CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Gon bops and Valje, Red and White Oak

Sunday, November 28, 2010

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Gon bops and Valje, Red and White Oak

The amateur botanist in me has always wondered what exact species of Oak was used by Gon Bops and Valje, back in the day.

Looking at the drums in the past, Gon Bops looks to be a red Oak, and Valje as well, but does not look to be the same species.

As far as Red and White Oak, there is a fairly simple way of telling them apart.

firstly, the side grain, looking for long horizontal marks called "rays", being longer in the white oak, the one on the top of this picture. Not to be confused by the annual rings marks, the bigger bands lighter in color.

And secondly, the end grain, looking for a more prominent 'stacks of soda straws viewed on end', or more and slightly bigger little circles, if that makes sense. the Red Oak is on the left, White on the right.

I'll have to look at some closeups in the past, as I dont have oak Gon Bops or Valjes in my possession, at the moment. Feel free to send pics if you have them,

My guess is that Gon bops and Valje used either California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii) or Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia), or even more confusing to us as identifiers... the Canyon Live Oak (Quercus chrysolepis), an intermediate species, half way between white an red Oak!

Im quite sure Valje and Gon Bops did not use the same species of wood, at least in the time of the early Sunset Strip shop... Akbar in SF may have used a different species of Oak than Tom in LA...

Anyway, I'll change this post in the future if I can confirm my suspicions.

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