A question for the lumberjacks

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by stefanhotrod, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    What kind of wood do I have here?

    73EA232F-9352-4D36-A78B-7E3918D760AA.jpeg

    Sold as Swampash, but my luthier says it‘s Elm, even if it‘s a real lightweight. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  2. Shuster

    Shuster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Don't know what that is, but ash has a tighter grain than that.
     
  3. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

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    Don’t forget to apply generous amounts of Blacque Jacque Shellacque
     
  4. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    My luthier says it‘s Elm. Nevertheless:

    55428960-0696-46AC-8747-0458E8F04D1D.jpeg
    (Grams)
     
  5. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Sry
     
  6. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    I think you're going to get a lot of speculation on your question, Stefan :).

    It could very well be "swamp" ash. I have a couple of blanks of swamp ash in my stash and the grain varies quite a bit. One piece has has similar grain to yours with wider spaced growth rings. Another blank has a tighter grain with more closely spaced growth rings.

    Elm generally has a twisty type of interlocking grain that makes it difficult to split, I say that based on my personal experience cutting up storm damaged elm and splitting it for firewood.



    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
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  7. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Pretty difficult to positively ID any specific wood type from internet photos. Just IMO, your picture has a lot of characteristics that look like ash - american, western hemisphere species. My understanding is that "swamp ash" isn't really an actual separate species; it is used in a common sense to designate lighter ash, on the theory that ash trees (of various species) that grow in swampy conditions somehow turn out lighter - perhaps there is data to support this theory, I don't know. Here's a link for informational purposes:
    https://www.wood-database.com/swamp-ash/

    Not that I would tend to argue with any luthier, I was just a plain old carpenter for a number of years, and not a particularly fine one at that...in your luthier's defense, there's quite a few elm species that look like your picture as well, at least in grain pattern - although to my eye, the European elms lean more to a slight reddish brown tinge - but tree to tree, impossible to say from here.

    Regardless - looks like you have built a beautiful guitar and I'm thinking we all would love to see more pictures.
     
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  8. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Your top is maple, right? 1425g ~ 3.15 pounds. Even routed as a thinline that still means the body wood was pretty light.
    In addition to Ash or Elm, it could also be Catalpa. Is the body from the USA? I don't know if Catalpa grows anywhere else. When I first encountered it, I thought I had found the finest Swamp Ash ever, then learned what it really was. It's wondrously lightweight and I have at least one piece that is beautifully flamed. I have enough for about 8 bodies, and I got it from a local guy who imported a truckload from the Midwest of the USA. StewMac had a run of Catalpa Tele bodies for sale a couple years back.
    The wood database linked above is a good resource for identifying wood, especially if you can use a loupe on the end grain.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
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  9. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    A bit difficult to tell, but Elm is very heavy. It looks like it's Ash to me from the grain style rather than elm. But that top looks very different. What is the top? You are asking about the first pic right? Those darker streaks in the ash are readily apparent on finished guitars, they are soft open grain and usually below the surface of the surrounding wood which is tighter grain and harder.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  11. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Thanks guys. The top is maple, I‘m unsure about the bodywood. Interesting answers. I still think it‘s too heavy for Elm because of the fantastic lightweight.
     
  12. ramonet

    ramonet Tele-Meister

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    Elm, for sure
     
  13. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Are there such light types of elm?
     
  14. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    I‘ve found another picture:
    4B737AE9-4A79-48A8-8678-EA670D9B8ABE.jpeg
     
  15. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    By the post title, I thought we were in for a Monty Python thread.....;)
     
  16. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    That picture looks even more like Catalpa than the previous ones. Still interested to know what continent the wood came from. I have a fair bit of Red Elm and it is about as heavy as Northern Ash. I kind of doubt the Elm I have used would rout down to a 3 pound thinline body. The Catalpa I have will make a solid body just over 3 pounds.
     
  17. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not a "lumberjack" but I did attend ASC / NAU once upon a time!

    So, ELM has freckles, ASH has wrinkles and ALDER has splotches?
     
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  18. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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  19. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Thanks. Too bad, I don‘t know the continent where the wood came from and meanwhile I guess my question is impossible to be answered. And you‘re right, looks also like Catalpa.
     
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