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Beech as a tonewood?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by alternativetele, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. alternativetele

    alternativetele TDPRI Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    Norfolk, England

    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 :D

  2. Rob52

    Rob52 Tele-Holic

    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.

  3. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    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.

  4. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    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.

  5. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

    All Beech in this body

    From an old bed frame
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010

  6. Telefinken

    Telefinken Tele-Meister

    Dec 28, 2009
    It should give You a nice Beech Boys sound, I suppose... [​IMG]

  7. alternativetele

    alternativetele TDPRI Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    Norfolk, England
    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 a moderator: Aug 26, 2012

  8. '59_Standard

    '59_Standard Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    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?



  9. alternativetele

    alternativetele TDPRI Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    Norfolk, England
    Thanks '59 Standard, and everyone. This is really helpful

  10. '59_Standard

    '59_Standard Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    BTW - Tonetech sell a Paddle style neck, but the holes are pre-drilled for 6 aside tuners.


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


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

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


  11. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

    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 :lol:

  12. '59_Standard

    '59_Standard Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    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. :D But it worked.

  13. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2008
    Northern Va.
    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.

  14. oigun

    oigun Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 29, 2009
    Haarlem, Holland.
    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.

  15. hurphurp

    hurphurp NEW MEMBER!

    May 27, 2010
    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.

  16. drgonzo2

    drgonzo2 Tele-Meister

    Jul 22, 2007
    Daventry, U.K.
    IIRC, the necks on Burns guitars were made of beech...

    ... G

  17. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 6, 2008
    Franklin, TN
    Make 2 guitars - one for the Dad and one for the son of a beech ;-)

  18. Henning

    Henning NEW MEMBER!

    Jul 27, 2012
    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 - - -

  19. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

    Jul 25, 2012
    Kelowna B.C, Canada
    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

  20. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Puns unlimited. I'll play. It's must for songs like "Beechwood 4-5789".

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