Holly Wood (Not Buddy, Christmas, or the City)

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by fenderbender4, May 15, 2014.

  1. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    Has anyone used Holly for a body of the tele? If you have, is there a decent place to get it?

    I'm interested because it's different and the hardness SEEMS that it should work alright, but I've also read that it's highly susceptible to seasonal changes/temperature changes, so maybe it's not a great idea.

    Experiences? Thoughts?
     
  2. Model T

    Model T Tele-Holic

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    I have a couple of pieces, but I haven't used them yet. It's fairly heavy and dense; it also appears to have little or no grain. It'll stay pretty bright even with a finish on it, and it looks like it would polish up super-glassy. One of my pieces is big enough for a couple of fretboards, and the other one should yield a top and a neck. I bought one locally, and one from Bell Forest Products. Neither of them were cheap. If you're trying to find paper-white stock, expect to pay even more. Most of what I've seen, and the two pieces I have, are more of a vanilla-type color. From what I understand, the best stuff is cut in winter, and dried immediately to preserve the whiteness.

    To do a whole body, you'd be laying down a pretty good chunk of change, and still might have to do a four-to six-piece (or more) glue-up. Small trees, small boards.
     
  3. nicholaspaul

    nicholaspaul Tele-Meister

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    I appreciate your thread title, as I've discovered how difficult it is to google anything to do with the wood called holly. I wanted to find some when I lived in Canada. It would be beautiful as it appears so stark white.

    Alexander James uses holly and has some examples on YouTube and here - http://www.alexanderjamesguitars.com I've heard that the best place to get it is in the UK.
     
  4. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I see this isn't the Hollis "Holly" Wood appreciation thread, huh?...;)

    first thing I though of... one of the funniest characters from Spielberg's 1941..

    Slim Pickens is all time funny....:lol:

     
  5. dazzaman

    dazzaman Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a couple of pieces of holly, and judging by the weight of them a guitar would be very heavy. The really prized stuff is often used as an ivory substitute, but it needs to be very white for that, which requires cutting in a really cold winter (apparently). The stuff I have is a bit too grey to work for that, and there is no grain to speak of. Holly could perhaps be really good as the top capping piece with a lighter backing wood. It is also often dyed black and used as an ebony substitute, and I would guess both woods would have a similar response.
     
  6. bob1234

    bob1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have some body blanks from holly. I ended up not using them because they were too plain, too heavy, and didnt "ring" at all. May have been the wood I had I dunno, but it didnt seem to be very good for instrument making.
     
  7. Ed Miller

    Ed Miller Tele-Meister

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    It makes a great painted head veneers a'la Gibson. Bodies? Heavy and figureless.
     
  8. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    I'm having a really hard time finding anything that would be of suitable size without doing a 10 piece body or something crazy.

    Interested if it was used in a semi-hollow or acoustic/archtop back and sides instance. I've perused the Randy Parsons site quite a bit as I really like how "out there" some of the builds are. He's used Holly for acoustic (although inside is Brazilian Rosewood) and apparently for a Gretsch. It appears though that none of them are solid bodies.
     
  9. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    Oh, and apparently there are like 400-600 species of holly. I think I'm talking about Illex Opaca.

    How's the temperature/climate sensitivity?
     
  10. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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  11. henderson is go

    henderson is go Tele-Holic

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    Holly trees don't grow very large so it's doubtful you'll be able to find anything big enough for an electric. The guitar shown in your link appears to be brazilian rosewood with a holly veneer on the outside; due to the small size of holly trees, they're often used for veneer.
     
  12. Model T

    Model T Tele-Holic

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    Here are the two pieces I have, Ilex Opaca. They're not as heavy as I thought; maybe just a little more than hard maple. About six lbs. About $75 in the two pieces. The bigger piece is close to the biggest I could find from online vendors.

    [​IMG]

    I don't think I've ever seen anybody cutting for 8/4 either. There's probably more dough to be made cutiing it into smaller pieces and marking those up.

    Small tress, small boards. The way that Parsons Jet is described, it's probably hollow, or has a core of some other wood, and only the neck is solid holly.
     
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