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Old October 24th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Beech as a tonewood?

Hi

My Dad and I want to build our own guitar, similiar to a burns jetsonic. We have a good piece of beech in the garage, and wondered if we could use it for the body of our guitar? What kind of tone does Beech have?

Also, does anyone know of a place where we could buy necks with completely plain, undrilled headstocks, so we could make our own design head?

Thanks in advance, Sam

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Old October 24th, 2010, 05:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never used Beech, (though I have an an old piece in the shop I will get to one day) though others have, it should work out fine for a body. As for tone, as much as wood type might affect the tone of a solid body guitar, I'm sure someone here will have some experience they can relate.

At least a couple of traders on ebay have necks with unshaped and undrilled paddle headstocks in their lists and I'm sure Allparts has them. Guitar Parts Resource carry Allparts necks.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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American beech is pretty dimensionally unstable, but I know terminology gets mixed up across the pond.

But I have seen a few threads here recently where some of your fellow UKer's have used beech. I am also a UKer, but University of Kentucky, not United Kingdom.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have built a Jazzmaster out of beech and it was by far the heaviest guitar I ever had, strapping it on was strapping on a grand piano.

It sounded rather good though.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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All Beech in this body

From an old bed frame

Last edited by macaroonie; October 25th, 2010 at 10:14 AM.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 11:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It should give You a nice Beech Boys sound, I suppose...
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Old October 25th, 2010, 04:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macaroonie View Post


just to see if the image works now!

(moderator's note: youtube embedding requires just the code for the actual video in-between the YouTube tags, for instance the first one above is RmRjT7HnYik?fs )

Last edited by Tim Armstrong; August 26th, 2012 at 10:01 AM. Reason: fixed youtube embed
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Old October 25th, 2010, 05:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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These are Macaroonies Videos - nice location on the shore! They were loaded on Full Screen which might be why they didn't show on here?

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Old October 25th, 2010, 05:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks '59 Standard, and everyone. This is really helpful
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Old October 25th, 2010, 06:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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BTW - Tonetech sell a Paddle style neck, but the holes are pre-drilled for 6 aside tuners.

Tonetech

WD sell an undrilled paddle, but it has a 15 degree headstock.

Wd

Fingerboard Radius is limited on either - unless they are ok for you.


Warmouth in the USA have far more options for a Paddle style.

Warmouth
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Old October 25th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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thanks '59. I don't know what went wrong with the embed but you kindly fixed it.

European beech is not unlike maple , it machines well due to the close grain. Visually it is a bit bland although the sunburst shooters would pep it up some.
No way could you do a solid , its far too heavy for that , but a well carved out thinline will get you there weight wise.
It carries sustain very well as you will have heard.
FYI here is my build thread , it might give you some ideas, good or bad


http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home...ld-newbie.html
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Old October 25th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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thanks '59. I don't know what went wrong with the embed but you kindly fixed it.
Nay worries.

I had an issue myself. If you look at the http address of the first video on youtube. All that was needed was this part of the address: RmRjT7HnYik ,was to go between the Youtube brackets.

As you can see I don't know the "technical terms" either. But it worked.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It should sound beechy!
Actually, i see no reason not to use it. Pretty much anything and everything has been used to build a solid body guitar. Build it tight and with care, put good electronics and pickups in it, and I bet it'll turn out good.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 03:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Beech is a shortgrained wood, it is often used for workbenches and carvingboards. Because it is shortgrained it can take blows without dents, but it is not a great tonewood. In the past there where a few dutch companies building necks out of beech mostly all these necks are warped now and unplayable and bad sounding.
Steamed beech is more stable. TMHO beech is not a great wood to build guitars with it is also very heavy.
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Old April 10th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Beech is a shortgrained wood, it is often used for workbenches and carvingboards. Because it is shortgrained it can take blows without dents, but it is not a great tonewood. In the past there where a few dutch companies building necks out of beech mostly all these necks are warped now and unplayable and bad sounding.
Steamed beech is more stable. TMHO beech is not a great wood to build guitars with it is also very heavy.
I've worked on a lot of Teisco/Japanese guitars from the 60's that appear to have necks and bodies made from some sort of beech and, aside from being slightly heavy, they still play and sound pretty good.
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Old April 10th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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IIRC, the necks on Burns guitars were made of beech...

... G
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Old April 11th, 2011, 09:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Make 2 guitars - one for the Dad and one for the son of a beech ;-)
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Old July 27th, 2012, 07:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi.
I had many years ago a Burns Bison bass with a "violin" style peghead with beech neck.
Beech is reckognisable by its "spotted" character. Furthermore the bridge on violins are mad by beech too, so I guess it will be quite suitable as "tonewood" for a massive guitar body.
If you already have made the experiment, I should like to hear about it - - -
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Old July 27th, 2012, 09:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If you have the wood or it's pretty cheap, I say go for it. If you don't like the sound or the weight, build a new body of other wood and just swap all the equiptment. You have nothing to lose. Plus it'll teach you a few dos and donts of building guitars
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Old July 27th, 2012, 09:49 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Puns unlimited. I'll play. It's must for songs like "Beechwood 4-5789".
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