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SteveS

Types Of Wood Used For Rosewood Ended Ec?

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Posted (edited)

I have a rosewood ended Lachenal New Model EC I'm thinking to start repairing. One end is in pretty good shape - the other however is in a sorry state.

 

It looks like the end has been subject to damp and the laminations have separated - and the outer veneer has split and has come away completely across about 40% of the end. I'm considering making new ends, or at the very least regluing the laminations and replacing the outer veneer with new veneer.

 

But on inspection the wood(s) used in the ends appear to be stained. My main questions are - which types of wood have been used for:

  • the core of the laminations?
  • the outer veneer?

To hazard a guess the inner core looks like beech or mahogany. But any ideas what the outer veneer might be?

 

In the picture it's clear to see that the exposed edge moulding is a different colour to the core wood. It looks like a rosewood stained French polish has been used to finish the ends.

 

The outer veneer doesn't look like rosewood to me - I've attached a pic of the reverse side of the veneer.

 

I'd appreciate your thoughts.

 

post-1950-0-28535300-1525166054_thumb.jpgpost-1950-0-14373400-1525168921_thumb.jpg

Edited by SteveS

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The outer layer looks like Brazilian Rosewood of a quality that hasn't been available for quite some time. One sees it occasionally in old guitars. It is very regular in grain, and doesn't have the black streaks that are now inevitable. These days it's essentially illegal. The inside appears to be mahogany, but I'm not certain of that. If it's not, it might be sycamore, a British version of maple which is quite common and would be good for that job.In the photo I can't really get a fix on what I'm looking at.

 

If I were doing this, I'd strip the rest of the veneer from both sides, glue on some currently-legal flashy wood, and go from there.

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Try a scratch and sniff test. Rosewood gets its name from the rose-like smell from a fresh surface.

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The outer layer looks like Brazilian Rosewood of a quality that hasn't been available for quite some time. One sees it occasionally in old guitars. It is very regular in grain, and doesn't have the black streaks that are now inevitable. These days it's essentially illegal. The inside appears to be mahogany, but I'm not certain of that. If it's not, it might be sycamore, a British version of maple which is quite common and would be good for that job.In the photo I can't really get a fix on what I'm looking at.

 

If I were doing this, I'd strip the rest of the veneer from both sides, glue on some currently-legal flashy wood, and go from there.

The core appears darker than sycamore - and the grain looks like it could be beech.

 

Stripping the veneer from both sides is an option I'm prepared to consider - but as a last resort (trying to have an easy life :rolleyes: ). I've found a source of some rather nice legal Indian rosewood - so I may go with something like that if I have to strip the veneers off both ends. Or maybe some other wood since I'll no longer be restricted to matching the current veneers.

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If you do decide to remove the existing veneer, I would recommend trying to steam it off and keep it as intact as possible for making patch repairs on other antique instruments. Indian rosewood doesn't look quite the same.

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If you do decide to remove the existing veneer, I would recommend trying to steam it off and keep it as intact as possible for making patch repairs on other antique instruments. Indian rosewood doesn't look quite the same.

Good Idea, Alex - I always keep bits of wood like this - it may one day come in handy - especially given the rarity / difficulty in obtaining / price of the wood.

 

I'd thought to use a heat gun with a narrow nozzle to remove the veneers.

How do other repairers here remove veneers?

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If you do decide to remove the existing veneer, I would recommend trying to steam it off and keep it as intact as possible for making patch repairs on other antique instruments. Indian rosewood doesn't look quite the same.

Good Idea, Alex - I always keep bits of wood like this - it may one day come in handy - especially given the rarity / difficulty in obtaining / price of the wood.

 

I'd thought to use a heat gun with a narrow nozzle to remove the veneers.

How do other repairers here remove veneers?

 

Assuming it's animal glue, I put a slightly damp cloth on it for an hour or two, then use a warm clothes iron (an old one dedicated to workshop use!) to heat it up and soften the glue. If I can't easily lift it with my fingernails I re-dampen the cloth and try again later. I don't like using hot air because I worry it might rapidly dry out the surface of the wood and cause it to crack.

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The outer layer looks like Brazilian Rosewood of a quality that hasn't been available for quite some time. One sees it occasionally in old guitars. It is very regular in grain, and doesn't have the black streaks that are now inevitable. These days it's essentially illegal. The inside appears to be mahogany, but I'm not certain of that. If it's not, it might be sycamore, a British version of maple which is quite common and would be good for that job.In the photo I can't really get a fix on what I'm looking at.

 

If I were doing this, I'd strip the rest of the veneer from both sides, glue on some currently-legal flashy wood, and go from there.

The core appears darker than sycamore - and the grain looks like it could be beech.

 

Stripping the veneer from both sides is an option I'm prepared to consider - but as a last resort (trying to have an easy life :rolleyes: ). I've found a source of some rather nice legal Indian rosewood - so I may go with something like that if I have to strip the veneers off both ends. Or maybe some other wood since I'll no longer be restricted to matching the current veneers.

 

 

wood veneer hub are very good. They aren't so far from me so I went to look around, if you get the chance visit their warehouse I would recommend it, they are prepared to show you around and look at different woods. They have some MIND BLOWING woods to look at! As well as some more normal ones.

 

The thing is their premises aren't like a shop per se - just a huge industrial hangar with loads of pallets of veneer - nice to see their website now sells smaller pieces as well though.

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...They have some MIND BLOWING woods to look at! As well as some more normal ones...

 

Apropos nothing at all, it occurs to me that if searching for small quantities of exotic woods, looking at the suppliers of

stuff for the 'pen-turning' hobby might prove fruitful. These guys have some pretty exotic woods in small solid blanks

for making your own pens (a thriving cottage industry, I was surprised to find). Probably kick-in fairly expensive though?

 

Roger

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I've bought veneers from Wood Veneer Hub too. The online store is handy if you're too far away to visit in person. I've also heard that Capital Crispin are very good too.

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Posted (edited)

I've bought veneers from Wood Veneer Hub too. The online store is handy if you're too far away to visit in person. I've also heard that Capital Crispin are very good too.

 

So many nice veneers - hard to select a favourite.

 

I also notice the Capital Crispin offer some veneers in 1.4mm thickness - this is a close to the thickness of the veneers used by concertina makers of old.

 

I know I have some French Walnut Burr veneer some place - might be nice to use that. Coupled with a light blond shellac, should look great.

 

It'll make this New Model look super.

 

 

(As some of you may know I'm a fan of New Model concertinas.)

Edited by SteveS

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Be warned, I worked a lot in the rosewoods at one time, especially Indian rosewood, you need a dust mask, preferably extraction. Some dusts are carcinogenic.

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Looking at the core wood again, my best guess is that it's walnut.

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Looking at the core wood again, my best guess is that it's walnut.

 

That was my first thought too Steve, but it's really difficult to say without having it in your paws. Good luck with the restoration.

 

Adrian

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