Jump to content

take a look at this wood... what is it?


Recommended Posts

there is a local guy who advertised as 'cottonwood/rosewood'... certainly is beautiful.  I believe he's asking $45 each.  I need more wood like I need flesh eating disease but wanted to ask: would this be dumb to pass up?  Probably not is my guess... school me.

81174248_3475340439173045_30076666542272

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oil bottle is a nice touch :P

Rosewood and Cottonwood are two very different timbers. Unless it goes by different common names based on where you live, Cottonwood is a genus of one of the Poplars. That being the case, that's the darkest looking Poplar I've ever seen :rolleyes:

There's not an awful lot of straight, tight grain in those photos, so usefulness as a neck or fingerboard material is a bit questionable. Bodies or tops may be an option, but again there's a lot of strange grain directions going on there in a small area that would make me a bit leery of jumping straight on board. I'd be asking questions of the seller like, 'how thick?' or 'how dry?' His response may help guide your decision...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, curtisa said:

Oil bottle is a nice touch :P

Rosewood and Cottonwood are two very different timbers. Unless it goes by different common names based on where you live, Cottonwood is a genus of one of the Poplars. That being the case, that's the darkest looking Poplar I've ever seen :rolleyes:

There's not an awful lot of straight, tight grain in those photos, so usefulness as a neck or fingerboard material is a bit questionable. Bodies or tops may be an option, but again there's a lot of strange grain directions going on there in a small area that would make me a bit leery of jumping straight on board. I'd be asking questions of the seller like, 'how thick?' or 'how dry?' His response may help guide your decision...

very much appreciate the response/wisdom.  Not sure the oil can is included but I can ask (jk).  This was apparently "just cut" and the pieces are 2-3" thick.  So at a minimum it's something I'd have to store for a year or more.  I was thinking that one block would make a pretty cool body, and what lit my fire was the word "rosewood".  I wondered what sort of 'rosewood' grew in az.  I went on the wood database and tried to look for a combo of those two terms but no such luck.  As you mentioned, cottonwood is a very light colored wood so???

looking at it now, specifically the piece right under the oil... look how half way down the color changes?  to a plain tan?

I like the idea of a build in the future using something interesting and locally sourced... but perhaps this isn't it.  As you pointed out there is a lot of grain going a lot of directions so perhaps a lot of potential for splitting as this dries. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely not cottonwood. Possibly a rosewood. I don't know of any that grow in Arizona, but cocobolo grows on the west coast of Mexico--not so far away. And I've seen rough cut pictures of cocobolo that look a lot like that.

http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/cocobolo.htm

Desert Ironwood also grows in Arizona.

http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/ironwood, desert.htm

Take a look at the many rosewoods on that site and see if you find something even closer looking.

SR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

I like em, if they're 2-3" thick you could make some nice bookmatched carve tops out of those. Mind sharing the source?  

don't mind at all.  it's on facebook marketplace... just a guy selling locally.  https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/988511004881180/?surface=product_details

if you reach out to him lmk.  I was thinking I might shoot a line closer to the weekend as he appears to be about an hour south of me.  you can see the one piece that is turned sideways (under the oil) is what appears to be 2" thick(ish).  I don't know if all are.

 

10 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Definitely not cottonwood. Possibly a rosewood. I don't know of any that grow in Arizona, but cocobolo grows on the west coast of Mexico--not so far away. And I've seen rough cut pictures of cocobolo that look a lot like that.

http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/cocobolo.htm

Desert Ironwood also grows in Arizona.

http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/ironwood, desert.htm

Take a look at the many rosewoods on that site and see if you find something even closer looking.

SR

I wondered about mexi cocobolo as it does look like some I've seen, but admittedly that 'desert' ironwood looks spot on!  good call.

 

edit: "impossible to work with hand tools" - hmm... sounds hard/heavy!  man it is beautiful stuff tho. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

edit: "impossible to work with hand tools" - hmm... sounds hard/heavy!  man it is beautiful stuff tho. 

I've seen a lot of it in mercados in Mexican border towns and San Antonio, always in the form of carved figures. I've always wanted some. I've been tempted to buy a figurine and re-carve into something else. The figures were not finished especially well, and I was dying to see how it would look if finished and polished thoroughly. We have a member, that hasn't been active for a few years, @NotYou, that used to love it for fretboards.

The stuff is very hard and heavy....but possible to carve apparently. I've seen beautiful jack plane handles made from it.

SR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, ScottR said:

I've seen a lot of it in mercados in Mexican border towns and San Antonio, always in the form of carved figures. I've always wanted some. I've been tempted to buy a figurine and re-carve into something else. The figures were not finished especially well, and I was dying to see how it would look if finished and polished thoroughly. We have a member, that hasn't been active for a few years, @NotYou, that used to love it for fretboards.

The stuff is very hard and heavy....but possible to carve apparently. I've seen beautiful jack plane handles made from it.

SR

so... is it heavy like "you wouldn't want to build a body from it" or heavy like "you wouldn't even want to use it for a top"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Think about the hand carved figurines made with very poor hand tools out of the hardest woods imaginable they sell as souvenirs in Africa (that's a smallish cape between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans). Your tools most likely are superiour to theirs, even the elbow grease powered ones. Plus your income doesn't depend on how fast you can make something out of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, ScottR said:

It might be wasted as a body, but I think it would make a gorgeous top. Big pieces are supposedly rare. Heavy can always be countered by creative chambering and carving. I'd love to know if that was what that really is.

SR

right on, well I don't want to message him yet as there is zero chance of me getting down that way till saturday (traffic makes a 1 hour drive = 3 hours) but later in the week I'll probe him for some more info on what he thinks it is, how thick it actually is, how recent it was cut, etc.

12 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

Think about the hand carved figurines made with very poor hand tools out of the hardest woods imaginable they sell as souvenirs in Africa (that's a smallish cape between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans). Your tools most likely are superiour to theirs, even the elbow grease powered ones. Plus your income doesn't depend on how fast you can make something out of it.

right on... well my recent experience trying to carve a maple top was really more physical effort than I'm willing to do very often (yes I'm that lazy) but I have an idea on how to setup a jig to do the majority of a les paul carve via router... then again not sure I want to be running a router on something that is hard as a rock!  from what I gathered, that ironwood gets it's name from the fact that it is "hard as iron"... which doesn't sound like fun!  but oh that color... might be worth it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I haven't used it but I know a couple of guys who have. It's a method brought to wider audience by Ben Crowe at Crimson Guitars and even some of their students building their first instrument ever with basically no woodworking experience since schooldays have successfully done that. They all say that the noise and high speed is the most scary part of it, the actual carving being surprisingly subtle.

Wasn't there just one guy who had routed all cavities free hand perfectly along pencil lines? Same power, same speed, same potential of making firewood.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Personally I haven't used it but I know a couple of guys who have. It's a method brought to wider audience by Ben Crowe at Crimson Guitars and even some of their students building their first instrument ever with basically no woodworking experience since schooldays have successfully done that. They all say that the noise and high speed is the most scary part of it, the actual carving being surprisingly subtle.

Wasn't there just one guy who had routed all cavities free hand perfectly along pencil lines? Same power, same speed, same potential of making firewood.

 

sure, there are lots of folks who have done the angle grinder, and yes I think I did see a gentleman route everything by hand.  Both fine approaches.  That said... you have to pick the approach that is right for you.  For me, my hammer is the router.  I think it could have gone a lot easier with more template layers... and if I had a giant compressor I would love to have a dynabrade air sander with the right pad/paper.  Furthermore the scraper set I got is already getting worn down so perhaps I need to learn about burnishing or find a set made out of better metal. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After carving ziricote by hand, I would def use an angle grinder carving that next time. Just because it would blunt my gouges and planes so quickly that I spend as much time sharpening as I did carving. If that stuff above is any kind of rosewood, I would use an angle grinder on that too - or a router, your les tele carve method seamed to work well.

It's a lot harder to screw up a carve with an angle grinder than you might think. Even with maple, I found I really had to press quite hard to take a chunk out of it. You've just got to almost stroke the wood with the angle grinder and it takes a skim off the top. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

After carving ziricote by hand, I would def use an angle grinder carving that next time. Just because it would blunt my gouges and planes so quickly that I spend as much time sharpening as I did carving. If that stuff above is any kind of rosewood, I would use an angle grinder on that too - or a router, your les tele carve method seamed to work well.

It's a lot harder to screw up a carve with an angle grinder than you might think. Even with maple, I found I really had to press quite hard to take a chunk out of it. You've just got to almost stroke the wood with the angle grinder and it takes a skim off the top. 

those angle grinders look heavy and my experience with belt sanders is: my back can't take much of that.  Second it removes a lot of material in a way that is not bound to a form.  Seems like it would be some work to wrangle it into symmetry.

I could see setting up a router jig similar to my radius top jig, that would have the lp carve profile instead of radius, and smaller at one end.  This could make short work of smoothing the north/south pattern.  Who knows, could always fall back to using an angle grinder... but I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to explore possible alternatives.  If at all possible I'd like to try to substitute careful consideration for brute force.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

A 115 or 125 mm diameter grinder weighs less than 2 kg, or 4 lbs if you prefer that.

that is surprisingly light.  I don't know what those kg things are, but I'd probably go for that model as as 2 < 4.  Also, which weighs more... a pound of kg or a pound of lb?  also, when you go to your grinder... do you oil up the beck first or after?

I have a pretty light belt sander (6lbs ish) but it's the weight plus the pull of it that kills me.  Lot better than those porter cable monsters but still I can only use that thing for about 10 mins.  I'm sure I could manage w the grinder should it come to that, and will keep it in mind for when I get to that point, so thanks for the info.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A kg (kilogram) is about 2 lbs, roughly.

AFA angle grinders, they usually come with a horizontal foregrip which helps a lot since the thick main frame usually serves as the main handle. The bigger ones have a thinner rear handle as do the cordless ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

4 hours ago, mistermikev said:

those angle grinders look heavy and my experience with belt sanders is: my back can't take much of that.  Second it removes a lot of material in a way that is not bound to a form.  Seems like it would be some work to wrangle it into symmetry.

I could see setting up a router jig similar to my radius top jig, that would have the lp carve profile instead of radius, and smaller at one end.  This could make short work of smoothing the north/south pattern.  Who knows, could always fall back to using an angle grinder... but I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to explore possible alternatives.  If at all possible I'd like to try to substitute careful consideration for brute force.

I think my trim router weighs more than my angle grinder. The shape that the grinder cuts in the wood is entirely down to how you hold it - if you hold it so the flap disc is almost parallel with the wood, it will take next to no material away, so you can hold it flat and almost stroke the wood in long passes and it will take away little material but quite uniformly. 

You've really got to try it to understand, but it really is the most efficient way to carve without a CNC in my opinion. My grinder was £45 + £2.99 flap discs (one flap disc did 2 guitars before I changed it) so it was an inexpensive gamble that paid off for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

A kg (kilogram) is about 2 lbs, roughly.

AFA angle grinders, they usually come with a horizontal foregrip which helps a lot since the thick main frame usually serves as the main handle. The bigger ones have a thinner rear handle as do the cordless ones.

looked around a bit... pretty cheap on craigslist. 

49 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

 

I think my trim router weighs more than my angle grinder. The shape that the grinder cuts in the wood is entirely down to how you hold it - if you hold it so the flap disc is almost parallel with the wood, it will take next to no material away, so you can hold it flat and almost stroke the wood in long passes and it will take away little material but quite uniformly. 

You've really got to try it to understand, but it really is the most efficient way to carve without a CNC in my opinion. My grinder was £45 + £2.99 flap discs (one flap disc did 2 guitars before I changed it) so it was an inexpensive gamble that paid off for me.

I would assume it's a lot like a more aggressive da sander.  sm spinning wheel but different grip and more torque.  I would imagine the MOST efficient way to carve without CNC is a duplicator... but I smell what yer steppin' in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I guess a duplicarve would be the next more efficient tool, but given the cost of them and how much space they require, they're never in my mind as a viable option. I think if I had that cash and space, I'd end up learning to CNC. 

Oh btw, I got in touch with that seller about shipping to the uk, his response consisted of two letters 👍

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ADFinlayson said:

Yes I guess a duplicarve would be the next more efficient tool, but given the cost of them and how much space they require, they're never in my mind as a viable option. I think if I had that cash and space, I'd end up learning to CNC. 

Oh btw, I got in touch with that seller about shipping to the uk, his response consisted of two letters 👍

right on... so I assume that was "OK"?  I don't know what the question was but I assume you asked about if he'd ship to the uk?  I'm guessing anyone who contacts him that is not locally - he's going to think it's a scam... that's what I would think anyway... so he probably is going to be a bit offputting at first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...