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MMD > Archives > March 2000 > 2000.03.02 > 07Prev  Next

Red Gum Wood From Different Trees
By John Wolff

In MMD 000227 Mike Kitner asked about a type of wood used in player
actions, which was later generally agreed to be red gum, and found to
be rather scarce.  Charles Hildebrant (MMD 000228) noted that red gum
was plentiful in Australia, and could perhaps be imported from here.
Unfortunately, the two timbers are not at all similar.

In America, red gum refers to the reddish-brown heartwood of
Liquidambar styraciflua.  It is a fine-grain timber with a weight
similar to soft maple.  It is listed as having good strength,
stiffness, and shock resistance, and was once extensively used for
furniture and joinery.

In Australia, red gum is Eucalyptus camaldulensis, a coarse, heavy,
durable timber which is widely used outdoors for fence posts, bridge
deckings, railway sleepers (cross-ties?) and the like.  It has an
intense deep-red colour when freshly cut.  The nearest American timber
is probably something like red oak.  It would not be at all suitable
for piano parts.

John Wolff
Melbourne, Australia

Key Words in Subject:  Different, Gum, Red, Trees, Wood

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