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Thread: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

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    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments


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    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    I own one of his guitars. It is very plain but a out standing guitar. I could give comparisons but it might offend some of those builders of brand names. And it was cheap .

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by slimt View Post
    I own one of his guitars. It is very plain but a out standing guitar. I could give comparisons but it might offend some of those builders of brand names. And it was cheap .
    I admire plain and cheap good guitars.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    Wow. Just wow. This talk really gives one pause to think. I respect the fact that Mr. Bedell has gone to this great effort to ensure the sustainability of his wood sources, and minimize their impact on the planet. He is someone with whom I would really like to have a conversation. This really puts some of the things I read here back when he was acquiring one of our favored brands into question. I am impressed.
    Purr more, hiss less.

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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    I’m semi-actively shopping for a small bodied guitar. This will affect how I approach that search...

    And, I’m now proud to be an owner of a “new” Weber...
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    Thank you, Mr. Bedell! Wise words.

    I'm liking what I'm seeing coming from up there in the PNW. Along with a conscience in manufacturing TOH are building some nice, nice stuff; Dennis (at the mandolin store) ended up with the natural, two-point Weber had at the NAMM show a few weeks ago and I had the chance to sit down and spend a few minutes with it. Being a longtime Weber fan I have played (and owned) quite a few of them and must say this was the best, overall Weber I have ever played. The build was almost perfection, effortless playability, and sweet tone all in one package.

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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    I believe that acceptable substitutes for ebony and rosewood need to be found. I am currently working with Osage Orange for fingerboards and am going to try making bridges out of it. It is rated in hardness between ebony and rosewood. It is also plentiful, being regarded as an invasive species in many areas. Its drawback is in getting pieces with reasonably straight grain. Also it is not black. I believe we are close to a point where responsible harvesting of ebony may become impossible much like Brazilian Rosewood and some other materials like ivory and tortoise.

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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    CarlM, agree completely about finding alternatives to ebony and RW, and accepting those alternatives as players/consumers. Regarding the clear cutting of spruce, my understanding (and I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong) is that most of the harvested spruce actually goes into construction, not instruments or furniture. But, even if TOH’s practices only have a small impact in that regard, the intent is greatly appreciated.
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    The Weber team just published a blog posting that relates to this and with Tom's video in it, with information tailored more towards Weber instruments.

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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    I enjoyed his talk. I wonder if the same standard applies to his China-made guitars?

    Bob Taylor is also to be commended when it comes to this issue. There’s a lot of good info out there on the things Taylor is doing. I personally think it’s cool when guitars (etc) are built with non-traditional tone woods. It’s neat to see people think outside the box.
    ...

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    Default Re: Tom Bedell's TED Talk on sustainable woods for instruments

    That was a very interesting talk, and a topic that's been on my mind lately (and apparently others' as well).

    It occurred to me recently that buying used probably helps a good deal on this front. But I also understand that participating in the secondhand market does also drive demand for new instruments, so whether we buy used or new, which specific instruments we choose matters. And I think we'd all be a little sad if there were no (or dramatically fewer) new instruments being made.

    CarlM, I'm very interested in how your work with osage orange turns out. Does anyone know of any mandolins made with Richlite fingerboards? I know there are traditionalists in the guitar community that have strong feelings about it (and expect many mandolin players would feel the same way), but I own two guitars with Richlite fretboards and bridges, and do not feel that they are diminished in any way by the substitution.

    I know Gibson doesn't have a stellar record on sustainability but I like that they are offering more guitars in walnut. I've enjoyed all of the examples I've had the chance to play, and one in particular would have followed me home had I been in the market. My Martin is all mahogany but is Rainforest Alliance certified, and this video seems to confirm that sustainable mahogany is possible. Rosewood looks like the one that will be really tough...

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