Osage Orange Tonewood

From producing a fruit that fed the mastadons and mammoths of the Pleistocene epoch to providing one of the hardest, most elastic and rot resistant woods for humanity's early engineers, Osage Orange is now poised to enrich the music and story of our handmade instruments. Where I come from, we call it “Bodock”. In the mid-west they call it “Bodark”.

Hundreds of years ago the French trappers referred to it as “Bois d’Arc” - Wood of the Bow.

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Guitar No. 70
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Fresh Cut Back
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Don Reed's Mill
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Milling Guitar Sides
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Off the Mill
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A Polite Canadian
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Watch Those Fingers!
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Special Thanks to Don Reed
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Fresh Cut
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Old Growth Log
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Tom's Woodmizer
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Guitar No. 84
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Osage with Rosewood Trim
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Kim's Osage Tree
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Spencer with the Logs
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Milling Kims Tree
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My EZ Boardwalk Mill
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Nice Cut of Tonewood

The Osage Orange Project

In 2016, I began exploring what it takes to turn an Osage orange tree into a supply of back and side sets for guitar. The only thing I had was a chainsaw and a pathfinder. Therefore, I was very reliant on the good will of others, namely my father. He has the f-350. In the beginning I was borrowing the use of a Woodmizer sawmill from a family friend, but now I have my own small mill.

All I can say is that for one person with very amateur logging equipment to go from a tree to guitar sets takes lots of time, strength and money. So it doesn't make much sense as a business unless you or someone you know has the capacity to properly select and extract insanely heavy logs from a forest and haul them to a mill. Then there is the problem of wood quality. Even when you get the perfect cut, Osage orange will always have lots of surprises inside. Sometimes you can process an entire tree and only get a small handful of perfectly clear sets.

Regardless, I'm stubborn and will continue the madness if for no other reason than out of a genuine love for the wood and how the right cut of it is as good of a guitar wood as you can find.

Here is a recent Osage orange project

My Work


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Special Projects

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