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View Full Version : Blue spruce as soundboard.......comments



M3Ukulele
11-11-2016, 08:19 AM
I see Sitka, Engelmann, Andirondac , Red ? Is that the same as Adi?
As well as Lutz, Carpathian , German spruce, Alpine spruce.... These latter ones don't come up that often. What about Blue spruce. I have a soft sport for this tree. I grew up with one at my back door as a kid. Now, closing in on retirement my neighbourhood has plenty of great looking Blue spruce trees. Is it a good choice for soundboard? How would it compare to Sitka if that is the base line? Curious. Anybody built with it in the past?

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-11-2016, 10:04 AM
Only one luthier I know who has built with Blue spruce - Guitar maker Mike Baranik : http://www.baranikguitars.com/

It sounds as good as any other spruce. thing is, it seems impossible to buy. Ive looks and cant find any. Sure you can cut a tree down, but it is usually very knotty (ie lots of low branches). so good luck. if you find any let me know.

Michael N.
11-11-2016, 11:55 AM
Send Simeon Chambers an Email (if he's still in business). I think he's roughly in the area where it grows. He does engelmann. Even if he doesn't process it he might know someone who does. A long shot but you never know.
They had a blue spruce in my local park (just the one). It was pretty large, visually striking. I went through the park one day and it had gone! chopped down, no doubt by the park authorities. It would have been extremely wide grained, completely wrong altitude.

sequoia
11-11-2016, 06:54 PM
When I lived in Wyoming we used to cut these as Christmas trees. Very aromatic. As far as using them in musical instruments I have no idea...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_spruce

Michael N.
11-11-2016, 10:33 PM
That's the one that was in my local park. I'm pretty sure it was planted there around 1975, so it would have been nearly 40 years young when it was removed. Original planting for UK Victorian parks rarely featured conifers, virtually all the trees were deciduous. Many were planted for their decorative features, such as the Horse chestnut. So my Blue Spruce was an import. That kind of thing happened even in the 19 th century. I still have a tiny bit of American Black Walnut that was planted by Queen Victoria in Kew gardens, London. It would have been planted to add to the Kew collection, imported from the US. I bought 15 guitar sets of the stuff, wish I'd had the money to buy the whole lot, which would have been hundreds of sets probably. Great colour for ABW, not at all like the usual stuff we see.
I digress.

M3Ukulele
11-12-2016, 04:17 PM
Seems to me that blue spruce trees have to be ptreyy old to get big enough so main trunk can be cut and be big enough to avoid all the knots from branches. The Blue Spruce seems to have lots of branches down close to ground level. It's likely that the wood is hard to find as Beau said. I can always keep looking but I've never seen any sets advertised in any the the wood suppliers.

gabefranco
11-13-2016, 10:18 AM
I got a blue spruce guitar top and a couple blue spruce ukulele tops from Simeon a couple years ago. Still have yet to use them, but they seem just as good as any spruce I've ever worked with.

He's going out of business soon though and I am unsure if he would have any blue spruce left.

Michael N.
11-13-2016, 10:14 PM
I've never bought from Simeon but it is a pity he is going out of business. He seems to be one of the few who measures wood properties rather than this silly over reliance on visual aspects. The bit that can possibly effect tone is density but that's rarely ever brought into the equation when it comes to selling spruce, it's more about grain count and colour - which has zero effect.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-14-2016, 06:20 AM
I've never bought from Simeon but it is a pity he is going out of business. He seems to be one of the few who measures wood properties rather than this silly over reliance on visual aspects. The bit that can possibly effect tone is density but that's rarely ever brought into the equation when it comes to selling spruce, it's more about grain count and colour - which has zero effect.

Sadly, he probably would have done more biz if he used the term 5AAAAA more....