Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Guitar builders: why not box elder?

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

  1. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

    Aug 23, 2017
    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

    Jul 25, 2011
    Houston, TX
    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!
    Milspec likes this.
  3. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jul 24, 2009
    Ada, MI
  4. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 16, 2015
    I have seen a couple hundred Box Elders cut down and have never seen any flame
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    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.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  6. edvard

    edvard Tele-Holic

    May 15, 2016
    Bremerton, WA
    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.
    LeftFinger likes this.
  7. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 6, 2008
    Franklin, TN
    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

    May 15, 2017
    Auckland, New Zealand
  9. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 25, 2011
    Perth Australia
    Now you're thinking outside the box! :lol:
  10. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 16, 2015
    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. 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,
    guitarbuilder likes this.
  12. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    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-Holic

    Mar 21, 2017
    Also admissible: songs by Box Elders
  14. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    Oh, perfect! Never heard of them, so I suppose I need to do some research.
    Manual Slim likes this.
  15. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    There are idiots galore using chainsaws out there. Makes me cringe. Then again Darwin law has its way:

    Milspec likes this.
  16. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    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.
    crazydave911 and Rock-Ola like this.
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