Wood this be worth it?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by trippercaster, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. trippercaster

    trippercaster Tele-Meister

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    I'd appreciate some advice from someone with more experience than myself (which is most of you):

    I snagged this piece of pine from a very old house that was demolished down the road from me this summer. I assume it is pine because of how it smells when I cut it, but I guess it could be something else. The board was completely dry, not treated in any way, q-sawn, not sanded, pretty tight grain and a mix of heart and sap wood. As with most old lumber I've found, this is a true 2" by 6" board, no shrinkage here. I cut several 18 to 20 inch pieces, avoiding knots, and left one nice 40+ inch knotless piece in case I wanted to do a neck.

    I just built my first router table and fence, and used it as a jointer to true up the sides to glue. But while doing this, the heart wood sides of the pieces were so sappy that it started to gum up my newly made router fence on the outfeed side. I've read some posts recently about how tonewood should be harvested in the winter when the tree is dormant to reduce sap, etc. I also don't know how to check the "tap tone". So I don't want want to spend a bunch of time on this only to find out that its dead as a doornail once complete. So is the sap a bad sign? Should I just cut off the heart wood and use the rest?
     

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  2. trippercaster

    trippercaster Tele-Meister

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    Here are a few pics showing the grain and the really sappy area just after jointing.
     

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  3. trippercaster

    trippercaster Tele-Meister

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    And my router table and fence, just because I love that I can now prep sides for glueing in seconds flat!
     

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  4. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    tripper - I read that same post you are talking about. You said the pieces seem very stable outside of the sap. I would think that your best bet is going to be glueing to the non sap side.
    I know that the post we are talking about is probably from one of the people whose work I admire and respect on the forum but I think the whole, how many pieces, what type of wood, when it was cut talk isn't all it's cracked up to be. (I was a big, big, big fan of the one piece body thing for a long time.) I think we all have a version that we believe to be true whether it be experience or science. Hell, they make guitars out of cigar boxes, aluminum and plexiglass (does that stuff have a tap tone, really?) and some of these that I've heard range from amazing to blah. We sometimes forget (not always here but in general conversation) that the guitar's tone is a sum of it's parts and hard work we put into it.

    That said, I'm big into the old wood thing, I'm a big fan of old pine and wormy chestnut, I think as long as you give the build all you got so to speak that you'll get a good if not great guitar that you can talk about. IMHO.

    I think you'll find that it does end up being worth it.
     
  5. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice Router table BTW. My Uncle built one similar, he put a bunch of draws and pull outs for the bits and tools needed to run the router and they filled in along the open parts along the sides of the table.

    Also
    I keep thinking there was an explanation of how to get some of the sap to dry out either in that thread we were taking about or in another. I'll do some digging tonight and tomorrow to see if I can find that info. It will come in handy when you go to finish that guitar.
    The wood is beautiful I love the tight grain, going to be vey nice even in a clear finish.
     
  6. trippercaster

    trippercaster Tele-Meister

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    Thanks so much Chris, that's the answer I was hoping for. And thanks for looking into the sap removal. Because the pieces aren't wide enough for a two piece body, I was thinking about cutting the biggest piece of sap wood, using it for the middle and glue two pieces to that letting the sap wood sides meet and keeping the heart wood on the outside edges. I definitely want to do a clear finish but havent decided on gloss or satin, nitro or oil. Plenty of time to figure that out, I move pretty slow compared to most folks on this site.

    I do plan to add drawers and cabinet doors to the table, plus a switch. And I haven't cut the hole in the fence for the dust collection. You can't tell from the picture but it has a hinged top that can be propped up like a car hood. Soooo much better than a tiny bench top router table.
     
  7. Ben Furman

    Ben Furman Tele-Meister

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    Your glue-up idea sounds totally appropriate, but the sap can be cleaned up prior to gluing with a little acetone if you decide you want to glue the heartwood.

    I'm frankly shocked that there is any liquid sap left in the old board. It usually hardens up nicely with sufficient seasoning, although 8/4 is pretty thick. Was there a single pitch pocket that got exposed, or were there multiple problem areas?
     
  8. trippercaster

    trippercaster Tele-Meister

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    There are a few areas that are pretty bad. Two of the three shorter pieces, just on the heart wood. And I would have thought the same thing given the age of the board. I don't know exactly how old that house was, but I'd be willing to bet it was at least 75 years old. Could very well have been over 100. The board has to be really old, you just can't buy pine like that anymore.

    Thanks for the acetone suggestion. I will give it a try.
     
  9. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    The pine would work great to build a body with. I'd use it.
    But find something else to make a neck with. MHO.
     
  10. dschwartz

    dschwartz TDPRI Member

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    Looks like old grown douglas fir..good wood very resonant!
     
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I personally wouldn't use the sappy edges on a glue joint just to be on the safe side, but you could put it on the outside where some of it would get cut off. I've made a ton of pine bodies and the stuff was Industrial kiln dried, and sometimes I would run into pitch here and there. It's that kind of wood.

    The esthetics of a 13 piece body or whatever are totally up to you. It's just more work in jointing and gluing. One of my challenge guitars was made from about 10 pieces of pine. Glued up fine and looks kind of like a cutting board. As far as one piece vs. multipiece... I don't believe anybody has done any real science to disprove or prove anything... it's hearsay and mojo.
     
  12. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    tripper - Acetone seems to be the over all plan of attack on some of the wood working websites that I could find. Murphy's Oil Soap and Mineral Spirits were mentioned too but I found less info on how effective they are. So if you have some acetone good, if not nail polish remover works to the additives in it make it stay wet a little longer than straight acetone. One of the things I did read was, use the acetone, let it dry then sand the area back, this will give you a good idea within 24 hours or so if the wood will continue to weep sap. I think if you get a good enough coating of the acetone and let it sit for a few days before sanding you'll find that it dies up so that it wouldnt ruin a glue joint or a finish.
    I'd be very curious to see what Ron Kirn suggest in this instance as well. If he doesn't comment here I might PM him if I were you, just for the simple fact that he's made a ton of guitars from all sorts of wood and had to have come across an issue like this at somepoint.
     
  13. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd cut off about 1/2" off that sappy edge and see what it looks like inside. I'd also avoid that big old knot in that one piece. I don't like my bodies quite that rustic. The knots tend to dry out, shrink, crack, and sometimes fall out. Some people like the look I guess... but to me there's a point where some wood is " defective" and shouldn't be on a body. Different strokes I guess.
     
  14. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I wouldn't recommend using something that's oozing sap... cut that out... even if it means a multi piece body..

    Wiping with a solvent only takes care of the surface... oozing sap comes from deeper within..

    Ron
     
  15. tiskit86

    tiskit86 Friend of Leo's

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    Very Zen sounding...
     
  16. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It'll be pitch perfect!
     
  17. trippercaster

    trippercaster Tele-Meister

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    Well I decided to give it a shot, see what happens. I gave it a wipe with acetone, even though there wasn't any sap showing on the sap wood sides. I glued the three pieces with heart wood (sappy) sides facing out. That wasn't the original plan, I would have liked it to look more like a one piece.
     

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  18. TwangBilly

    TwangBilly Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd do what I gotta do to use that stuff, I like it!
    I'm no expert but I can tell you that if your building a solid body electric instrument the "tap tone" of the wood matters about as much as the color of the strap you use. If your building acoustics, particularly anything with a carved top or body like an arch top guitar, mandolin, fiddle etc. the tap tone is critical. Not so on a solid body electric.
    Yes it will affect the tone in some way, but neither negatively or positively. A pics of maple will sound different than pine, but neither better or worse. That all comes down to personal opinion. Personally I like the tone of a pine body, I plan on building one.
    Take a listen to Bill Kirchen's pine Tele made out of 150 year old pine or spruce beams out of the Bowery in NYC, amazing tone!
     
  19. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    My mom gives me weird looks when I tap my guitar wood.. I know it doesn't affect it majorly, but it's fun to hear the differences in the wood, and hear it ring!
     
  20. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looking good tripper!
    It might not be what the original plan was, but I think you'll find that kind of how it goes. Always have a back up plan! Unexpected changes always make better stories anyway IMO.
    I'm curious to see what condition the blank is in after a couple of days.

    Thanks for checking in Ron! I should have figured that might be your answer but as they say you never really know until you ask. Do you think there will be any issues with the finish with any remaining sap areas?
     
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