Cedar build- Starting at the tree.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Durk, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Durk

    Durk Tele-Meister

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    I am going to be starting a cedar build pretty soon. I had a friend tell me that she had a cedar tree laying in her back yard, so I drove out to her place to check it out. I realized it was more than I could handle or would ever need so I call my buddy that owns Outlaw Drums. He said he could always use the wood, so he helped me get it. I walked away with enough to do 2 guitars and left the rest with him. Not sure of a body style yet but I will be starting on it soon.
    15232251_1226123930803646_1871052018456978865_n.jpg 15253585_1226123947470311_3716544327227816226_n.jpg 15326460_1226125254136847_2593785571446583548_n.jpg 15317949_1226125127470193_7350663222522554553_n.jpg
     
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  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So how do you go about drying that wood, and how long does that take?
     
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  3. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

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    You go, boy! I've always wanted to start a build with a tree...

    I vote tele body, natural finish, direct mount pups, no pickguard. That's my two cents, anyway...

    Good luck!

    John
     
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  4. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Me too, and I managed a one piece from a Jack Pine tree I cut down in my yard that was dead standing when we bought the house.

    I have a few pretty big slabs of Cedar and hoping on some inspiration/direction from this thread. I already like your suggestion for myself.

    If the OP is OK with the incursion, I'd be happy to post my cedar slabs for the cause.

    I can also throw my moisture meter on my non kiln dried slab which I saw cut on a band saw mill muck like picture above. It was cut 2013 IIRC. I did do a Ad Hock tented drying effort I can elaborate on if the thread/OP desires.

    Jack Pine Product: For pic candy, cause everyone likes pic candy on the TDPRI, right? In the home stretch.
     

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  5. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Putting the wood effect on tone debate aside...

    I have a not very expensive Takamine acoustic made totally out of cedar, and I swear it sounds better to me than any multi-thousand-dollar Taylor or Martin I've ever played.

    You also gotta remember that Cedar (like redwood) has certain properties unlike all other woods, but damn if I can tell you what those properties actually are. (I'm too stupid.) But think about hot tubs and exposure to extreme moisture and heat:

    It's always cedar or redwood.
     
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  6. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I know my Godin twelve String with the cedar top seems to sure get the top tingles smoothed to my liking...

    But on an Tele body, I may embed a Poplar or alder core/beam down the center when I get there...

    Looking forward to the OP's plans as they come to fruition...
     
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  7. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh my gosh that thing must have smelled fantastic while you were milling it.
     
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  8. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

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    I think I know the one you are talking about. They had them at a local music store and I played it once. REALLY resonant, and beautiful sounding.
     
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  9. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity

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    I made a CBG box out of a non-treated Cedar fence plank. Really had to do a lot of reinforcement on the front of the box to make it work, but it sounds great. I put the pieces in the oven for a few hours to help speed up the drying process.
     

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  10. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    The general rule of thumb in woodworking is 1 year for every inch of wood thickness (if air drying.) It helps to saw it into thinner boards, but you don't want to go too thin otherwise they can warp and there won't be enough wood left to plane them flat again. They also need to be properly stickered (stacked, with airflow) so they actually dry instead of getting moldy.

    There are places that anyone can send their wood to be kiln-dried, which is a good option if OP wants to use it soon. Drying wood is not my forte, but OP may want to check to see if sealing wax is recommended for cedar to prevent splitting (I don't think it is, but don't quote me on that. Then again, cedar does tend to be a wood that splits easily, so OP should look into that.)
     
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  11. Durk

    Durk Tele-Meister

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    The tree has been on the ground for close to 8 years. When we cut the first slab, moisture % was sitting right at 14%. We are going to let it sit for about a week and then throw it in the Kiln at the drum shop. You are correct about cedar splitting. It likes to move, but being this is already as dry as it is, I don't see it moving a lot. But either way, Michael dries all the wood for his business, so I am leaving it in his hands. I told him to call me when it was ready.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
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  12. Durk

    Durk Tele-Meister

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    It was great. I still smell it. I probably should have worn a dust mask while cutting it.
     
  13. edchavez

    edchavez Tele-Holic

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    Cedar makes for a nice guitar. Looking forward to seeing it.
    syds ipod2 004.jpg Tres Teles II.JPG
     
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  14. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Kind of like grandmas' house only outside.....
     
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  15. Durk

    Durk Tele-Meister

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  16. Durk

    Durk Tele-Meister

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    The moisture content is already at 14%. It is going to go in the kiln for a week or so. I normally build at 12% or 13% so it is already really close.
     
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  17. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    Since it's on my mind (and since you'll be working with cedar quite a bit in the near future), you might be interested in the RZ dust masks. I really want to get one because they're way more comfortable than the paper ones, plus you can replace the filters and valves if/when necessary. You can generally find them closer to $20 if you shop around rather than ordering directly.
     
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  18. Durk

    Durk Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! I have a couple masks but they are mainly for doing finish work. I really need to get something to use for the dust. I will look into that one.
     
  19. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I cut the Jack Pine I swore it was cedar by the smell. The wood said otherwise I learned.

    As with others here, I love that smell as well. I even perk up when I pass the fence isle at Home Depot and the cedar aroma hits my nose. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  20. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My Jack pine wood for the one piece came out of the bottom 4' of the tree. Being it was standing dead, what sap/water was still there settled low of course. I milled a few 3" slabs and forgot about it in the dry shop for 2 years. ;)

    The upper four trunks after the split were seasoned firewood ready. I was afraid a bottle rocket from the street was going to land in it and start the stand of live trees up 75 ft from my house [30' from my shop]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
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