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Thread: Whatever Happened to Birdseye Maple?

  1. #1
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    Default Whatever Happened to Birdseye Maple?

    It used to be, about half a lifetime ago, that “The” mandolin or fiddle to have was one in solid “birdseye” Maple. I haven’t heard a peep nor seen a photo of a mandolin or fiddle made with birdseye Outside of a few cheap Chinese laminates on a certain on line site. Was this just a fad twenty five years ago or has the supply, which has always been scarce, finally been used up? Or is it something else?
    There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't.

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  2. #2
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Whatever Happened to Birdseye Maple?

    I do not where you get your information from but birdseye maple is way down on the list for fiddles. Because of the tiny knots and the thinness of violin sides and difficulty of carving to violin specs, that wood is not widely used. You can see mandolins, esp from makers like Collings, using birdseye maple coming up for sale on a regular basis.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  3. #3
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whatever Happened to Birdseye Maple?

    You haven’t been paying attention. Collings, birdseye with Italian spruce.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Whatever Happened to Birdseye Maple?

    I have a stockpile of birds eye that I have been looking at for 10 years.. Break down and make me some backs and nrcks...
    kterry

  6. #5

    Default Re: Whatever Happened to Birdseye Maple?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    I do not where you get your information from but birdseye maple is way down on the list for fiddles. Because of the tiny knots and the thinness of violin sides and difficulty of carving to violin specs, that wood is not widely used. You can see mandolins, esp from makers like Collings, using birdseye maple coming up for sale on a regular basis.
    Randy Eller, who works alongside Wayne Henderson at Wayne's luthery school, has made some fiddles using birdseye. I think builders either like it or avoid it. If it is not seasoned long enough and under the right conditions, my understanding is that it can be "unpredictable."
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Whatever Happened to Birdseye Maple?

    If this needs any explanation please ask!

    THREE HA'PENCE A FOOT

    by
    Marriott Edgar

    I'll tell you an old-fashioned story
    That Grandfather used to relate,
    Of a joiner and building contractor;
    'Is name, it were Sam Oglethwaite.

    In a shop on the banks of the Irwell,
    Old Sam used to follow 'is trade,
    In a place you'll have 'eard of, called Bury;
    You know, where black puddings is made.

    One day, Sam were filling a knot 'ole
    Wi' putty, when in thro' the door
    Came an old feller fair wreathed wi' whiskers;
    T'ould chap said 'Good morning, I'm Noah.'

    Sam asked Noah what was 'is business,
    And t'ould chap went on to remark,
    That not liking the look of the weather,
    'E were thinking of building an Ark.

    'E'd gotten the wood for the bulwarks,
    And all t'other shipbuilding junk,
    And wanted some nice Bird's Eye Maple
    To panel the side of 'is bunk.

    Now Maple were Sam's Monopoly;
    That means it were all 'is to cut,
    And nobody else 'adn't got none;
    So 'e asked Noah three ha'pence a foot.

    'A ha'penny too much,' replied Noah
    'A Penny a foot's more the mark;
    A penny a foot, and when t'rain comes,
    I'll give you a ride in me Ark.'

    But neither would budge in the bargain;
    The whole daft thing were kind of a jam,
    So Sam put 'is tongue out at Noah,
    And Noah made Long Bacon* at Sam

    In wrath and ill-feeling they parted,
    Not knowing when they'd meet again,
    And Sam had forgot all about it,
    'Til one day it started to rain.

    It rained and it rained for a fortni't,
    And flooded the 'ole countryside.
    It rained and it kept' on raining,
    'Til the Irwell were fifty mile wide.

    The 'ouses were soon under water,
    And folks to the roof 'ad to climb.
    They said 'twas the rottenest summer
    That Bury 'ad 'ad for some time.

    The rain showed no sign of abating,
    And water rose hour by hour,
    'Til the only dry land were at Blackpool,
    And that were on top of the Tower.

    So Sam started swimming to Blackpool;
    It took 'im best part of a week.
    'Is clothes were wet through when 'e got there,
    And 'is boots were beginning to leak.

    'E stood to 'is watch-chain in water,
    On Tower top, just before dark,
    When who should come sailing towards 'im
    But old Noah, steering 'is Ark.

    They stared at each other in silence,
    'Til Ark were alongside, all but,
    Then Noah said: 'What price yer Maple?'
    Sam answered 'Three ha'pence a foot.'

    Noah said 'Nay; I'll make thee an offer,
    The same as I did t'other day.
    A penny a foot and a free ride.
    Now, come on, lad, what does tha say?'

    'Three ha'pence a foot,' came the answer.
    So Noah 'is sail 'ad to hoist,
    And sailed off again in a dudgeon,
    While Sam stood determined, but moist.

    Noah cruised around, flying 'is pigeons,
    'Til fortieth day of the wet,
    And on 'is way back, passing Blackpool,
    'E saw old Sam standing there yet.

    'Is chin just stuck out of the water;
    A comical figure 'e cut,
    Noah said: 'Now what's the price of yer Maple?'
    Sam answered, 'Three ha'pence a foot.'

    Said Noah: 'Ye'd best take my offer;
    It's last time I'll be hereabout;
    And if water comes half an inch higher,
    I'll happen get Maple for nowt.'

    'Three ha'pence a foot it'll cost yer,
    And as fer me,' Sam said, 'don't fret.
    The sky's took a turn since this morning;
    I think it'll brighten up yet.'

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  9. #7

    Default Re: Whatever Happened to Birdseye Maple?

    There's a killer Birdseye Maple Gibson F9 at The Acoustic Shoppe right now. They're definitely still around.

  10. #8

    Default Re: Whatever Happened to Birdseye Maple?

    Birdseye worked great on this custom Martin size 0 guitar I had made when I retired.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Roger

    1920 Martin Style A
    Don MacRostie designed Stuart MacDonald A-style kit I built myself.
    2022 Kentucky KM-1000B
    Plus guitars - lots of guitars
    And one banjo

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