Has anyone built an instrument using pecan?



Views: 1016

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Wood  officionado here. Isn't pecan pretty much like hickory? Would think similar properties to oak , ash, etc.

The real dnager I see in using it for a guitar is the potential for the mispronunciation of this great Texas nut , and wood:

A " pee-can" guitar just doesn't have that dignified appeal !

the wood can also be pronounced--  PEE-CON  which has a lil more class from what my wife says---
great firewood unless it has become an endangered feces,,,,and if you can remove the meat without disturbing the shell ..awesome rattle material.
See, my grandpa (from OK) would have called it a puh KAHN guitar, whereas my grandma (from KS) would have said PEE can guitar.  I think the first is much classier sounding.  I've not worked with the wood, but asked a turner I know about it, and he says it's a bitch to glue.  He has to use epoxy because of the oil.  I'm guessing that could be dealt with by using naptha to clean the joints, but don't know.   Juglans and Carya are pretty closely related, both part of the same family.  I have seen hickory used on solid bodies successfully, but never on an acoustic.  My local woods are oak, eucalyptus, walnut, black walnut, cherry, apple, peach, acacia, ... but none but the walnut and eucalyptus get big enough.  At some point I'll get ahold of some.

Has anyone used Carya illinoinensis ( it's a bright sounding member of the Hickory family known as Pecan) wood for any part of any guitars?  I.E bridges, necks, solid bodies, acoustical sides or backs. I know of Cardinal Instruments who use their local resources for luthiery materials which includes Pecan, Mesquite, and Cyprus. The spalted and wormed woods are, I think, exotic looking.

I was wondering if any of the eminent Luthiers who frequent this site have any experience with this material?

Regards to all,

Peecaon Phil

Having grand parents from South Carolina I'm of the "pee can" speakers (like you keep outside your tent on cold nights).  But tone wise it is effectively a hickory - just a softer, more brittle one - and really wouldn't make a very good guitar wood.  Of that "family" of nut trees walnut (juglans species) are going to product to best tone woods.  As an aside I suspect that any pecan that you'd acquire is old orchard wood (old grafts produce wild and wonderful figures with poor acoustic properties) so it's going to be hard to find a any slow growth wood (and pecan is about the shortest lived hickory anyway).  When not grafted onto dwarf root stock hickories can reach 60-80 feet and over three feet in diameter with a long clear trunk before the first branch (typical hickory pattern) but orchard trees are kept low enough - or used to be before mechanization - for ladder picking with low and frequent branching (and most are now subject to mechanical shaking to drop the nuts which would, I think, tend to weaken the wood structure).



Gosh, Rob , I guess after that machinist training you went to wood college! Sure was an enlightening treatise you passed on to us. Originally from Texas, I , of course say puh - KAHN. I imagine this derives from an Indian name. The Mexicans called them nueces, even naming the  Nueces River for this wonderful nut.They grow along the rivers a lot. The settlers added  butter, eggs, and sorghum syrup to them , put them in a crust and got the amazing confection, Pecan Pie ( p'con pah). Which we used to get at the Reilly Springs Jamboree, which brings us back around to music and guitars!
I never claimed not to have a strong Appalachian accent <grin> and I've spent a whole lot more time with wood than doing machine work.  It was only a 9 month apprenticeship over 30 years ago and the machinery we trained on was already older than I was (like an engine lathe with a 30 foot swing between centers - WWII surplus from a destroyer or cruiser and used to true up 5" cannon barrels after they'd been fired too heavily) - so the machinist part was just good background as I've only been on a lathe 3-4 times since.  Hell, I've never known what I wanted to do when I "grew up" so the list of occupations I've had is really ADHD <grin>.  The only "constant" things are working on electronics either as a hobbyist or professionally and wood working of some sort since my granddaddy gave me a pocket knife when I was 6 and taught me how to make wooden whistles.  Didn't know that about the nueces - as far as I know "pecan" is a corruption of a native word, probably one of the Iroquoian tongues as most East Coast native languages are that family.   Hmmm, haven't have pecan pie since I was a child and my grandmama made it! Ah well, folk talk as they talk.  'Round here these mountains are pronounced "apple-at-chaan" but away from here and in the northern part it's the "apple-A-shun" (and since the name is derived from the Florida Appalachicola native tribe our pronunciation historically is more accurate).  But the "Tsagi" (Cherokee) who actually lived here called 'em "K'twah" (tongue click after the "k" making it more of a "kit" sound).  So hell, I dunno, the pie tastes the same either way.  Of, and if I hadn't been interested in everything else I would probably have enjoyed being a dendrologist as I've got at least a couple of dozen pieces of wood that I can't identify - some of which I brought back from Mexico and Jamaica - that I'd love to know what they are - wish I had gone to "wood college" (in a way I did when I was cutting timber, fighting forest fires, and living on the side of a mountain without running water or electricity 26 years ago).  Rob


© 2024   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service