pinus radiata vs pinus strobus


hi all I need some information on the comparison of two sub species of the pinus group: A job i am about to begin [guitar body] calls for white pine or pinus strobus. We have large quantities available here [australia] of monterey pine or pinus radiata. It would be very convenient to use the local product instead of importing a boad from the states . We don't see white pine here at all.
they kind of look and sound similar fom what I have read Thanks to any who can give any sort of comparison of the two. scul
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Sounds like a clear case of pinus envy.
B.
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Buddy Matlosz wrote:

might post this on rec.guitar.makers group also
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sorry, the group is: rec.music.makers.builders
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On 20 Feb 2006 19:48:03 -0800, "Phil at small (vs at large)"

in the guitar world there is plenty of voodoo about timber for guitars..
i was hoping to hear from someone with experience using both in various applications ie stability, workability, how it stains, polishes etc thanks again scul
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Well said.

I can;t speak to specific species, but in general USA pine works easily, stains horribly (blotches) buy you probably want to be looking at dyes rather than stains. Stability... idunno.
The thing is that on this side of the pond the vast majority of pine is fast growth 2x4 junk. I hear that soem old growth southern yellow pine is quite tough, but to me that is no less exotic than the Wenge (in the necks of the two basses behind me).
I've never heard of a pine guitar. Spruce, but not pine.
-Steve
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 03:48:12 -0500, "C&S"

"white pine" [strobus] in his early telecaster and esquire guitars.
he was a radio repair man who built amplifiers and worked out how to mass produce instruments using materials that were cheap and easy to come by like local timbers and stock auto paints. Strobus must have be plentiful around fullerton california in the late 40's.
As he got the factory up and running, the timbers changed to swamp ash and alder. He also used poplar in some models. Spruce is used for soundboards on concert grade accoustic instruments. Fender never made a production model using spruce...
so there is a little background history. So short of getting a chunk of white pine sent out here i have no way to compare it to monterey pine [radiata] scul
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If you had one, there wouldn't be a comparison. Eastern white pine is in a class by itself. Heartwood is a pleasant pumpkin color, which can be emulated by the warm amber of linseed. Oiling, I presume would make the pine even less a player in the acoustic properties of the guitar.
Works great, very few resin pockets, and since it tends to be a lone tree or just grow in small groves, it feeds well, making good straight growth. The western (US) "white" pines don't measure up.
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--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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(snip)-Sounds like a clear case of pinus envy
ROTFLMAO --dave

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I do not think your comparison is what you want. Both species vary immensely in quality, density and resin content depending on their place of growth concerning soil, climate and sunhours.
Both species can surely produce inadequate material for musical instruments.
European instrumentmakers have always used another species of the softwoods; the norhern european conifer "Picea abies". The closest american species would be Douglaspine, or "Pseudotsuga menziesii". The important characteristics of "musical wood" can be found in a lot of different species, mainly: Soft to medium soft, as softwoods go. (Low resin content). Even structure in the wood, the whole surface to be used (e.g. the whole surface of the guitar lid). None or little shrinkage subject to normal change in climate in the finished product. Good soundqualities. Good response to finishing and colouring. Often instrumentmakers use different hardwoods, like maple, in bottom and sides, but rely on the musical qualities of the Picea for the important tone-giving lid.
Good luck:-)
--
BjarteR



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"Norway" spruce (P abies) grows in the US as well. Widely planted. Indigenous spruces are closer in characteristics than Douglas-fir, however. Don't believe he was interested in soundboard material, though.
At school we had good luck finishing, and great voice using Thuja occidentalis - eastern white cedar - as soundboards for dulcimers and kalimbas. Most important is the straight grain available on a tree fighting for the sun.
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