Which Body Wood is best?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by eldarvox, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. eldarvox

    eldarvox TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    I'm toying with the idea of building a parts caster

    What's the opinion on types of wood for Telecaster body?

    Swamp Ash

    Alder

    Mahogany with Maple Cap

    Basswood

    Thanks:lol:
     
  2. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Don't forget pine. Well not new pine but old pine that comes from an old barn or from the floor of the mens room in a dank old bar.
     
  3. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

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    The benefit of that pine is it will already be stained BSB for you
     
  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Traditionally a tele would be made from Alder or Swamp Ash. Nowadays with DIY guitar building, any wood free of defects can be used, so you can make a choice based on tradition, weight, or looks. It really boils down to what you like and prefer in a guitar. Every component helps to create its unique sonic signature, not just the body. There are plenty of opinions on all of them.

    Manufactures are going to make guitars that will sell in their price range and traditional woods seem to reign supreme with them.

    I just cut a few pine blanks today. New, beautiful pine harvested from old trees a few years back....The planks were 20 inches wide. They make fine guitars..... don't get fooled by the hype of old wood, it is marketing 101.

    Some of the earliest tdpri pine guitars that essentially started the pine craze and were highly acclaimed, were made from newly cut and milled wood. I know this from the actual experience of being involved in the construction of some of them.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  5. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

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    Don't remember who said it on here but it's pretty good advice. The best wood is free wood and the second best is cheap.
     
  6. LeroyBlues

    LeroyBlues Tele-Holic

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    I hope it's Alder and Paulownia. I have 1000 bf of 8/4 Alder and 300 bf of 8/4 Paulownia to make bodies from.
     
  7. JReazor

    JReazor Tele-Holic

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    If I can pile on to the OP's question...

    All other things being equal, how does the type of wood effect the tone? I'm wondering if some of of our more experienced builders can offer some specific examples for more common woods based on what they've actually heard.

    Does one type sustain longer? Does another produce a darker tone? Are some kinds of wood so close that it doesn't matter?

    Thanks,
    -James
     
  8. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    Would that be "Beer, Scotch & Bourbon"?
     
  9. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Such exciting questions. Anyone care to respond? :twisted:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

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    I live barely 400 miles from Sir Humphrey's estate and I am at a loss ... BSB ??
     
  11. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Blood Sweat and Beers?
     
    Greenmachine likes this.
  12. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

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    BSB = Butterscotch blonde, if I remember right.

    I think any wood thats stable, free of fatal defects, and cheap is the best for making bodies. I get very nice alder for $3 bd/ft.

    Whatever wood you use, if you use Tele pickups and 25.5" scale, it'll sound like a Tele.
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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  14. eldarvox

    eldarvox TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the replies, seems like there are lots of options and opinions

    Just started reading the pdf, thanks for that
     
  15. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

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    Butterscotch Blonde - also known as piss yellow.
     
  16. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    The absolute best wood to build bodies out of is………….The wood you have on hand ;)

    That said, I prefer light weight to heavy, and also prefer woods which lend themselves to finishing. With those criteria in mind, my favorites in order are Basswood, Pine, Alder, Black Limba, Obeche, Mahogany. I don't like Ash, heavy Mahogany, and surprisingly Fir, because they take so much more work to finish.

    All of the light weight bodies I've built sustain better than my heavy bodies.
     
  17. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I like what someone here wrote once: the body wood is mainly there to keep your hardware from falling to the floor.

    But as the Cap'n says, weight is always a consideration.
     
  18. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

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    +1 You always cut right to the chase and you're pretty much always right!
     
  19. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I like light and I like dents and I like fun to look at.. my favorite is pine..
     
  20. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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    Get whatever you like looking at.
    Or use whatever you can get free and get some spray paint.
    It doesn't matter much. I prefer hard to soft because I don't like dings.
    But I also like light weight. There's always a compromise.
     
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