What plane to plane rosewood?

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raffo

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Dear God, I have a pile of Victorian 1860 Mahogany/ Rosewood (from an old bank) the countertops are probably not that valuable but the frames from around the panels are 1 1/4” x 4“ and 4 ft long, I think it’s Rosewood, I could be sitting on a veritable goldmine! And I saved it from the bonfire!
Lucky you, you have both mahogany and rosewood salvaged timber? What are the counter tops made of? Your mahogany is likely Honduran or even Cuban. Pictures?
 

D_W

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Dear God, I have a pile of Victorian 1860 Mahogany/ Rosewood (from an old bank) the countertops are probably not that valuable but the frames from around the panels are 1 1/4” x 4“ and 4 ft long, I think it’s Rosewood, I could be sitting on a veritable goldmine! And I saved it from the bonfire!

Post some sample pictures and see what it is. If it's Brazilian rosewood and quartered, you can get the moon for fingerboard blanks.

Smaller mahogany doesn't have the same draw as clean defect free rosewood.
 

Cabinetman

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Even if it were veneer, it could be suitable for some who make instruments
using laminated or double sides!
Wouldn't even need to resaw it, and likely hide glue which probably be used anyway.
Other stuff like head plates or even bindings too.
Eager myself to find something of the sort someday, plenty of other species got by similar means but not rosewood yet.

Picture grabbed from google.
Wilson Burnham Guitars: Laminating Classical Guitar Sides 1772 × 1772
No, definitely solid wood! Will be having to do something with it in the next year as I will be closing down the workshop for my move to the States, probably put it on here I suppose. The two worktops which are in 8 foot lengths and about 3 foot six wide are made up of planks with a tongue, Not sure of the timber but at a guess Iroko – did they have a Irko in 1860?
DW you mentioned silica well the rosewood has it in spades! I used a little stain on it which seem to cover the white dots. Ian
It’s not letting me add photos at the mo will try again in the morning.
 

Cabinetman

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EFBEE079-5A4D-49E8-8CB6-DAE23C85676D.jpeg
C8CF9960-2E22-4E1C-891D-C25D8A177779.jpeg
 

Orraloon

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But did you know that the Romans used urine in the hardening of high carbon steel ?
" Theophilus, was adamant that the best quenching liquid is "the urine of a red-haired boy". "
Quenching that way should get a great result but if things go wrong the the blade will be p!$$ poor. ;)
Regards
John
 

D_W

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I actually can't tell what that is for sure. If it's rosewood of something similar to indian, it should dent beech without taking any damage, and the density should be somewhere (old and dry) around .8 that of water. But not sure on the pore pattern. My large billet of rosewood has some of that white chalky stuff in it - not sure if it's silica, but on the planing of the billet above, it's not the same as the stuff in the second picture (which is little balls and destroys any iron that hasn't had the edge geometry modified - causing most people to run toward HSS irons or something thinking the steel type lasts longer, but they're just getting a harder iron that takes smaller dents and still eventually fails).

If you get little lines in work, adding a back bevel (for people who like physical punishment) or buffing the tip of the iron a little on both sides will stop damage from silica.

That shaving sitting behind the wood does remind me of rosewood - it could just be that it's oxidized to the point that the color is very uniform.
 

Cabinetman

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Well this planes ok, will try bashing beech and this together, I will dig out my wood identifier book next time I go to the workshop – after Christmas now.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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I've still got a good few chunks of timber I meant to use for guitars but never had the courage to cut - including a bit of macassar ebony big enough to make a solid Fender-style neck. Given how regularly I explode bits of maple it'd be a shame to do the same to that.
 

D_W

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Yes, no rush. clean slice of the end grain and magnification will help.

I don't know that much about what's in exotics other than silica, so the white lines (the chalky stuff, same as you show) is the first time I've seen it, but I have it, too. If it's silica in smaller bits, it doesn't seem to affect the edge of the iron too much. If I had the silica balls, the picture of the iron in this thread would've had a huge ding from one of those taking up a third of the picture width.

(actually, I have a picture of this stored - the iron in this case was V11 - dents from silica balls on the left at half the magnification (so they'd be twice as big in the prior picture in this thread). These same "balls" appear in rosewood, cocobolo, mahogany, limba - sometimes none of it, sometimes lots. Even lowly foam soft limba can destroy irons.
Unicorn Planing.jpg
 

D_W

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I've still got a good few chunks of timber I meant to use for guitars but never had the courage to cut - including a bit of macassar ebony big enough to make a solid Fender-style neck. Given how regularly I explode bits of maple it'd be a shame to do the same to that.

I can't motivate people to do things sometimes, but a very safe way to make a neck is to think about every step, mark it out from a template and make it entirely by hand other than drilling the holes for tuning machines, and don't be afraid to leave those a little loose - you can always shim them tight and glue them on your own necks, and that beats the hell out of splitting a peghead of something rare.

One thing you figure out about nice guitar woods is they're forgiving of things like gromets, but switch over to exotics that have no give and suddenly that's gone - everything has to be super close fit to not split wood when inserting the tuning machine gromets.

But I've never ruined anything completely working by hand save two pieces of cabinet sticking that were an inch short. The Tycoons will make fun of you for making a guitar body or neck by hand, but they probably make a neck with machines slower than I do by hand and there is no machine slipping or chipping out a chunk of odd grain orientation.



You sort of get your money's worth with the wood, too - you can feel everything in the wood and know a lot more about it than you would just bandsawing and then template and slot routing and going "oh, now I have a few things to fix".

If you have another neck of a similar type in front of you to take measurements off of, you can rough profile to depth (like on the back of the neck) then do a little refinement, feel, and so on. It takes little time and the neck will feel as good as you're capable of feeling what it should be (vs. getting a commercial production guitar and finding a spot or two on the neck profile that you can feel but shouldn't).

I cut the truss rod mortise by hand, too (with a chisel ground to match the truss rod width, and then a router plane to clean the bottom of the mortise) - everything stays "in front of you" while you're doing it, vs. doing a bunch of work with something nice and assessing what went wrong later.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Ta. Will have a proper read through. I'm predominantly a CAD and CNC maker - I have and can (mostly) work hand tools though.

My other inclination is to resaw it for fretboards - it'd make four, versus just one solid neck.

Anyways, sorry for the diversion. I don't generally comment on your threads because the metallurgy bits are interesting, but well advanced of me, so I'm not sure I can add anything.
 

D_W

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I think the metal talks sound complicated, but as dippy as it sounds, I try to experiment to get good results with steel without learning any more than needed (and in a hand way - so no complicated steels or electronic furnace cycles).

Sometimes communicating basic things makes them sound complicated, though (like the comment about people going up the ladder in high wear alloys to solve issues that are really solved by hardness and creating old wives tales in the process).

As far as the maker on the guitars, I've never used a CNC, so I could be all wet (a good CNC should from my understanding get you really close to minor final shaping and so on - and some makers now - like gibson, rely a little too much on trying to specialize them to remove hand work and neck profiles feel terrible vs. the old method of roughing the neck and paying a guy just for a couple of minutes to shape the neck on a specialized belt sander). But if I though I had the time to learn to use a CNC (people talk about hand tools taking a while to master, but using a CNC and such is no shallow learning curve to get results - same with machine tools - the guy who really encouraged me to try to make nice things constantly says "you need to get a mill" (which he uses on both wood and metal like someone would use a CNC). It takes time to learn to do things, and I went the hand route - it's safe and pleasant and you can get fast at it, but without creating a gimmick, it would be a hard living (as in, if you thumped the ground hard and manage to get a famous guitar player to talk up your wares, you may be able to make something like a fender style guitar for $3k entirely by hand and you could make on a week and do OK).

I'm not interested in that, though - my comments on CNC are experience with Gibson's wares in that they neglect some feel things and some of the bodies appear to have been improperly secured in a CNC and then the posts on them are drilled in the wrong place and the guitars don't intonate. And then some of the same run do. A very simple mistake that ruins the whole guitar. When you do it by hand, you may do each good one less accurately, but it takes care to draw centerlines and take measurements so you see all of it a lot more time and check more.
 

Oakay

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But did you know that the Romans used urine in the hardening of high carbon steel ?
" Theophilus, was adamant that the best quenching liquid is "the urine of a red-haired boy". "
Only because it was readily available when clean water was more costly. Did you know that soldiers used urine to soften stiff boots?
 

D_W

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Some may not follow this here, but I got a couple of cocobolo billets in the mail yesterday from a guy who had been sitting on them a quarter century (that's easy to follow). I planed one today to plane off the sawmarks (cocobolo is easy planing on the quartered side, but not on the flatsawn side - it's high density, soft between the latewood rings on the quartered face - relatively - and over 3k hardness on the rings). Density is about the same as water or a little heavier.

The billets are quartered so the 8/4 edges are flatsawn.

That gave me another chance to take a picture of the edge of the mex stanley iron, and to my surprise...carbides. Not sure what type, could be anything.
cocobolo edge 300x.jpg


The little dots are carbides. I believe they're round, but protect the steel matrix behind them until they're broken (carbides are fragile and stand up to a beating for a little while, but eventually get cracked, pulverize and leave. I used to thing they would get pulled out, and sometimes I think they do, but not in good steel (there's no voids in the pictures, and the guy who takes edge pictures with an SEM has pictures of the carbides cracking while steel is being sharpened or used).

Too many carbides, and the fine edge of steel isn't that durable (the crack always originates in the carbide and then goes through to the matrix. If the matrix (the "rest of the steel") isn't that thick, it just breaks out.

I modified this iron with a slight roundover with a buff/stropping before using it to prevent the silica particles in the cocobolo (and there are a lot in these two pieces) from bashing the edge. Edge failure is interesting - a small modification of the edge can prevent a much larger failure in size - it seems that failure starts in good steel just at the tip of the apex and then progresses, but if the attack is thwarted so to speak, then nothing happens.

This is extremely high visual magnification, so the worn edge shown is actually in pretty good shape.

What does it look like (this edge had two nicks in it from silica - without slight modification, it would've been battered within 50 feet of planing with dozens of these. This is after something like 400 feet of planing. Nonetheless, one or two will get through unless the modification is significant (which limits clearance).

damage spot 1.jpg


There's another spot about half as bad as this.

What does it mean for sharpening? the depth of this thing is about 2 thousandths. the width is closer to 5 thousandths in total. It leaves a dull line on work.

In order to remove this kind of damage, you have to sharpen at least to the bottom of this pit - I'd guess most people sharpen half as much or less (so more or less, if working nasty wood like this, protect the edge with a little modification and then hone a bigger burr, and done).

It took 70 seconds to hone all of this out and re-strop the edge - this is the benefit of using an easy-honing iron that's not full of wear resistant bits. Compare the carbides to the size of the damage - wear resistance doesn't do much to make an iron last longer in trouble wood. It's an old wives tale, but those wear resistant irons are often hard and not tough, which has two benefits - the dents don't get in harder material as far, and then when they do, the edge lets go of the damage instead of holding a foil.

Better than HSS or something like that, though, is an iron that's reasonably hard (doesn't have to be that hard) like this one and a little geometric modification, and then just hone out the damage. Standing over the stones two or three times as long to work all of this out is a pain with a supposedly superior iron.
 

D_W

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Maybe a point about what I've seen - no need to decipher this, it's just a statement. When you have a dozen or so of the dings like shown above, even though they're not that big, you'll be able to feel the damage and if they're near each other, the plane will behave like it's dull before it is those bits will actually keep the plane from entering a cut.

That's what sucks about them.

That's what also sucks about the high wear-resistance irons getting them is that they will keep them from cutting just as fast. They can happen in a hurry if you do the old "a sharp edge is two planes intersecting"
 

D_W

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Ipe should have very small pores (diffuse and very even) - its density is close to that of gombeira, hardness similar, too.

Interestingly, I never hear of anyone turning ipe here, but wamara and gombeira are sold as turning stock. Ipe is sold mostly for higher cost deck building (probably not a treat for the deck crews to handle - woods like gombeira and wamara hold their edge profile really well due to density and hardness and are easy to get cut on after they're dimensioned).

(katalox is probably more common than everything other than ipe above and the same family of wood as wamara and gombeira- makes for very loud musical chisel handles - all of them have small pores, but very very small).
 

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