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 Post subject: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Forgive the hyperbole of the title, but this is how two of our esteemed makers split on the subject of Mopane. They can't both be right!

So, to the turners among us: is Mopane the greatest thing since sliced Brya Ebenus, or a great table leg on the hoof?


Rob

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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:27 pm 
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Maybe mopane would get more cred if it didn't sound like a gasoline additive. New! Exxon Premium with Mopane!

I know, it ought to be spelled with an i: mopani (mo-PAH-nee).

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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:00 pm 
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Mopane and Mopane accessories!

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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Rob Sharer wrote:
Forgive the hyperbole of the title, but this is how two of our esteemed makers split on the subject of Mopane. They can't both be right!

So, to the turners among us: is Mopane the greatest thing since sliced Brya Ebenus, or a great table leg on the hoof?

Rob


I think it's good stuff, Rob. Nothing special perhaps, but then I also don't feel there is that much special about cocus either. All great timbers.

What I do like about Mopane is the feeling of firmness - it suggests to me that it is a very strong timber. Certainly haven't struck any weakness problems.

Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:28 pm 
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Although it says nothing of the longevity of the timber, I am consistently impressed with the sound quality that the wood produces compared to similar flutes made by the same maker from other timbers. The tone is very pleasing to me; not so gentle as boxwood, nor so bright as blackwood, but very rich. It's hard to describe.

I haven't heard anything bad about the wood, and have an 8-key flute in mopane coming my way in a few more months. I don't want to start hearing of problems now, but maybe I should if they exist.

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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:23 pm 
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I've played many of Casey's mopane flutes. Owned one of his Large Hole Standards in mopane. Had a great tone--big, fat, loud, blended amazingly well with violin. Had a great wedding gig on that flute with a celtic harper and a violin player; the violinist loved the tone so much she said she wanted a wooden flute at her ceremony if she ever got married. I found it too mellow, since I tend to play with a mellower, more rounded tone to begin with. I need the more edgy flavor of blackwood.

Anyways, just anecdotal experience of mopane. Seems to be a legitimate option for flute wood to me.

jason

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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:06 am 
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Mopane is lovely stuff, I have a few Billets ready to turn, I just like cocuswood better. :party:
Shouldn't be any problems using Mopane, seems very stable, the couple of flutes I have made, are holding up fine.
I just wouldn't call it a Cocus replacement... You notice it when you are turning the two woods, cocus wil keep a shrper edge then Mopane.
How was that for back pedaling... :puppyeyes:
I didn't even mention furniture legs, Terry...

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Jon


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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:36 am 
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I like mopane big time. Easy to machine, easy on hands and lungs, gives a lovely finish, works really well with linseed oil (dalbergia woods contain stuff that prevents linseed oil from polymerizing for a long time), darkens to a lovely dark red.

Regarding the tone it produces I still say that it doesn't sound different to other woods with roughly the same specs.

My avatar shows a mopane endcap.


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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:54 am 
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IMHO Mopane is the closest wood to Cocus that I've seen, both in the working and in the tone that it produces. It also responds wonderfully well to acid staining, even up to inky blackness if that's what you want.
I'm keen on it.
All the Best
Hammy


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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:36 am 
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Rob Sharer wrote:
Mopane and Mopane accessories!

Tell ya what man, that daggone mopane


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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Don't mean to hijack this thread but would anyone care to comment about cocobolo viz. mopane, cocus, blackwood. I have a cocobolo flute which I love but it's relatively new and I'm planning (hopefully) for it's golden years along with my own. I find it very close to cocus, moreso than mopane???
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:07 pm 
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My favorite wood of all is Cocobolo. I wish I could compare it to other woods in a relevant way, but I can't as I am new to flute. I do have experience with it versus many other woods for Ocarinas though.

I have a KDJ Cocobolo D Irish Flute, a Cocobolo Fontana Fife, a Cocobolo/Bloodwood Hind Ocarina, and a Cocobolo Hind Ocarina. I also have a Cocobolo Gene Milligan Whistle, and a KDJ Cocobolo C Piccolo coming in the mail. If i had a house to furnish, I would furnish it with Cocobolo!

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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:03 pm 
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I used to make flutes with cocobolo, the problem is the toxicity of the wood. Noy an allergy, the wood is poisonous. A lot of wood workers are using the stuff, but you have to wear a space suit to keep from being exsposed to the oil and sawdust. There can also be problems with contact to the wood, while playing.

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Jon


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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:22 pm 
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Certainly Cocobolo should be approached with caution. Some people have had severe reactions to contact with the sawdust and oils.
However, the matter is never so simple as it might appear with woods we identify with common names.
I have worked cocobolo and found it a marvelous turning wood. I also have made several simple flutes from it and can say it had marvelous tonewood characteristics. I was further very fortunate in that I had no negative reaction to the dust or oils.
However Wikipedia tells me that the generally accepted 'cocobolo' wood is from Dalbergia Retusa. But it further says there are three additional closely related Dalbergias that yield 'Cocobolo', but does not name them. :o

All this may explain,( or may not!), why some are affected by contact with 'cocobolo',and some not. My takeaway is that without intimate knowledge of the provenance of the wood you are working 'cocobolo' should be approached very cautiously.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Mopane: Cocus Substitute, or Furniture Wood?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:25 pm 
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Jon C. wrote:
I used to make flutes with cocobolo, the problem is the toxicity of the wood. Noy an allergy, the wood is poisonous. A lot of wood workers are using the stuff, but you have to wear a space suit to keep from being exsposed to the oil and sawdust. There can also be problems with contact to the wood, while playing.

A lot of wood has the properties of being dangerous to your health if you work with it. Nature has a way of protecting trees by making the bark and wood resistant to insect infestation, and this same insecticide is dangerous to humans as it is to insects. I had two old trees cut down in my back yard. They were dropping branches and holding "widow makers" high in the tree tops. Before they took down our utility lines and fell on our house and cars, I hired a crew to remove them. I also had the stumps removed with one of the stump-removing chippers. Two years later grass will not grow in the area where the stump removers were working.I have planted grass several times. Finally some crab grass got started, but that is not what I have in mind. Wood chip mulch that you place around your yard keep plants from growing up through them. That should give you a clue about the hazards of working with wood.

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