Alder: What's the next best thing?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Rigel7, May 17, 2021.

  1. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    I picked up this spalted beech body a while back and haven't got around to putting it together. Body is light and rock hard. It had a couple knots that I epoxied (the dark streaks on the arm contour).

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    I also like cherry. It is a bit on the heavy side but lighter than most maple. This one has a Cherry back and Chechen top.

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  2. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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    Oh man, the beech one is gorgeous!
     
  3. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Poplar body, enough said
     
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  4. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    Tree. Make it out of a tree.
     
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  5. Pork Chops

    Pork Chops NEW MEMBER!

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    You're Canadian, use maple.
     
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  6. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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    For a body? Waaaaaaay too heavy.
     
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  7. peterg

    peterg Tele-Meister

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    For a solid body, yes. Not too heavy for a semi solid. Or a thinner body like a Ricky.
     
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  8. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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    Yes, true. I was thinking solid, but yes, for semi it would be great.
     
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  9. ponce

    ponce Tele-Afflicted

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    It shouldn't be that expensive to get the 'proper' material, speak alder, southern ash or mahogany for a single guitar body if it's not AAA grade.
     
  10. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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    It is. If I got to a hardwood dealer I can leave with 2 guitars worth for 50 to 80 bucks. Or I can order a blank for 120 plus customs, eBay handling, and shipping.
    Alder is non existent here as we know it. Alder here is a twiggy bush that never grows into anything of use. Ash is local, so mostly white ash which is about twice as heavy as what we'd call "swamp' ash, and while I can get mahogany it isn't - to my understanding at least - especially alder-iffic.
     
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  11. guitar_paul1

    guitar_paul1 Tele-Meister

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    Coolest sounding tele I ever had my hands on was made of resin reinforced salvaged redwood, by Lynn Ellsworth. It had his special bridge design, too. But wow.

    I always thought a western red cedar body with a maple cap would be cool. Light, too.
     
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  12. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Poplar :rolleyes:
     
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  13. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Tele-Holic

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    Does anyone know where I can find a supplier of Catalpa who will send to the UK? My searches keep coming up fruitless! Cheers
     
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  14. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not sure why you would order off of eBay for something that involves customs, high shipping costs and exchange when you can buy it here in Canada. A few to choose from for around $80 plus shipping. Email them and see what they have. Great to deal with and no affiliation.
    https://www.woodtoworks.com/Guitar-Body-blanks-Billets_c_56.html

    Another place to check out. $7.00 bd/ft for 8/4 and they say they have various sizes and will ship almost anywhere. They are in alder country.
    https://www.westwindhardwood.com/product/hardwoods/alder/

    If that's over your budget then poplar is still the answer. You also have to realize that wood prices have gone through the roof especially on "luthier wood". I buy mine in 10 foot boards and plane and joint them so the cost is much less. My first 2 swamp ash blanks I bought were around $50 6 years ago. Now? Crazy...
     
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  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  16. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Poplar.

    Or, just walk through your local hardwoods yard, and explore. Pick something that seems suitable.

    I am a big fan of soft maple for bodies. G&L used it often in the '80s.
     
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  17. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Ok, my meaculpa, I only ever wanted two Teles, one which exists and one that never has. I have my vintage cream with a slick Strat neck, my dream. The other was a surf green Esquire that I knew I'd have to build. Well along came a Thinline I didn't expect with a basswood body I love. Well here in East Tennessee alder or basswood is high dollar, even one blanks worth. $80 for a blank and my thinline cost $119? Something wrong with this picture? Ya THINK!?!
    Well I got to crawling the web and did something I once swore I'd do, bought a kit. Basswood body, maple neck and rosewood board for $89 :eek:. I waited anxiously and for once was NOT disappointed. The body

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    . Now I feel I've cheated but I did get a good deal. As for you? Get some poplar and go about your life :lol:
     
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  18. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Those local Alder bushes that you speak of must be similar to the ones we had on the opposite coast in South Central Alaska.

    They were scrubby little bushes that mostly grew along the coast and everyone called them Alder.

    They weren't big enough for anything much, the exception being wood for the smoke house.

    I put up lots and lots of salmon smoked with Alder wood - it gives smoked salmon a great flavor :).

    There really weren't any other native woods that worked as well for smoking.



    Any Cottonwoods in your part of the country?

    Cottonwood smells like piss when it's green and freshly milled, but after it dries out, it looks good, it's stable, and it's nice to work with.

    Similar to Poplar, but I think the graining looks nicer.

    I think it would make a nice guitar body :).

    .
     
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  19. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I have a few builds coming up and I purchased some wood to make the neck trough body piece of Red Oak from my local wood sorce which is Lowe's because the original lumber yard here closed a few years ago.
    Well I needed 4 pieces of 1"x 4"x 4' to make that neck through and it cost me $125.00USD for that part. I could've bought a 4"x 4"x 4' piece of Mahogany from Stewmac plus shipping for about $8 dollars more.
    The 3 bodies I need would cost me about $80USD for Poplar at Lowe's to make each body. Stewmac had 3 paint grade Alder body blanks for $65USD a piece and since I bought all 3, shipping was free.
     
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  20. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Holic

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    Just built my first body from Poplar and was very happy with the choice. Two comments:

    1. You do need to be careful when working with it. I'm building a body out of Pine now, and while the Pine of course dents more easily, the Poplar was also susceptible to dings and nicks etc., but less so than the Pine. Just be careful with tools, where you rest it, etc.

    2. For the people saying that Poplar doesn't need grain filling - I'm not trying to contradict them as there are probably a few types of wood called Poplar - my body would have benefited from grain filing. I skipped it and had to pay the price so to speak at the primer stage.
     
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