Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Found Another Interesting eBay Seller


Charles Hansen

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 116
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Let me input some actual fact as this does intrude heavily on my field of expertise and it seriously plucks my nerves to see people convey misconceptions.

 

My basis for speaking on the mater? I'm a Molecular Biologist, an actual licensed and practicing MB with 5 years of burnt eye lashes and a shiny diploma under the hood.

 

The "issue" with identifying so called sub species of trees ,and to a degree "shrubs" is largely to do with the genetic closeness these "sub" species present hence, physical similarities are extreme to the point of sometimes being impossible to discern. I also should reference 3 facts which people seem to run over and not understand fully,

 

1- SUB species does not mean, nor has it always meant that the specimen in question is an entirely different species from the organic patriarch. It's a scientific denomination used to highlight variation but does not mean it is totally different in the sense people think of "species". This whole mess happens when people THINK there might be enough difference to justify the term SUB species.

 

2- As shocking as it might be, genetic studies in general have not been carried out on all living organisms (shocking right?!) and so correct genotypical maps traced to establish correct branching and terming of "species", "sub species" etc have not been produced according to genetic test results. It's rather common to have a singular species split back and forth between the denomination of "species" to "Sub species" to "variation of species", why no one has wondered what the reasoning behind systematics being such an unstable field of science is beyond me, more so in the botanical kingdoms where the normal reasoning behind classifications is obversvations of the LIVING specimen alone.

 

3- Once a tree has been cut, the living "tissue" and celular contents oxydize and deteriorate to the point where pigmentation, intercelular structures and characteristics literally vanish with little to no traces left observable. Now you may think looking at celular "husks" should provide us scientists with more than enough information to identify species easily but if it was this straight forward why is it that no one can do it? It is normally a simple matter to identify different SPECIES via observation of the wood but it is a totally different manner to identify "sub species" of tree's within the acer family from observing a violin or any instrument for that matter. The wood has been processed/varnished/treated/used and abused/scraped clean/exposed to hydration mediums etc etc, there is no consensus that acer X and Y are actually different species branched from the same line, there is normally little to no observable difference between said trees and genetically speaking hybrids in the botanical world are as natural as pure breeds meaning they can interbreed which means they are so closely related they can fuse DNA which means they're kind of sort of identical -_-

 

 

Wood varies way too much from tree to tree, from one side to the other on the same tree, from top to bottom on another tree, from core to extremeties on the same tree.... See where I'm getting at?

 

Here are some conclusions for you all to think about

 

1- If anyone claims they can tell the difference between "bosnian" maple and "translyvanian maple" or "austrian maple" or "Italian maple" or "Alpine maple" they're lying.... Bosnia has a very limited amount of natural maple forests which are now mostly protected, if you were to weigh in how much "Bosnian" maple is sold today and how much bosnia exports the numbers would not add up... Funny right? Also, since when have luthiers/wood dealers or appraisers had the scientific right to name species based on their own notions of stuff? last time I checked we scientists of the biological fields held that responsibility alone seeing as we do not create "species" based on nationality... Following the tone wood dealers and general luthier notions a grey hound raised in the US should be considered a totally different species from a grey hound raised in Portugal... Oh wait a clock tick, isn't the SPECIES a grey hound belongs to a DOG? So someone explain the reasoning behind the "insert european nationality" maple and call it a species argument?

 

2- If you believe "european" spruce only naturally grows in "europe" that's also not true. Russian spruce is confused with "norway" spruce and actually has hybridized soo much it created vast forest all across.... EUROPE! The actual correct denomination for the so called european spruce is "NORWAY" spruce and grows NATURALLY in norway, NOT bosnia and NOT France or most of the swiss alps! I also should mention that "norway" spruce colinized Canada and was introduced in large numbers during the last 100 years by the canadian authority up north..... 

 

3- If you believe spruce from China is a totally different and tonally inferior species from so called "european" spruce then why does hymilaian and dragon spruce hybridise soo easily and present wood that is identical under the microscope? I believe "old" spruce from china has won more than a few gold medals at some pretty high grade awards.... Also, if barely anyone has seen good chinese wood billets and recognizes the "species" readily, why are they so quick to state it's inferior to "Bosnian" LOL spruce?

 

4- Runout in maple is often times blamed on the species as if it was a mark of inferior tonal quality when in reality this so called "runout" is actually more related to mineral deposits and soil/water quality than it is the actual species... I find it also very curious that people are not able to identify maple or spruce species easily but are extremely quick to state and defend that "chinese" or "american" maple is known for it's blue streaking... 

 

These little non factual arguements, these biased ways of thinking are what really get's under my skin. People love to point and give opinions about things they oftentimes (I am not referring to any Maestroneter!) know absolutely nothing about. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me input some actual fact as this does intrude heavily on my field of expertise and it seriously plucks my nerves to see people convey misconceptions.

 

My basis for speaking on the mater? I'm a Molecular Biologist, an actual licensed and practicing MB with 5 years of burnt eye lashes and a shiny diploma under the hood.

 

The "issue" with identifying so called sub species of trees ,and to a degree "shrubs" is largely to do with the genetic closeness these "sub" species present hence, physical similarities are extreme to the point of sometimes being impossible to discern. I also should reference 3 facts which people seem to run over and not understand fully,

 

1- SUB species does not mean, nor has it always meant that the specimen in question is an entirely different species from the organic patriarch. It's a scientific denomination used to highlight variation but does not mean it is totally different in the sense people think of "species". This whole mess happens when people THINK there might be enough difference to justify the term SUB species.

 

2- As shocking as it might be, genetic studies in general have not been carried out on all living organisms (shocking right?!) and so correct genotypical maps traced to establish correct branching and terming of "species", "sub species" etc have not been produced according to genetic test results. It's rather common to have a singular species split back and forth between the denomination of "species" to "Sub species" to "variation of species", why no one has wondered what the reasoning behind systematics being such an unstable field of science is beyond me, more so in the botanical kingdoms where the normal reasoning behind classifications is obversvations of the LIVING specimen alone.

 

3- Once a tree has been cut, the living "tissue" and celular contents oxydize and deteriorate to the point where pigmentation, intercelular structures and characteristics literally vanish with little to no traces left observable. Now you may think looking at celular "husks" should provide us scientists with more than enough information to identify species easily but if it was this straight forward why is it that no one can do it? It is normally a simple matter to identify different SPECIES via observation of the wood but it is a totally different manner to identify "sub species" of tree's within the acer family from observing a violin or any instrument for that matter. The wood has been processed/varnished/treated/used and abused/scraped clean/exposed to hydration mediums etc etc, there is no consensus that acer X and Y are actually different species branched from the same line, there is normally little to no observable difference between said trees and genetically speaking hybrids in the botanical world are as natural as pure breeds meaning they can interbreed which means they are so closely related they can fuse DNA which means they're kind of sort of identical -_-

 

 

Wood varies way too much from tree to tree, from one side to the other on the same tree, from top to bottom on another tree, from core to extremeties on the same tree.... See where I'm getting at?

 

Here are some conclusions for you all to think about

 

1- If anyone claims they can tell the difference between "bosnian" maple and "translyvanian maple" or "austrian maple" or "Italian maple" or "Alpine maple" they're lying.... Bosnia has a very limited amount of natural maple forests which are now mostly protected, if you were to weigh in how much "Bosnian" maple is sold today and how much bosnia exports the numbers would not add up... Funny right? Also, since when have luthiers/wood dealers or appraisers had the scientific right to name species based on their own notions of stuff? last time I checked we scientists of the biological fields held that responsibility alone seeing as we do not create "species" based on nationality... Following the tone wood dealers and general luthier notions a grey hound raised in the US should be considered a totally different species from a grey hound raised in Portugal... Oh wait a clock tick, isn't the SPECIES a grey hound belongs to a DOG? So someone explain the reasoning behind the "insert european nationality" maple and call it a species argument?

 

2- If you believe "european" spruce only naturally grows in "europe" that's also not true. Russian spruce is confused with "norway" spruce and actually has hybridized soo much it created vast forest all across.... EUROPE! The actual correct denomination for the so called european spruce is "NORWAY" spruce and grows NATURALLY in norway, NOT bosnia and NOT France or most of the swiss alps! I also should mention that "norway" spruce colinized Canada and was introduced in large numbers during the last 100 years by the canadian authority up north..... 

 

3- If you believe spruce from China is a totally different and tonally inferior species from so called "european" spruce then why does hymilaian and dragon spruce hybridise soo easily and present wood that is identical under the microscope? I believe "old" spruce from china has won more than a few gold medals at some pretty high grade awards.... Also, if barely anyone has seen good chinese wood billets and recognizes the "species" readily, why are they so quick to state it's inferior to "Bosnian" LOL spruce?

 

4- Runout in maple is often times blamed on the species as if it was a mark of inferior tonal quality when in reality this so called "runout" is actually more related to mineral deposits and soil/water quality than it is the actual species... I find it also very curious that people are not able to identify maple or spruce species easily but are extremely quick to state and defend that "chinese" or "american" maple is known for it's blue streaking... 

 

These little non factual arguements, these biased ways of thinking are what really get's under my skin. People love to point and give opinions about things they oftentimes (I am not referring to any Maestroneter!) know absolutely nothing about. 

 
Thank-you for a very interesting and helpful post, a breath of fresh air, which I will be very pleased to save for my future reference
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also found this post very informative, and have in the past been very confused by people advocating for differences between "maple" and "Scottish sycamore" for instance.

However, a few points of clarification when relating these undisputable and undisputed scientific facts to violin wood ...

 

1. Perhaps when people claim to see local features in certain pieces of maple they are looking at growth characteristics which are geographically specific, rather than genetic differences - unusual mineral deposits, growth speed related to differences of climate, particular localised mutations causing particular flame patterns.

2. Certain makers and schools favoured wood with specific geographical origins. Jeffrey for instance refers to Wulme Hudson. So we can use the idiosyncracies of a piece of maple as corroboration or cause for suspicion, assuming we have a large enough personal database.

3. Dendrochronology is the real smoking gun here, and while it only applies to softwood it relies entirely on seasonal growth patterns to identify geographical origin, and of course date. We would quickly use dendrochronological analysis to corroborate or dismiss a Rogeri label for instance, although that information has nothing to do with genetics or outmoded imperial systems of sub-classification.

4. It's perfectly possible for two samples of maple or spruce to look identical at a microscopic level and yet look radically different on the back of a violin.

 

I agree that there's a lot of sloppy thinking about violin wood (I've made your point about "Bosnian" maple many times), but geographical origin is massively relevant, both in relation to identification and in relation to wood properties. You can imagine that in Scotland, a cold unwelcoming place with 25-hour a day rainfall, an occasional isolated Acer Pseudoplatanus will grow very differently from in the cramped furnace of a Bosnian forest in an endless 40 degree summer. I am very familiar with both climates!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always thought, that the days in Scotland have only 4 hours, but the nights 20, now I've been taught... :lol:

There was wood ex- and import all over the (known) world since the times of the old Greeks and Romans, probably much earlier.

IMO we are allowed to say, a particular region/workshop/maker worked usually with a particular looking wood, they treated the surfaces in a way, which makes it recognizable - but always with the possibility of confusion.

A scottish maker could have used a tropical wood, which he had found somewhere in an an attic, church or wherever, another maker might have borrowed some wood from his neighbor, and so on.

And thanks for the great post of Lusitano - it shows once more, that the more we know about the small things, we learn to know, that we really don't know (Socrates).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great posts.  Lusitano, it sounds like you're one of the people responsible for Nature and Science being crammed with incomprehensible ads for weird gel-thingies and whatnot that impede me on my way to the geophysics articles  It's good to know that not all of you are involved in trying to produce 12 legged chickens or flatulence free cows that urinate gasoline (On the other hand........... [munches a chicken leg while filling her truck up]). :lol:

 

 

I always thought, that the days in Scotland have only 4 hours, but the nights 20, now I've been taught... :lol:

There was wood ex- and import all over the (known) world since the times of the old Greeks and Romans, probably much earlier.

 

First, no, that's impossible, all the whiskey would run out.  Second, that's what i meant by the use of "globalized" in Post # 51.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would it be possible to buy half an hour (on EBay?), it could help a lot!

Of course - are you looking for just the one half-hour, or a half-hour on a daily basis?

I can offer either on Ebay - obviously the price for the second is high, but I can guarantee that the half-hour will be 100% Scottish, and easily recognizeable as such by those "in the know", without recourse to DNA testing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To return to Lusitano's post, I don't get this at all. The more I think about it the more I fail to understand it ... maybe I'm getting confused with categories. I don't really understand where your species ends and your sub-species starts.

I am not a scientist, and I'm addressing these points out of a desire to understand more ... also because your post seems enlightening but isn't! It would seem to support a contention that the OP can't possibly know if his wood is American, but I don't think this is correct.

You say people should not be able to distinguish wood from different sub-species of Acer ... surely you don't mean that. Acer is a genus, of which pseudoplatanus is the type species.

If you had said people should not be able to distinguish between different examples of the species Acer pseudoplatanus I would take minor issue (on the grounds laid out in post 52 ie. geographical variations produce different characteristics in the wood), but you seem to be saying something much broader.

Clearly we are all working to a mode of classification which isn't based on DNA, and it is more than possible that trees with different species or sub-species designations may turn out to be almost indistinguishable on a chromosomal level. But let's not get carried away. Within any sub-species, individuals vary in appearance, and we can identify inherited traits within a small family group (I look very like my mother, for instance, but very unlike Jacob Saunders, although we are all Homo sapiens sapiens).

Although our classification of species may be based on inaccurate observation, the species exists because a consistent difference was noticed within a broadly similar framework ie. it's a pine, but it's a 5-needle pine not a 2-needle pine.

I spent over 10 years felling trees, cutting them up into beams and planks and turning those beams and planks into buildings. I could tell you in a split-second if a tree was a European Larch (Laryx decidua), a Japanese Larch (Laryx kaempferi), or a hybrid, either by looking at the tree or by looking at the cone (Ok sometimes the hybrid and Japanese are tricky). If you presented me with a piece of Larch wood I could distinguish immediately between these 3, based on overall colour and growth pattern. If you gave me a chisel or a saw I could do it blindfold, since their densities are radically different. Similarly with Quercus petraea and Quercus robur, though I would have to rely on looks alone, and would tend to be looking for growth features rather than grain pattern.

One of the points at issue here is whether Acer rubrum has different visual characteristics or physical properties from Acer pseudoplatanus. Of course it does.

So could you possibly clarify?

Are you saying that all wood from the same species has the same DNA?

Are you saying that all wood from the same species will look the same at a cellular level?

Are you saying that all wood from the same species will have the same chemical composition and/or exhibit the same growth characteristics?

Or are you saying that there's no way of knowing whether it's a species or not and it's all irrelevant?

 

Non-confrontationally yours ...... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The U.S. equivalent of the Kew Gardens (as it pertains to this topic) would probably be the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.  Worth a look.

 

I’m guessing Lusitano is a “lumper” and not a “splitter.” :)  The ability of many Acer spp. to hybridize encourages the lumper more than the splitter.  In the U.S., BTW, plant chemosystematics is a hot research topic.

 

My basis for saying so?  My MS thesis combined paleobotany and soil science.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To return to Lusitano's post, I don't get this at all. The more I think about it the more I fail to understand it ... maybe I'm getting confused with categories. I don't really understand where your species ends and your sub-species starts.

 

LOL!  Most people just look it up.   ;)

 

If you want to redefine, you go to the International Botanical Conference.

 

One of the prime criteria for species determination is the inability to interbreed.  Simple idea, but of course classification is normally determined by physical characteristics.  In plants, this centers on reproductive parts.  But if two plants with different reproductive parts can interbreed, what then?

 

Are they the same species because the can interbreed?  Are they different because of clearly different physical characteristics?  If you can’t decide, you just say they hybridize freely.   :rolleyes:

 

It should be noted that the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature does not apply fuzzy logic.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.cactus-art.biz/note-book/Dictionary/Dictionary_L/dictionary_lumpers_splitters.htm

 

It would appear that in the realm of pure science as well as Maestronet, all incontestable truths and proofs turn out to be merely expressions of prejudice!

 

Addie, can you tell me ... does a violin back made with Acer rubrum look like a violin made with Acer pseudoplatanus? Acer campestre is regarded as readily identifiable by experts .... surely these different maples  are "unlumpable"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To return to Lusitano's post, I don't get this at all. The more I think about it the more I fail to understand it ... maybe I'm getting confused with categories. I don't really understand where your species ends and your sub-species starts.

I am not a scientist, and I'm addressing these points out of a desire to understand more ... also because your post seems enlightening but isn't! It would seem to support a contention that the OP can't possibly know if his wood is American, but I don't think this is correct.

You say people should not be able to distinguish wood from different sub-species of Acer ... surely you don't mean that. Acer is a genus, of which pseudoplatanus is the type species.

If you had said people should not be able to distinguish between different examples of the species Acer pseudoplatanus I would take minor issue (on the grounds laid out in post 52 ie. geographical variations produce different characteristics in the wood), but you seem to be saying something much broader.

Clearly we are all working to a mode of classification which isn't based on DNA, and it is more than possible that trees with different species or sub-species designations may turn out to be almost indistinguishable on a chromosomal level. But let's not get carried away. Within any sub-species, individuals vary in appearance, and we can identify inherited traits within a small family group (I look very like my mother, for instance, but very unlike Jacob Saunders, although we are all Homo sapiens sapiens).

Although our classification of species may be based on inaccurate observation, the species exists because a consistent difference was noticed within a broadly similar framework ie. it's a pine, but it's a 5-needle pine not a 2-needle pine.

I spent over 10 years felling trees, cutting them up into beams and planks and turning those beams and planks into buildings. I could tell you in a split-second if a tree was a European Larch (Laryx decidua), a Japanese Larch (Laryx kaempferi), or a hybrid, either by looking at the tree or by looking at the cone. If you presented me with a piece of Larch wood I could distinguish immediately between these 3, based on overall colour and growth pattern. If you gave me a chisel or a saw I could do it blindfold, since their densities are radically different. Similarly with Quercus petraea and Quercus robur, though I would have to rely on looks alone, and would tend to be looking for growth features rather than grain pattern.

One of the points at issue here is whether Acer rubrum has different visual characteristics or physical properties from Acer pseudoplatanus. Of course it does.

So could you possibly clarify?

Are you saying that all wood from the same species has the same DNA?

Are you saying that all wood from the same species will look the same at a cellular level?

cz and/or exhibit the same growth characteristics?

 

Non-confrontationally yours ...... :)

 

Wood from the same species has the same DNA -

 

Totally correct with the slight add on that genetic variability naturally exists within a said species (between 2 non cloned individuals) but the overall quantity and quality of DNA is exactly the same. 2 individuals (no matter how different they appear to be) must be able to reproduce and create offspring with the same quantity and quality of DNA as their parents and subsequent exemples of the species, they must be capable of reproduction to be called a species. For every "gene" in the total genetic make up there normally are more than 1 variations which can fill the void and produce individual characteristics hence the existence of blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes etc etc within the same species.

 

Wood from the same species MAY look different but not to the point of total difference -

 

What I mean by this is simple, the base mechanics must be present with a degree of variation but they will exist between the two specimens. Exemple, 1 human specimen has blue eyes and is 1.5m tall, another human has dark brown eyes and is 2m talls = they both have variations but are still human and posses the same base mechanisms - heart, lungs, feet, skin, bone structure etc etc! In terms of botanical science this get's complicated because variation is extreme in this kingdom and heavily influenced by the environment! Exemple, if a tree is grown with little water and a lot of "stress" the wood will present a different structure than from a tree (from the same species, it could actually be a clone) that grew without stress and with adequate water levels. HOWEVER, you will be able to identify identical fiber structures, chemical disposites and cellular mechanisms like characteristic extra cellular matrixes.

 

And lastly, wood from the same species will indeed present extremely similar chemical and structural characterisitics because their base genetic makeup is pretty much identical. HOWEVER, if a clone from the same tree is grown in a totally different environment than it's patriarch, the tree being an organic and adaptable living being WILL change and grow according to it's environment! This is why for exemple, trees that are grown at high altitudes and face harsher climates present smaller grain and grow MUCH slower than trees not exposed to the same stress.

 

People often times confuse "species" with clone and rarely factor in the variability of the genetic make up which naturally occurs. In a nutshell, you can have variations within species defined by the environmental factors which govern areas in which they are raised BUT that does not mean the 2 individuals are genetically different! The tone and quality of wood grown in certain areas is most likely only due to environmental factors such as temperature, solar radiation, water quality and soil composition than specifically about the "species" itself!

 

 

PS- you are correct about acer not being a species, I simply referenced it in a general term because it's a wider and more forgiving term. Most of the "species" belonging to the acer classification are not classified on full scientific testing but rather visual observation and even though many specimens present enough differences to be correctly grouped as a sub species or totally different species, little consideration has been given to the environmental factors to rule out interspecies variation. For the sake of correctness I go general in such cases.

 

PPS- I am totally neutral with regards to lumping and splitter, I simpy do not appreciate in the slightest the many MANY attempts at splitting based on visual data and not cold hard facts. It's because of this desire to "create" or "discover" a species that every single year our systematic text books are flipped upside down and I find it extremely ridiculous. Once in a while the scientific fields which deal with classification (systematic biology etc etc) have instances of mad branch splitting where everything that is SLIGHTLY different get's coined "SPECIES" and it irritates me to no end. A group of bull finchs were found with a shorter leg stock than was ever recorded, the systematic folk went up in a frenzy that they found a new "species", scientific publications ran N stories on the subject and 6 months after the initial discovery was made they realized the "dwarf" finch variety was nothing more than a result of bad nutrition from a group of NORMAL bull finchs which nested in the same area and fed off of the wrong feed -_-.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're just not being unpleasant enough for anyone to pay attention ....

Yes, well, I’m used to that.

 

I mostly post to develop and review my own ideas.  Seeing my ideas onscreen is more comforting than watching myself drool in the mirror.   :rolleyes:

 

And Acer campestre?  Is it identifiable because of mineral stains, burls, and a lack of other features of “high quality tone woods from Europe?"

 

Is this Acer rubrum, Acer campestre, or Acer pseudoplatanus? Or none of the above?

post-35343-0-02483000-1381524998_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PPS- I am totally neutral with regards to lumping and splitter, I simpy do not appreciate in the slightest the many MANY attempts at splitting based on visual data and not cold hard facts.

 

I’m confused here.  Why are “visual data” not “cold hard facts?”  Isn’t morphology (i.e. “visual data”) what taxonomy is based upon?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, well, I’m used to that.

 

I mostly post to develop and review my own ideas.  Seeing my ideas onscreen is more comforting than watching myself drool in the mirror.   :rolleyes:

 

And Acer campestre?  Is it identifiable because of mineral stains, burls, and a lack of other features of “high quality tone woods from Europe?"

 

Is this Acer rubrum, Acer campestre, or Acer pseudoplatanus? Or none of the above?

Ok I'll take the bait .... if the scale is life size then it's not Scottish sycamore!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The U.S. equivalent of the Kew Gardens (as it pertains to this topic) would probably be the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.  Worth a look.

 

I’m guessing Lusitano is a “lumper” and not a “splitter.” :)  The ability of many Acer spp. to hybridize encourages the lumper more than the splitter.  In the U.S., BTW, plant chemosystematics is a hot research topic.

 

My basis for saying so?  My MS thesis combined paleobotany and soil science.

 

I'm actually very pleased that we have another scientist on here who know what splitting and lumping is! Science tag team, it's a shame Lyndon is no longer with us, imagine the fun we could have had with him! XD

 

 

 
Thank-you for a very interesting and helpful post, a breath of fresh air, which I will be very pleased to save for my future reference

 

 

Any time, science exists to help and I'm more than happy to push help where it's called for!

I always thought, that the days in Scotland have only 4 hours, but the nights 20, now I've been taught... :lol:

There was wood ex- and import all over the (known) world since the times of the old Greeks and Romans, probably much earlier.

IMO we are allowed to say, a particular region/workshop/maker worked usually with a particular looking wood, they treated the surfaces in a way, which makes it recognizable - but always with the possibility of confusion.

A scottish maker could have used a tropical wood, which he had found somewhere in an an attic, church or wherever, another maker might have borrowed some wood from his neighbor, and so on.

And thanks for the great post of Lusitano - it shows once more, that the more we know about the small things, we learn to know, that we really don't know (Socrates).

Thank you!

 

Great posts.  Lusitano, it sounds like you're one of the people responsible for Nature and Science being crammed with incomprehensible ads for weird gel-thingies and whatnot that impede me on my way to the geophysics articles  It's good to know that not all of you are involved in trying to produce 12 legged chickens or flatulence free cows that urinate gasoline (On the other hand........... [munches a chicken leg while filling her truck up]). :lol:

 

 


 

First, no, that's impossible, all the whiskey would run out.  Second, that's what i meant by the use of "globalized" in Post # 51.

 

I laughed my ass off LOL Nope, not into GMO 12 legged chickens but if it's any consolation, I have spent more time than is healthy chopping off toes from Newts...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m confused here.  Why are “visual data” not “cold hard facts?”  Isn’t morphology (i.e. “visual data”) what taxonomy is based upon?

 

If a tree is stunted or suffers any sort of trauma while in full growth (natural bonsai trees for exemple), the morphological data will state it's a totally different species and will induce an error. In fact, the flowers that people like to point at when classifying plants can change color with something as simple as introducing a mildly acidic compound seeing the anthocyanin's responsible for the beautiful chromatic displays seen on foliage become altered with PH variations. This has nothing to do with genes directly but is purely environmental and causes the "visual" cold hard data to be altered.

 

The azores is a region of Portugal with very close ties to a specific plant, the hyacinth... For ages it was an uncontested fact that these small islands presented the biggest, flashiest and most colorful hyacinths known to man (or so the population AKA the women of my family boasted for generations) and try as people might, they could never get anywhere near the brightness of color even when cuttings where produced from mother plants growing in the azores. Every time the plants left their native soil, they faded out into the normal pale blue and very light purple/pink variations without explanation. This all was very mystical and odd until one day an American botanist caught a female gardener squatting in the middle of the flower bushes at odd hours of the night. The mysticism around the plant died that day (along with the poor woman's dignity) as it was discovered that the reason why the hyacinths were so spectacularly colored simple was due to (wait for it) piss. Yes my dear maestroneters, the uric acid found in human urine altered the anthocyonine circlets and produced the vivid colors. It wasn't because there was some sort of genetic mutation that produced a sub species endemic to the azores, it wasn't the climate or the soil, it had nothing to do with minerals or anything related to evolution. It was piss, pure and unadultered human urine and a long kept gardener's secret...  -_- So much for the Azorica termination on the so called sub species endemic to the azores?

 

I'm not fighting you at all on this subject as I totally agree with you and botanical science guide lines since we no longer rely on the simple observations used up until 20 years ago BUT I will say this. I much rather have gene based systematics than observation based branching ANY day.  Tonewood dealers and luthiers have absolutely no basis to state "this is this" or "this is not this" when talking about species and I stand fast with that assumption. Maybe I didn't convey my point properly and went off steamrolling the odd balls in the botanical field instead of directing my posts to the general luthier/tonewood oriented field.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I've seen some very nice Chinese wood.

 

I believe it!  I didn't say Chinese wood couldn't be nice..

 

 

Lusitano... Great post.  And for goodness sake man, why didn't you say something earlier!?!?  :)

 

 

When I was at the firm, we carried similar stuff, cut in the US.  Easy to be sure when you know which forest it came out of and know the harvester.  I could probably have done that with my eyes closed.   :) 

 

Now, I've only been doing this for 30 some years, but what I usually notice in North American timber is the wider often "squiggly" grain and the reflection of the fleck.  Not terribly strong data.

 

Maybe not terribly strong data, but it is interesting that those who have been in the business a long time can admit that wood that they know to be American has a similar appearance to that which is probably American.  At the very least, that their own experience has created a stereotype concerning the appearance of American wood.  There's probably something to it.

 

 

Did I ever say that I was absolutely-beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt-positive-that-this-is-American-maple?  No, I didn't really consider that.  I presumed it.  Did I overstep some sort of boundary in the world of luthiers by making the statement?  GOSH, WHO KNOWS?  You see, the statement itself is nothing to me.  It has no effect on the price, exposure, or success of the auction, and I couldn't care less about where the wood comes from when writing a listing and setting a price.  I care much more about the workmanship and tone and playability.  And that is what the price reflects.

 

I would like to take a moment to say that I am truly sorry that my introduction to Maestronet had to be via an involuntary introduction through one of my eBay offerings.  I respect this community.  I really like the website, and I've browsed it for tons of information over the years as I've sought to learn more about the amazing art of the violin.  I have no problem admitting that I have no doubt whatsoever that Jacob (as well as probably any real luthier or dealer) has more knowledge than I do.  What I'm disappointed to see is the blunt rudeness and aggressive manner in which certain people have made sharp comments, but moreso the blatantly intentional insults hurled in my direction by others, which seems to be completely acceptable here as they have gone unaddressed.  What happens is that it becomes a bandwagon, and you get newbies like Carl Stross tagging along to Jacob, but instead of an honest interest in the truth (regardless of how Jacob presents it), they follow up with degrading attacks.  There are many levels of enthusiasts on these kinds of sites, from absolute professionals and specialists to hobbyists.  It would do well to see a little softening from those who may in fact know more, and maybe an effort to extend information in a more engaging and winsome manner, if not just in a factual manner like Lusitano has done.  In my opinion, that is what community and forum should be about.  Not about lambashing, intellectual stomping, and insults, regardless of your experience/bias.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did I ever say that I was absolutely-beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt-positive-that-this-is-American-maple?

You said “The wood is all American”, and I said that you couldn’t possibly know that.

I think that the quote cited by Blank Face: ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα hèn oîda ὃti oudèn oîda; (I know that I know nothing) sums it up best. That the Greek bloke forgot to say that the realisation that one knows nothing about the subject is inversely proportional to one's willingness to sound off about it, is merely my subjective observation of various individuals.

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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

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.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...