Questions about luan and other shells

poekoelan

Member
Question 1.
Why is it that luan seems to be the only drum shell material where the grain runs vertical while all other woods run horizontal? If drum shell plywood is like other plywoods, each ply has the grain running in different directions to increase strength. So it should be no problem for luan shells to have the outer plies run horizontal but I've never seen that. And likewise, it should be no problem for the outer plies of other woods to run vertical. But i've never seen that either.

Question 2.
I've heard that another name for luan is ramin. If so, is it still possible to get luan or ramin shells in the US? I'm asking because I used to use ramin dowels to make arrows. Ramin was my favorite wood to use for arrows because it was very strong and very inexpensive. But a few years ago the US stopped importing ramin and ramin products. Something about the way it was harvested and destroying the rain forests or something like that. Now I have to use birch. It's more expensive and it doesn't stay as straight as ramin did. I wish I could still get ramin dowels but I can't find them anywhere. Are they still importing drums made from it? Just curious.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
I think you have a few misconceptions, although me adding clarity is unlikely to help you, plus I'm no expert on the best species for arrows :)

There are no rules in ply layup. They can be all vertical, all horizontal, all angled, or any mix/combination you can think of. If the ply layups you've seen are all vertical, it's probably that way to lower the pitch. Similarly, all horizontal will raise the pitch. A mix of the two will - guess what :)

Ramin is a completely different wood to luan, actually, a collective genus of species. Luan is a cheap & fairly plentiful wood. Ramin is an appendix II CITES red list species genus hardwood. The USA not importing it is nothing to do with a USA decision, it's a global trade decision.
 

poekoelan

Member
I'd say you did help me and I thank you. I never knew that the way the plies were laid would raise or lower pitch.

And you seem to know more about ramin than most. I know I heard that luan was another name for ramin, though. I just can't remember where.

Ramin does make an awesome arrow. Way more durable than the more traditional arrow woods.

Thanks for the reply.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'd say you did help me and I thank you. I never knew that the way the plies were laid would raise or lower pitch.

And you seem to know more about ramin than most. I know I heard that luan was another name for ramin, though. I just can't remember where.

Ramin does make an awesome arrow. Way more durable than the more traditional arrow woods.

Thanks for the reply.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbqMu7Vu0xg

Take a look. While it's a good demonstration. Be warned, whenever this man says "We invented", he means "We patented in the United States".
 
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