Which rosewood is It?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Skyjerk, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb

    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    5,384
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    ive used rosewood fretboards on many previous builds. East Indian mostly, which has an acrid, not very pleasant scent when sanding or cutting.

    I got a couple pieces of rosewood from my brother-in-law a couple years ago and he said he thought it was Brazilian. I had no reason to think otherwise never having had any before.

    It had a different scent when working it. Kind of spicy-sweet, Almost like incense. I found it quite pleasant and very different from the East Indian. I'd always heard that Brazilian smelled like roses when worked. This didn't smell like roses, but I assumed it was Brazilian anyway since I was told it was and it smelled nice, and the East Indian was not so nice, and what's to say this wasn't somebody's idea of Rose scent? :)

    NOW, today I received a piece of Brazilian I bought from Archey. I sanded it a bit to see what it smelled like, and this stuff had a very distinct, very sweet floral scent. VERY different from the stuff I had previously thought was Brazilian. This stuff smells very much like Brazilian has been described, and of course I know for a fact that it is the genuine article anyway :)

    This begs the question though, what's the stuff I've been believing was Brazilian. It's definitely not East Indian. Smells good, but totally unlike the real stuff I got today.

    The wood database gives the same odor description for all the rosewoods, even braz, so that was no help.

    Any thoughts about what rosewood has a spicey sweet, incense-like scent? It's dark brown and lighter reddish brown with straight grain.

    The lower board in this photo, the one with more reddish color, is made from the wood in question

    [​IMG]
     
    archey likes this.
  2. the great waldo

    the great waldo Senior Member

    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    They both look like indian rosewood. A closeup of the grain structure might help identification. Sonokeling (Indonesian rosewood) is normally a little more grey in colour.

    Cheers

    Andrew
     
  3. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

    Messages:
    12,492
    Likes Received:
    18,334
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Might be Bois de Rose, which is a RW fromMadagascar but different to MGRW.

    Would be good to see the blank uncut.

    http://www.wood-database.com/bois-de-rose/

    Cool looking Boards. Does not look like IRW to me.

    :cheers2:
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  4. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Likes Received:
    1,684
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Have you done the black light test? Apparently Brazilian rosewood will glow under black light. You've probably already ruled out BRW for this blank but I would like to see the black light test. I have a chunk of Brazilian in my shop right now, so may go buy a black light and see how it looks.

    FWIW it looks like EIR to me. I have a bunch because it's pretty inexpensive around me. It seems to be harder to find brown colour in EIR. It has more purples and pinks in it.

    Good luck.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  5. mux164

    mux164 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Insert lewd jokes here... make sure it's safe for work though. Never heard of the black light but that doesn't surprise me I'm always the last to know everything
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  6. Tweaker

    Tweaker Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,422
    Likes Received:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    I don't have a lot of experience with any kind of rosewood, but the few times I bought fretboards from StewMac that have been rosewood, they've had the exact scent you're describing. I always thought they were East Indian Rosewood fretboards.
     
  7. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2017
    I have some pieces of Bois De Rose, this certainly isn't that. Bois de rose is very distinct in scent and appearance. A deep maroon red color, often with deep black veins. sorry about the flash on the second pic, that fingerboard blank had some serious patina and I needed to use flash so you could see the red coloration and black lines :). It looks to me like East Indian.
    IMG_0451[1].JPG
    IMG_5369[1].JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
    RAG7890 and archey like this.
  8. archey

    archey Senior Member

    Messages:
    820
    Likes Received:
    601
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    First off, Brazilian Rosewood WON'T fluoresce in blacklight. Other rosewoods will generally glow a kind of dull greenish color when they are exposed to blacklight. You take some shavings in alcohol or water and put it into a clear beaker or glass under blacklight to check.

    Secondly I've worked with quite a few pieces of Brazilian now, and in my opinion there isn't one particular smell to it. They all have a similar smell when being worked, but there is some variation especially when just smelling a board. I had some Brazilian that was from an antique desk made in the 1860's. It had the very distinct smell of cherries. It was pretty awesome stuff. To my nose Brazilian smells like some sort of chocolate, spicy dessert when it's being sanded, not too much like roses at all.

    I feel bad for the players of the guitars built with it. They will never know the smell of rosewood being worked. It has to be one of my favorite smells in the world! I guess it's one of the fringe benefits of being a luthier.
     
    yamariv likes this.
  9. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Likes Received:
    1,684
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012

    I guess I had that backwards. :doh: I guess I should test that as well. The pieces I have smell kind of like root beer. Definitely sweet.

    Cheers Peter.
     
    archey likes this.
  10. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    9,395
    Likes Received:
    17,624
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    If I was a betting man, I'd put money on that one being East Indian Rosewood. Everything about it looks like it.
     
  11. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb

    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    5,384
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    There's no denying I wanted to eat the board I just bought from you, Archey. It's smelled super sweet. Almost candy-like :)
     
    archey likes this.
  12. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb

    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    5,384
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Well the good news is that since it's not Brazilian I don't have to worry about hassles in selling that quilt top build of mine since that guitar is sporting the fretboard pictured above.

    I'll take your word for it and advertise it as East Indian :)
     
  13. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb

    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    5,384
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Looks like Archey had it right...

    From the wood database....

     
    archey likes this.
  14. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

    Messages:
    12,492
    Likes Received:
    18,334
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    I stand corrected. All the EIRW I have seen was way more Brown / Orange vs. Pinkish. Sure enough when I look at EIRW pics on Google, there is a load of Pink stuff.

    I am used to stuff like this:; -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Look at this EIRW: -

    [​IMG]

    Obviously I have to get out more & stop being a MGRW & BRW snob. :laugh2: :)

    :cheers2:
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  15. archey

    archey Senior Member

    Messages:
    820
    Likes Received:
    601
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    It seems like a lot of irw is very purple when first sawn and then turns brown after it's been sitting a day or so.
     
    RAG7890 likes this.
  16. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    9,395
    Likes Received:
    17,624
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    yep....it oxidizes for sure
     
    archey, RAG7890 and Thumpalumpacus like this.
  17. 61LPSG

    61LPSG Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    372
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    It looks just like all the Indian rosewood that I have had. Smooth straight-grained reddish-brown kinda blah. I really like the Madagascar blanks I got a few years ago much better.
     
  18. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Likes Received:
    1,684
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    The stuff I have is quite purple pinkish as well -2 EIR boards and a Ziricote board.

    IMG_4476.JPG

    Cheers Peter.
     
    archey and RAG7890 like this.
  19. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

    Messages:
    12,492
    Likes Received:
    18,334
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Yep makes sense. I’ve certainly seen a big change with Bois de Rose when cut to a FB Blank & then finished not long after.

    So yeah EIRW would be the same.

    :cheers2:
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
    archey likes this.

Share This Page