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MikeC

cheap tonewood

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is there a source of cheap low quality tonewood for practice carving ?     I've been using some poplar from Lowe's but would like something closer to spruce and maple

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I think the best way to learn to make a fiddle is to make a fiddle.  Most of the low grade tonewood is for cosmetic reasons so you can still end up with something that works.   

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I have some high grade wood but want to practice on cheap stuff first so I don't mess up the good stuff.    Define cheap?  I don't know maybe as cheap as poplar at lowe's but cuts more like spruce and maple. 

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For Spruce, buy a 2x6 from the lumber yard that is cut close to 1/4 sawn. If you pick through the pile, you can be sure to find something close.

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Home improvement box stores carry poplar because it's so cheap.  Maple is there too, but will cost more, maybe $10 - $20 for enough to make a fiddle-sized piece.  

Alpenholtz-Pahler had some bargains at VSA last year... less than $30 for back, sides, and neck block.  Some of it was actually pretty good, so I got a few sets (no, I'm not offering to sell them; I'll need them for the first tests on CNC machining).

For spruce-like stuff, pine works.  If you can split and/or saw up wood, then Walmart has pine firewood that would work (I carved up a top out of it, as you  may  or may not know).

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Is spruce lumber not common in the U.S?  Every lumberyard here in our corner of Canada stocks spruce lumber; it's more common than pine. Maybe that's why there was so much noise over the softwood lumber trade between Canada and the U.S. governments awhile back.

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Bill,  I'm in Georgia,  all I find at Lowe's and Home Depot here is pine, poplar and oak.  

H.R.  thanks I'll take a look at International 

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Mike, if you want me to pick through IVCs bottom shelf wood for you let me know.  You can send me a PM with your list and I'll drop by on my way home from work (it's on my way).  Then you can call them and handle the purchase.  

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