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The Potential of Ipê (Handroanthus SPP.) and Maçaranduba (Manilkara SPP.) Woods in the manufacture of bows for string instruments

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While the wood Caesalpinia echinata (pernambuco wood) is traditionally used in the manufacture of bows for string instruments, wood of other genera such as Handroanthus (syn. Tabebuia) and Manilkara are also used in bow making, but still on a very small scale. This study aims to evaluate the anatomical, chemical, physical, mechanical, and acoustic characteristics of these two latter woods, establishing their potential for bow making. Length, frequency of vessel elements and rays, and the higher percentage of fibers influence the density, modulus of elasticity, modulus of rupture, and the speed of sound propagation, whereas the content of lignin influence the sticks’ stiffness. It appears that Handroanthus bows can provide quality equivalent to that of pernambuco wood. Despite its appropriate heartwood color and texture, Manilkara provides bows of inferior quality.


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