Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

What about pearwood?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dodobasso, May 10, 2004.


  1. Dodobasso

    Dodobasso

    Feb 25, 2003
    Salerno, Italy
    Hi all, my name is Domenico and I'm from Salerno, Italy.

    That's the question: I know that this kind of wood is a little hard to find in big lumber, but I found it in a great stock in my personal wood pusher.
    I'd like to build a 5 string headless with this shape,
    the link is www.gfguitars.tk and the bass is the gf bass 4 string but
    with one piece pearwood, instead of maple(I mean a bass from ONE lumber), quilted maple top and ebony board.
    The only thing is that I don't know much about the features of that wood: the stiffness, the resonance and so on...

    Some advices?

    Thanks in advance

    Dodo
     
  2. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    found some interesting info from a simple google:

    [​IMG]

    Some interesting information about Pearwood.


    As many of us [all of us?!] know the, Panerai presentation boxes[ both standard and special edition], made of pear wood, are beautiful pieces of art in and of themselves, not to mention what they hold inside--the ultimate fruit--the PAM.

    >From what I can find upon a bit of a cursory look, it seems that pear wood would be considered generally one of the many "fruitwoods."

    Furthermore, it seems that apple, pear, cherry have often been used in cabinetmaking--a number of hits come up on a google-search with the use of pearwood in what is now antique furniture.

    One can also see a good amount of fruitwoods, in particular pear wood, being used in the making of musical instruments from flutes and recorders to harpsicords.

    I found this link that notes some of the characteristics, notably giving off a softer sound:
    http://www.earlymusic.gil.com.au/woods.htm

    One of the nicest description of the use of pear wood is from this artist and its use in being "turned."

    >From the following link, by artist edric florence:

    http://www.healing-arts.org/edric/smnatedpearbowl.htm

    "Turned and finished to a wall thickness of approximately 1/16 of an inch with beautiful grain patterns, this pear wood bowl is as exquisite to hold as it is to look at. To create the natural saddle appearance, I started with a pear log that was from a branch roughly 10 inches in diameter and worked from the outside of the tree inward towards the center of the tree. The curved rim is not carved or sanded - it is the natural outside edge of the log. Like much of my working stock, the raw material was reclaimed from a firewood pile by one of my collectors.

    The sapwood of pear is pale yellow-apricot, and the heartwood varies from flesh tone to a pale pinkish brown. This piece is mostly heartwood, coming from the limb of a very old tree with slow growth. Fruitwood also is known to "move" greatly in the drying process, and because this piece was turned while it was still green, the resultant warpage lent itself to the aesthetic beauty of the natural-edged shape.

    Pear has one of the finest of textures of the fruitwoods, and was often used in making instruments such as lutes, recorders and - because of its hardness - the jacks of harpsichords. In spite of its hardness - equal almost to that of boxwood - this piece is incredibly light in weight. Fine wood turnings such as these are a joy for me to make! "

    And lastly, one of the most interesting uses of pear wood is in the art of glass blowing. if you've ever seen a glass blower, molds and blocks of wood are often used to shape and form the molten glass before it hardens--guess what kind of wood? That's right, pear wood:



    This is what the site says about the characteristics of the wood:

    "It is used in the form of wooden blocks - giving the paper form and this page their names - and in the form of flat paddles and wooden rods, alone and in Pacioffis as well as steam sticks. Normally the wood is one of the fruitwoods, cherry primarily in the U.S. although PEAR and apple are used also. Fruitwood is close grained, lacks sap, and smells good when burned. The wood is used water logged, stored in water and kept there during use, and will commonly if allowed to dry. It is normally transported in plastic bags." [so who's going to set aflame a box to test this theory?]

    http://users.ticnet.com/mikefirth/blockspw.htm



    since i supplied a response to your question, i feel i have room to comment on gfguitars.com

    YIKES! man, those are HORRID!!

    sorry, but they look like poorly executed rip-offs. especially the Ken Lawrence Brace wanna-be's.

    eeek.

    anyway, sorry for the rant. hope the info helps.

    f
     
  3. Dodobasso

    Dodobasso

    Feb 25, 2003
    Salerno, Italy
    One can also see a good amount of fruitwoods, in particular pear wood, being used in the making of musical instruments from flutes and recorders to harpsicords.




    since i supplied a response to your question, i feel i have room to comment on gfguitars.com

    you MUST to comment :)

    YIKES! man, those are HORRID!!

    sorry, but they look like poorly executed rip-offs. especially the Ken Lawrence Brace wanna-be's.

    eeek.

    anyway, sorry for the rant. hope the info helps.

    Oh my, what a long reply, I didn't expected it...

    btw, thanks a lot about the info.

    Now I'm pretty sure: pearwood will be my next bass wood! :D

    The only thing I wonder if is that a good wood for the neck, but I guess so, 'cause I saw a couple of well known English luthiers use it for that...

    About the gf bass what should I say... :rolleyes: I like so much the idea of a not typical singlecut...

    and, as you can see, yes, is a Kenneth Lawrence-like shape, (the Brase one's) , but it's still hard to find it in Italy, and for now Kenneth is a little too expensive to me. :bawl:

    Plus I like the idea to have a ONE PIECE bass, but You have to imagine that I should change a little that shape (more rounded at the body, headless, 5 strings and whit a quilted cap and wooden PU covers) to resemble more the Brase one, that is my goal.

    I hope that "thing" will sing like my G&L 2000E.
    I'd like to have a tenor bass, but i'm not shure...

    Will see :meh:

    Thank you very much

    Dodo
     
  4. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Hm, I'm rather intreagued by the picture fred shared...it says Pear and Maple are of similar density...and .65 instead of the commonly accepted .72 for most maples...

    Anyway, pear is a nice wood, that works well with musical instruments. It has even been used for fretboards, with nice results. If fretless, one shouldn't use reounds, though.

    But a body, made of one single piece of pear wood, throughout... That's a waste of gorgeous wood, IMHO.