Jump to content

Uncommonly Used Wood On Solid Body Guitars - Sound?


Recommended Posts

If you check out the section on "in progress/finished work" you'll see plenty of guitars that are made from several different materials, ranging from all of the woods you mentioned, to plywood, and even copper and aluminum!

Bacote, bubinga, walnut, bloodwood, zebrawood, hardwood flooring scraps, etc. If you think you can build a guitar out of it, there's a chance that its been done on the forum and you can check it out. We have one member who's building an erogonimically correct guitar out of foam or something like that. That might just be the prototype though.

But yeah, check it out! There's some talented builders here that you can learn a lot from! And use that search function!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lukeo -

There are many, many posts on this topic. I realize the search engine isn't the greatest, but you could spend hours reading all of the various facts, opinions and anecdotes that here related to wood, it's tonal quality and usefulness on any type of stringed guitar. A lot of these discussions center on cost, while others get extremely deep into the actual construction of the wood, chambering, blending woods, etc. Narcissism is correct - if you can think of it - chances are someone on here has built it - or at least discussed it in depth.

Search on "+cheap +wood" , "+plywood +build"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to PG

A lot of the wood question is about "stability"...you don't want things like shrinkage, checking or flexing.

Other factors are that a very heavy oily wood like rosewood may dampen a lot of high order harmonics...this was done for instance for George Harrison with his famous all rosewood tele (played on let it be). Lighter woods like cedar are rarely used because it is so soft and easily damaged and may have trouble holding bridges against the pull of the strings. There have been some things like this...Gibson's sonex I recall had a balsa core (they renamed chromex or something) while parker make a solid spruce and perhaps a cedar model...but they have a hard glass outer coat. I once made something out of cedar, but I put a hardwood veneer over it and a hardwood centre neck and bridge piece through the centre. It seems to have a very lively response. Basswood has been used by asian guitar makers for a while now however, and that's pretty soft.

I'm interested in alternate materials...plywood is something I am currently thinking of...it is not a new material...a lot of cheap guitars are made from it...it has enormous stability and strength (if good no void material) but can sound lifeless for it. Something like MDF is heavy and a tone soak.

There was an ad-hoc friendly competition using 2x4's (pine) to build guitars...orgmorg has had a few recently in the GOTM featuring recycled materials and even some of the hardware.

Neck material is a lot more contentious...here you need longitudinal strength and stability...a lot of alternate materials wont really work...fretboards too need to be fairly rugged to resist wear...

Anyway...quite a few threads over the years and little anacdotes along the way in unrelated threads...search and browse is the way to go. If you have something particular in mind, perhaps post your thoughts here and someone might even be able to recall and find something...or have more specific thoughts....


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, in building a guitar out of 2x4's, would you run them through a jointer/planer to get them flat? I'm assuming that'd be the easiest way. I might use it for a prototype body for the next masterpiece...

When I was making my 1st PRS body, I make a 1" thick one from construction-grade pine to learn carving on. I currently make all my templates deom 3/4" construction pine. Yea... after jointing them, they're glued, then planed to size. I actually do that for every body I do, unless it's wider than the 13" planer I use. Why wouldn't you do that if you were making a guitar from pine, or any wood for that matter.

Acutally, I'm a little shocked that you asked that question. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...