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Paulownia tele body

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by chucker, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. chucker

    chucker TDPRI Member

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    Just got a nice one from ebay, $52. with tax/shipping. Needs neck holes and string holes otherwise all in order. Get this. 2.5# so final weight should be a bit over 6#. Despite ultra light weight it has reasonable surface hardness and doesn't have the soft deadness of pine or poplar. Very resonant when you rap it with your knuckles.
    When I first heard of paulownia, and the asian manufacture it was being used for, I figured it was some cheap and pulpy crap. Looking into the matter i found that was hardly the case and that the wood had a musical instrument history, and more astounding, that luthiers were having very positive results with it in lieu of spruce for acoustic guitar tops.
    I am a cabinetmaker but we as a group really don't know that much about wood, usually we use several domestic species primarily and go with what the market calls for. The Shamel ash Taylor is using shows how much we all have still to discover.
     
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  2. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought these two bodies from GFS as a guitar tonewood experiment and the results were excellent. Not perfect telecaster or strat dimensions and the string-thru holes on the tele body were not perfectly aligned, but Paulownia is a fantastic tonewood.
    IMG_0074.jpg IMG_1512.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  3. Urshurak776

    Urshurak776 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a tele body with Paulowina. Sounds great. Enjoy!
     
  4. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    One of my favorite guitars is a partscaster I built with a GFS Paulownia body. Under 6 lbs, sounds great. The only real flaw is the funky string ferrule holes - but the neck pocket (it has a Warmth neck) is perfect, tighter than some USA production guitars I've owned. IMG_2775 GFS.jpg
     
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  5. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Nize

    GFS use to carry em. Don't know why they stopped.
     
  6. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I built a Tele style in 2019 using a GFS unfinished Paulownia body. VERY light, and finished with Tru Oil, it came out very pretty. It sounds good, but the only downside is it's so lightweight, (a hair over 5lbs total) it has neck dive. I have to use a wide suede strap that "grips" my shoulder to be able to use it on gigs. Otherwise, it was a good choice.
     
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  7. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I love Paulownia. My dad and I built a telecaster shaped guitar out of a GFS body this summer. It turned out so well that he now has two more he is working on. The only downside for me has been that all my other guitars feel too heavy now.
     
  8. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Very nice light tone wood. Has a lot of sustain. Is pretty soft though, I would reinforce the screw holes with some CA glue.
     
  9. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I bought two pawlonia Tele bodies from GFS, an Oly White one and a double-bound black one. I had none of the problems that GFS is kind of infamous for, and my only complaint is that the finish on the white one was pretty thick. That guitar's got my Hipshot bender on it and it lives in my studio.

    The double bound black one (with a Squier Strat neck) turned out to be a pretty great guitar - it was my #1 T-body until I got my Danocaster. Can't weigh much more than 6 pounds.

    db-tele deck.jpg

    - D
     
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  10. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Nothing wrong with Paulownia as a guitar wood.

    A lot of folks seem to think very highly of Glendale.

    Check out their guitars and bodies - mostly Paulownia.

    .
     
  11. dpang2836

    dpang2836 Tele-Meister

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    Be more like 5 lbs. I like light and my Thinline Body weighed 3.75 lbs. with total weight coming out at 6.25 lbs.
     
  12. Skub

    Skub Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a couple,the Esquire in my avatar and the other I use tuned to open G.

    Both bodies were GFS and needed work. Maybe I lucked out,but both guitars sound great and weigh sub 6lbs.

    If you are the sort that has one lying about to play unplugged,they are amazingly loud and sweet for a solid body.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  13. dpang2836

    dpang2836 Tele-Meister

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    Nice Grain and Super Cool Pickguard!
     
  14. MLHull

    MLHull TDPRI Member

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    I agree the pickguard is very nice.
     
  15. chucker

    chucker TDPRI Member

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    The Warmoth neck getting put on is roasted maple with the 1" thick boatneck profile and weighs 1lb. 5oz., so we will see where the final weight is. A normal neck would weigh less. It's the difficulty of finding a Fender brand product with a thick neck and the right pickups that got me into building in the first place.
     
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  16. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Tele-Afflicted

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    I am having a build made from paulownia now and they're setting threaded inserts in the neck pocket and using recessed strap locks because it is a little bit softer. But they sound good and so easy to handle. I've seen them get dented easily so untuck your shirt.
     
  17. dpang2836

    dpang2836 Tele-Meister

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    Yes, I wasted $1400 on a New American Standard that I hated and got $700 a year later! Over 10 years of Building my own the way I want it! My next Body is a P Bass Rout, in a Thinline Tele Shaped Body. Chambered like my 6 String, so nice and light. Also have a 30" Scale Rosewood Neck ready to go. Shaped the Headstock Snakehead with 2 Tuners per side because I am going to have the Coolest and Shortest Bass around! 42" so fits in my Tele Gig Bag and Mustang Hardcase. I love my "One Offs" and you will too.
     
  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    I have several Paulownia guitars as well as laminated plywood at all different price points.

    Wood doesn't matter for 'tone' except when selling the guitar.
    Marketing has too many people twisted up in knots about lumber species.

    .
     
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  19. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Respectfully disagree.
    You're right and I'm right some too.
    it can make a little difference to bigger difference in an electric guitar... it's just a crap shoot the woods..


    There is the story of great luthier Joe Glaser in Nashville early on building electric guitars from scratch, using the best type of woods and such; and several to him turned out to be dogs or so-so.
    (As I recall one he did for Brent Mason was just ho-hum).

    So he got out of that mojo magic part of making guitars and went on to be one of the top innovators and luthiers in the country. (And very smart programming at this plek machine with eye for detail).


    With electrics it'ss such a crapshoot you just don't know.
    With solid acoustics it's absolutely a different story- and bracing matters a lot too, not just the woods!


    Ymmv after $50,000!
     
  20. chucker

    chucker TDPRI Member

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    good points made with fastening, where ultra light wood has its issues. the old carpenter trick is to whittle a plug out of a wood scrap, and hammer it into a stripped hole with some yellow glue, and chisel the end flat with the work piece. i am thinking of drilling 1/4" holes in the neck pocket and elsewhere, and using a plug cutter to produce plugs out of either softer hardwood or douglas fir. toothpicks and dowels are also used, with the disadvantage that they are usually harder wood, and end grain to boot.
     
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