Ash...or not (oak?)

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Yonatan, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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    What do you think?

    I bought it several months ago.

    It's a bit dark for ash...? I'm not aware that it was treated at all before I got it...

    5 lbs... So not super light but not super heavy either.

    It's multi piece of course, but to me looks and feels amazing. There is unfortunately some checking on the end of it, but I'm going to go with transparent finish anyway. (I sealed it right away with shellac hoping it would combat the checking, but I'm certain that this picture is from before I put any shellac on it).


    strat body (1).jpeg
     
  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    Looks like Oak to me too. Not necessarily a bad thing.
    Ash and Oak are from the same family (or so I've read)
     
  3. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Ash and Oak are not in the same genus, nor the same family. Ash is in the genus Fraxinus, which is in the family Oleaceae, the olive and lilac family. Oak is in the genus Quercus, in the Fagaceae family, which encompasses Oaks, Chestnuts, and Beech.
     
  4. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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    That's cool, if it is oak, I understand that it's fine as a tonewood. From searching around, seems that people hesitate to use oak for various reasons:

    1. It's heavy - I think the weight of this body (5lbs) is similar to that of an ash body

    2. It's hard on tools - Irrelevant in this case (it's done except for some drilling)

    3. It "looks like furniture" - I don't even know what that means (I guess you need to own hardwood furniture to relate to this claim)

    4. There's no demand for it - Again, irrelevant for me
     
  5. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    The "it looks like furniture" thing comes from how ubiquitous oak is when it comes to carpentry and woodworking in North America. For example, my dresser is oak, the window frames in my room are oak, the frames of the door into my room as well as the frames of my closet are oak, my bookshelf is oak, the baseboards throughout my house are oak, my desk is a combination of ash and oak, my dining room chairs are oak, the living room furniture is oak. I could go on but you get the point ;)
     
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  6. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    Unless it is just the lighting in the picture, the pinkish hue in the pickup cavity makes me think it is oak. But if it is blonde, it could go either way. I'd have to see it closer. I have seen some ash figured like that. Oak has a distinctive smell too.
     
  7. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Looks nice!
     
  8. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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    If those are my options, I'm leaning to oak as well. It's too busy for ash.
     
  9. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Take it to a hardwood supplier and they'll be able to ID it for you.
     
  10. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I built one out of oak years ago...dressed out at 10 lbs for the guitar when I was done. I don't think this is oak, looks more like ash to me.

    Can you press your fingernail into it easily? You will not if it is oak.
     
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  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't see any of the grain crossing Medulla Rays that oak is known for and that increase its strength.

    .
     
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  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I can't see the grain well enough. But tends to not look like oak to me. Either species it appears it's been treated if you ask me. Probably to bring out the grain. Nice figuring.
     
  13. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Okay, that went right over my head. I spot oak based on what I call morse code in the grain...dot, slash,dot, etc. that runs throughout. Some other species share that as well, but oak seems to be far more obvious for it.
     
  14. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    The checking on the end grain makes me sway towards Oak also, as Oak end grain can be a bit difficult to work with getting it smooth. Look at the end grain where the edges have been rounded over; Oak exhibits peculiar "cross-check" effects due to the water channel pattern runs perpendicular to the growth rings. Also, on the face look for "rays"; small brown streaks running with the grain. They will be longer but less prominent in White Oak. See here: https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/distinguishing-red-oak-from-white-oak/
    Lastly, Oak has a smell to it like wet dog or old socks when it is worked. Sand up a bit from the control cavity and give it a whiff.

    If it is Oak, remember to use Stainless Steel or Brass screws, not plain or plated steel. The tannins in the wood will attack the metal and make dark spots.
    It still could be Ash, as Swamp Ash is reputed to be lighter due to wider water channels in the wood making it lighter, and your piece may have grown in a drier climate, making for denser wood.
     
  15. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Meister

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    I got this about a half a year ago, but I asked the seller today, they insist that it is indeed ash, but that it must have had some finish put on it before I got it.

    I have no idea how much that is accurate...
     
  16. 5595bassman

    5595bassman Tele-Holic

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    I would go for ash, Maybe black ash with something applied on.

    Black Ash.jpg

    Oak.jpg
     
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  17. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    The control cavity looks lighter in color. Is that just the pic? If not, then I'd guess it had been coated with something. Inside the cavity it does look more like ash.
     
  18. jtees4

    jtees4 Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree. I think it's ash. I have a beautiful old dining room table made of solid ash, I remember thinking it was oak and I was told ash has much longer straight grains in it....which it generally does compared to oak.
     
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