Paulownia Research

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by preeb, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    It looks like he's picking his nose with the blank... LOL
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Personally, I think Paulownia's sound preempts any other when used for a solid body.


    I have built a load of teles and strats from it... all sound amazing..... That’s a Paulownia Tele I’m holding in the photo in Premiere Guitar. Not too shabby, Huh? :cool:

    Bob Schell (Brookwood Leather) has several U-Tube vids where he's playing one of my Tele made of it.....

    The only precaution... when I do a Strat, I rout through from the back in the area of the tremolo and insert a block of a hard wood to absorb the pressure of the tremolo mounts. The raw Paulownia will compress under the tension.

    Doing it this way, the insert is completely covered by the Tremolo spring cover plate..

    Also, Paulownia is a bit soft. If you are a gorilla with your gear, it’s not for you… but those that appreciate a fine guitar and treat it accordingly, it’s not a problem.

    And NO, it is not structurally sound enough for a neck. :eek:

    Some made of Paulownia..

    http://www.ronkirn.com/gallery/index.php?album=Vilnius+Vamp

    http://www.ronkirn.com/gallery/index.php?album=pattydavid

    http://www.ronkirn.com/gallery2/index.php?album=Wally

    http://www.ronkirn.com/gallery2/index.php?album=Yukon+King

    Ron Kirn
     
  3. melomanarock

    melomanarock Tele-Holic

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    You mean it would compress under pressure right? I think I'm not getting the block thing..

    Im just starting to build 2 Paulownia strats.. a hardtail and a tremolo one.. I don't quite get how wouldn't that block be visible from the front..

    You wouldn't happen to have a picture would you?
     
  4. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    a fascinating thread, thank you for posting, preeb.
     
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    You rout a hole from the back to the front, but leave about 1/8 inch at the top, thus the block is not seen, it is concealed by the remaining 1/8th.

    A Tremolo in Paulownia is a disaster waiting to happen. And use 1 1/2 inch screws to secure the hard tail and strap button...

    rk
     
  6. ForrestLeeJr

    ForrestLeeJr Tele-Meister

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    It's my new favorite for benders... its so light, almost too light, but I've built several with it, double benders, singles... all weigh in (with my benders) around 7 lbs.
    If you have a bad back and play all night, this is a great tone wood choice.
     
  7. poorman

    poorman TDPRI Member

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    Preeb, what's your "post-honeymoon" opinion on this wood?

    I'm building a Tele from it now (2.5lbs without the neck pocket cut). I noticed the grain swells and sinks greatly with the humidity. I sanded the back perfectly flat a week a go, after an increase in humidity the grain has swelled significantly.

    Not the most stable wood. And boy does it dent easily. But it is pretty and very light!
     
  8. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    All wood species do that to some degree but it is most noticeable on softer wide grain lumber.
    You'll need to seal it right after sanding with at least two wet coats of hi solids sanding sealer. I had no issues after doing that.
     
  9. TheZ

    TheZ Tele-Meister

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    Excellent thread, one of many that you have authored! I was wondering and maybe I've missed it in a previous page, but what became of the "cheaper" wood that you had on order when the thread began? Did you find it usable and were there notable differences in the tone/workability?
     
  10. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    It wasn't a good enough tone wood for musical instruments.
    Paulownia varies a lot and the range is anywhere between poor and superb.
    I find the feather-weight stock used for traditional Kotos to be great and very consistent but the grain is very pale and plain and not as beautiful as the harder cheaper stuff. I guess you can't win it all...but tonality comes first of course.
     
  11. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey Z - Here's a thought - being in the Pac NW, I've use a number of the native softwoods - spruce, d-fir, fir and wr cedar and, if precautions are taken to mitigate the softness and tendency to crack if not dried carefully, those woods can make an excellent sounding very light guitar and are no more difficult to work with: Especially spruce and wr cedar, and the grain can be really interesting too. I've found that local Pac-NW mills or shops like Cross-Cut in Seattle can have some excellent 8/4 slabs of these soft-woods that are pretty consistent as well.

    IMO, what people are looking for out of Paulownia may actually be better, cheaper and more readily found in a lighter soft-wood.
     
  12. TheZ

    TheZ Tele-Meister

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    Good to know, thanks!:D
     
  13. Stratburst

    Stratburst Friend of Leo's

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    Zombie Thread!!!!! :eek: :twisted:

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone tried making a P-Bass with a paulownia body? I was thinking of making a bass for the wife since her shoulders tend to talk to her after a while. Thanks in advance.
     
  14. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Gil,

    I was wondering if you ever made any more instruments in this series, and if so, what was the result. Hope you and family are doing well,

    Shalom
     
  15. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Trying to "listen" to the tone of a GUITAR from a youtube video is very much like trying to smell the scent of an after shave from a youtube video...:D

    Even a cm in MIKING position can make a HUGE difference in the sound,(I am not even mentioning the room,the preamps & type of mikes used,the compresion you get from the conversion to mp3 quality,THE AMP USED, etc,etc)...

    Of course trying to "hear" the ..."sound" of a guitar in a recording is even harder since there is a gazillion of effects and frequency cancelations happening at the same time....

    The only reasonable way to find out if a guitar is right for you is to play it in your favorite amp and see if you like it. (no the "killer" strat you played in the vintage Fender vibroverb at GC won't sound so great plugged into your ss Gorilla amp you have at home....:D)
     
  16. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Yes I have. They all share the same airy woody midrange and definition.
     
  17. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks! If you took any pictures along the way, please share when you have the time :)
     
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