Something radical

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peter.coombe
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Something radical

Post by peter.coombe » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:14 pm

OK guys, guess what top wood this mandolin is made from. Picture was taken before varnishing. Back is recycled Ash from CSIRO Forestry, sides Tassie Oak from Bunnings, neck Qld Maple. Just strung it up, sounds great.
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woodrat
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Re: Something radical

Post by woodrat » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:47 pm

Peter, I am going to guess...you did indeed say radical...Radiata Pine.... :wink:

Is that a multi piece top as well? ...I mean more than two piece?

John
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Mark McLean
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Re: Something radical

Post by Mark McLean » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:07 pm

Well it does look really pretty!
Among the more normal soundboard species I would have guessed Bunya Pine because of the pink colouring and the prominent grain. You are giving us a pretty strong clue that this is not a rarefied, instrument-uses-only type of timber. Something as common as mud but turns out to be a gem in the hands of the master......

It is probably a softwood, likely to be a pine (those little pin-knots) - is it Radiata?

Peter, I love the way you make these great instruments from stuff that people usually use for bookshelves and wardrobes.
cheers
Mark
PS John and I posted this at the same time - I didn't copy his homework, honest

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Something radical

Post by Trevor Gore » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:15 pm

You mean radical like this?

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Something radical

Post by Trevor Gore » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:22 pm

Radical like the pic I can't upload!! Any advice greatly appreciated!!

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Re: Something radical

Post by peter.coombe » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:45 pm

John wins. It is Pinus radiata from Bunnings, 3 piece top, braced with Oregon from Bunnings. I made it into a black top. More pictures later. I sorted through hundreds of pieces to find something I thought might work, and it does work. It has a nice smooth clear sound. So, don't despair if Spruce becomes unobtainable, just wander into the nearest Bunnys.
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DarwinStrings
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Re: Something radical

Post by DarwinStrings » Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:02 pm

Try this thread Trev. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3279&p=39764#p39764

Jim
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Re: Something radical

Post by woodrat » Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:51 pm

Well Done Peter....I knew you could make humble Pinus Radiata sound great....

Mark....never mind my electrons just beat your electrons :D

Trev....I hope you get the uploads sorted :D
"It's never too late to be what you might have been " - George Eliot

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Something radical

Post by Trevor Gore » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:04 pm

OK. Thanks guys. Lets try again:
DSCF1333s.jpg
DSCF1333s.jpg (64.91 KiB) Viewed 12172 times
Turned out that the file was the wrong pixel dimensions (but within the kByte limit).

More pyjama grade Pinus Radiata. This is a five piece top. There's a story behind the rest of the guitar (I'll put some more pics up later).

When I moved into "The Shed", about 12 years ago, I knocked a couple of walls out, (usual stuff) and ended up with all sorts of bits of wood. The radiata came from a set of bunk beds I took out, which had wide planks, one edge of which was on the quarter. Hence the five piece top. There's a similar story about the rest of the wood in it. It'll be strung up in about 10 days, so I'll tell some more of the story then.

Thanks again.

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woodrat
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Re: Something radical

Post by woodrat » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:45 pm

Would it be resonable to suspect that that is probably the worlds only falcate braced radiate pine topped guitar... (?)

John
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Trevor Gore
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Re: Something radical

Post by Trevor Gore » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:38 pm

Yep. The falcate bracing is of Oregon pine (great minds think alike [or is it fools seldom differ?]). The Oregon came from the (already second hand) door to the outside dunny. The rest of the dunny just sorta caved in. (Obviously not brick!). It took some pretty oblique sawing to get it on the quarter.

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Something radical

Post by Trevor Gore » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:58 pm

Oh, and here's that bracing...
Top_s.jpg
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woodrat
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Re: Something radical

Post by woodrat » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:19 pm

Oh Yeah...I really like it! Thanks for posting the picture Trevor. Probably one of the most detailed ones I have seen of the Falcate...good detail of the fishtailing of the tow that you mention in your book.

Is that bracing 7 or 9mm high?

The K & Ks are a bit easier to install at that stage too :D

Cant wait to see it finished....cant wait to make a falcate top myself either.

John
"It's never too late to be what you might have been " - George Eliot

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Something radical

Post by Trevor Gore » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:36 pm

The bracing on this one is 8 high. The radiata is quite dense and low stiffness compared to the spruces, cedars, redwoods etc. so I thinned the top more than usual to drop a bit of mass and upped the brace height to gain a bit of stiffness with a view to getting back into the "normal" zone. It taps out OK at this stage and I'll be using a very low mass bridge. In terms of overall top mass, it will still be high compared to say a master grade spruce top. It cost a bit less though!

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Re: Something radical

Post by jeffhigh » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:04 am

Is that top sealed on the inside? shellac?

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Something radical

Post by Trevor Gore » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:33 am

Yes, and yes. Still trying to figure out if it makes any significant difference.

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Re: Something radical

Post by woodrat » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:49 am

Trev, I have found that your Radiata Pine Falcate braced top makes a nice desktop background as well!
"It's never too late to be what you might have been " - George Eliot

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Re: Something radical

Post by charangohabsburg » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:37 am

Hi Peter, nice mando! Now I finally know how this radiata pine wood looks like. On your mandolin top it looks a bit like the wood in my Silver fir (Abies alba) stash with which I have not yet really worked with (only a not finished sopranino uke). Some "real" luthier told me that it would not be worth working with Silver fir (for him, the only top wood is European spruce...), but when tapping that wood it rings like a bell. :lol: 8)
Markus

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Re: Something radical

Post by peter.coombe » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:16 pm

Well here it is finished. Blacktop Pinus radiata, Mountain Ash back and sides, Myrtle bindings, Qld Maple neck, Ebony fingerboard and bridge, Lancewood tuning knobs, Black Walnut pickguard. Sounds good to me. I could easily mistake it for a spruce topped mandolin. Comparing it to another Carpathian Spruce/Ash mandolin it does sound different, but not radically different. Would be in the normal range of variation of my Spruce topped mandolins. Has excellent ring and sustain, but there is more going on in the Carpathian mandolin. Is a bit of an unfair comparison though. The Carpathian mando is probably the best sounding mandolin of it's type I have made, and it is about 4 months old, whereas the strings have been on the radiata pine mandolin for 4 days only. Sounds much better than I was expecting.
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Side (800x386).jpg
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Back (485x800).jpg
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Re: Something radical

Post by DarwinStrings » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:30 pm

Nice look you got going there Peter, sort or retro somethingorother and unique looking at the same time.

Jim
Life is good when you are amongst the wood.
Jim Schofield

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Kim
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Re: Something radical

Post by Kim » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:33 pm

Great work Peter and a good reminder that we should keep out minds open when contemplating wood selection.....I love spruce, but if it is the 'only' top wood, how come so many great sounding instruments have been made with mahogany or tassie blackwood/koa tops?? Should also mention that one if the best sounding instruments I have played had a bunya top...Seems that its not so much what you work with that really matters, but what you do with it that counts the most.

Cheers

Kim

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Re: Something radical

Post by peter.coombe » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:10 am

Trevor, I will be intersted in what you think of the sound of your guitar when it is finished. Now the mandolin has started to settle down, it is surprising the hell out of me. Really nice smooth and clear sounding treble, heaps of volume, big headroom, and nice bite to the sound. A really good solid feel when played, and overall very nice open sound. I am beginning to really like it. Reminds me of some of the Red Spruce topped mandolins I have made. I am now having trouble choosing which mandolin I prefer, the radiatia or the Carpathian Spruce. They are different in that the Carpathian sounds warmer, particularly in the bass, but does not have the bite and solid feel of the radiata, or as smooth a treble. I am expecting the radiata pine instrument to develop more warmth with some more time, so things might get very interesting. The radiata top was heavier and stiffer than the Carpathian, so it tuned to about the same pitch. It bonged in all the right places and the Chladni patterns looked normal, so I thought it would work, but was not expecting this. I still have enough recycled Ash for another 2 mandolins (and a couple of guitars), so maybe I should start looking for some more quarter sawn Pinus radiata. Maybe next time I will have the courage to show the pajama stipes.
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Trevor Gore
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Re: Something radical

Post by Trevor Gore » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:24 am

Peter, the bridge is going on today...

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Re: Something radical

Post by sebastiaan56 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:23 pm

I know you are making to a market Peter but I like the pajama stripes.
make mine fifths........

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Something radical

Post by Trevor Gore » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:16 am

I've posted some more pics of "pyjama stripes" and a bit more of the story here:

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=3842#p45840

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