What's happening in your shed?

sequoia

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Actually Australian blackwood and Hawaiian Koa are very closely related woods. So close as to be almost the same. Acacia melanoxylon versus Acacia koa. is only a species difference and in many ways they are the same tree and thus the same wood. Unfortunately neither grow where I live. Darn.
 

Allen

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Actually Australian blackwood and Hawaiian Koa are very closely related woods. So close as to be almost the same. Acacia melanoxylon versus Acacia koa. is only a species difference and in many ways they are the same tree and thus the same wood. Unfortunately neither grow where I live. Darn.

I have lots of both Koa and Australian Blackwood on my shelves, and I have to keep them seperated because it would be easy to mix up the sets I have. However Koa in this type of figure is so rediculously expensive, while I can get this grade of Blackwood for a fraction of the cost.
 

Ken Franklin

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Actually Australian blackwood and Hawaiian Koa are very closely related woods. So close as to be almost the same. Acacia melanoxylon versus Acacia koa. is only a species difference and in many ways they are the same tree and thus the same wood. Unfortunately neither grow where I live. Darn.
I have some Acacia Melanoxylon from San Francisco. I would think it might grow near you too.
 

Beau Hannam Ukuleles

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Tassy blackwood and Koa are effectively the same- smell the same, bend the same, sound the same etc.

In regard to figure/flame, I do think the BEST koa looks better than the best Tassy blackwood- at least the best sets that ive seen, but its really close.
 

Allen

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Vacuum stabalizing some burl with a clear heat cure resin.

Vaccum Stablizing Burl1.jpg
 

Allen

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Arm rest and sound port on a long neck baritone. Now onto wet sanding and buffing.

Arm Bevel and Sound Port1.jpg
 

Michael Smith

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Actually Australian blackwood and Hawaiian Koa are very closely related woods. So close as to be almost the same. Acacia melanoxylon versus Acacia koa. is only a species difference and in many ways they are the same tree and thus the same wood. Unfortunately neither grow where I live. Darn.

I'll bet I can find a stand within 20 miles of your house. The tree grows all over the place here in Sonoma County and the rest of SF Bay Area. Not native but spreads freely here on California's West Coast. Once you learn to distiguish it's uniquely colored leaves you will see it everywhere. It's refered to as Black Acacia in these parts.
 
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sequoia

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I'll bet I can find a stand within 20 miles of your house. The tree grows all over the place here in Sonoma County and the rest of SF Bay Area. Not native but spreads freely here on California's West Coast. Once you learn to distiguish it's uniquely colored leaves you will see it everywhere. It's refered to as Black Acacia in these parts.

I'll be goddamned if you are not right Michael. Not only are they around here but there is a little grove of them just up the road from my house that can be measured in hundreds of yards! I knew they were Australian acacias but never made the connection. They are in full bloom at the moment and covered in yellow blooms. Big trees they are too at about 75 feet. I never realized! Now getting some wood, that is another question but I'm going to be hoping for a wind storm. Thanks for the heads up.
 

Michael Smith

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I'll be goddamned if you are not right Michael. Not only are they around here but there is a little grove of them just up the road from my house that can be measured in hundreds of yards! I knew they were Australian acacias but never made the connection. They are in full bloom at the moment and covered in yellow blooms. Big trees they are too at about 75 feet. I never realized! Now getting some wood, that is another question but I'm going to be hoping for a wind storm. Thanks for the heads up.

That's not the black acacia, the ones with yellow flowers are silver acacia or what them folks down under call silver wattle. It's good wood too and works like koa. Tends to be honey colored. Ive builtt instruments from it. Often has nice spalting on downed trees. The black acacia are larger and have a very rough gnarly bark. You really can't see their blooms as blooms are greenish. Leaves are almost a florescent green that looks almost unatural among our west coast native trees.
 
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sequoia

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Thanks Michael. I'm going to go out there in the next couple of days and identify the things. I had visions of Acacia koa growing right next to my property. Dream on uke boy, dream on. I'll start a new thread which might be of interest to northern Californian's once I definitively identify them. I've looked at Aacia dealbata (silver acacia) and my trees look a little different. We shall see.
 

saltytri

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Thanks Michael. I'm going to go out there in the next couple of days and identify the things. I had visions of Acacia koa growing right next to my property. Dream on uke boy, dream on. I'll start a new thread which might be of interest to northern Californian's once I definitively identify them. I've looked at Aacia dealbata (silver acacia) and my trees look a little different. We shall see.

I hope none of your neighbors read this forum. If so, they're going to know who to go after when the local acacia trees start turning into stumps in the middle of the night. ;)
 

Allen

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There is a very noticable difference in Blackwood that comes from the two main commercial sources in Australia. Color, figure and density. When you have enough of it pass through your hands it's easy to pick where each was sourced. Would be interesting to see how much difference there is in the California grown trees.
 

jupiteruke

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The latest four

Comment on the California acacia discussion - get a chain saw and keep your eyes open. For most of what I build these days the back and sides started with me and a chain saw, along with fingerboard and bridge material. Bold items below started with me and a chain saw.

The latest four, from left to right:
Kasha tenor - Port Orford Cedar top, sycamore back & sides, koa binding, radiused Florida black olive fingerboard & bridge, koa headplate, side sound port.

Kasha tenor -recycled redwood top, black walnut back & sides, sycamore binding, radiused casuarina fingerboard, bridge & headplate, side sound port.

Tenor - recycled redwood top, ambrosia curly silver maple back & sides, ancient bog oak binding, radiused Richlite fingerboard, ebony bridge & headplate, side sound port.

Tenor - Pennsylvania red cedar top, curly ash back & sides, east indian rosewood binding, radiused bocote fingerboard, bridge & headplate, side sound port.
 

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Michael Smith

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There is a very noticable difference in Blackwood that comes from the two main commercial sources in Australia. Color, figure and density. When you have enough of it pass through your hands it's easy to pick where each was sourced. Would be interesting to see how much difference there is in the California grown trees.

I have found the black acacia to come in all kinds of colors here in the SF Bay Area. I have some that you can't distinguish from koa and some that grew close to the beach in Santa Cruz, CA that is red and doesn't resemble any koa I have ever seen, I was thinking maybe the salt in the air had something to do with the redish color. I scavanged one tree that was almost white throughout. A good way to get wood is buy a couple six packs of beer when you see a private tree service working go up to them all excited with your beer and ukulele in hand and give them a few cards and play them a tune and ask them to call you when they are taking down a tree of the species you want. Also set up an alert on your local craigs list in the free section for firewood. I have gotten more black acacia, sycimore, walnut and myrtle that I will ever be able to use this way.
 

sequoia

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Speaking of not getting enough koa, I've accumulated some nice Honduran mahogany which I have't used because it wasn't very highly figured. So not having anything around I put together this mahogany sides and back. I love mahogany. I forgot what a pleasure it is to work with. Pictures below of sides with a simple wedge end graft. It might not look highly figured in the end but it will sound good. I hope.

DSCN8048.jpg DSCN8050.jpg
 

Timbuck

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Nowt wrong! with Honduran I love the colour...My First batch of sopranos this year will be made of it. ...Maybe starting at the end of this February ?? if I'm still moving about :)