Hand Tools


David Weaver
is there an organized market for catalpa?

Last week, I took apart the pallet that horizon sent with years-ago beech. I couldn't figure out what the wood was for the slats, but it is quartered, quite nice and the only issue with it is it's a half width pallet (so the little quartered 5/4 slats that are on it are too short to do anything other than make boxes).

To my surprise, it was really aromatic, just under 0.5 specific gravity and some of the pieces are surprisingly resonant.

It's catalpa. I knew I'd seen the grain before, but couldn't remember where. Now I know - I've seen it in stained guitar bodies that are passed off as "swamp ash".

This is, I guess, a two prong question as I've not seen it stocked anywhere that I've been, #1, and #2, if it's only stocked flatsawn, it wouldn't amount to anything for me as I'd be looking for 8/4 QS to make a solid body guitar. That may be a gamble as there are definitely woods that vary a whole lot in resonance (Even the slats that I have vary a whole bunch - some are awfully close to a note, resonance and noise that you'd get from mahogany and others higher pitched and not very open).

It's kind of ugly flatsawn, but quite nice looking (between spruce and white oak without flecking) quartersawn.

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