THIS MORNING I began the grading and pairing of each set. I graded them 0 to 5 based first on the sound created by tapping them while suspended between my thumb and finger. A tap with the end of a finger will reveal the potential sound of a piece of wood when built into an instrument. I must tell you, I was thrilled with the sound of this wood. Every set is excellent but twenty sets are wonderful, and three of them simply blew my mind. They rang like the finest of bells in the finest of Europe's cathedrals. This wood will make astonishing instruments I am sure. I am told that wood hardens as it ages. The hardness and stiffness is necessary for great tone. Imagine how many years this redwood stood enduring the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter atop a New York City building. No wonder it developed hardness and stiffness.
I carefully join book matched pairs. Then I tap tone them to see how they resonate. some wood rings deep and mellow, and some rings with a high tenor resonance. Some simply leap out as exceptional in tone and range. I mark on each set that it is a "w,t" for water tower, "RW" meaning redwood, and then a number between 0 and 5 indicating my grade of sound. Only three were marked 5-x. You can imagine which will first be used for an instrument.