lignum vitae

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  zorro 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #1490

    zorro
    Participant

    I believe that “Original” Lignum Vitae is on the CITIES list but have you ever worked with it and can it be used as a Tone Wood.
    Here in Florida and the Bahamas we call it “The Old Man Tree” because of its’ twisted and gnarled shape. The Trunks however are quite straight.
    A friend of mine has one on their property and is considering cutting it down because its’ roots are growing under the house. He said I could have the wood if I would remove the tree.


    1993 Martin Custom HD-28 Eir/Sitka
    2001 SCGC Custom F Cutaway Maple/Sitka

    2008 SCGC Custom Otis Taylor H Madi/Italian
    2015 SCGC Custom OM “The Tree” Hog/European
    2016 SCGC Custom 1934 D-45 Braz/ Adi

  • #1492

    haasome
    Participant

    It would be great to see what Richard says but as a woodworker and wood researcher, I think it would present a challenge. It is perhaps the heaviest (sinks in water) and hardest wood on the planet and often has interlocking grain. It’s difficult to work and is tough on cutting tools. It’s also oily and can be difficult to glue reliably. Having said this, I don’t build guitars and perhaps others, including Richard, might have better insights on its usability and functionality.


    – Paul –

  • #1640

    Richard Hoover
    Senior Moderator

    That’s a fun wood question Zorro thank you! I don’t have a wood problem! I could quit anytime I want… but not today.

    “Wood of Life”: Lignum Vitae has been spoken of in mystical tones, at least since I began paying attention to woods back in the last millennium.  Crickett balls, Bobby’s Truncheons, Merlin’s magic wand, Submarine bearings and Pete Seeger’s long banjo neck. Most of those applications could have chosen the wood because of it’s weight, durability, bruising, instead of bone breaking density and its self lubricating qualities. these all make sense; except for Pete’s banjo neck. I don’t know how the maker got the fretboard to stay glued to this otherwise versatile material.

    This brings me to speculation about how compatible it is for guitar making. Opinion only here; because of its self lubricating nature how do you get components to stick together and if used for sides and back its density would contribute to a very bright tone. Would such a tone be desirable or aggravating? I did find a back and sides set for sale on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/253956911551 so someone thinks its appropriate for guitars.

    If you do pose the question elsewhere and get some definitive answer’s please report back so that I can sound smarter the next time I get asked this question. Until then…

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    All the best,

    Richard

    .

     

    • #1641

      zorro
      Participant

      Master Hoover,
      Reading between the lines…..Since true lignum won’t float and won’t adhere then …..if it’s no good for boats, it won’t work for notes.
      Looking forward to your thoughts on a “Blue Hole” FTC.


      1993 Martin Custom HD-28 Eir/Sitka
      2001 SCGC Custom F Cutaway Maple/Sitka

      2008 SCGC Custom Otis Taylor H Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC Custom OM “The Tree” Hog/European
      2016 SCGC Custom 1934 D-45 Braz/ Adi

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