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Advice needed on Japanese woods/equivalents in the UK

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m4347

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Hello,

Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask but I'm hoping I can get some advice on either where in the UK I could purchase some cut to size / planned all around cuts of Hinoki / Japanese cypress wood, laminated bamboo boards, or Japanese cherry wood. Or what would be some equivalent woods with a similar effect/grain and properties, which I could find in the UK (again any recommendations where to buy from would be great).

I've been searching for those types of wood online in the UK but am really struggling to find anywhere. The reason for those woods is that I want to make some Naruko (a small Japanese festival clapper instrument), and after researching them it seems those are the three wood types which good ones are usually made of, as the woods look good aesthetically either when painted or clear varnished (would probably do the latter), they have a good tone acoustically when the wood claps together, and they are strong enough for regular use. I've also seen some made out of what I think is a type of plywood, and you can defieintly feel and hear how inferior those are in build and sound to the proper woods.

Looking UK wood/timber stores online that do small cuts (each naruko is 1cm thick, 8cm wide, 21cm long, and to start with I just want to try making a few so some small planks/sheets to do a few pairs are all I need initially), all I can find are woods like Beech, American cherry etc, but I don't know which, if any of them would be good alternatives. Places like Woodshop Direct etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. (also I am aware I could just import some of these pre-made from Japan more easily, but I'd just like to try and have a go at making some myself for my own reasons)
 

Benchwayze

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If you really need Japanese Oak to practice Japanese woodwork techniques try:

https://www.sykestimber.co.uk/timber/japanese-oak.html

Check out the site of course , but try phoning them. They actually understand timber and woodworkers and I've always found them happy to discuss what you want the timber for. Also they will discuss smaller orders than a container load. They sort it, but I've never been disappointed with them. They deliver free, but that might depend on location, and it might also depend on where you are in the Smoke.

For softwood I generally shop near home for run of the mill softwoods. When I want to make something special and for furniture I use Sykes almost exclusively. And I've been doing so since the mid 1960s.

John (hammer)
 

AndyT

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Timberline are often recommended by members here. They do understand acoustic differences between woods for guitar making and sell small amounts. Could be worth a phone call.

http://www.exotichardwoods.co.uk
 

woodbloke66

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m4347":2jya14ra said:
Hello,

get some advice on either where in the UK I could purchase some cut to size / planned all around cuts of Hinoki / Japanese cypress wood, laminated bamboo boards, or Japanese cherry wood. Or what would be some equivalent woods with a similar effect/grain and properties, which I could find in the UK (again any recommendations where to buy from would be great).
Japanese timbers are not so very different to those found in the UK and other temperate climates. Hinoki I'm not sure about, but there's plenty of cypress around and Japanese cherry is an almost identical species to the variety found in the US and easily obtainable in the UK. Japanese Elm (zelkova) is similar to ours as is Japenese Oak. I have some blocks of Japanese Cedar (Yakusugi) which is around a thousand years old ....

IMG_0908.jpg


...from the island of Yakushima. The yen price is shown on one small bit which is around 12mm thick. The brick size piece to the left was considerably more - Rob
 

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