View Full Version : Leadwood end pins...

Pete Howlett
12-21-2017, 12:11 PM
I am in conversation with the good folks at Gurian to produce end pins in Leadwood. This is a non- CITES tropical hardwood from Tanzania that I use for fingerboards and bridges. It ranges in colour from deep brown (similar to old Rio Rosewood) to almost ebony black, has curl and figure and is a great substitute for rosewood or ebony. It is not endangered and is legally logged mostly for the bagpipe and related wind instrument industries.

Gurian will only process 3 gross minimum - that's 432! I can front the cost of this project but as I only need half that quantity, may need some help moving them so any takers would be most welcome.

12-24-2017, 08:42 AM
Is Leadwood true to it's name? How hard is it to work for fretboards and bridges?

Pete Howlett
12-24-2017, 11:07 AM
Leadwood = heavy. Good workability, just like ebony. Wants a sample fb?

12-24-2017, 07:01 PM
Leadwood = heavy. Good workability, just like ebony. Wants a sample fb?

Leadwood = Combretum imberbe from South Africa and Tanzania. A very hard wood (3,700 Janka) harder even than the hardest ebonies (Dalbergia sp.). Eats tools. Said to turn perfectly and thus perfect for pins and bridges. Crushing strength about 9,950 lbf/in2 which is some hard ass wood. Attractive too. Reddish brown with nice sapwood streaking. Darkens with age. Available and not threatened but availability can be limited and costs fairly high.


Pete Howlett
12-24-2017, 10:33 PM
A fingerboard costs me $4... color like any dark tropical hardwood is from brown to black. I have excellent availability from a bagpipe wood supplier here in the UK - one of the benefits of being closer to Africa than you guys in the US! It takes a very hard edge and yes, like all dense hardwoods is tough on tools but whose hand planning 100 fingerboard here? Most of you guys you the belt linisher for this stuff anyway. I have a massive one which grinds down a flat face in about 30seconds. I then use a large resew to split the billet into 6.3mm slices. Between each cut, the remainder is sent through a thickness planer. All in all it is a no brainer for me who needs to be able to have non- CITES wood instruments.