White spruce for violin tops


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Not really sure, but I've wondered that myself. Both species are native to Michigan, and black spruce can be found in boggy areas. I don't know if that would produce suitable wood if it was grown in that type of environment.

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Black spruce is usually a pretty scruffy tree that grows in kind of boggy areas. You'd be really lucky to find one big enough to cut for tone wood. With the right grain structure and density, White spruce would probably be OK. I don't have personal experience with it, but spruce woods are often fairly similar.

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7 hours ago, FiddleDoug said:

Black spruce is usually a pretty scruffy tree that grows in kind of boggy areas. You'd be really lucky to find one big enough to cut for tone wood. With the right grain structure and density, White spruce would probably be OK. I don't have personal experience with it, but spruce woods are often fairly similar.

That's been my experience too; Black Spruce is a droopy looking, spindly tree that grows in the muskegs. They rarely exceed a diameter of 10 inches or so, around here.

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I've heard from few mandolin makers who used black spruce for carved top mandolins. They were lucky to find some pieces good enough for instrument making. It was said to be similar to red spruce (density/stiffness).

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