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Wood identification - grandads old stash

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by tklaavo, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    I found some wood in my late grandad's piles, but I'm not sure what it is...
    It is dry and very light, and rings very nicely when tapped. It looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    I planed some pieces to see more of it:
    [​IMG]

    End grain:
    [​IMG]

    A piece of bark might help to identify:
    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure this is aspen (Populus Tremula), the only native species of poplar in Finland. Does anyone agree or disagree with this?

    Whatever it is, I'm going to try it for a lightweight body. It's a bit thin, so no 1,75 inch thickness, though. There's enough for at least three two-piece bodies. Maybe this will be my Duo-Sonic (already have the neck half-made)
     
  2. dazzaman

    dazzaman Tele-Afflicted

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    The light wood looks like lime to me. I have a piece which is a bit thicker which I will take a picture of and post tomorrow. I have no idea how likely it is to be lime where you are though.
     
  3. ChameleonGuitar

    ChameleonGuitar TDPRI Member

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    It's a guitar body!
     
  4. Starting 2 Old

    Starting 2 Old Tele-Meister

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    Ouch!

    :eek:
     
  5. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Do you mean the lime tree in Britain, which I think is sort of linden (or basswood)? Or the fruit tree? I guess not that..
    I have a piece of Tilia Cordata, the Finnish species of linden, and it looks different, much more pale. I have built a tele out of it..
     
  6. dugg

    dugg TDPRI Member

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    At first sight I thought poplar, then I read to the bottom of your post. Aspen is pretty much the same. Matter of fact, here in the USA, 'poplar' can be quite a few different species. In the last ten years, I've made two bodies out of poplar, they sound exellent.
    Builders these days are finally starting to be able to understand the differences between stiffness and mass and what those properties mean to solid body guitars (wish piano builders would get with the program!). The result is that many are using much lighter, stiffer woods (like Paulownia) because they just plain sound great. Mass, when it's allowed to interact with the structure (through lack of stiffness) merely rolls off high frequencies. That's why heavy bodies sound dull.

    I have even made a neck from (carbon fiber reinforced) quarter sawn poplar with a single action truss. The owner thinks it's the best sounding neck he has.
     
  7. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

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    Hey tk - whatever it is, it's pretty. I bet it would make great guitars. And you're the one to do it.

    You could probably call it gruberschnitzel. We wouldn't know any better. I mean it's like you've got a different word for EVERYTHING over there!
     
  8. fretman_2

    fretman_2 Friend of Leo's

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    Well...if you can't identify it, it really doesn't matter. Just build a guitar out of it...it'll be fantastic no matter what it is.
     
  9. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    yeah, I googled some info and pictures, and from now on I'll call it "Haapa" (Aspen in Finnish). And definitely will build a guitar.
     
  10. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

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    .....see what I mean?
     
  11. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

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    Looks alot like alder.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. rbarr110

    rbarr110 TDPRI Member

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    That was my first thought as well.
     
  13. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

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    If you spelled alder with 2 or 3 a's tk would probably go for it. :D
     
  14. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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  15. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    This is aspen, flat sawn, with different finishes:

    [​IMG]

    This is Finnish "black alder", the other contestant:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The end grain does not look like aspen in most photos, and now I'm confused.
    The bark is light grey, alder should be darker.
    I gotta go to a wood supplier and look at different woods, if I want to be sure. Both are fine, as mr. Lottonen testifies!
     
  16. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Weigh up the piece, and calculate the density, and maybe that would be a bit more definitive. I first thought beech. Maybe? I met a German Luthier who's here in Nashville for Summer NAMM and he's made a few custom electrics from german beech. Not sure what it looks like unfinished, but his looked like mahogany when cherry stained and finished (kind of).

    his webiste is: www.zerberus-guitars.de

    Maybe that will help.
     
  17. dazzaman

    dazzaman Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, I mean Tilia species. I don't know which sub-species - it is the basic grows well in the UK and great for carving one, if that matters. Below are some pictures of what I have.
    [​IMG]
    The big tell will be the bark (which is why I thought your wood was lime in the first place). In this image the bottom left of the plank is probably the most help. To give you an idea of scaling, the plank itself is about a metre high and just over two inches thick - before I started cutting it up the plank was about 4 metres long - not much fun to move around.

    Here is a straight-on view of the bark itself.
    [​IMG]

    And a view of the endgrain - sorry the grain lines are not more distinct - it was cut with a handsaw.
    [​IMG]

    And finally, a couple of pieces that were cut from the plank. The wood varies in colour, as you will see in the plank on the left -the planks I used for the photo were chosen at random (in other words, the top of the pile). I just happened to machine them yesterday - you can still see the thicknesser marks on them.
    [​IMG]

    Regardless of what your wood is, as someone else said, it should still make a good guitar. And now you have, of course, put the idea of using my plank for that into my head...
     
  18. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    I say go for it, I really like the tele I built out of my "tilia" - it's my favourite out of the three I have made. Good sound, nice feel. Many others have also praised their basswood / tilia / lime / linden / lehmus (in Finnish) guitars.
     
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