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Wm. Johnston

Future of Ebony

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Likewise, if the judges at VSA competitions don't demerit for "non black" ebony, then changes will trickle down too. I frankly applaud his effort to take a chance on inducing change. He seems to have always been a "high road" guy to me. jeff

Shouldn't it be the other way around, more points for being creative? ...and helping out the trees who are so nice to us...blink.gif

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I can't open his link, but I'm interested in the carbon fibre boards mentioned by ThePublic. May I ask for other peoples experience with them, if I'm not wandering too far off the topic?

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with all the talk about the buying public only accepting solid black ebony, I think that the change needs to start at the bottom and go up. If the parents and teachers are told that there are other equally as good alternatives then they will grow up (in the case of the kids) with the "new" knowledge. However this would only work if all rental level Luthiers did it as a whole.

There are always going to be the few who hold on with a death grip to the old guard but I think that it would only take 3-5 years if luthiers at the bottom (you know those of us that make a living from schools) started it.

Yes it would help if the VSA judges didn't mind other types of boards. But for some reason i don't see that happening soon. There is enough good Ebony in circulation that the top makers will still use it so hence my first paragraph.

Jesse

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I can't open his link, but I'm interested in the carbon fibre boards mentioned by ThePublic. May I ask for other peoples experience with them, if I'm not wandering too far off the topic?

Link contains an extra "http" minus colon. Easy to find if you search fo sound composites.

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Yes it would help if the VSA judges didn't mind other types of boards. But for some reason i don't see that happening soon.

Jesse

I don't see a problem with it. Sure, a "cheap" looking fingerboard might initially throw a judge a curve, but judges deal with curve balls all the time.

Me? I'm most interested in synthetic materials. Anything resembling ebony looks like too much of a documentation burden, and I'd rather make than do paperwork.

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However, the Lacey Act is being enforced because of international pressure to stop the illegal logging in Madagascar. And it isn't just ebony that is being over-harvested in Madagascar, Rosewood is also focus of the Lacey Act enforcement.

It looks like the Lacey Act may be enforced in the US largely because of the efforts of a couple of wood-growing states, concerned about cheaper imports. So they place burdens of proof on all wood imports. I too would like to believe that the world is a better place than that, but it may not be.

The Lacey Act doesn't just apply to Ebony and Pernumbuco. It applies to all imported wood.

Are you prepared to document that all your imported spruce and maple is squeaky clean, from proper cutting permits in a foreign country in a foreign language, continuing all the way through the supply chain?

A volume producer like Taylor guitars may be able to afford to do that. It's us little guys who have the potential to get screwed.

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I don't see a problem with it. Sure, a "cheap" looking fingerboard might initially throw a judge a curve, but judges deal with curve balls all the time.

Me? I'm most interested in synthetic materials. Anything resembling ebony looks like too much of a documentation burden, and I'd rather make than do paperwork.

I would be vary interested in a carbon fiber FB. or similar. Unfortunately everything i hear is that they don't work quite yet. So until they get the tech up to par I would still like to broaden the acceptance of other woods. Kind of a circular argument really :)

New wood acceptance = composite acceptance.

Either way i would be happy, carbon fiber has a really cool weave ;)

Jesse

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The other thing I was wondering about was whether they can take the streaked ebony wood, and naturally dye it so that it looks totally black. I believe they do this sometimes with black walnut wood. I'm sure it probably won't look as good as a naturally 100% black ebony piece, but it might be better than not doing it. Not sure.

I think with black walnut, they use the husks of the walnuts to dye the wood that is not totally dark. Perhaps there is a similar natural black dye they could use for streaked ebony.

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Hi,

Illegal logging is only a very small part of the problem. In Brazil, the jungle clearing for agricultural land and cattle ranching is the main problem. In Asia the problem is clearing for palm plantations.

How do you stop the need for soap and meat?

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I have too little knowledge about ebony harvesting, but I would not trust this man to add to my knowledge base.

One of the first things he says is at best imprecise:

".. but you can almost count the number of spruce trees that are left .."

Now, from my window it would take too long to count the spruce trees I see!

I understand that what he probably means to say is that there is not much spruce left of the quality that he has used for his guitar, but this video is pure promotion.

**

I have no problem paying more for ebony - even if it is streaked - but I'd like to know for sure that the added price is good for nature, not only for any big manufacturers bank account.

Bob Taylor has an impeccable reputation, he does not need to self promote any more than putting his name on a guitar!

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Bob Taylor has an impeccable reputation, he does not need to self promote any more than putting his name on a guitar!

At the end of the day it's all about making money for BobTaylor and judging from his smug smile he's making plenty of it. It's one big sugary promotional sales pitch whatever way you look at it.

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there has been some recent developments in graphene in nano technology, shows how fast and suddenly our idea of materials can change, perhaps some offshoot of these technologies will be used to make a fingerboard in the near future that has all the qualities needed. There seems to be enough market for something like this to make it commercially viable. My link

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there has been some recent developments in graphene in nano technology, shows how fast and suddenly our idea of materials can change, perhaps some offshoot of these technologies will be used to make a fingerboard in the near future that has all the qualities needed. There seems to be enough market for something like this to make it commercially viable. My link

I have been thinking about that, carbon nanotubes are very interesting. I have a bit of experience with graphite+epoxy, but I just rubbed my fingers in one sample (I believe 25% graphite) and it's not slippery enough, I think that perhaps for a final coat a very high amount of graphite in the epoxy mix will feel better, with the nano stuff, I imagine you could have even less epoxy, but will nanotubes make epoxy slippery as common graphite does?

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As I mentioned above, hop-hornbeam is an acceptable wood for use as fingerboard as far as hardness is concerned. It may even be harder than ebony. Of course it's not black but isn't the black color simply an esthetic choice? After all, baroque fingerboards from flamed maple are common and can be very beautiful. I'm sure that maple is not as durable as ebony , and non-wound gut strings would not subject the board to as much wear as modern wound strings do, but other very hard woods that happen not to be black would function as well as ebony so maybe the esthetic issue is just a matter of choosing the right varnish color and accessories. A number of different woods are now used for pegs and tail pieces and no one seems to be complaining.

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And what's wrong with that? Why bother, it take's to long to grow. . . . . . . . . that mentality is one of the reasons we're in this mess in the first place.

Thats's right, why weren't the monkeys plating tress 60 years ago? I still think there is a massive amount of "economy" in creating a properly managed forest system for "luthier" and other specialty wood products.

"

Things are the way they are becase of the "people" who are in "charge" or more likely "who you "think" is in charge

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I suggest googe'ing "Janka hardness scale". This is the measurements used to determine woods hardness related to indentation pressure. You will see MANY woods that are sufficiently hard enough to use for fingerboards. As many know, I rarely use ebony. I find Jatoba to be a great wood for fingerboards. After the hardness factor, we need to look at grain structure, do the grain pits, even smoothed way down, make for places for fingernails to get hung up?...I always use rosewood as a benchmark for this, even though a common fingerbaord material, I find that the pits are quite large, even way smoothed down. There are many woods that are hard that will smooth down to less pits than rosewood.

I have always been one to steer people away from traditions, for several factors, this being one of them

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It's a small step for mankind,a large step for him, very nice of him, I imagine it feels good, he looks like a nice man.

I agree with fidllewallop, a tree is cut down, not a bad idea to plant one.

Humans need to learn what we once knew, live with what's around us without ruining it, who really needs a wooden deck? We spend our lives working for (buying and maintaining) things that we don't really need, and forget that the best thing out there is nature, just let it be.

yurt'o lishious :lol:

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Spruce:

Bark Beetles eat spruce.

-40 (C or F it is the same) kills bark beetles.

-40 does not happen in Colorago any more.

-40 does not happen in southern Canada.

Bark Beetles kill spruce.

Alaska ???

Stock up!

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