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A question for the lumberjacks

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by stefanhotrod, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    68
    Aug 27, 2016
    germany
    What kind of wood do I have here?

    73EA232F-9352-4D36-A78B-7E3918D760AA.jpeg

    Sold as Swampash, but my luthier says it‘s Elm, even if it‘s a real lightweight. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  2. Shuster

    Shuster Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    400
    Oct 31, 2018
    South Texas
    Don't know what that is, but ash has a tighter grain than that.
     
  3. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 27, 2011
    Parts Unknown
    Don’t forget to apply generous amounts of Blacque Jacque Shellacque
     
  4. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    68
    Aug 27, 2016
    germany
    My luthier says it‘s Elm. Nevertheless:

    55428960-0696-46AC-8747-0458E8F04D1D.jpeg
    (Grams)
     
  5. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    68
    Aug 27, 2016
    germany
  6. I think you're going to get a lot of speculation on your question, Stefan :).

    It could very well be "swamp" ash. I have a couple of blanks of swamp ash in my stash and the grain varies quite a bit. One piece has has similar grain to yours with wider spaced growth rings. Another blank has a tighter grain with more closely spaced growth rings.

    Elm generally has a twisty type of interlocking grain that makes it difficult to split, I say that based on my personal experience cutting up storm damaged elm and splitting it for firewood.



    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
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  7. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 25, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Pretty difficult to positively ID any specific wood type from internet photos. Just IMO, your picture has a lot of characteristics that look like ash - american, western hemisphere species. My understanding is that "swamp ash" isn't really an actual separate species; it is used in a common sense to designate lighter ash, on the theory that ash trees (of various species) that grow in swampy conditions somehow turn out lighter - perhaps there is data to support this theory, I don't know. Here's a link for informational purposes:
    https://www.wood-database.com/swamp-ash/

    Not that I would tend to argue with any luthier, I was just a plain old carpenter for a number of years, and not a particularly fine one at that...in your luthier's defense, there's quite a few elm species that look like your picture as well, at least in grain pattern - although to my eye, the European elms lean more to a slight reddish brown tinge - but tree to tree, impossible to say from here.

    Regardless - looks like you have built a beautiful guitar and I'm thinking we all would love to see more pictures.
     
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  8. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Your top is maple, right? 1425g ~ 3.15 pounds. Even routed as a thinline that still means the body wood was pretty light.
    In addition to Ash or Elm, it could also be Catalpa. Is the body from the USA? I don't know if Catalpa grows anywhere else. When I first encountered it, I thought I had found the finest Swamp Ash ever, then learned what it really was. It's wondrously lightweight and I have at least one piece that is beautifully flamed. I have enough for about 8 bodies, and I got it from a local guy who imported a truckload from the Midwest of the USA. StewMac had a run of Catalpa Tele bodies for sale a couple years back.
    The wood database linked above is a good resource for identifying wood, especially if you can use a loupe on the end grain.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
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  9. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    A bit difficult to tell, but Elm is very heavy. It looks like it's Ash to me from the grain style rather than elm. But that top looks very different. What is the top? You are asking about the first pic right? Those darker streaks in the ash are readily apparent on finished guitars, they are soft open grain and usually below the surface of the surrounding wood which is tighter grain and harder.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  10. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    68
    Aug 27, 2016
    germany
    Thanks guys. The top is maple, I‘m unsure about the bodywood. Interesting answers. I still think it‘s too heavy for Elm because of the fantastic lightweight.
     
  11. ramonet

    ramonet TDPRI Member

    91
    Jan 18, 2013
    Barcelona - Spain
  12. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    68
    Aug 27, 2016
    germany
    Are there such light types of elm?
     
  13. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    68
    Aug 27, 2016
    germany
    I‘ve found another picture:
    4B737AE9-4A79-48A8-8678-EA670D9B8ABE.jpeg
     
  14. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    By the post title, I thought we were in for a Monty Python thread.....;)
     
  15. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    That picture looks even more like Catalpa than the previous ones. Still interested to know what continent the wood came from. I have a fair bit of Red Elm and it is about as heavy as Northern Ash. I kind of doubt the Elm I have used would rout down to a 3 pound thinline body. The Catalpa I have will make a solid body just over 3 pounds.
     
  16. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I'm not a "lumberjack" but I did attend ASC / NAU once upon a time!

    So, ELM has freckles, ASH has wrinkles and ALDER has splotches?
     
    schmee likes this.
  17. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
  18. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    68
    Aug 27, 2016
    germany
    Thanks. Too bad, I don‘t know the continent where the wood came from and meanwhile I guess my question is impossible to be answered. And you‘re right, looks also like Catalpa.
     
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