Norway Spruce

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by otterhound, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes , both are lighter in color than walnut . More of a tan , a honey colored tan .
    Have you ever looked at black locust under a black light ?
     
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  2. John_B

    John_B Tele-Meister

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    Very Good Read!!! Thank you all.

    I heard years ago that a lot of Martin dreadnaught's from the 1930's had spruce tops with wide rings and it is considered perfectly fine on these Holy Grail acoustics.

    The point, I was told, was these tops were stiff enough. I would think tighter rings = better stiffness but what is the desired stiffness? I guess the tap test helps determine that.

    I do love the look of a top with tight rings but the sound and ringing sustain dominates everything.

    I envy Luthiers!
     
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  3. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are 2 types of stiffness when it comes to tops and neither is directly related to rings per inch .
    There is stiffness along the grain and stiffness across the grain .
    Tapping should reveal the potential reflective/tonal properties of the wood .
    Tighter rings does not guarantee any degree of stiffness , although it typically does .
    Some luthiers look for tight growth that becomes wider and back down to tight again .
    The bottom line is that a good luthier will get the best of any wood and the others won't .
    Back in the 30's , the Red Spruce available was still fairly plentiful .
    There was a time when " Bear claw " was tossed aside for the dumpster because it was considered to be flawed . Today " Bear claw " is typically an up charge .
    Perception ...................
     
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  4. John_B

    John_B Tele-Meister

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    Yes, I love Bear claw! Has the thickness of tops changed over the years? I have seen a few thick tops in my time.
     
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  5. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Martin's of the 70's are known for being somewhat overbuilt as well as some poorly placed bridges .
    Top thickness can vary greatly depending on materials and builder .
    Not everyone does it the same .
    Spruce tops typically fall into the .120-.100" range .
    I know a luthier that built an all walnut guitar and he told me that the top was .075" . Regardless , it sounded great .
     
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  6. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Uh a black light? Nope can't say I have. The guy who wanted an Auditorium from me of black locust and German spruce top I thought was nuts, but you didn't say that then. I built it and charged what I thought a premium price. I stood open mouthed as he counted out CASH :eek:. The only reason I didn't get a swelled head over it was the 3 weeks I spent sharpening my chisels and planes and tossed two router bits ,burned beyond saving.
    Actually since I've never worked mulberry that sounds good. Don't need any black locust nightmares :lol:

    Dave
     
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  7. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I loved the 0-17 all mahogany of Martin's old days. Damn good finger pickers
     
  8. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    Glad to hear of the Black Locust reference.

    FYI.. It seems builders elsewhere are using Black Locust a lot more these days -- even in 'factory' guitars.
    Here's just two examples. One is made in China the other in Europe. It's used for many different pieces, including, but not limited to: back/sides, bridge and fingerboard (everything but tops essentially).
    (In the product descriptions, it is often referred to as 'acacia' by folks in Europe). The density, weight, hardness, etc. are all about +/- 25% (or less) of East Indian Rosewood. Excepting appearances, makes a pretty good substitute (and can grow just about anywhere as an advantage).
    I have one of these guitars in the links below.. BL works just fine, rosewood might be a historic convention, but it isn't essential by any means.

    https://www.thomannmusic.com/la_mancha_citrino_s.htm

    https://www.thomannmusic.com/thomann_classica_s.htm
     
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  9. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Black Locust has lots of silicates and that is what I am told is so hard on tools .
     
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  10. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    My understanding of Black Locust is that for sides and backs , it needs to be dead on quartersawn and it still may crack down the line . Hey , that sounds like BRW .
     
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  11. JWH7

    JWH7 Tele-Meister

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  12. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    When I got there , the tree had been felled and all but the main trunk had been removed . A few cones were around though , just a few . This is a spruce , not a pine . Picea Abies . Wood is very white/pale .
     
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  13. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh nice, I love working with all 3 of those woods, they make the shop a delight to work in smell wise!
     
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