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Old January 22nd, 2013, 12:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Maple Cap? Front & Back?

Hello to all!

This is obviously a great forum, and I am happy to have found it. I have some wonderful wood that was actually milled on my Grandfather's farm. It is Michigan Red Maple, about 80 years old. I have two planks that were brought inside and properly stored several years ago. They are in surprisingly good shape. The boards are heavy, with a great resonance to them. I have them planed to a thickness of 3/4" from their original 1". I had originally planned to build a Tele body out of just those boards, but I now think it would end up weighing "way" too much.

I still am going to build a Tele body, but I also have a nice pine board that has also been stored inside. I'm thinking that I will use that for the majority of the body [thickness]. My question(s) is this: Should I make a "cap" with the full thickness of the existing 3/4" maple, over 1" of pine? Or, sandwich it with 3/8" maple - 1" pine - 3/8" maple. Would their likely be much appreciable difference tone wise? Or, should I just use a 3/8" maple cap alone, and let the rest (1 3/8") be the pine? I will be able to get the body width I need with just two of those boards joined together (stacking for required thickness, of course).

Anyway, this is a great forum and I would welcome any / all advice.

Thanks!
Will ~
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pictures of the Michigan Red Maple Planks added -
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 02:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, I think I'm just going to go with a 6/10" Maple cap over the pine body...
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 03:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There's really no right or wrong way to do it, it just comes down to what you want and the look your going for.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 03:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There's really no right or wrong way to do it, it just comes down to what you want and the look your going for.
Thanks! I just want to incorporate some of that wood, get decent tone, and hopefully don't end up with a guitar that only "Shrek" could lift!
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 03:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When it comes to getting a decent tone, I'm of the contention that the wood your using will have no effect. [can of worms]

You're going to have a great looking guitar with that wood, though, and as was said above, there's no right or wrong was to do it. It's all about how you want to do it.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 03:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When it comes to getting a decent tone, I'm of the contention that the wood your using will have no effect. [can of worms]

You're going to have a great looking guitar with that wood, though, and as was said above, there's no right or wrong was to do it. It's all about how you want to do it.
Thanks Roger! Your post on using the 100 year old barn wood really got me interested in trying to build one myself... The wood is quite beautiful, and there's a great connection that I have with it.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 04:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You have lots of options.

I built an all maple Tele several years back and it's one of my favorite guitars. It's a 1.25" chambered maple core with .25" maple caps front and back. Hand bent maple sides. Double bound. Standard hardware with Texas Specials. Very light and tone for days.

I have a studio track I produced with it if you're interested in how it sounds.

Here's what the core looked like.



Peace,
Mark
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 05:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've built a couple guitars that way. Pine core, then laminate hardwood on top, or on top and on back.

I'd probably go with on top and on back, because when viewed from the sides, a big thick top just looks "out of proportion" to me. But maybe you could make it look ok with binding. A thin top/thick core/thin back would look good.

Or you can just send that maple to me, because that would work too. :P
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 05:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Guitarnut View Post
You have lots of options.

I built an all maple Tele several years back and it's one of my favorite guitars. It's a 1.25" chambered maple core with .25" maple caps front and back. Hand bent maple sides. Double bound. Standard hardware with Texas Specials. Very light and tone for days.

I have a studio track I produced with it if you're interested in how it sounds.

Here's what the core looked like.



Peace,
Mark
I'd love to hear how it sounds!
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 05:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'd love to hear how it sounds!
Well go check it out! LINK
The sound clips are on the last page, but don't cheat yourself, read the whole thing!
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 06:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Well go check it out! LINK
The sound clips are on the last page, but don't cheat yourself, read the whole thing!
That guitar is stunning! One of my favorites that I've seen here on TDPRI so far. Really nice work. And that TONE! Yowza yowza!!!! There's nothing better than a guitar that looks awesome, and then sounds even better.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 06:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well go check it out! LINK
The sound clips are on the last page, but don't cheat yourself, read the whole thing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffPBlues View Post
That guitar is stunning! One of my favorites that I've seen here on TDPRI so far. Really nice work. And that TONE! Yowza yowza!!!! There's nothing better than a guitar that looks awesome, and then sounds even better.
Funny. That guitar has elicited everything from the above kind comments to "That's the ugliest thing I've ever seen. What were you thinking!"

I'm dangerously close to hijacking this thread so I'll just say Thanks!!!

Here's the studio track...not sure I ever posted it in the thread.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You have lots of options.

I built an all maple Tele several years back and it's one of my favorite guitars. It's a 1.25" chambered maple core with .25" maple caps front and back. Hand bent maple sides. Double bound. Standard hardware with Texas Specials. Very light and tone for days.

I have a studio track I produced with it if you're interested in how it sounds.

Here's what the core looked like.



Peace,
Mark
Hi Mark:

The more I think about it, the more I'm interested in what you did with that one. Making it with a hollow core would resolve the "weight issue" and allow me to use that really special wood for the entire body. I do have a question, if I may: could you have just as easily cut out the sides - vs. hand bending them? Or maybe I'm not understanding your comments right.

Anyway, that is a sweet looking (and great sounding) guitar! Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

Will
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by OpenG Capo4 View Post
I've built a couple guitars that way. Pine core, then laminate hardwood on top, or on top and on back.

I'd probably go with on top and on back, because when viewed from the sides, a big thick top just looks "out of proportion" to me. But maybe you could make it look ok with binding. A thin top/thick core/thin back would look good.

Or you can just send that maple to me, because that would work too. :P
If I go solid core, then I think I'll follow your advice...Thanks again!
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Old January 24th, 2013, 01:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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When it comes to getting a decent tone, I'm of the contention that the wood your using will have no effect. [can of worms]

You're going to have a great looking guitar with that wood, though, and as was said above, there's no right or wrong was to do it. It's all about how you want to do it.
Ya - As far as what you can do with the body, the most effective way to ensure good tone is to make sure that mechanically the guitar is very solid and all of the parts fit really well and share as much surface area as possible. A good tight neck fit, sanding the bridge plate bottom flat to so that all of it contacts the body, and then making sure the saddles and nut are filed correctly... all that stuff adds a little more sustain and evens out the attack - that's stuff that matters for tone: What the wood adds is relatively insignificant if the mechanical alignment/fit is not the best it can be.

I can't think of a chambered guitar that I did not like the sound of - it's a good way to go.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 01:40 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm of the opinion that you need to build all the options mentioned...seriously. Oh and show us how you did it too
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Old January 24th, 2013, 11:10 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm of the opinion that you need to build all the options mentioned...seriously. Oh and show us how you did it too



Well, I do have enough wood for more than one build. So, stay tuned for future developments! ....................................
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Old January 24th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Hi Mark:

I do have a question, if I may: could you have just as easily cut out the sides - vs. hand bending them? Or maybe I'm not understanding your comments right.

Anyway, that is a sweet looking (and great sounding) guitar! Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

Will
Hi Will.

Thanks for the kind comments.

The bent sides were part of the overall design. The core was made up of many strips of scrap maple. This meant that all of the glue joints needed to be covered. It also meant that there would be no end grain showing anywhere on the body. If you look closely at the photos, it's flame maple side grain all the way around...like an acoustic guitar.

If I had cut the sides to shape from a larger piece of maple, there would have been issues with short grain where the bends turn cross grain...it wouldn't have lasted thru the cutting much less the production process. Plus, it would have been a huge waste of resources.

You can see all the short grain..in red...that would be produced by cutting them to shape.



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Mark
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