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View Full Version : Empress Tree (Paulownia) anyone use it?



rayan
05-12-2009, 09:43 AM
My uncle is starting to grow Empress Trees on his farm here on Kauai. It is a softer hardwoord that dries without warping. They mainly use it in China to create furniture. I guess they also make some kind of instrument with it.

http://www.paulowniawood.com/uses.htm

I've seen on some guitar maker forums that some people have experimented making a guitar with paulownia and comment it has a nice tone but lacks sustain.

Ahnko Honu
05-12-2009, 09:56 AM
WAY back hanabata daze when my dad used to make fishing nets we'd use Paulownia wood for the floats of lay-nets, very fast growing and light weight. I know, totally irrelevant to the discussion but just thought I'd share since a had a 40+ year old flashback when I saw Paulownia, miss my dad a bunch.

koalohapaul
05-12-2009, 10:10 PM
I actually have some, given to me by my uncle. I haven't used it yet, but I did take a good look at it, before storing it in one of my piles of stuff. Like Ahnko Honu mentioned, it is very soft. I think they make Chinese instruments from it as well, but I don't know the names. The Japanese equivalents would be the koto and shamisen.

Given what I know of the wood and what I can actively observe, I think a full build could be done. BUT, I would most likely use it for a top, and match something harder for the sides and back. Kind of like a spruce top build, but with paulownia instead.

It has to be at least decent. It's got my name in the name. :p

bbycrts
05-13-2009, 07:26 AM
I actually have some, given to me by my uncle. I haven't used it yet, but I did take a good look at it, before storing it in one of my piles of stuff. Like Ahnko Honu mentioned, it is very soft. I think they make Chinese instruments from it as well, but I don't know the names. The Japanese equivalents would be the koto and shamisen.

Given what I know of the wood and what I can actively observe, I think a full build could be done. BUT, I would most likely use it for a top, and match something harder for the sides and back. Kind of like a spruce top build, but with paulownia instead.

It has to be at least decent. It's got my name in the name. :p

Hey Paul - maybe you should give it a try and send the sample to Rayan for testing???

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-13-2009, 07:55 AM
Stiffness is equally important (or more so) than weight or density. How many years we gotta wait for these trees to grow to find out?