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May 26, 2020 - 9:11:18 AM

Owen

Canada

5764 posts since 6/5/2011

We just removed a "Saskatoon" bush from our garden.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelanchier_alnifolia      I have piece of the trunk (?) about 3.5" X 2 feet.  I don't see it on the Janka scale.   Is it worthwhile to saw and dry it for armrests? ... bridges? .... ???   Thanks.

May 26, 2020 - 9:25:40 AM
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13018 posts since 6/29/2005

Amelanchier is one of my favorite trees.  Here it's amelanchier laevis, AKA smooth serviceberry or "shadbush" named so because it blooms when the shad are migrating upriver. Same genus as your tree and closely related.

I am currently making a fingerboard from it for a banjo I'm working on (it's extremely hard), and I've used it for inlays and small veneers in the past.  I think it would make great armrests.  In the past it was used to make top notch fly rods before fiberglass, so that tells you it would make a great neck if you could season it well enough.

I made a bridge from it some years back, and it was probably a little too dense for that, but it was an OK bridge.  I am currently looking at a "big" one (8" diameter, which is big for amelanchier) that blew down in a storm, and I might try to make a rim and a neck from it.

I will warn you— it's VERY DIFFICULT to season because it wants to twist like a propeller while drying, so I wouldn't try a neck unless it seasoned straight.

Good luck with it!

May 26, 2020 - 9:42:13 AM
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majesty

Canada

292 posts since 3/20/2011

I have an Amelanchier tenor bridge you made for me,Ken. I love the tone, not sharp, and not too mellow. I heard the sound of it when you posted different bridges, and sound demos. Jim

May 26, 2020 - 9:56:21 AM
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Owen

Canada

5764 posts since 6/5/2011

Thanks.  I'm not an instrument maker, but I've made a few arm rests and banjo stands [btw, NOT the kind that lets banjos fall out], so I'll probably saw it up "for future use."   

I'm kinda thinking that if it dries twisted, I could have the makings of a naturally compensated bridge??  devil

My wife's advice: "You can't save everything."      ....but to me, that's issuing a challenge.

May 26, 2020 - 12:06 PM
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13018 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by majesty

I have an Amelanchier tenor bridge you made for me,Ken. I love the tone, not sharp, and not too mellow. I heard the sound of it when you posted different bridges, and sound demos. Jim


I forgot about that!  You are right that the tone of those bridges is not too sharp and not too mellow.  I'll have to look into them again—they might be really good for clawhammer banjos.  I have some of the same wood I made that bridge from.

Here's a sound sample of amelanchier on a 5-string:


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