On Oct 22, 2006, at 11:32 PM, Rodney Myrvaagnes wrote:
> What you have might be Western Redcedar (thuja something or other).
> That is very light but not related to j.v. J.v. is indeed of very
> similar density to c. sempervirens.
Agreed. J.V., if I read the tables correctly, has a sp. gravity about
.47 dry (which is in the range of hardwoods like cherry, ~.50).
Western Red is much lighter, about .32 dry. I've long ago made a false
i/o virginal from Western Red (HB #1) and, aside from being awkward,
it's quite transportable under one arm. In my youth I luckily used
Frank's observation about 'cypress' soundboards needing to be thicker
than spruce and did the same for the western red. It still buckled in
the normal Italian virginal manner but much less so than others I have
seen. Rodney reminds me of a pentagonal spinet (constructed for
lightness in j. v.) that was a thorn under my wing for a few years. It
took that long to train the soundboard back to a shape one could, in a
myopic fit, declare flat. But that's another story - any other wood
would have done the same.
The endgrain face of j.v. will be quite homogeneous, with no great
variation of texture across the annular rings. Not so western red
(thuja plicata) which looks like dull brown machine-made spruce. On
the plank-sawn face j.v. will usually present a pleasant figure which
is relatively easy to plane with sharp tools. Plank-sawn, T.p. is
pretty much useless - it planes not much better than douglas fir
plywood although it's quite good cut on the quarter. Aged, both woods
are in the same ballpark color-wise but expose fresh wood and the
differences are striking. J.v. has a strong purple heart wood and a
luscious, creamy sapwood both of which drift towards aged brown with
the years. Fresh faces of t.p. edge toward being less dull - ducky,
huh? Upon planing, they are both odorous in their own manner; j.v. is
used for chests to repel clothes moths here. Both can be splitty, t.p.
probably more so.