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sequoia
01-25-2015, 03:57 PM
For some reason I don't completely understand, I want my next build to have a myrtle top. I think I'm getting tired of my recent redwood tops with its super, super straight grain. I know nothing about myrtle other than around here it is called pepper wood or "poor mans hardwood" for firewood. I know it used to dull my chainsaw and it took forever to season. Very wet.

How is its workability? Is it considered a hardwood or softwood for lutherie purposes? Do I aim for thin (~70) like a hardwood or treat it like a softwood and go thick (~90) or something in between for a tenor top? Any nasty habits? Thanks for any observations.

Michael Smith
01-25-2015, 08:37 PM
Like many woods different trees and pieces can vary. The density is usually about the same as many walnuts. It is a hardwood. Keep in mind the distinction between hardwood and soft wood have nothing to do with density and stiffness. Hardwood and softwood are categorized by the way the tree reproduces. Balsa one of the lightest and softest woods is a hardwood. Certain softwoods are so dense they will sink in water. I find myrtle very easy to work and bend. Top thickness depends on too many factors for me to feel comfortable venturing a guess.

sequoia
01-26-2015, 06:08 AM
Keep in mind the distinction between hardwood and soft wood have nothing to do with density and stiffness. Hardwood and softwood are categorized by the way the tree reproduces.

Hmmm... I hadn't really thought about like that. Anyway, thanks. I guess I'll just thickness it until I chicken out.

bluesuke
01-26-2015, 07:17 AM
2.0 to 1.7 mm would be fine. We use Myrtle all the time