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Hand Made Guitars by Luthier Dan Koentopp

A Hunted Tree

The other day I was planing down some flame maple boards and ran into a rare but interesting situation. The board appeared to have some dark spalting across the middle of the plank, or so it seemed.

Maple with dark spotting

After a few passes through the planer a shiny dot started to reveal itelf within a dark spot. I immediately stopped and grabbed an awl to try and pry out the metal. The metal was soft and popped right out.

A piece of metal revealing itself

It turned out to be a ball of lead shot. Each dark spot in the wood contained one single ball of lead shot.

Apparently, this tree stood in the way of a shotgun and absorbed the shot spray as a young tree. It continued to grow and engulf the small balls and over time the metal reacted with it and left these dark spots. I might look differently at spots like this in the future!

Lead Shot

2 Responses to “A Hunted Tree”

  1. Daniel Partner Says:

    I have a friend, an very old man, who in former days worked in a veneer mill here in Oregon. He has a jar full of various kinds of bullets that he found in the logs that were peeled for veneer. Some are whole and some have been sliced by the machinery. Some clearly date from the nineteenth century. Fascinating!

  2. admin Says:

    That is really cool. In a way, it feels like opening a time capsule.

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