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40 years old poplar body blank

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by duym, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Yes. When done by beetles they call this Traditional Weight Relief.
     
  2. duym

    duym TDPRI Member

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    Oh yes, I meant aged when I said "dry". It has been stored in a well covered "outdoor-climate" shed over the years, so the humidity changed by the four seasons, year to year, I think.
     
  3. duym

    duym TDPRI Member

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    You mean, all of them? :eek:
     
  4. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    The preference is to bring wood to 6% moisture content in order to stabilize it . Afterwards , the wood is permitted to acclimatize . For example ; wood kilned to 6% will absorb ambient moisture when removed from the kiln environment .
    The relative humidity in the Martin factory is kept at 38% and this is where the assembly of their guitars takes place . Thin woods , like what you find in an acoustic guitar are far more prone to checking/cracking , in part to the transverse bracing that is glued to the top and back . Since they are the areas where the largest surface areas exist , they are more susceptible to negative results because of humidity factors . Add to that , the fact that the grain in the bracing is on a tangent to the grain of the wood that it attached to and you create stress points related to expansion and contraction of the associated woods involved .
    Most cracks are attributed to low humidity than high , by far .
    It is not uncommon to find packets of desiccant in an electric guitar case simply because of the negative effects of moisture on electronic components .
    I'm stopping here because I am hungry . I may pick up on this subject later .
     
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  5. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I can't say that it was *all* of them, but it was certainly most of them. Multi-piece poplar with a veneer front and back.
     
  6. Solaris moon

    Solaris moon Tele-Meister

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    BURN IT, BURN IT, BURN IT! FIIIRRRREE!!!!!!
     
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  7. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

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    Oh goodness, now I have to get out my calculator...;)

    Where is Harlan? I must determine if you are to be forgiven.
    Just kidding, of course.
    But in woodworking circles it is well established that the metric system is fraught with danger. One is far more likely to experience a serious shop accident if measuring using these treacherous units.
    Still kidding...
    Sounds like you're about 23 5/8" x 15 3/4" x 3 1/8". That'll sure do - you have all kinds of room! That's a great hunk o' wood.
     
  8. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

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    The very nice and becoming increasingly popular 1990's Made in USA Peavey Predator (Strat) and Reactor (Tele) were this way too. Poplar with a thin maple veneer (for a reason I've yet to divine, as they were all solid colors).
     
  9. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Weight ?
     
  10. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

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    You mean to make them heavier, which maple would do, but only a tiny bit as it's just a veneer. The only thing I have figured out is maybe ease of finishing, which I doubt, as I think the added manufacturing steps would not justify the slightly better finish-taking characteristics of maple versus poplar. If for durability/dent resistance, again, the edges, where dents are most likely remain bare poplar. Hartley Peavey was a pioneer in streamlining guitar manufacturing and I doubt he'd have done any steps that were not for a good and economical reason.
    There are a few guys over on the Peavey forum who worked there back in the day. I think I will ask them. I'll post here if I get anything back.
    Rex
     
  11. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    The veneer makes it quick and easy to prep for a finish. The veneer hides all the glue joints so you don't have to grain fill and sand them, likely more than once, to make them invisible through a finish. Also, if it's a transparent finish, like blonde or sunburst, a nicely-grained veneer can be used.
     
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  12. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Exactly the opposite . Poplar because it is lighter than Maple . The look of Maple combined with the lighter weight of poplar . There would also be a cost factor with poplar being less costly than Maple and figured Maple in particular .
     
  13. duym

    duym TDPRI Member

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    Sorry :D I'm from europe, I use metric system (and bad english:) , but your values are right, this is the size
     
  14. RedHills

    RedHills Tele-Meister

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    Bug wise...it's easy to tell. Look for sawdust. As dry as that is, I doubt anything is active. Bugs need higher moisture content.
     
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  15. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    curious when you say makers prefer old wood if there's a reason for that other than just that (let's say 50 years old vs. 5) there tends to be little new wood sold now that's similar to what was available 50 years ago at a relatively low price.

    Trying to find a quartered relatively low density honduran body blank at this point big enough for a one piece back is fairly expensive. The wood that's around seems to be 50 years old or 2 months old. I am new to building, but not new to using wood and needing little movement. In fact, I'd like less than most makers would probably like because I'm stuffing some of it in infill planes. If it shrinks, I'll have wasted about 80 hours making a plane that develops an unsightly gap. I tend to buy old wood just because I know it's dry, but it does sometimes have quite a bit of hidden bug damage.

    A friend of mine who builds just about everything (including violins) has all kinds of criteria (like anyone who can get it, he prefers spruce a couple of hundred years old for violin tops), but I don't think he necessarily goes for old wood in guitars. I know he roughs his parts out and lets them hang for a long time before using them, but I think that's probably a habit of violin makers - he does it on guitars. I have heard him grumble a few times about how brittle some wood becomes when its old (brazilian?). Ash and fir definitely get brittle as they get older, but ash is quite nice to work when it's straight out of the kiln.

    Same friend mentioned here (obviously) has a humidity controlled shop environment, but said he puts tops in the oven on low heat for a while before assembling an acoustic guitar, to make sure the bias is on them being a little too dry for wherever they go.
     
  16. duym

    duym TDPRI Member

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    Yes, I think so and my grandpa said too, there's no infection
     
  17. duym

    duym TDPRI Member

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    I see... But you know, I interested in the "mojo" of the wood, the fact that my grandpa already had it, when I wasn't even born. That makes this piece of wood special for me. so if i can use this wood, and I can, I wouldn't use any other
     
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  18. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

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    Then you are forgiven for introducing those pesky millimeters ;)

    Yes! Finding wood like that, full of "Mojo" is great. I have wood my father cut from a tree when I was just a boy that I will be using soon, wood that my grandfather cut, and lots of wood that I have picked up at places that are meaningful to my life that I will make into guitars. These become the guitars you love to play and every time you touch them you think about where they came from.

    I look forward to seeing this come together. Consider practicing any steps that are new to you on some wood that does not have such a dear meaning to you, in case there is a "learning curve" involved!

    Rex
     
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  19. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    You can set up a router sled to bring your blank down to thinckness. If that isnt an option an area wood shop would likely do it for you for a few euros.
     
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  20. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Poplar is soft and pretty easy to plane. The hard way would be to use a "scrub plane", one that has a slight radius to the cutting edge. Getting that huge slab down to 45mm thick ought to burn some serious calories. :D Best way would be to find a bandsaw with enough resaw capacity (you need at least 13"/330mm for a Tele body) to get it close to finished thickness.

    Look to local schools that may have a woodshop or touch base with any sort of local woodworker's club. Somebody should have at least a large bandsaw.

    By resawing the slab, you'll get two pieces to play with. The offcut ought to be around 30mm thick, useful for a lot of projects.
     
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