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Letter: Engelmann Spruce

Letter: Engelmann Spruce

by Jan E. Callister

Previously published in American Lutherie #53, 1998

Dear Tim:

Just a few comments on Don Musser’s interesting article, “Rocky Mountain Tonewood Alternatives” in AL#51. Years ago when I was cutting Engelmann spruce and trying to market it for soundboards, I often found large logs of Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) in the yards of logging mills. These trees were called “swamp” spruce by the local loggers since the trees apparently grow in high meadows with an abundance of water. I found the annual rings to be much too wide for guitar soundboards. I have since been told that this may not be a problem for luthiers who build cello or bass viol. Don Musser probably has a much better chance of finding ideal blue spruce in Colorado where blue spruce is much more abundant than in Utah.

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