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nawlinsgirl

Reputable Wood Suppliers

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If you type "tonewood" in the Search function of this forum you will gets lots of hits.

You can then sift through them for tidbits of information to help your project.

The best woods can be very expensive, especially for the cello and bass and if they have been stored for many years before sale.

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Of course, wood is a very personal thing if people respond, you will get a lot of answers, which will result in many questions. If your view is the best wood comes from Europe, disregard the above link, if you are open to all types of wood, Bruce is your man. His wood is beautiful, and he is a nice man as well.

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I purchased my tonewood from Stefan Gleissner in Germany. It was expensive but it is beautiful wood. two pictures are attached. The second picture was sent by Gleissner so that I could take my pick of several samples. The first is of the wood I received.

I have not carved any of the maple yet and I may end up wishing I started with something with a lot less flame. Time will tell. I also purchased a much less expensive duplicate set of wood (from a domestic supplier) that I have been using as pratice wood. Good luck with your project and be sure to post pictures of your progress.

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Chris, would you tell us the prices of Gleissner's maple and spruce? I haven't bought wood from him for over 10 years. I usually stayed in Erlangen and took a short bus ride to Bubenreuth. Across the street of Gleissner's house was Seifert's bow shop. I only knew Andreas and have never met Stefan.

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quote:


Chris, would you tell us the prices of Gleissner's maple and spruce? I haven't bought wood from him for over 10 years. I usually stayed in Erlangen and took a short bus ride to Bubenreuth. Across the street of Gleissner's house was Seifert's bow shop. I only knew Andreas and have never met Stefan.

Hi david. I 'm sure he has a range of prices. I asked for his best for the project I am working on at this time. Refering to the attached photo, a matching set of wood from one of the four backs shown ranged, from left to right: EUR 200.-/200.-/200.-/250.

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"I have not carved any of the maple yet and I may end up wishing I started with something with a lot less flame. Time will tell."

Chris,

You may indeed wish at times that you had tried something easier, BUT, in the long run, I think you will be glad you got the best you could afford. You are putting a tremendous amount of care, time and work into this project. You would likely have spend just as much time on easier wood, but would not have liked the finsihed product nearly so well. Your time is easily the most expensive ingredient here. Why skimp on the wood, unless, as you say, just to make the going a little easier at first?

I think you will be glad you made the choce you did-- that is really beautiful wood.

Sincerely,

Chet

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Thanks, Chris. I didn't realize the price has gone up so much. I remember the last time I went there, maple was 120DM and split spruce 24DM.

I would use the 2nd piece of maple in your photo. The flame of the 4th piece is too narrow for me. I have a few old narrow flamed backs I no longer use.

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Nawlinsgirl,

'Best' can be many things, do you want most beautiful wood, or best for sound, best price, value. Those are some of the things I think about when I buy wood.

Maybe you can share with us what your needs are, experience level? That would be helpful, and perhaps gain you some more helpful advice.

Also, there is what a supplier calls their best wood, and prices can vary widely , like $250 - $600 and I think even more for a set for violin.

Sincerely,

Don

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quote:


Thanks, Chris. I didn't realize the price has gone up so much. I remember the last time I went there, maple was 120DM and split spruce 24DM.

The prices I listed were for a complete set, front & back plates, neck, ribs, & bass bar.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
MStearns

Of course, wood is a very personal thing if people respond, you will get a lot of answers, which will result in many questions. If your view is the best wood comes from Europe, disregard the above link, if you are open to all types of wood, Bruce is your man. His wood is beautiful, and he is a nice man as well.

I agree, Bruce at Orcas Island is a very reputable wood dealer. I deal with him alot and I have been more than satisfied with his wood and his excellent service.

Another very good source for wood is Simeon Chambers.

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Nawlinsgirl,

For best tonal quality, all the reputable suppliers sell very good wood, THE best one, I do not know. Every tree is different. And then there is the European vs. N. American woods, both are great. Right now I like European the best.

Perhaps the supplier that guarantees that you will make a tonally excellent violin is the one to go with! (:-)

If you are able to go visit the supplier then you can pick out what you like best. Can you go overseas? Only wothwhile if you happen to be there or can buy large quantities or live near David B.

I could ramble on, I love looking at tonewood.

Don

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Nawlinsgirl, you are asking some pretty involved questions.

If there was an answer, the game would be over.

The fact that people are still making violins with the "same" wood and with the same processes as they were

hundreds of years ago says alot.

The fact that they are still screwing it up says as much.

We can all tell you how to make a violin. If we could tell you how to make the ideal violin, then this field would be as interresting as mud, which anyone can make.

Do not stop, or even hesitate in your project. Violin making is endlessly fascinating and endlessly frustrating. But please keep in mind, there are no quick and easy answers.

But don't stop asking.

But if you must know, the best wood has been buried in the grave of a failed castrato for no less then 38 months, and dug up only in the company of 14 bags of used circus hay, which is then used to fill the castrati's grave and/or burnish the back of the violin, depending on if it's an alto or a tenor violin.

American and European wood is failed wood! The best maple comes from KANSAS! Who could imagine?

or not...

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Zoe, in line with what arglebarle said, I think your approach on all of this is too "modern" and "scientific" in a certain sense.

Violin-making is a bit like politics: it is "The art of the possible".

No two pieces of wood are the same, therefore it is not possible to talk about "the best wood".

No two batches of varnish turns out the same. And the thing about varnish is that you have to get it from the bottle onto the violin. Doing this with spirit varnish will make you curse in one language, and oil varnish in another. Then also, there are gazillions of spirit and oil varnish recipes. All have their peculiar advantages and disadvantages.

But when all has been said, the fact is that a good violinmaker can make a good violin from almost anything, and a bad one cannot do anything decent with the "best" wood and varnish.

It's like cooking - a perfect recipe, and sources for the best ingredients will still depend on the competence of the cook to determine the outcome of the dish.

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