I need some information on the comparison of two sub species of the
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.
On 20 Feb 2006 19:48:03 -0800, "Phil at small (vs at large)"
yeah it is but i wanted to hear from the woodies angle....
in the guitar world there is plenty of voodoo about timber for
i was hoping to hear from someone with experience using both in
various applications ie stability, workability, how it stains,
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.
leo fender, the inventor of mass produced solid body guitars, used
"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
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.
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
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
"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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.