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 Post subject: Red Gum
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:17 pm 
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To the Australian wooden whistle makers why haven’t I come across a whistle made from red gum?
It is an iconic Aussie Wood, hard, durable and rather beautiful. Maybe it’s too hard? It has a long life as it you can find railways sleepers laid decades ago that are still sound and sold as garden bed borders.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Gum
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:49 pm 
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Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
Is that also called Cooktown Ironwood? Terry Mcgee's site http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/materials.htm talks about using it for flutes.

Best wishes

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Red Gum
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:14 pm 
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[quote="Steve Bliven"]Is that also called Cooktown Ironwood? Terry Mcgee's site http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/materials.htm talks about using it for flutes.

Hi, Steve no they are different trees. The red gum is an iconic Aussie tree that was traditionally used for railway sleepers, fence posts and is still used to restump houses etc. It has a beautiful red (sometimes pink) finish which looks great in furniture. It would make a wonderful looking whistle but it may be too hard to work. I know from chopping it for wood in my younger days that if you hit a knot you would know about it - many an axe handle has come off second best. Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Red Gum
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:25 pm 
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Don't know anything about Australian timbers but Terry describes Cooktown Ironwood in very similar language, "Cooktown Ironwood is a very dense timber from Northern Queensland in Australia. It is mostly used for rough applications such as fence posts and railway sleepers, being very resistant to rot." That's what suggested the connection to me.

Best wishes.

Steve

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"[Some flutists] place the flute between the upper lip and the nose, blowing the instrument from below. This position does not prevent good playing, but it does not look graceful."
~ Antoine Mahaut, 1759 in a tutor for playing the transverse flute ~


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 Post subject: Re: Red Gum
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 9:54 pm 
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Thanks Steve, Yes I can understand what you are saying however for the Whistle Makers who might answer this question I am referring to the Gum tree known colloquially as the Murray River Red Gum or the River Red Gum which is more common in the bottom half of Aus than the Cooktown Ironwood which is found commonly in Queensland and Western Australia. Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Red Gum
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 11:34 pm 
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Location: st georges basin, australia
There are many species commonly called Red Gum. It's an easy call if all that you have is a piece of local timber and it's red. Generally speaking, the majority of these are too liable to move with moisture for use as whistles.

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