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Thread: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

  1. #51
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    The miles keep stacking up on those other topics.

    Jamie
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  2. #52
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Ludewig View Post
    The correct spelling for "saw" as used in the recent sentence, if used as the past tense of the verb "saw", would be "sawed". E.g., " I sawed a lot of wood today". On the other hand, if "saw" is being used as a synonym related to "see", I believe then that word would be "seen". Then again, we could get into "sawn", as in quartersawn. English is a marvelous thing. Ain't it?
    it is but could you please use period-quote.

    f-d

    p.s., I'd think the carving of a torrified top would be the biggest challenge. Maybe carve it and then torrify it?
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  3. #53

    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    I'm working on a new process to make a newly torrified instrument sound like a 100 year old torrified one. I'll get back with the results once I do some more trials. Currently waiting a bit.

  4. #54

    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin View Post
    I can't wait until we start seeing torrified mandolins become common. Mostly what I'm looking forward to are the endless debates here on the Cafe where people claim they are louder or sound better, only to be contradicted by naysayers who insist on seeing double blind studies and complex graphs to prove it. I mean, we can only get so much mileage out of the same debates on picks, ToneRites, etc. This will provide some new fodder for those who cannot help but pooh-pooh new ideas and new processes. It'll be great!
    You can't blame somebody for trying new technology as it applies to instruments. I think a lot of new ideas work really well for the electric guitar, as far as pickups, tremelo systems, etc. are concerned. With acoustic instruments we are trying to fool mother nature. Buying back time. Finding a fountain of youth, if you will. Create a "better" wood. We've seen it with 50's plastic instruments, carbon fiber tops, graphite necks, aluminum necks, Ovation bowl backs, etc. Treated lumber is used all the time in the field of home improvement--decking, fencing, etc. Of course, they soak the wood in a copper solution to prevent bugs from eating the wood--don't know if that applies to mandolin construction, though! The goal is usually the same--can it top the industry standard (for many years) of a spruce top and maple back and sides? How about one that has aged for 90 years? Tough questions. Sure, people have made instruments from old barns and building materials that are hundreds of years old. Gibson even made a Les Paul that was made of old wood from Andrew Jackson's property a few years ago. Result? I think we would have heard by now. It's good to be a naysayer, IMHO. I'm actually surprised no one has invented a computer designed instrument that will surpass an old Gibson by now. Doubtful if they will find a better Loar, a better Martin, or a better solid Gold, though. Will a modern master model instrument age like a 1923 Loar in 90 years? Quite possibly, but we won't be around to hear and compare. So we must speculate. Like the 70 year old geezer dating a 20 year old--he knows he looks ridiculous, heck, he ain't even horny--but he will endure the ridicule searching for his lost youth--trying to buy back time.

  5. #55

    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I'm actually surprised no one has invented a computer designed instrument that will surpass an old Gibson by now.
    Maybe they have--and they just won't tell us--like Detroit and the "electric" car!?????

  6. #56
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Maybe they have--and they just won't tell us--like Detroit and the "electric" car!?????
    I am quite sure DARPA have already secretly developed the perfect mandolin that chops torrorists to pieces from a hundred paces.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  7. #57

    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    The Japanese tradition of Shou Sugi Ban where they char burn the surface of cedar siding and is all the finish that is required is an old form of torrification. It resisted bugs,mold and weather and has been done for centuries. I don't think we're likely to get a better understanding of wood than we've already had for at least 1500 years, or 5000 maybe. You can see it in old construction all the time. The proper material used for different aspects of the construction. Mud sills made from a particularly dense hard redwood that they knew was special and reserved it for just that purpose, you don't see it anywhere else in the construction. VG Fir or yellow pine for stair treads, different grain patterns in the wood on old doors to resist the stresses that the door would need to survive and maybe forever in the thinking of the builder. Porches,no decks! It's outside man,it's wood,put a roof over it! They had the luxury of being able to pick and choose what they needed for what they were doing and they knew what to use. The knowledge is still there,it's has only been just recently that the materials began to run out. Today we build with whatever we can get and make do and we won't be building much that lasts. We really do now have a construction plan that includes planned obsolescence and that began in the 70's. Case in point--it was decided that the use of arsenic salts in treated lumber is bad so they eliminated the arsenic and increased the copper. Copper ,however, when it come in contact with other (ferrous) metals produces electrolysis and particularly with zinc--think battery. The metal connectors that are widely used were coated with zinc so they came up with special connectors for treated lumber and the solution was, get this, more zinc! This way the connectors will last 20 years rather than 10! They know this of course! 10 years is too short but 20 is just right!
    The one area that we were and/ are slow to pick up on is ecology. If rather than decimating the Eastern hardwood forests we had had a system of replanting as we went those forests would be old growth by the time we had to decimate the Western Forests. In the Himalaya the people would wander out of their villages and gather firewood. Now they still do that but it's a two day trip carrying the wood on their backs! Hillary and some others suggested that maybe they could plant some trees closer. It took thousands of years for that bright idea to come about! Now we are chemically treating substandard woods or using woods that were rarely if ever used before because it's what is left or we're using genetically modified fast growing trees for lumber,you know, those building studs with one growth ring that come in the lumber order.
    There are some exceptions,the sustainable and careful tending of the tree stands that the Cremona violin makers have been using since the Strads and before. The planting of the oak trees when they built College Hall at Cambridge because they knew they would need to be replaced in 600 years, but we have rarely been that smart! I'm still waiting for someone to come up with a laminated instrument material (plywood) that really does rival or equal solid woods, or maybe we'll just keep lowering our standards. This torrification process is just another experiment to see is they can keep a reliable flow of wood coming to manufacturers in the wake of a dwindling availability of time proven traditional materials.

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Nothing written so far about torrified wood being more crack resistant. Maybe that would depend on the humidity after the bake. i like the notion of maintaining low humidity up to the time the build is complete. This is a different from the philosophy of maintaining 40 something % humidity.

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  11. #59

    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    It's different though. In the torrified process you would remove moisture content in the wood (sap),oils,water etc. The aging that they are talking about is collapsing the cells which would have to be done pretty carefully I would think or the structural integrity of the wood could be compromised.( Take a green board and tack it to a wall on a really hot sunny day and see what happens.) The wood would then begin to equalize with the environment that it is in, the humidity in the air. Different stuff! 40% is pretty low.The stuff we build has to live out in the world after it's made and reducing the humidity too far in the build could create future problems later on.

  12. #60

    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by barney 59 View Post
    It's different though. In the torrified process you would remove moisture content in the wood (sap),oils,water etc. The aging that they are talking about is collapsing the cells which would have to be done pretty carefully I would think or the structural integrity of the wood could be compromised.( Take a green board and tack it to a wall on a really hot sunny day and see what happens.) The wood would then begin to equalize with the environment that it is in, the humidity in the air. Different stuff! 40% is pretty low.The stuff we build has to live out in the world after it's made and reducing the humidity too far in the build could create future problems later on.
    Torrified or not, I can't tell ya how many times I've heard an old bluegrasser say, "If you wanna hear somethin' purdy, just chord this old guitar, she's all dried out and she don't weigh nothing!" A positive thing--until "she" cracks on ya!

  13. #61

    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    I played a new, torrefied Vintage model Red Diamond recently (May, 2015) down at Don MacRostie's shop. I was stunned at how powerful it was.
    Quote Originally Posted by jmagill View Post
    I played a "roasted" Red Diamond F5 that Morgan Music brought to IBMA this year. I believe it had been subjected to the "Torrefied" process under discussion. It had a slight charcoal-smell to it and I thought it to be the best sounding mandolin I played there.

  14. #62
    Registered User verbs4us's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Here is Don Macrostie weighing in on various things mando, including torrification:

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...ight=macrostie

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