as various other bits and pieces). Is there any use for it for anything (not just guitars) that anyone can think of or should it go to the great lumber yard in the sky?

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the silver birch is a very fast growing tree and as such is probably a little soft and pithy when cured like an elm. it's not known as a woodworking lumber but i did read somewhere that in scotland it was used for funiture and other household items.

i've never worked with it so i can't say firsthand but i would guess that if you could cure a guitar piece without it cracking too much it might make a nice, mellow jazz type guitar. in other words it probably wouldn't be a bright, great sustain type of guitar.

my best advice would be to take a piece of the trunk big enough for a guitar and seal both ends of it. put it in the garage for a year or so then slab it out and dry it even more. if you like the looks of it and it seems stable then give it a try.

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Apparently they used to make cotton reels and bobbins out of it. It's soft and easily worked, flexible but not very strong.

I think I might have to make space in the shed. It's going to be getting a little full soon as my mate is a groundskeeper and keeps giving trees the chop. He's got a HUGE log of yew that is partly mine for a long bow (which is good because you don't have to wait for it to dry :D )

Well it'll probably take the landlord a few months to get round to picking it up so well all have to put our heads together and see if we can come up with any uses.

I left the 12 foot trunk sticking out of the ground and nailed a birdbox to it. If I find a use, that'll come down too (as long as no birds have started to nest in it). On the plus side, it's made a nice sunny space at the bottom of the garden, so now I have a veg patch :D smeg, I've been living in the country for too long.

Anymore suggestions?

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Birch can be very beautiful; sorta in between maple and cherry, but with a nice amber color, and softer.

We have mostly birch trim in our house; it makes stunning shelves or end tables, but I've never seen it used for tonewood before.

Like BJPUC said, it's used very often in drums for a sharp, bright tone. It'd probably do very well as a hand drum or a snare drum. Can't hurt to try anyway. Drum building can be a fun and interesting project.

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