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FiddleDoug

Jujube wood?

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I'm seeing some listings for fittings made of Jujube wood. Does anyone have any experience working with Jujube (especially pegs)?

How's the hardness and workability compared to Ebony, Rosewood, Boxwood?

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Yes, I would add that it happened to us, that two jujube tailpieces broke without any warning on 2 violins.

 

Italian jujube ("Giuggiolo") is probably an interesting wood for making fittings; it is very rare now. I remember that it is sought after for making purfling too.

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The Italian tree is just the same as the Chinese one, probably introduced from China. I thought it was supposed to be good for fittings? Does the wood qualities depend on the growing conditions,age of the tree  or something?

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Used a set. So far so good.

Can you tell me the source? My granddaughter's nickname is Jujube. I want to use this wood on her violin fittings.

 

Thanks

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You've seen it. It's the fake "boxwood" used on cheap Chinese fiddles.  Soft.

The real stuff, that grows in Italy, is as hard as nails and is surely a different wood than what you describe being used on cheap fiddles. Stradivari used it as well as many of the other cremonese makers for pegs. It's more similar to Mountain Mahogany that Weisshaar harvested in California. It's already the right color so no need for staining like boxwood. It is the wood I used for the pegs on Paganini's Cannon. It is, somewhat, self lubricating.

 

Most of it is from the south especially Sicily. Cesare Candi and his followers in Genoa also used "Giuggiolo". It also produces a sweet berry that was once sold as sweets for children and in ancient times used to make an alcoholic beverage.

 

I might not be correct on this but I think the "Crown of Thorns" was Giuggiolo. Giuggiolo in Italy is sometimes called "Corona di Spine".

 

Bruce

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The real stuff, that grows in Italy, is as hard as nails and is surely a different wood than what you describe being used on cheap fiddles. Stradivari used it as well as many of the other cremonese makers for pegs. It's more similar to Mountain Mahogany that Weisshaar harvested in California. It's already the right color so no need for staining like boxwood. It is the wood I used for the pegs on Paganini's Cannon.

 

Most of it is from the south especially Sicily. Cesare Candi and his followrs in Genoa also used "Giuggiolo". It also produces a sweet berry that was once sold as sweets for children.

 

It is, somewhat, self lubricating.

 

Bruce

Bruce,

On the same note, I have some boxwood that comes from decorative shrubbery in northern Spain.  Seems quite good.  Any experience?

Joe

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According to the literature its the same tree. The Chinese date. Ziziphus Jujube .

Maybe the dry Mediterranian conditions produce better slower growing  timber than the tropical climates.

I have some stuff from Kremer called Indian Date ,a coloring matter that is also supposed to be the same tree.

|As an example , French boxwood is often slightly different in density /hardness  than English Boxwood .

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According to the literature its the same tree. The Chinese date. Ziziphus Jujube .

Maybe the dry Mediterranian conditions produce better slower growing  timber than the tropical climates.

I have some stuff from Kremer called Indian Date ,a coloring matter that is also supposed to be the same tree.

|As an example , French boxwood is often slightly different in density /hardness  than English Boxwood .

Maybe it has to do with climatic conditions. Another similar wood is Dogwood. I can imagine that there may be a number of tropical species like Cocobolo or similar that would be suitable.

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post-3813-0-32600800-1377184930_thumb.jpg

 

Jujubi and ziziphus are the same tree, brought to Italy by Marco Polo supposedly. Most of the pegs in the Museo Stradivari are made of it though a few are stained and natural boxwood.(first two pegs in the photo) I've got a small piece somewhere if I can find it -- I'll see if it floats.

 

I'm playing golf this morning (finally) so I'll have to get back to it later.

 

I tried  turning dogwood from Ohio -- pretty soft for pegs. Perhaps the climatic conditions are more important than we imagine. The jugubi that I have seen in it's natural state is a bit gray/green in color.  Some of the mountain mahogany that I have is from the Weishaar stash, harvested by the apprentices (remember that David ?)  It's a bit different in color and hardness than the wood from around Salt Lake. Seems harder than the jujubi but I have to turn some to be sure.

 

somebody send me a piece to turn -- I* ll let you know how it works.

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I found my samples in the wreck that I fondly call "the shop". I think that they were sent to me by Andrew Dipper many years back. Part of the problem with the reputations of different woods is the nomenclature as I have often complained.  I had two separate and very different samples called respectively Chinese Date Plum, and Giuggiolo. Both of these pieces floated in water so they are not as dense as mountain mahogany, which is the wood with which with I am most familiar .

 

It seems, according to Wikepedia, that Jujubi is also called Chinese Date and is Ziziphus jujuba. I am fairly certain that this is the wood that was introduced to Italy called giuggiolo and is the material used for the Stad pegs. The tree has small berries that are high in vitamin C and is used to make candy. It is similar in color to mountain mahogany but also has slightly more grayish hue. Indian Date is probably also a ziziphus which is in the buckthorn family

 

Chinese Date Plum date-plum ( lotus) is basically persimmon and is a member of the ebony family. This fact makes one think that it might be as hard and useable for pegs as the black ebony we are used to seeing, which it is definitely not. From what I can tell from my sample it is lighter both in color and in density than my Giuggiolo sample. Perhaps this wood is what is sold as Boxwood in lesser quality pegs. I have been sent a piece of American Persimmon to try as a peg wood alternative, since it has a reputation as a very hard wood,(golf club heads) but I found it  rather soft as peg woods go. 

Since both wood have "Chinese" and "Date" in their common names some of the confusion may come from this fact. I always thought that they were the same wood until andrew sent me the samples and even then I was confused.  One seemingly reliable source on Google stated  Chinese Date Plum was the same as Jujubi, a ziziphus, not a persimmon, so we are not the only ones confused..

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For some strange reason I can't seem to modify my previous post to make it clearer. The two samples that I speak of are Chinese Date Plum and Giuggiolo. The first is an ebony/persimmon and the the Giuggiolo is a ziziphus in the buckthorn family which is darker and harder than the first.

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The real stuff, that grows in Italy, is as hard as nails and is surely a different wood than what you describe being used on cheap fiddles. Stradivari used it as well as many of the other cremonese makers for pegs. It's more similar to Mountain Mahogany that Weisshaar harvested in California. It's already the right color so no need for staining like boxwood. It is the wood I used for the pegs on Paganini's Cannon. It is, somewhat, self lubricating.

 

Most of it is from the south especially Sicily. 

 

Bruce

 

Thanks Maestro, I believed it was common in Northern Italy only; I will start searching for some pieces. I am trying to collect some pieces of almond and carob tree (Carrubo), it seems they are very hard and somewhat oily woods that could be suitable for pegs too

 

-- Giovanni

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I think that I'm going to try a little experiment. I'm thinking of picking up a few of the Jujube pegs, and soaking them with Minwax wood hardener, to see what the resulting "plasticized" wood is like in hardness and workability. I've used the wood hardener on soft (hardwood) fingerboards with some success, and I think that a few others out there have also used it. I'll also weigh the before and after pegs to see if there is a significant amount of polymer deposited in the wood.

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Joe

I just love wood of all kinds. Boxwood is wonderfull to see work and turn, as long as I don't have to mess with nitric acid. Is the spanish wood tighter?

 

very dense...VERY bright off the knife cut...I don't know if it floats or not.

Joe

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I think that I'm going to try a little experiment. I'm thinking of picking up a few of the Jujube pegs, and soaking them with Minwax wood hardener, to see what the resulting "plasticized" wood is like in hardness and workability. I've used the wood hardener on soft (hardwood) fingerboards with some success, and I think that a few others out there have also used it. I'll also weigh the before and after pegs to see if there is a significant amount of polymer deposited in the wood.

 

Years ago I did a paper for the VSA Journal about mountain mahogany from tree to peg. I drove down to Oregon State Univ. and interviewed a professor who did his Masters thesis on m.m. mostly in the realm of it's sutability for woodwinds. One of the stories that he told me had to do with an experiment where someone soaked the wood for quite a while in heated polyethylene glycol to see how deep it would penetrate. PG is what they soak the Roman shipwreck wood in to bring them back to some form of hardness. The result was that the PG only went in a barely measurable amount.  Don't know how much this relates but by all means give it a whirl.

 

Joe

Pretty easy to find out if it floats- you can use a tiny piece.

Of course what else floats?

Why, a duck floats doesn't it? 

So if it is lighter than a duck it must be a ........ 

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Years ago I did a paper for the VSA Journal about mountain mahogany from tree to peg. I drove down to Oregon State Univ. and interviewed a professor who did his Masters thesis on m.m. mostly in the realm of it's sutability for woodwinds. One of the stories that he told me had to do with an experiment where someone soaked the wood for quite a while in heated polyethylene glycol to see how deep it would penetrate. PG is what they soak the Roman shipwreck wood in to bring them back to some form of hardness. The result was that the PG only went in a barely measurable amount.  Don't know how much this relates but by all means give it a whirl.

 

Joe

Pretty easy to find out if it floats- you can use a tiny piece.

Of course what else floats?

Why, a duck floats doesn't it? 

So if it is lighter than a duck it must be a ........ 

 A WITCH?!?

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Polyethylene glycol is a non-hardening material. A quick internet search shows the Minwax wood hardener being used to stabilize wood pen blanks for turning, and wood scales for knives. The Minwax is a solution of Methacrylate copolymers (basically plexiglass) in acetone and methanol. Looks like some people are soaking the wood in heated solution, and then sealing the container to create a partial vacuum when it cools, which sucks the solution into the wood pores.

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"It is the wood I used for the pegs on Paganini's Cannon."

 

It is statements like that which are why I read the Pegbox :D

 

Bumbling amateurs like me are privileged to post on the same forum! 

 

Tim

 

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FWIW, I had a peg of the Chinese variety split down the middle during adjustment last night.  Not fun.

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I guess the PG was being used as a stabilizer to keep the wood from cracking after it was cut. The point was that the pore structure was so dense that the treatment didn't penetrate. If the Minwax product actually penetrates enough to harden pen blanks it could produce a different outcome.
 
My knowledge of chemistry is  negligible but didn't the Naval Archeology researchers at Texas A+M soak the mushy wood from the Roman wrecks in PG after removing the salt water from the pores? At least that is what my memory stored. Oh wait, I forgot we are  talking about  my memory, and  I can't even remember if a witch is heavier or lighter than a duck.

 

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I guess the PG was being used as a stabilizer to keep the wood from cracking after it was cut. The point was that the pore structure was so dense that the treatment didn't penetrate. If the Minwax product actually penetrates enough to harden pen blanks it could produce a different outcome.

 

My knowledge of chemistry is  negligible but didn't the Naval Archeology researchers at Texas A+M soak the mushy wood from the Roman wrecks in PG after removing the salt water from the pores? At least that is what my memory stored. Oh wait, I forgot we are  talking about  my memory, and  I can't even remember if a witch is heavier or lighter than a duck.

 

 

Rico,

You can use my scale....if I can remember where it is....onwego........

Joe

post-6284-0-94725300-1377621818_thumb.jpg

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