I've been in the process of learning how to play for about 5 months now on a Ariette (hangs head in shame, but it fitted the budget), well I broke a spring in it; spoke with Jr Martin and he agreed to fix it for me. Let me tell you it was a pleasure to meet the man behind Martin Accordions, & it really made my day when he handed me one of his personal boxes to try. As soon as I can afford to, I will get him to build me a key of C box made with Louisiana Sinker Cypress. He had one made out of Sinker Cypress and it is a beautiful piece of work. For those who have never heard of sinker cypress, sinker cypress is the term used for recently recovered virgin cypress trees cut down around the big lumber boom of 1900's. Harvested from virgin, old-growth cypress forests, these mature cypress trees were anywhere from 300 to 1000 years old. After being cut down, they were floated on water to the saw mill or loading area, but some of the timbers sank in route or while waiting for transport. The minerals from the silt and mud they rested in for over a hundred years has caused the wood to take on a unique tint. The colors can be a uniform hue or appear in contrasting streaks of olive, tan, and/or cinnamon or brown. Old growth cypress has very tight growth rings, often 16 to 30 per inch. This slow growth has created a wood with high insect and weather resistance, and great stability and beauty. It lends itself perfectly for work like fine millwork, furniture and high-end construction projects.
Also thanks to all who post on the forum, it's been a big help to me.
That wood does make some gorgeous boxes, but you should ask about Louisiana Red Pine. It's extinct now, but my dad is making them out of wood (that is 150 years old) he salvaged from tearing down an old building on our property. If you're stuck on Martin accordions, Glenn, ask Junior about the wood and if he's got some too. I've never seen a more beautiful accordion, and the sound is spectacular (and I've seen and heard a lot of them!). I'll send you a photo of one in a few days if you're interested.
There are SO many beautiful wood choices, though. Mine is purple heart and padouk (both from Africa). What's cool about the purple heart isn't just the color, but the fact that it gets darker with love and age. I'll try to put a pic here...
I would love to see photos of the red pine box. I don't get to see to many different boxes played here in the New Orleans area other than some Falcons & Martins, especially after Katrina & wasn't able to make it out to Jazz Fest this year.
What a pretty piece of wood. You never know where you will find something of beauty. We have a lot of old- growth Mesquite in this part of Texas, and many people use the old wood to make some out-a-site gorgeous furniture, rather than just assign it to the Bar-be-que pit. Great grain, with lots of light and dark streaks. Think I will see if I can't locate a pretty piece for my next instrument.
I have wondered about mesquite for accordions. Even being a woodworker, I hadnt known about mesquite until I cut down a tree and saw the wood. I brought the whole tree home and have been lugging it around for 12 years waiting for something good to do with it. It checks quite a bit, but I have heard the parts not checked are stable.
Anyone know of mesquite being used for stuff like this. It is a beautiful wood.
Bryan you may have to do some resawing but that mesquite would make a beautiful instrumnet. What you need to do is saw it into thick pieces and let it dry and settle some more then cut it down to size for accordions. It may take some planning but you may be able to bookmatch enough pieces for the frames depending on the size of the log.
I sawed it into 2" slices when I first brought it home and stickered it, where it still sits, easily bookmatched. I made mom and dad a couple of gifts out of it, and started some pistol grips, but mostly it's just been sitting there waiting for the right thing. The checking worries me. In large pieces some of the checking can be hard to notice, but if cut into accordion piece sizes they may show up well enough. I had never considered it for that before this, but it is such a pretty wood and I've never heard of one made out of it. I researched it a little and it is considered a very dense and stable wood between the checks. John, do you have any experience with it?
the only thing i could find is that is was used for fenceposts and toolhandles.
i searched for it in my woodbook, but it`s not in there.
Can't wait till ya start getting your hands deep in building, Bryan! Love what you did to your HA114! You think you'd keep the "Couillon" brand?! You should post of pic of that. Total greatness...
I've thought about that. I like the name. It would probably get giggles in Louisiana. Hard to take an accordion called Couillon seriously, but then even if I ever get building them, I doubt if I would try to become a busy builder.
That Couillon sure was shy in the company of such stars.
Sarah if it sounds good as it looks, its a fine instrument. Bruce
I don't know. My ear isn't trained to hear the very fine differences, but those who have played it say it sounds better than any he's ever made. I don't know about all that. I know that one guy from Philadelphia ordered one exactly like mine and said it never sounded the same. Dad doesn't understand why that should be. He put the same reeds in as in all the others. But it's very loud and very rich, the action is smooth and easy, and the bellows are very sensitive.
why is there a color difference in the 2 pieces of wood covering the "head" end of the keyboard? I ask you because mine has the same and was puzzled by that; and on the opposite end the same, as if the builder kinda mirrored the keyboard piece (where the buttons are in ).
About sound differences, Binci reeds ( like yours I guess) changed from tone last ten years. In Europe they became less popular after the old man retired/died. Some years after his son has taken over it seems to become better again. A Norwegian builder always goes to collect/ select the reeds himself at Binci now, he told. So there must have been a period in which reeds were 'different'.
I don't know about on yours, but that's the padouk on mine. The body is purple heart, with padouk accents in the places you're talking about. I love the contrast of the orange and...what color is that, anyway?...burgundy?
Interesting about the reeds, but there's really no explanation, considering that he used the same in mine that he was using in all the others at the time. Hmm...I don't know. But thanks for that information. I didn't know about that.
Sarah, I'll send you a picture of what I meant, but first have to take it.
Then you'll understand what I mean.