Turkish Boxwood

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bobble991
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Turkish Boxwood

Post by bobble991 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:26 pm

I just acquired a 3 foot log of turkish boxwood about 3 inch diameter. Bark is on so I cant tell what the quality is like. Short of sticking the whole thing in the lathe and roughing out, is there any way to determine the best bit for a chanter?

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Bob

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David Stephenson
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Re: Turkish Boxwood

Post by David Stephenson » Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:00 am

Hello Bob

There is very little bark on this timber but it should be removed before making a move at cutting into her, you can remove the bark using a side axe so as to see if there are any hidden old branch grow overs, which can cause the scrapping of the piece where the branch or twig line could pass through to the middle.

With a branch this diameter you do not have sufficient diameter to start quartering her and you are only going to get one instrument from it, a word of warning though, using branch material is not the best for making anything as it can move after the tensions are released as it is made thinner, I would part turn it and let it setttle for a few days and check it for any movements,
having said that the Turkish stuff is slightly more stable than English box, both of which require quite a lengthy seasoning time of around five years in air, if they are kiln dried then it must have been done very slowly over many months or you can end up with saw dust.

I say air dried because kiln drying has a detrimental effect on most exotics because it removes a lot of the natural sugars which give the timber and instrument their tonal colourings and I must add that many timber suppliers do not think about that senario because they try to gain as much volume of timber for sale, and sacrifice the grain positioning and stability which is much more wastefull and less profitable for them, and we are all at their mercy when it comes to selection for quality.

Turkish box is inferior when compared to English box, it does require a certain amopunt of hydration with oils in order of geting a nice sound, I would only use it for drones and mounts and use English box for the chanter, Turkish box is more porous and not one of my choices for a chanter.

DDS.
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billh
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Re: Turkish Boxwood

Post by billh » Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:21 pm

The first thing to do with any boxwood log, I'm told, is to convert it into two half logs (saw or split - sawing probably will work better, given the toughness of boxwood). Most merchants split boxwood into half logs when it's still green, and the resulting halves end up with a very obtuse angle at the centerline, showing the large degree of radial shrinkage. The boxwood logs I've puchased have all been "half logs". You might be advised to let the half logs season for a couple of years before sawing them down, since billets that are sawn straight from partially-seasoned wood may bend as they finish drying.

Since you are presumably thinking of turning this into a pipe part, you will need to avoid including the center/"pith" of the wood. On a 3 inch log this will make life quite difficult. I'd say the minimum log diameter for making a chanter is more like four inches, and preferably 5 or 6. I would go along with Davy's comment about branch wood being a bad idea. You may find that you are hard pressed to get anything other than keyless chanters and drone parts from your 3" log, and warping may be a real problem if the wood does have much internal stress - expect the bore to warp after you turn down the outside.

I don't really agree that Turkish boxwood is porous, and I've heard some opinions that it can even be better than european boxwood. It certainly can have fewer knots than the average piece of English box. It depends a lot on the exact growing conditions which of course vary within countries - that said, the Turkish boxwood I've seen seems to be faster-growing (it's the same species, but the climate is much warmer) and thus has larger growth rings - i.e. it isn't quite as fine-grained as English or other northern european box. It's still finer grained and harder than the vast majority of the native timbers here.

Some of the stuff from Octopus can be very good - however IMO most of the ordinary grade stuff isn't really suitable for our purposes, I'd recommend that a prospective buyer be very explicit about his requirements and buy the top grade (or else saw it himself from bigger logs).

Bill

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David Stephenson
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Re: Turkish Boxwood

Post by David Stephenson » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:24 pm

I would to add that it is much safer to split a log of this size using the froe method as this method allows the timber to split along the natural stress lines, which would be kept in and out of sight when it is cut down and across those grains using a band or other saws, this is why sellers don't do things this way, because of the extra waste involved.

As Bhill says that size of log you have is no good for fully keyed chanters, and use it for drones only, if purchase a larger diameter log I would quarter it and use the mid section of each piece, keeping well clear of the very center and outer edge or bark.

Smaller branch wood is normally on the outer regions of the tree and is more subject to the bending stresses, culminating in having a compressed side and a flexed side as the branch hangs, and does not have the stable compressions like the trunk of the tree, if you go ahead and use the branch be generous with a further seasoning process of at least two years before making anything out of it.

Davy.
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Sam
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Re: Turkish Boxwood

Post by Sam » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:28 am

It's much better to split boxwood, at least in the first instance. It's not hard, I do it with an axe and a lump hammer which is far from ideal . . .

You might find that some of the log is rendered unusable by splitting, when it really wanders, but I would contend that it was unusable anyway because of the grain run-out and stresses that would be present if sawn.

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Yuri
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Re: Turkish Boxwood

Post by Yuri » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:05 pm

When splitting, try to figure out which is the bottom, which the top. Then put the log on its head (upside down compared to how it was growing) to split. THis will make the split keeping to the center more likely than the other way round.

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Re: Turkish Boxwood

Post by Freebird11 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:59 am

Turkish boxwood - very hard hard fine-grained light yellow wood of the box (particularly the common box), used in carpentry delicate musical instruments and inlays and engraving blocks
boxwood
boxwood, box - evergreen shrubs or small trees
wood - the hard fibrous lignified substance under the bark of trees

Boxwood Winter Protection
Boj tolerate normal winds, but suffer from constant exposure to wind and hard. If the bushes are exposed to winter sun screen or cover them, but some allow air circulation. Protect exposed plants with evergreen boughs or burlap. Spray the bushes in late fall with anti-perspirant spray to help protect the foliage from winter winds and cold damage. In case of heavy snow and ice are common branches, loose tie together or build small A-frame above the bushes. See the archives of winter protection for plants and Plant Protection Supplies

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