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

Wood choice

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by P-land pimpin', Dec 24, 2008.

  1. P-land pimpin'

    P-land pimpin' TDPRI Member

    Dec 13, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Hi TDPRI- first post. I want to build a parts caster. I don't yet have a tele, but fell in love with a Fender Custom Shop "Relic" Tele. I am not into the relic thing- 5k for a pre aged guitar is not my thing- but this thing was LIGHT! What a great tool to have. I recently built a Warmoth parts guitar, and it is a PLAYER. I'm addicted. I do have to disclose that I will proably put non standard PU's in it (maybe not), and I would like a '52 ish body.
    So my question for the experts:
    1) How light can I make it, but still healthy and stable?
    2) What woods are recommended? I would like it to be snappy and responsive but not tinny and unbalanced toward high frquency.
    3) Solid or chambered or thinline? I realize thats a HUGE can of worms in these parts- but to keep in line with the weight/tone parameters i have described above.
    Thanks for any and all advice.

  2. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    1) A lot of people would tell you they love light teles, other like a body to weigh in between 4.5 -5.5 pounds, and other like a heavy body guitar for sustain. If a body is to light it will cause it to be neck heavy and dive towards the floor. If a guitar is too heavy it becomes cumbersome to play. You really have to figure out for yourself what weight you like best.
    2) Most teles are made fro Swamp Ash and Alder, but quarter sawn Pine is becoming more and more in vogue these days. I think all three of these woods will fit your tone description.
    3) I would go with a solid body, especially if you have a light blank, if you decide to go with a heavy wood like walnut or heavy northern/swamp ash, I would chamber that sucker to keep the weight down, especially if you want to top the guitar in a pretty flamed wood like burl walnut or quilted maple. Now thinline, thats really a personal cosmetic and tone choice. I like the looks of thinlines, but I don't like the way they sound as compared to a solid body guitar. I feel they are more open and thin sounding, but a good picker and good set of pickups can do more for tone than body wood and build configuration.

    If you are going to purchase the body, Id probably just get a nice swamp ash or alder body that weighs under 5 lbs. Alder is less grainy, so it will be easier to finish. But... Swamp Ash has beautiful deep grain, and a great tone ( not that alder doesn't).

    If I was going to build it, I would look more into chambering and what not, especially if the wood you get is particularly dense and heavy.

  3. E Baxter Put

    E Baxter Put Tele-Meister

    Mar 2, 2008
    I'm not an expert at all, but I do have a partscaster with a custom made pine body. It is very light, just over 6 lbs. The neck is a slightly flamed maple neck that is pretty light, but not skinny, a fat c shape. It is perfectly balanced and sits nicely without diving in either direction. It is a very sensitive guitar. With .09 gauge strings it sound awful and tinny. With .11 gauge strings it sound huge and fat with a big booming bass that resonates through the body. It is wild and alive.

  4. mrothacker

    mrothacker Tele-Meister

    Oct 6, 2008
    For a solid body,
    Alder - my personal favorite tonewise , kind of heavy !

    Swamp Ash - not as heavy , good tone for me , some prefer this over everything else.

    Basswood - even lighter , I dont care for the tone ,the MIJ pink paisley - Tele's are made with this and a lot of people really like the tone.

    If you take any of those woods and make a thinline or chambered Tele they will be even lighter , but it will have some affect on the tone . I have an alder thinline body and I think it sounds great !


    DADGAD Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 18, 2003
    For a Tele, use Ash. Light ash.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.