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Hand Made Guitars by Luthier Dan Koentopp

What happens to old wood?

This is a picture of an old hammer of mine that recently bit the dust. It was one of the first tools I ever had. It was first in my hands when I was about three years old and I never put it down. It came from a bunch of tools that belonged to my great grandfather. It is a small ball-peen hammer with what looks like an oak or ash handle. The handle broke in half the other day when I was just holding it, funny how it held up even for the last blow. When it cracked it revealed a rather cool view of what happens to wood when it ages and dries for a long time. I was able to get a clear photo showing the structure of this vertical grained wood and what it looks like after a century or so. You can see the cell structure and each individual tube. This wood is extremely stable. It would take a long time for water to saturate and cause any change in this wood. It almost resembles the inside of bone. The good news is that I glued it back together! Wont have to carve a new handle just yet.

Old Wood

Old Ball-Peen Hammer

One Response to “What happens to old wood?”

  1. James Messick Says:

    I think you will need a new handle soon! Start carving!

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