Guitar builders: why not box elder?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by hemingway, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

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    Willow is used in building Violins for the neck and side blocks, and it's very strong and stable, with a variable weight, I guess like swamp as as it often grows along rivers. It's also used traditionltra for Cricket bats.
    I'd use it, but again, it's hard to find in the right sizes for guitar building.
     
  2. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

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    Excellent point!

    I still have all my fingers and it's not from intuition - it's from good folks reminding me to use ordinary safety precautions. Thanks!
     
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  3. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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  4. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Tele-Afflicted

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    I have seen a couple hundred Box Elders cut down and have never seen any flame
     
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Can't say I ever saw any box elder locally, but I did make a couple solid bodies out of black willow. It used to be a wood you could get in Woodshop Class years ago. There was a source in North Carolina ( Paxton Lumber) that used to sell it but they went out of business. It is really lightweight and used to be a walnut substitute with some stain on it. It's got interlocking grain so it isn't easy to sand. It kind of smells too when you work with it.

    https://www.google.com/search?biw=1...1j0i8i30k1.0.lPPd2bGu0Lk#imgrc=pp5OjJtiZygVWM:




    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/box-elder-tele-body.492985/
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  6. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    In my browsing for information on Box Elder lumber, there were plenty of folks saying the flame is actually fairly rare, and only present when a tree has undergone stress; either from being attacked by borers or windblown, but look at any flame pieces and try to find one without borer holes. If you have healthy trees with minimal insect invasion, you probably won't find much flame.
     
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  7. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    I think that picture is of a fellow woodturner, who resides in VA. Box elder, as I am told, gets its flames from the box elder beetles that carry a fungus on their backs. Similar to Ambosia Maple (fungus carried by ambrosia beetles). The fungus causes the flames. I've made bowls, boxes and urns from it, but the flames were not as prominent as the pieces Roger was slabbing. I've seen incredible turnings from large pieces, but I've never had an opportunity to get a nice piece.
     
  8. Macrogats

    Macrogats Tele-Afflicted

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  9. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

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    Now you're thinking outside the box! :lol:
     
  10. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Tele-Afflicted

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    By the time trees get that big here they are usually rotten core. Most that grow in this area only get about 2' in dia.
     
  11. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Black willow is a really pretty wood. The end grain looks similar to catalpa or swamp ash.

    In the web pictures in your link, I also saw some sassafras wood, another local favorite from my youth. If you can find any sassafras trees large enough to cut pieces with any appreciable size, you'll see some very nice grain. It's also a pretty light weight wood.

    We used to snap off the ends of small sassafras branches and chew on them ; they had a very unique flavor! In fact, the whole tree from the roots up, has a pleasing smell I'll never forget. The odor is very apparent when you work the wood too, especially when it's "green".


    Best Regards,
    Geo.,
     
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  12. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    Root beer is made from the roots. It sends out runner roots , then an anchor root goes down and a trunk goes up. When young I use to pull up the saplings, and saw off the root and make tea. Oddly, its a Cancer causing natural thing. Liver.
     
  13. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Afflicted

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    Also admissible: songs by Box Elders
     
  14. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Oh, perfect! Never heard of them, so I suppose I need to do some research.
     
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  15. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

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    There are idiots galore using chainsaws out there. Makes me cringe. Then again Darwin law has its way:

     
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  16. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I love the stuff, I have more than a few tops worth of it. It can be very heavy. Here's one I started on a whim, I was really testing my band saw set up. Box Elder on reclaimed Oak and Chestnut. Here's looking at you . . .
    Elder Topped.jpg
    I should probably finish this up.
     
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