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Thread: Thermalwood

  1. #1
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Thermalwood

    I just learned about this product out of Canada...

    https://thermalwoodcanada.com/music-components/

    And this guy gives it a review...



    His testing as a fingerboard starts at 8:46
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  3. #2
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    I wonder if they're the source for the "midnight maple" fingerboards that Deering uses on their "artisan" series budget banjos.

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    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    American persimmon is a native North American species in the same genus as ebony, with a slightly lower Janka hardness. I would think if it could be successfully "ebonized" it would make a more sustainable (and possibly a closer) substitute.
    Clark Beavans

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    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    Hi,

    Yes, Twoodfrd ( Ted Woodford ), the Canadian luthier and repair man, on YouTube tested them on his channel a few weeks ago and said he was impressed. Great channel if youíre interested in guitar ( and occasionally mandolin) repair. He posts most Sundays and I always watch, although Iíve never played guitar. I just find it interesting.

    Regards,

  7. #5

    Default Re: Thermalwood

    Quote Originally Posted by tree View Post
    American persimmon is a native North American species in the same genus as ebony, with a slightly lower Janka hardness. I would think if it could be successfully "ebonized" it would make a more sustainable (and possibly a closer) substitute.
    Several years ago Tom Thiel developed a chemical process to blacken persimmon all the way through and it was beautiful. The problem was the chemical bath only worked for one use, making the cost prohibitive. I have used persimmon for guitar fingerboards in it's natural state, it works and wears very well. Just have to get used to the color. I'm sure it could be "ebonized" with stains, but I've grown to like it the way it is.

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  9. #6
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    You can find sections of persimmon heartwood that is black and large enough to use for mandolin parts. I have a bunch of it here as well as the mottled mixed black color.
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    I have "ebonized" oak and occasionally other hardwoods for some furniture projects using the long-known process of simply wiping on a dilute solution of homemade ferrous acetate. The solution is made by soaking a 0000 steel wood pad in just enough ordinary grocery store distilled white vinegar to cover the pad. As vinegar (acetic acid solution) is considered a weak acid, the pad needs to sit in the vinegar for several hours, until a pale blue tint is observed. The blue tint is due to the ferrous ion (Fe2+) in solution. In contact with woods.containing a sufficient amount of tannins, the reaction that occurs is a disproportionation; the ferrous iron reacts to form ferric ion (Fe3+) and colloidal metallic iron. The colloidal iron is responsible for the black color. I prefer the appearance of the colloidal iron over that of black TransTint dye, and the iron seems to penetrate a little deeper below the wood surface than the dye (though I'm not certain of that). Also, once the wood has dried, the iron seems to be more impervious to solvents than dyes are.

    Recently, I decided to use a 2nd grade Macassar ebony headplate blank to make a mandolin pick guard. The blank was a light tan color, with only narrow black stripes. That didn't go well with the existing w/ the existing African ebony headplate and fretboard, so I decided to try ebonizing the pick guard with the ferrous acetate solution. It took a couple or three applications, but eventually looked pretty uniformly black. After letting it dry overnight, I wiped on a little bit of Watco oil in an attempt to seal in the iron. In all, the experiments seems to have been successful. What I don't know is whether or not any remaining acidity in the pickguard will eventually be detrimental to the wood. Nothing that I have ebonized so far has shown any adverse effects, but to be sure will require more tests and probably a few decades of observation. At any rate, what works for Macassar ebony should work for persimmon (same genus).

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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    Just looked on the Wood Database. They report that Ipe is due to be restricted within 24 months after a Nov. 2022 vote. Katalox is another wood to consider. Iirc, LMI sold some Katalox fretboards. Would be interesting to hear if any other luthiers have had any experience with it.

  13. #9
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    I've been using Katalox since 1995, back when it was $6 a board foot from the local hardwood store that went out of business trying to sell it as decking material for overpriced golf course condos and Bend's population was under 30,000. It is a fantastic, under rated wood that can satisfy any rosewood like need and comes in a variety of colors and figure. The sapwood is a striking bright yellow.
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  14. #10
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    Local persimmon:
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  16. #11
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    The persimmon in that photo looks elegant.

    I've used Katalox quiet a bit for binding and other decorative parts, but not yet for a fretboard. Katalox is more difficult to bend than rosewood, but a lot easier to bend than, say, ebony. Like Ipe, Katalox is considerably harder than ebonies, almost as hard as African Blackwood., which leads me to think it would be excellent for fretboards. According to the Wood Database, the (average) Janka hardness of Katalox is around 3660 lb.ft. The value given for Persimmon is around 2300 lb.ft., or only about 62% as hard as Katalox, and slightly lower than Indian rosewood (ca 2440). As with any wood species, the hardness of a given sample could be considerably higher or considerably lower than the average value. So how have you observed persimmon to hold up as a fretboard?

  17. #12
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    Does anyone know where LMI sourced their product they called Royal Blackwood? From their description it was a sustainable hardwood colored by a torrifaction process.

    https://www.lmii.com/1045-royal-blackwood-fingerboards

    For future building I'd like to try something sustainable like that. Sadly, I was too late to place an order before they had sold out. So bummed they are closing. Interested to hear if others have used the Royal Blackwood or Thermalwood (are they the same thing?) and how it worked for them.
    Greg

  18. #13
    Registered User Bob Buckingham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    I like the colors of ebony and persimmon on fingerboards. Black is ok but the variegation is much more interesting.

  19. #14
    Registered User bpatrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    Royal Blackwood is torrefied Purpleheart (Peltogyne spp.) One source, at least for guitar fretboards is: https://alliedlutherie.com/collectio...oyal-blackwood. It is not the same as Thermalwood. I don't know who is the actual maker.

    I purchased several Royal Blackwood fretboards from LMI before they sold out. I haven't used one yet, but it seems fairly comparable to West African Ebony in appearance, although more evenly black, and similar in weight; slightly less. I can't speak to planing and chipping until I use some. There are several video reviews on Youtube.
    Bryan Patrick

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  21. #15

    Default Re: Thermalwood

    Sonowood is an alternative. I think Patrick Toole uses it.
    https://www.vrichelieu.com/sonowood
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    www.singletonstreet.com

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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    Yes Chuck I use Sonowood on my mandolin family instruments, Sonowood and Corene on my violin family instruments. I think they are superior materials. Eric at Thermal Wood sent me a sample of their obsidian ebony last week but I havenít had a chance to fully work it yet. Iíll likely get to it after the holidays. It feels and looks good though.

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  25. #17
    Registered User George Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thermalwood

    I have 2 Washburn / L&H parlor guitars from the early 1920s. They both needed neck resets, but when I went to raise the fingerboard extension, the wood was very punky and simply crumbled. The company usually used quality material in those days, but I wondered if ebony was unobtainable as a result of WWI. The fingerboards may have looked great when new, but ended up with a dark brown appearance. Whatever the process they used, (I'm guessing iron solution, heat and maybe pressure, as in pressure cooker) it didn't hold up with time.

    George Roberts

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