"Wood" Tone Selection Directory Page...
Modified Last:12/2020
Page WS_02
By David Langsather, webmaster: www.violinresearch.com
.The property of wood that I call "Wood Tone" was discovered by me in the quest for understanding how wood selection can effect Violin tonal quality.
..It started originally when Lew Holt, a friend and mentor from the 'Old Time Fiddlers Organization' called me and asked if perhaps I might be interested in purchasing some saved violin top plate wood from an elder member who wanted to get it into the hands of a violin maker before he died (of advanced Cancer). We met and he explained that he used to own forest land high on the side (near the tree line) of Mount Saint Helens in Washington state {before it was destroyed when the volcano blew up May 18, 1980.}
..From his land, he had a number of his trees logged and cut up into lumber and beams to build himself a large 2 1/2 story barn on his farm north of Vancouver, Wa. As he wanted to save some of the wood for future Violin making, he cut the stair threads in a special way, using only two supports, extra thick and long and attached with four very narrow nails at the very ends so that with the foot traffic over the years it would (he hoped) improve the wood tone by constant flexing. He told me that the steps make very musical sounds as he went up and down, and that he often pointed this out to visitors. Well, although he did some instrument making (including a fine double bass sized banjo; played vertically just like a regular double bass) he never got around to violin making. As he was selling his farm for a subdivision and the barn was scheduled to be torn down soon, he sold me the 50 year old stair treads and my wife Karen and I hauled them back home (about 70 miles) on our anniversary.
..St. Helens Forest before and after eruption damage.
..I decided to test his story about the musical wood and if/why it was so. Testing the ring from dropping sawed, identically sized wood bars from the various trees I isolated those that did seem to have an attractive musical tone response and set out to find a way to identify and quantify that response.
..As none of my wood tapper tools were useful, I decided to try a leather mallet I had heard about (raw hide mallet), so I made one for myself from a deer skin hide I had purchased; cut into a long strip and tightly rolled and attached it to a wood dowel.
..Using this tool to tap these prepared identical wood boards, I was able to a unique response tone. Comparing these to my tap tone reference tool revealed that they were all on the same scale frequencies; yet completely different from a tap tone measurement.
..I decided to call this wood property, a 'wood response' tone; or "Wood Tone".
..Here is the completed Wood Tone Tool showing the wood tones: {162,176,198,213,242,287,324,352,396 HZ}
..Construction photo of the bottom of each tone strip showing the four steel wire supports which allow free vibration when struck with the leather mallet.
..You can also produce the Wood Tone by tapping the wood piece with the first knuckle of the (long) middle finger, and comparing to a wood tone scale reference.
..Any piece of wood on the Wood Tone scale is acceptable for an instrument, but there is a preferred wood tone for different parts of the violin {IE: 213 for the top plate and fingerboard and 242 for the back plate wood.}..To See Our Test of This Concept
>>> CLICK HERE <<<<<<<
..Each piece of wood on the wood tone scale is in perfect harmony with every other so your piece of potential violin making wood just needs to be in perfect harmony with any piece on the wood tone scale.
Wood Tone Useful Tools
...Click here to hear the various Wood Tones generated with the tap of a leather mallet.
..Tap Here to see a video demonstration of how to select instrument wood using this technique. {And what the man was describing about his stairs being musical!}
..On to Page Two Information on "Wood Tone" Topic...<< Click Here >>