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Osage Orange

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by jeremy blaze, Feb 12, 2019 at 6:26 PM.

  1. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    39
    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    Anyone got a guitar with osage orange wood?
     
  2. elduderinoTF

    elduderinoTF Strat-O-Master

    539
    Mar 29, 2017
    Texas
    I didn't know they use that for guitars..
    . I do know horse apples are a pain in my ass...
     
  3. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    39
    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    I've only seen 1 electric and a couple acoustic
     
  4. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    77
    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    My only knowledge of this wood is...
    The very best ...
    Bows
    Made by my Grand Fathers
    N
    Great Grand Fathers!
     
    dogletnoir, Lester H, Groovey and 2 others like this.
  5. shovelmike

    shovelmike Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2013
    Missouri
    I have never seen a guitar made from Osage Orange, it's a hard, dense wood.
    They are kind of a nuisance around here, thorny old things I have 5 acres, mostly woods. I damaged an eye trying to clear for a fence.
     
    Lester H likes this.
  6. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    39
    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    I've only seen it used as a laminate top.

    But it does have some good properties for "tonewood" ;)
     
  7. Lester H

    Lester H Strat-Talker

    Age:
    45
    202
    Jun 6, 2018
    Kansas
    Darn good firewood if you use wood to heat your home, makes good fence posts if you want something to last a lifetime. Doesn't really rot but just seems to get harder with age. And yes it made very good bows!

    As far as decorative wood? Not certain. It's a stringy wood when green and and can be very knotty too. I don't find its pattern to be very attractive and I would question its resonance.
     
  8. Lester H

    Lester H Strat-Talker

    Age:
    45
    202
    Jun 6, 2018
    Kansas
    Old timers say if you have spiders under your house to throw a couple of those hedge/horse apples under their and it will get rid of them.

    I saw something a while back where people would freeze them and grate off a teaspoon full a day, eat it and it supposedly helped with certain cancers.
     
    elduderinoTF likes this.
  9. elduderinoTF

    elduderinoTF Strat-O-Master

    539
    Mar 29, 2017
    Texas
    Just gotta cut 'em open. Works as a sticky trap. It's like glue inside.
     
    Lester H likes this.
  10. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    61
    Oct 25, 2017
    Nawth Alabama
    OO is very tough, very hard, very dense and the grain is usually very wild. So, it is hard on tools, hard on the hands that use 'em, often frustrating to work. OTOH, it can also be beautiful.

    Big logs are very uncommon although I had two trees removed from my yard years ago that probably could have provided 8" wide stock. Too bad I was clueless then, they both were very straight for at least 10 ft. I might have gotten my money back (from paying the arborist to cut them down) by having it processed for Self Bow carvers.
     
    jeremy blaze likes this.
  11. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    39
    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    The hedge apple is made mostly of paraffin.
     
  12. shovelmike

    shovelmike Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2013
    Missouri
    I have seen a website selling hedge apples for pest control purposes. I have a cash crop here and never knew it LOL.
    Hey, anyone want to buy a bunch of Osage Orange guitar wood?!
     
    Morf2540 likes this.
  13. Lester H

    Lester H Strat-Talker

    Age:
    45
    202
    Jun 6, 2018
    Kansas
    I've been told after the dust bowls of the 30s WPA workers planted all the Osage orange trees along the rural road sides and along the property dividing fence lines in Kansas to help mitigate the high winds and the possibilities of future dust bowls. To this day those locations are the only places where I've seen Osage orange trees grow straight and tall. Those trees are huge and even along the road sides they really hold up well during wind and ice storms.

    I don't know why but when I see a farmer clear out a fence line of those trees it bothers me some. They serve a purpose and there was a lot of work involved in planting those trees.
     
    Morf2540 and jeremy blaze like this.
  14. shovelmike

    shovelmike Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2013
    Missouri
    Mine in Missouri grow every which direction out from the tree, parallel to the ground, and take up a lot of space. It's very Rocky, often the roots can't go very deep. I have some huge ones that tipped from the weight an still thriving. Some are probably 100 or more years of age.
    Many were brought up here from the Red River Valley and planted as natural fences before barbed wire came along.
    It is a very hot burning wood, I have burned the mortar out of my fireplaces by burning large amounts of it.
     
  15. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    I know during the pioneer days, the seeds were worth more than gold. They were prized for the fast growing dense hedge rows (hedge apples anyone?).

    The seeds are very small- about the size of lettuce seed, being found in the in between spaces of the bumpiness on the fruit. So imagine the work needed to gather the fruit, dry them and extract the seeds.

    How many OO's would you need to get an ounce of seeds?

    Uh, then you're doing something wrong.
     
  16. perttime

    perttime Strat-Talker

    497
    May 4, 2015
    Finland
    Hard and dense usually means it is heavy. A search of some wood database should find specifics. Other woods that are good for bows have been used successfully in guitar making. More often as neck material, tops, or acoustic backs and sides.
     
  17. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    39
    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    Funny how this has become an anecdotal history of the tree.


    As for it being heavy, my guess is that is why it's typically used as a laminate
     
  18. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    39
    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    I'm guessing none clicked on the link I shared
     
  19. Morf2540

    Morf2540 Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    53
    511
    Nov 8, 2017
    Philadelphia, PA
    Yes, you are exactly right.The tree is native to the Texas/Arkansas region, and got its common name from an association with the Osage Indians, who used it for bows (not violin bows, the other kind). It was widely used by settlers, and planted deliberately for hedgerows and windbreak. I find this stuff fascinating. I see them here and there near where I live outside Philadelphia. No idea how they got here, or why. Good article here, if anyone wants to know more:
    https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/osage-orange-tree-zmaz85zsie