how rare is blonde brazilian rosewood

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by wsaraceni, Feb 23, 2006.


  1. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    the one thorn that has it is by far the most amazing piece of wood i have seen. how rare is wood like that and what causes it to come out like that
     
  2. oscar100

    oscar100 Supporting Member

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    thats my guitar and teh fret board is amazing - dont know what causes it but it feels amazing and sounds better -

    ive got another one coming on another thorn!!!
     
  3. guitarlovero5

    guitarlovero5 Member

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    I believe the blonde is the sap wood
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    Exactly. Actually all dalbergias (the genus of rosewood trees) have a yellow/straw colored sapwood. Same with ebonies and other hardwoods. Typically this sapwood is less desirable than heartwood for most hardwoods except maples, where everybody wants the white sapwood with no heart!
    :D
     
  5. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been collecting tonewoods for years and have a quarter log section of BRW that has a blonde interior that transitions to nearly jet black at the outer rings. I've never seen anything quite like it. I don't have a picture hosting service, but it someone wants to host a jpg or two you can check it out. You can let me know at jshimota at esri dot com.

    Coincidently, Ron Thorn is building me a guitar too. It has a one-piece quilted Redwood top and a swirly brown and black BRW headstock veneer. I have been planning on using the blonde BRW for the fretboard for some great visual contrast. But lately I have been leaning towards another darker brown piece of BRW with a few black streaks running the length of the board. Both tap out like a chime so the choice is really a visual one. I like the blonde a lot, but the darker one seems more classic.

    Decisions, decisions.......
     
  6. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    go to Photobucket.com. it's free. :AOK
     
  7. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info, Bailnout. Getting set up with Photobucket was easy. Now to see if I can get the link to work. The picture is from shows the end of the quarter log steadied by the man himself, Ron Thorn.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    Nice piece, jamess! I have a few BRW fingerboards that are that 'honey' light color with darker stuff in it. That log section looks to have no sapwood on the outside, though. Is this some old stock?
     
  9. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    mmm... that log will make a tasty finger board... or even a few tasty boards!
     
  10. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks Jack, it is an unusual piece. I've had it for about 3 years and was informed that it came from trees felled in the early 70's, so I'd say is medium old stock. And you're right, all of the sap wood has been removed in this piece. For some REALLY old stock, I've got planks of Brazilian Kingwood Rosewood (dal. caerensis) that were milled in 1930. That's what the neck of my upcoming Thorn is using, and a couple years back Scott Heatley used the same to carve my Heatley Rosewood Hollowbody. Talk about old mojo.
     
  11. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    so in theory its not that rare. by this i mean its present in every tree. tonally is it different?
     
  12. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    I have spent a great deal of time searching out and studying rosewoods for a few years now and I would say that white Brazilian heartwood IS quite rare. As said above, all dalbergia (rosewood) trees have exterior sapwood that is a creamy white color, but the heartwood is usually dark. Brazilian Rosewood comes in a wide range of colors from blonde/honey to burnt orange to black but most of it is dark brown with black streaks. The black, or darker, rings reflect growth spurts during wet weather, the lighter ones coorespond to dryer times. I have many pieces of BRW in the wide range of colors, but I only have or have even seen only the one white one pictured.
     
  13. Drunkagain

    Drunkagain Member

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    Your fretboard is one of the coolest I've eere seen. I love how it has that little splash of dark right up there at the top. Actually the whole damn guitar is fabulous.
     
  14. oscar100

    oscar100 Supporting Member

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    i cant say enuff about how good rons guitars are

    especially when used with WCR pickups!!!!!!!! teh perfect combination......

    :RoCkIn
     
  15. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    wsaraceni,

    Finding any quality old growth Brazilian is rare these days. Finding Brazilian sap wood that is void of bug holes long enough for a fretboard is even rarer.

    :)

    Ron
     
  16. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    +1 to that, Ron. Tropical bugs sure do love the sap wood. Must be a comfy place to live. To find a stable, hole-free piece large enough for a fretboard would be very tough indeed. I have one large piece of flatsawn BRW that is probably 25% sapwood with so many bug holes in the sapwood that I'd be surprised to find an area 4" x 2.5" that is hole-free, much less 19" x 2.5 for a fretboard.
     
  17. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    what about Indian rosewood. less rare?
     
  18. michaelg

    michaelg Member

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    can you describe how it sounds "better" or even different? Also what are you comparing it to?
    thank you,
    michael
     
  19. BattleAngel

    BattleAngel Member

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    Michael,

    I believe Oscar is saying that it *sounds* "better" than it *feels*

    Si o no?

    Ben
     
  20. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    Indian rosewood is also a very fine tonewood, even prefered over BRW by some builders, but it is not nearly as rare. IRW is still available and does not have the international CITES restrictions that BRW has had for a decade and a half. Since you can no longer legally harvest BRW trees, the only BRW available is what has been hoarded already.
     

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