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Thread: The Tree quilted mahogany for uke sets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default The Tree quilted mahogany for uke sets

    I am new here, looking for info on the possibilities regarding using wood I am acquiring from a famous tree amongst guitar luthiers/players called "The Tree." It is a single large Mahogany felled in Honduras in 1971 which has very unique quilting and tortoise shell figuring as well as, at least for guitars, very highly regarded tone properties (more towards rosewood as opposed to most Mahogany). Some quick links about it below.

    http://www.aomoon.com/go/tonewoods/q..._mahogany.html
    http://www.guitarbench.com/2009/10/0...ature-article/

    I am not a luthier, but ended up stumbling into the potential of buying some of the last boards from an old cabinetmaker who I am doing other business with. He can authenticate it as being the real deal for me. The sizes of the three boards I'm getting leave some extra wood too small for guitars, but perfect for ukes (soprano or concert sized). The luthiers who I am talking to (one who is going to inspect it before I buy it) don't have much experience with ukes.

    What I am wondering is the following. Have there been any ukes made from this tree's wood? If so does anybody out there know who built them, their value etc... Last, does anyone have any ideas as a realistic price for such sets? The going rate for guitar back/side sets is now up to as high as $5000 by one luthier (generally $3-4K elsewhere). I can either make up three sets with a tortoise shell top and quilted back and sides OR three sets of back/sides only plus one top/back/side. I'm not sure which ends up being worth more. I do not want to use this rare wood simply to make a quick buck but want it used with appropriate reverence too (if that doesn't sound too over the top) so I'm willing to "do it right" even if I don't end up making quite as much, but I'd least like to know my options. thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Wales, UK
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    3,650

    Default

    Lovely wood. Wouldn't waste it on a uke tho - the figure is too big; it would just get lost on such a small instrument.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Orcas Island, Washington
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VT_strummer View Post
    The going rate for guitar back/side sets is now up to as high as $5000 by one luthier (generally $3-4K elsewhere).
    Speaking as a tonewood dealer, "there's one born every minute"...
    Bruce
    Orcas island Tonewoods
    Download My CDs here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply and input. I guess the point of my question is this: there will be extra pieces from this wood after I cut out the guitar sets. I can sell the extra wood off to be made into pool cues, pen and pencil sets, music boxes etc... or try and get it used for what I feel is more deserving for a tone wood with its rarity and history. It wouldn't be "wasted" on a uke so much as utilized as much as possible. Even if its figuring can't be totally appreciated on such a small scale, it's tonal properties and history might make an instrument of interest. I need to have some idea of what I can expect to get for that extra wood before I plunk down the cash for the three boards he has for me. I know what I can get for the guitar sets I can get out of it. I've been told by one person what a pool cue builder would give for one piece (I would make a profit). The figuring wouldn't be all apparent in that use either. Any thoughts of what it might be worth or if anyone has done it yet?

  5. #5
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    Apr 2009
    Location
    Fairfield, CA
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    I'm guessing the "VT" stands for Vermont. I would be a little concerned of the winters there and how it might affect the wood. I suggest you send it to me, here in California, just so it will be safe.

    I've seen pics of guitars made of the Tree, and they are beauties. What might you get for it? Whatever you're getting for them now, plus a little, maybe.(for a completed 'uke) I've seen a guitar set recently for $1000. http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/v...hogany#p377879 Good luck, and please don't forget to post some pics.
    Last edited by Steve vanPelt; 10-26-2010 at 11:36 AM.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
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    I've been looking at few sites & images, plus the history of this quilted mahogany tree..and up till now? I have not seen a review saying "it sounds great as a Tonewood" if so it's wasted on stringed musical instruments...Maybe i've been looking in the wrong places?..But it certainly is a nice piece of decorative timber.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default

    I'll try and re-enter the links above, as they don't seem to be working.

    http://www.aomoon.com/go/tonewoods/q..._mahogany.html
    http://www.guitarbench.com/2009/10/0...ature-article/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by two dogs plucking View Post
    I'm guessing the "VT" stands for Vermont. I would be a little concerned of the winters there and how it might affect the wood. I suggest you send it to me, here in California, just so it will be safe.
    Sorry Steve, It’s already acclimated to these New England winters so it’s best if it resides in my Massachusetts shop!

    If you do have a uke made out of the wood, I’d love to check it out.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2010
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    Default

    The link you added suggested a "retail value of $1500" listed for just $1000 and it sold in 4 hours to the first person who saw it at that price. I do know the seller has had the real wood from The Tree so am sure it's authentic. My understanding is that typically the increase in finished guitar price is twice what the luthier pays for the specialty wood in such cases. I'm confident I can get up to $2000 in trade value or cash for the guitar sets I have . My question that no one seems to be addressing is what value such wood has, either retail or wholesale, for UKULELES. I'm going to try and add a picture of the wood that would be for the tops, but don't know if it will work. If not, anyone who can tell me how to put one in?
    Last edited by VT_strummer; 10-27-2010 at 07:22 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    14

    Default here's a picture

    here's a picture (I hope) of the board that will be used for the Uke tops. 4 9/16" wide, 1" thick and will have 12" left after guitar pieces cut out.

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