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Paulownia wood for body?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by ryokan, May 14, 2009.

  1. ryokan

    ryokan Tele-Holic

    971
    Sep 15, 2005
    Found this on the web:
    "Paulownia has been widely used in the orient for fine furniture, musical instruments, carvings and decorative finishes for over 1000 years. It can be peeled for veneer in 1/16 inch thickness and has even been sliced at 1/32 inch. Intricate patterns can be cut with a jig saw or band saw without splitting easily. Paulownia has been a favorite for many carvers in the US. Furnitures, doors and windows can be made with close tolerances. All normal finishing materials can be applied and it bonds well with glue."

    I'm interested in this wood as it is what the Chinese have used to build guqin's for thousands of years. Anyone have experience with it? It's beautiful wood and would probably make a nice tele body, very light...
     
  2. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 12, 2004
    Ohio
    Somewhere in thie Tele Mod Depot section is the P-wood thread I began sev wks ago.

    You see-- 2 yrs ago I bought a new $110 T copy that was a platform for me to fret level/crown for 1st time-- and other simple mods.

    Before and after all this-- it still sounded great- cheap ceramic pups and all.
    Later found out it is P-wood.

    --Since then I have bought a P Tele body from Guitar Mill, and just recently received P-bodied T copies from Carlson Guitars and Archer/Interstate Music.

    The Carlson one was setup good fb and fret work from the factory.
    The Archer, I had to 0000 st wool the rosewood fb and frets, with finer polishing on frets. It was funky --the fb!!
    Both sound very very good!!
    Very!

    Gonna put Wilkinson bridges on both.
    Top-load, oh yeah!!!

    I am TRYING to find P-blanks for guitars.
    To me, $200 is too much that I spent at Guitar Mill
    (no knocks towards them!!)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  3. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

    Here's one that Doug was referring to.

    Click Here
     
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  5. ryokan

    ryokan Tele-Holic

    971
    Sep 15, 2005
    Interesting -- it is very beautiful wood. Makes me wonder though if my tele would be neck heavy using such a light body?
     
  6. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity

    Yes, it would be. :)
     
  7. iansmitchell

    iansmitchell Tele-Afflicted

    Though strap pin location can offset neck heaviness quite well.
     
  8. NewGuy410

    NewGuy410 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    369
    Dec 27, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    I've got a Carlson Tele copy that's body is made of Paulownia. Its extremely lightweight.

    I know Guitar Mill sells Paulownia bodies now. "Feather Weight Series".
     
  9. tcarp

    tcarp Tele-Holic

    Age:
    64
    751
    Feb 1, 2009
    rockaway nj
    What are the grain properties like on Paulownia? Would it require a lot of grain filler? Would the grain "pop" sufficiently enough for a natural or translucent finish?

    Tom
     
  10. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    70
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    i love paulownia, superb solid body guitar wood, smooth and even grained, very lightweight and very resonant. those $100 dean vendettas are carved outta this wood. paulownia trees can grow 10 to 30 FEET per YEAR! a terrific natural resource guitar wood.
     
  11. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 12, 2004
    Ohio
    THere's a new Dean Vendetta at a dealer here-- will 'prolly soon go in and c if i can lo-ball their price.
    Another 'project' guitar for 'Paulo-Walnuts"
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  12. pchilson

    pchilson Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Aug 23, 2007
    Arkansas
    I took one of the Deans in a trade last week. It takes a little getting used to but once you dial it in its a spanky plank...

    When I took the neck off mine the neck pocket was full of sawdust that was between the neck and the pocket. When you played it you couldn't help but "bend" the neck just by moving your hand up and down the board. I was like "what the hell" this things going down the road quick. I scraped the pocket and bedded it with body putty to even and smooth it out. The bed of the pocket was kinda striated and the bondo leveled it. Put the neck back on and tightened it well and now no more neck "bending". Plays like a charm. Lightweight and can really growl. Fun guitar.
     
  13. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 12, 2004
    Ohio
    through the wonferful 'net-- I am trying to find pieces of Paulownia Tomentosa- (Kiri wood in Japan) for bodies.

    No luck thru the vendors I have tried.

    I have a wonderful 'T' copy from Guitar Mill-- but am looking for my own to do myself. ($200 would be a bit too much for each Paulownia project body!!)


    ***Who is in the KNOW of WHERE I can get some dried P-wood?? ***
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  14. NewGuy410

    NewGuy410 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    369
    Dec 27, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    Well, I don't see them on their website, but I saw a Paulownia blank when I visited Guitar Mill a couple weeks ago.
     
  15. iansmitchell

    iansmitchell Tele-Afflicted

    Gain looks like ash, but doesn't require AS MUCH filler. A little grain fill will do it. And yes, it's excellent for trans finishes.
     
  16. iansmitchell

    iansmitchell Tele-Afflicted

    I'm negotiating with a paulownia dealer now. They even kiln dry the stuff to under 15% moisture content, and they'll have pieces big enough for 1 piece bodies soon. PM me, I'll let you know when I can get it, and then we'll negotiate price for a body or a blank.
     
  17. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity

    It's about $20 australian for a first grade two piece Paulownia blank from a mill down the road from me (45mm x 190mm x (800mm) dressed all-round).

    But with a density of 260-290 kg/m3 (17-20 pounds/cu. foot) ... it's simply too light for my needs. Heavy balsa is denser!

    IMO, 350kg/m3 is as light as I'd want to use for a Tele body for screws holding, durability and balance. YMMV.

    That's quite high.
     
  18. iansmitchell

    iansmitchell Tele-Afflicted

    I'm not sure of the exact, but he says it's a few weeks. The supplier I'm talking with also supplies guitar mill. Plus, these are 1 piece clear blanks I'm talkin.
     
  19. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity

    Cool - I haven't see it wider than 250mm (10"). People down this way use it to make surfboards, not guitars! I can dent it by squeezing it between thumb and fingers!
     
  20. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 12, 2004
    Ohio
    This week I will continue a more focused
    search---

    for dried paulownia, for 1 piece bodies.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Last wk I bought a new Dean Vendetta for $110.00
    It is really great sounding!!

    One is on Crgs Lst locally-- I will try to get for 75-80$.

    I Love Linda Paulownia!!
     
  21. iansmitchell

    iansmitchell Tele-Afflicted

    Good luck!
     
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