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Origins of different woods ???

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by odie, Jan 16, 2001.


  1. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    I was wondering- were does ebony come from/what is it???
    Same for rosewood.
     
  2. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    hmmm...well, ebony first...there are two different types us musicians are concerned with...black ebony from the diospyros ebenum (ebanaceae), which is a coastal evergreen, i do believe...at what latitude, i dunno...and then you have senegal ebony from the dalbergia melanoxylon, which is primarily used in clarinets and that type stuff...oboes, bassoons...blah blah...they're both ebony trees...and then for rosewood...well, that comes from the rosewood tree...again two different types...you have the dalbergia nigra, which is brazilian rosewood and then you have dalbergia latifolia, which is indian rosewood. pau ferro rosewood i am not too sure is actually rosewood. i dunno. 9 times out of 10, the wood is generically called the same name as the tree it comes from, and then you have quilted, flamed, spalted, curly, bee-wing and a thousand different patterns you can see in a particular piece of wood and that has to do with the way it was cut or subjected to disease or whatever.......i'm rambling...sorry...i hope i answered your question...
     
  3. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Neptoon-WOW are you into plants/trees(botanist ???sp??)
    Very impressive answer, one more question , is ebony (used on bass necks)naturally that dark or does it stain that dark.
    Thanx for the informative answers.
     
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Good quality ebony is naturally that dark.

    You also have Macassar ebony, I am not sure what tree it comes from, but it has a more visible grain and is lighter than normal ebony. It is a gorgeous chocolate color with dark ebony streaks through it.

    A couple of high end builders offer it as a fingerboard wood or as a 1/2" top.
     
  5. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    odie...actually i'm a second class missile technician on submarines (navy)... :eek: lol there are many sources on the net as far as tonewoods and where they come from. but, no, ebony is naturally that dark. it usually comes from the pulpwood of the tree, being that the sapwood or heartwood is too oily. the wood that some of the higher end basses are made of is actually a pretty interesting subject. did you notice that warwick in particular is beginning to use ovankol now more than bubinga? ever wonder why that is? if you research the area that they get their logs from, you will see that region of africa is in a state of civil unrest. hmmm... warwick in the news... :D
     
  6. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Ive read about some of the more exotic wood such as bubinga. And it is interesting how some wood are from very specific areas around the world.

    Neptoon-Have you tried sneaking something as large as a bass into a sub :) or how about an ashbory??
     
  7. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Neptoon, this is a very sexy topic to me. Are there any particular states where Eastern Hardrock Maple is logged and where wood is acquired that has nice birdseye? I'm not a builder, but I would like to know where do the manufacturers go that make guitars with clear finishes. I have searched the web and haven't found anything that helps me. Thanks!
     
  8. neptoon,

    Dude, you seem to know more about species of wood than I do, and a good portion of my income is from making custom furniture and cabinetry in my home shop. I'm impressed. and...

    Like Odie asked, have you ever got a bass into a sub?
     
  9. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    heheh...well, i usually take my bass on out to sea with me every patrol. lol i can't trust the wifey to wax it when i'm gone (i have a warwick thumb)...that's been the trend anyway...heck she doesn't wax it when i'm home :eek:
     
  10. H e l l o !







     
  11. Ebony can be stained Stewmac sells an oil which both conditions your fingerboard and stains it black. This is something to think about if you need a fingerboard for an upright bass. the cost of an AAA Ebony fingerboard is $300 dollars or more with an A ebony fingerboard around 100 dollars. While I don't know where it comes from Purpleheart is a very inexpensive wood that could be used for fingerboards. The tailpiece i just made for my 1/2 size upright bass used about one forth of a $3 piece of wood instead of about 35 to a 100 dollars for a ebony tailpiece.
     
  12. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    hey, max...i haven't forgotten about ya. i've been havin' computer difficulties. i can prolly find you a birdseye maple supplier though...no worries, mate...
     
  13. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    okies, here ya goes...eastern hardrock maple isn't logged in one particualar state, as it is pretty common in the eastern united states, the lake states, the appalachians, the pacific northwest and canada. birdseye maple most commonly occurs in the sapwood of the Acer Sacchurum, or sugar maple. the "birdseyes" are actually formations of "sleeping bud growth" around the log and is usually due to rocky formations around the base of the tree. also, the birdseyes come in different sizes...large or small and anything in between. because the buds occur in the sapwood of sugar maple trees, it is uncommon to find boards that don't have the occasional dark sugar streaks from the sap of the tree. i found a supplier that seemed ok to me...as i usually don't mess with wood a whole lot; my dad used to be a cabinet maker though in his free time. check out Sandy Pond Hardwoods, inc at www.figuredhardwoods.com