Market for persimmon?

      Once popular in the manufacture of golf clubs, the demand for persimmon has slowed. March 2, 2000

Question
I have a lot of persimmon to cut if I want it. Someone told me that golf club heads were made from persimmon and there might be a market for it. Is there really a demand? Who would want to buy it and in what condition would they want it (chunks, logs, milled, etc.)?

Forum Responses
You may be able to find some market for the persimmon, but it has really taken a big kick in the butt due to the popularity of metal woods for golf. The large majority of golfers don't even use "wooden" woods anymore. You would probably be better off trying to find an alternative market.



The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
Persimmon wood outer panels (and veneer) are used in certain types of period reprodution furniture of China, Korea and Japan. It is rather rare, and exceptionally beautiful. There should be a market among those who are reproducing Oriental furniture artifacts in the U.S. I prefer U.S. made reprodutions as the quality control is much higher. If you order persimmon wood furniture from an Oriental outlet, invariably it will be special order with you paying up front sight unseen (photo only). You are then stuck with whatever you get, usually direct shipment from the importer.



Comment from contributor B:
There is a small but increasing interest in persimmon for use in the manufacture of custom acoustic guitars (back, sides and fingerboards). It would serve as a substitute for parts currently made from rosewood and ebony. The colors are obviously different but the mechanical and acoustic properties seem favorable.

The question in the lutherie community is where to find a supplier of the appropriate grades and dimensions. Barring that, a source for logs to be processed into billets and eventually the required parts would help.

The pressure to move away from increasingly rare and expensive tropical hardwoods could ignite a slow increase in demand for this and other renewable domestic woods.

However, until a sufficient number of guitars appear in the market, made of this wood, there will be no acceptance. It seems to be a catch-22 situation, as it is difficult to find the suppliers to experiment with the material.

The first step would be to try to connect the suppliers with the potential new consumers.



Comment from contributor J:
Persimmon is a fine wood for custom knife handles. A great market for persimmon wood exists there, and because of its tight grain, wavy figure and interesting grain, professional knifemakers would welcome its addition to their list of domestic hardwoods. It also has the reputation of being very reisitant to impact, and has been used as textile shuttles requiring thousands of hours of service. It has also been used as the handles for striking tools, another plus in its use as a knife handle material.



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