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Swamp Ash vs Northern Ash

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by SixShooter, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

    Sep 20, 2008
    Thanks for continuing to provide info on this topic.

    To your point, Swamp Ash is a nickname of sorts. I imagine that alot of the references we are looking at may be wrong in linking the name to various species of ash because so many people don't know what it is. There probably are several species which could be used for Swamp Ash but I think that in practical terms of what is grown, harvested, and sold it is probably one or maybe two species that make up 99% of what is being sold as Swamp Ash. My theory, based on what I have read, is that the dominant species is green ash.

    Perhaps your supplier could provide info as to what species he is selling to you?

    I'm not on a witch hunt here by any means. Just having fun trying to figure this mystery out.
  2. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    I think I flew with that guy. He got all flustered when I used a little of his Shrink Tex with my bourbon.

  3. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

    Mar 2, 2012
    Northampton, UK
    I'm jealous.

    I assume Spanky Planky Hotsie Totsie whamo wood is native to Australia, as we only have it's distant relative Wanky Spanky wood here, and the girls don't seem to like it when I use that to impress them.
  4. ehawley

    ehawley Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 16, 2005
    Keyport, New Jersey
    Ron...very elegantly said!
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Yep, I compare it to Yellow Pine... pronounced yellapine down here..

    It's any pine wood that has strongly contrasting grain pattern... and is kinda yellow.... must be a hundred different species of Pine that produce that stuff... but walk into a lumber yard, and they only know two different types, yellow pine, and white pine... and a lot of Hem fir is sold as white pine..
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    Reverse Darwinism?

    If electric guitar builders over the years find that some ash grown in swampy areas down South is lightweight and makes good electric guitar bodies, does that make it a species?

    The choosing of wood for a musical instrument is a musical instrument makers job.
    If you want a lumber yard to do the choosing, you'll have to pay them for the sourcing, sorting, seasoning, storing, and inventory management, and they deserve a few extra bucks if you want them to weigh each piece and take pictures of it, figure out if one end of a board has the same density as the other end, promise that no checks will appear in the middle when you cut it, and finally get the third degree online if the guitar builder has trouble making guitars out if it.

    If we want a lumber yard to do all this work for us, we might as well buck up and call it tonewood.
    Or the lumberyard will hire PHDs and call itself "Luthiers Supply", and charge 10x the price for wood that is just what you want and ready to use.

    Another option is to buy an old stake truck (define "stake truck", is it a make or model?) with different color fenders, drive around the South to woodlots, befriend sawmill owners, buy piles of green ash (green, not Green), haul it home and season it in the pole barn you built to save money and avoid having to buy "tonewood" from a luthiers supply place.

    If you build traditional wood boats, traveling to woodlots is a reasonable way to get some nice green Yellow Locust for your deadwood.
  7. Missipimud

    Missipimud Tele-Meister

    Mar 1, 2011
    Vicksburg, MS
    I find it difficult to wrap my head around the idea that the butt section of a log would have lower density than the upper, even if it is growing in saturated soil. As a result of growing in that environment, many trees develop a "swollen buttress" that is useless to the mills so it often discarded before it goes on the truck or the tree is cut down above it. Maybe swamp ash comes from the discarded butt section after all. I'm curious to know if there is in fact a difference in the tissue that develops in that portion of the tree.
    While not a Fraxinus, a google search returned a paper on a Populus (poplar) species that indicated this: "Within-tree wood density and shrinkage varied at each height level, decreasing along the stem from the base upwards. Moreover, within the samples, at the same height level wood density and shrinkage in the radial direction increased from the pith outwards."
  8. cormorant

    cormorant Tele-Meister

    Aug 4, 2012
    The tone resides in the router hump, which is why we're all having such dreadful problems these days.
  9. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 12, 2007
    Queensland, Australia
    Here we have a similar wood called either Tasmanian Oak or Victorian Ash, depending on whether it was from a tree in those two respective States, and also whether it's timber sitting on a shelf (Tas Oak), or timber used in the construction of say, an expensive solid wood bed (Vic Ash).

    Thing is, like "swamp ash", it's a generic term for a few species of Eucalyptus. At last count I think it was 3 different species from a wide range of area.

    There is a huge variation in density of these 3 species. If it were a "tonewood" then select light stuff would be "luthier grade" and command a much higher price.

    As it is, the light stuff looks and machines almost exactly as Mahogany. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that it's being sold as Mahogany in guitars.

    Probably as Tasmanian Swamp Ash. :D
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