I do believe I have mentioned my reactions to stormy winds before in these pages,but allow me to re-iterate. High winds have a tendency to knock down trees that are perhaps past their sell-by date as decorative items. And in this day and age, landowners very often have them cleared away either for aesthetic reasons or for those of Health and Safety.
Now, when I see a fallen tree, my first thought is about the type of tree. Some timbers are not very good for making musical instruments but others are very suitable. Numerous species have arrived in the yard outside the unit over the last few weeks, the by-product of our next door neighbours being (rather busy at the moment) Tree Surgeons. So, you can imagine my delight the other day when their wagon came into the yard and tipped the remains of a large Wild Cherry (Prunus Avium). Included was the entire trunk in two logs around four feet long and a good 16 inches in diameter. Negotiations with Bruk, their boss, didn’t take long and I acquired one of the two logs.
So it occurred to me that following this particular log all the way through the processes used to turn it into a musical instrument might just be a nice subject for this blog.
Firstly it is cut into manageable pieces, but lengthwise, down the grain. This is basically four quarters of the log, as you can see in the pictures. This is as far as we got with it so far,
but as you can see they show a nice bit of grain that is very straight. We’ll let any moisture drain out of these pieces for a couple of days before we convert it into boards for drying properly. Once that is done, you’ll hear no more about it for a few months. You see, it will get tucked away in a dark place for that process to complete.
In the meantime take a look at this Pineapple style Tenor just completed. It is a new model we’ve developed recently with a smallish body (for a tenor)
with the neck joint at the 15th fret. All local timbers and very nice sounding. During building we developed a new jig for radiused fretboards and will now be doing more of these type of fretboard. I prefer them for bar-chords, but let me know which you prefer.