GeorgeH

Rib Wood Identification

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Chestnut? It’s late but might still have been available and cheap, or stored downed timber. Original range covered almost all of PA. Was used in dulcimers, probably other instruments as well.

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Definitely not maple.  The guy who bought the bow said chestnut, but I'm not sure.  Chestnut looks something like oak, but your ribs didn't look much like either to me.

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3 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Maybe this

I am pretty sure the whole body is made with local wood, except the neck/scroll looks imported pre-cut. Given the autodidactic presentation of this violin, I suspect the maker was not using any exotic woods.

 

front_back_small.jpg

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

I am pretty sure the whole body is made with local wood, except the neck/scroll looks imported pre-cut. Given the autodidactic presentation of this violin, I suspect the maker was not using any exotic woods.

 

front_back_small.jpg

Hmmm, first I thought maybe ash because it has large pores. I would exclude chestnut because it is pretty dense and just a nightmare to work with if it is flamed. (Done that myself) 

Then walnut comes closer, but I'd say the ribs are not dark enough for walnut.

 

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

I am pretty sure the whole body is made with local wood, except the neck/scroll looks imported pre-cut. Given the autodidactic presentation of this violin, I suspect the maker was not using any exotic woods.

This logic escapes me, but not really important.  Others are seeing pore structure that I'm not able to see.  Based on the black streaks, I am most reminded of wood from Dalbergia spp.

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I'm inclinded to think it's white oak 'split', as used in basket making since colonial times.  Known to be very easy to bend, which is something a self-taught maker would be looking for.. 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

This logic escapes me, but not really important. 

No logic, pure conjecture because it does not appear (to me) that the maker of this violin sought out attractive tone woods for either the top or back plates, i.e. the top has a wide grain and the back is mostly plain.

As far as the ribs go, maybe he was simply looking for something easier to cut and bend than maple.

I have no clue as to how to identify where the wood actually came from.

@violinsRus

That video looks like a magic trick!

 

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It's hard to tell from the picture if the cross lines are in wood or just cracks in varnish.

Oak or Beech has very prominent medullaries but the wood in OP has none. This wood has medium or small diffuse pores that doesn't looklike ash or chesnut and also not much other visible structure, the color streaks seem to be right around the pores. My guess would be some kind of birch, pehaps gray birch (https://www.wood-database.com/gray-birch/).

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2 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

That video looks like a magic trick!

I have seen it done, you soak the wood in water and hammer it, and it parts on the growth ring.

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5 minutes ago, violinsRus said:

I have seen it done, you soak the wood in water and hammer it, and it parts on the growth ring.

I did not mean to imply it was an illusion, just that it looked like one. It reminded me of the trick where a magician pulls out yards of colored handkerchiefs from their closed fists.

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2 hours ago, HoGo said:

It's hard to tell from the picture if the cross lines are in wood or just cracks in varnish.

Oak or Beech has very prominent medullaries but the wood in OP has none. This wood has medium or small diffuse pores that doesn't looklike ash or chesnut and also not much other visible structure, the color streaks seem to be right around the pores. My guess would be some kind of birch, pehaps gray birch (https://www.wood-database.com/gray-birch/).

I don't know if this helps or not, but the surface is very rough, which I have tried to show in these pictures. I believe the cross lines are in the wood, but it is hard for me to tell for certain. The varnish on the top and back does not have those lines.

IMG_2374.jpg

IMG_2372.jpg

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Now that I can see the pore structure I think white oak could be a good candidate. Here are couple of pics of an old white oak armoire I have. Actually it’s my uv cabinet. 
8E0D5EDC-7734-43EC-B5A3-829DFDF91667.thumb.jpeg.4c466cdc928f2385d4190a30184102c7.jpeg23E6232D-22B9-4631-BF85-20FE78BCE673.thumb.jpeg.682360e2f34a1f84038560886ad98ebc.jpeg

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31 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

I believe the cross lines are in the wood, but it is hard for me to tell for certain. The varnish on the top and back does not have those lines.

@HoGo I don't see the cross lines in the unvarnished wood inside, so it must be the varnish.

@Jim Bress Sure looks like it!

 

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