Maples from other origins?


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What does Bosnian actually mean these days? I'm getting the sense that "Bosnian"  is getting to be something of a buzz word in the community. People debate if there are even significant amounts of maple remaining there. Is there anything superior to Bosnian quality maple vs. Romanian? I'm wondering if Bosnian is just getting to be the common name for a variety of maple, either acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple) or acer platatnoides (Norway maple) irregardless of where it's harvested. I don't really know for a fact, just things I've been pondering in recent years.

Despiau claims they select their bridge wood from Bosnia, and the top quality wood is getting quite scarce. I think what they're seeking relates to the woods hardness as much as anything.

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34 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I read somewhere that the winters in Strad’s time were very severe, and the growth rings were very close together, resulting in very dense wood.

If that is true, does it make sense that maple from much colder climates would make the best wood?

Wood has always been available from colder and warmer regions. Stradivari's wood doesn't seem to have either unusually high or low density.

While I have observed some correlations between closeness of grain, and stiffness or density, there have been so many exceptions that I no longer place much faith in that notion.

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4 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I read somewhere that the winters in Strad’s time were very severe, and the growth rings were very close together, resulting in very dense wood.

If that is true, does it make sense that maple from much colder climates would make the best wood?

If I recall prior readings correctly, typically, slow growth season rings are higher density relative to fast growth season rings within tree. However, width of growth rings ( I.e. grains per inch) does not strongly correlate to density among trees of the same species. 

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18 hours ago, J.DiLisio said:

I just had a large Japanese Maple cut down and the wood seems very dense,. possibly too dense.  Has anyone experimented with those varieties?

I suppose you mean the species which is called 'momiji' in Japanese and has leaves resembling cannabis?

I have wood suitable for a back. I got it as a present from my master when I was still in Tokyo violin making school. He handed it over too me saying: 'I give it to you if you like it. I worked with it and it's too hard and too inflexible to make a good sounding violin.'

Well, I don't know how your Japanese maple looks like. Mine resembles somehow ebony because you can see small crystals on the surface. This alone discouraged me enough using for 30 years now. The only use I could see would be a copy of a storionish type of fiddle.

 

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Rather than going for names I would work on finding wood selection criteria. As Jacob said dealers put eventually any name on their stock. 

My criteria is maple with dense yearrings as you find on many old Italian instruments. It's usually heavy the reason why many makers don't like it so much.

Just besides, I heard once the story that an American wood dealer found nice Tonewood in America but couldn't sell it as American wood. So he shipped it to Europe and got it sent back to the US. Thereafter he could apparently sell the wood saying 'imported from Eurooe' (Don't know if it is a true story, though) 

 

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46 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Rather than going for names I would work on finding wood selection criteria. As Jacob said dealers put eventually any name on their stock. 

My criteria is maple with dense yearrings as you find on many old Italian instruments. It's usually heavy the reason why many makers don't like it so much.

Just besides, I heard once the story that an American wood dealer found nice Tonewood in America but couldn't sell it as American wood. So he shipped it to Europe and got it sent back to the US. Thereafter he could apparently sell the wood saying 'imported from Eurooe' (Don't know if it is a true story, though) 

 

Agreed.  Good wood is fortunately still available from many sources.

Back in the dim dark history when I cut and sold maple I had a batch of end coating that I bought cheap because  no one else liked the color.   I saw some of my wood at the next VSA being sold as European....perhaps it jumped the big pond twice!

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5 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I suppose you mean the species which is called 'momiji' in Japanese and has leaves resembling cannabis?

I have wood suitable for a back. I got it as a present from my master when I was still in Tokyo violin making school. He handed it over too me saying: 'I give it to you if you like it. I worked with it and it's too hard and too inflexible to make a good sounding violin.'

Well, I don't know how your Japanese maple looks like. Mine resembles somehow ebony because you can see small crystals on the surface. This alone discouraged me enough using for 30 years now. The only use I could see would be a copy of a storionish type of fiddle.

 

The wood I have is very fresh so it's hard to tell but it seems heavy and quite hard for maple much like what you describe. 
Probably not the best wood for a back.  I don't see the Janka hardness anywhere online.
I may end up trying it for tailpiece or bridge blanks down the road. 
 

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French wine, Italian wine.

But what about Australian wine, ir English? Is there Indonesian wine?

Italian alpine spruce, and Italian or balkan maple.

But use whatever wood you like. Koa, walnut, ash, maybe balsa.

If you desire a non-traditional choice, then go for it.

But don't ask traditionalists to affirm your non-traditionalism as traditional.

Change a pinot noir enough and it becomes something else.  If you like, you like. But if it's no longer pinot noir, call it something else.

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On 12/25/2020 at 9:08 PM, JacksonMaberry said:
On 12/25/2020 at 9:08 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

"Bosnian/Carpathian are really buzzwords.". 

 

This is unfortunate, but true.  I think that if  a tonewood cutter uses such terms they should be accurate to where the tree grew.  I  cut a lot of Red spruce in my locale (Picea rubens) - and I called it red spruce.   But in the steel-string guitar world "Adirondack" it the hot term, and is widely and misleading  used for Picea rubens.  Very little red spruce comes from the Adirondacks.  Personally, I do not adhere that regional differences are significant, as there are many more important factors affecting tree growth.  There can be a lot of difference in trees from the same plot, and indeed even within the same log.   Trees really do not care about political borders. :-)

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