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Having trouble finding/selecting wood

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Hai :D

Ok here is the deal, im making a tele, but im not so concerned about keeping it traditional. So far:

- 1 Peice Maple Neck

- Solid Brass Modern Style Tele Bridge

- Seymour Duncan Hot Rails for Tele in the Bridge

- Seymour Duncan Vintage Rails in the Neck

Ok.. My initial thoughts for the body wood were Ash or Alder or Sassafrass for the body, and then a nicely figured peice of maple for the top. White Binding.

Ok now comes the dilemma. Im in Australia (Brisbane), and from my initial travels to timer merchants today, it turns out all of the body woods i was hoping were not offered by any of them. The closest I got to something i recognised was Brazillian Mahogany, at ~$130AUD for a peice 500mmx600mmx38mm.

So, top wood isnt really an issue, since im aweare its not cheap anywhere in australia so i figure, why bother losing sleep over it. But with the body wood, im quite ademant that I would rather not use mahogany for this body, since its not the sound im going for... so I guess what im asking is, does anyone have any suggestions for me of woods that should be common here in Australia, or even better, any info on native Australian hardwoods that could be a substitute for the woods i mentioned above, because if I can find a wood thats readily available here in australia that will work as a good body wood that has a nice tone, I would be happy becuase that will at least give me a good shot at getting a good deal on it locally.

Ive resigned to the fact I probably wont get much help, but really, any advice would be appreciated. If it makes any difference, ideally I would like a wood with a fairly balanced tone, but the last thing i want is something too muddy - but keeping in mind I will be adding a figured top to this body wood (~10mm thick), most likely maple.

Thanks for any help, im in quite a bind

- Dan

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I'm not in oz....... and I might be wrong....... but isn't lacewood (silky oak) native to Australia?

It looks good, it's meant to sound a lot like alder and it should be relatively cheap.

You can get a one piece lacewood blank for £28.00 not sure what that is in AUS$ but its a good price here!

Helpful? I dunno! :D

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Cheers, I'll check it out :D

So far the list of Australian Hardwoods ive come up with have been

- Blue Gum

- Brush Box

- Jarrah

- Spotted Gum

- Red Mahogany

- Tasmanian Oak

- Teak

- Red Cedar

- Pine

- Blackwood

Obviously there would be more out there though. I found Jarrah on one websites Tonewood listing - it sounded good, only its apparently quite difficult to machine, and dulls machine bits easily.

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Thanks for your input Litchfield,

Ive been doing some research on Lacewood - I didnt realise it was also called Silky Oak... we have a table made of silky oak here :D

I can get a good deal on a bookmatched set of figured Big Leaf maple from a supplier nearby, so im going to go around to his yard next weekend and take a gander at what he has and aim to pick up some lacewood.

So really, im hoping to end up with a lacewood body and a figured maple top. I read that lacewood has a tone like mahogany, but coloured a little with the more bitey tone of maple - I liked the sound of that.

Ive also emailed David Myka to ask him for his opinion of the lacewood he used for his semi-acoustic.

Thanks again!

- Dan

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Jivin, let us know how it comes out. I'm interested in what wood you choose and whether you are happy. I can get lacewood where I am in Texas.

Also, my son lives in Melbourne. He used Tassie Blackwood for a case he made. Machined and finished very well. Maybe that's a possible body wood. I remember it being a bit expensive though.

Good luck.

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hi Dan

i live in Brisbane as well, in Forest Lake to be precise. so where are you from? anyway, i had a lot of trouble finiding wood in Brisbane. but if you know where to look properly and if you know they right people you can get very decent wood, even in Brisbane. now you may have found some decent wood already, but i think you should still check out this supplier. i purchased all my wood from a local hardwood supplier that speacialises in Native and Exotic Hardwoods. here are the details:


Watt's Wood & Mouldings Pty Ltd

81 Pentex Street, Salisbury, 4107.

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Telephone 07 3274 4299 - Fax 07 3274 4246

this place does not sell Indian Rosewood, African Ebony or Brazillian Mahogany or any other extremely rare and/or barely legal exotic hardwood. in my opinion the selection is very decent and the prices are very dencent too. plus you cn buy as much or as little as you want. you can nearly get every common Australian hardwood there is for very cheap: Silky Oak, Tasmanian Oak, Tasmanian Blackwood, Queensland Maple, Jarrah, Huon Pine. Here is a list of Exotic wood off the top of my head: Canadian Maple, American Cherry, Sapele, Utile, African Mahogany, White Ash, New Guinea Rosewood.

as this is your first guitar (to my knowledge) i think you should experiment and use a wood that is not so commonly used or known as a "tonewood" - why? well in my case it was necessity that led to my final choice which in no time turned into preference. for example, i wanted to use for Brazillian Mahogany for the body of my guitar, but the cheapest quote i got for it in Australia (not even in Brisbane, in NSW) was $120 for a 1000x150x50 plank and it was not even 1/4 cut. so i ended up getting a cheaper alternative. African Utile (same genus as Sapele) another Mahogany species from Africa. (it is different to African Mahogany though - completely different colour and weight to Utile) but from what i can tell, Utile weighs and looks and feels very similar to Brazillian except the grains are interlocked. plus i think i got a better deal in the end because the African Utile piece cost me only $30 plus it is 1/4 cut and it displays 60+ fine growth rings (a very old tree) compared to the thick 30- growth rings (young plantation tree) and it was crown cut. not only that, Brazillian Mahogany cost 4 times more than African Utile.

i hope this helps. good luck finding a hardwood for your axe.

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Thanks man, that is a great resource, thanks for sharing! Great to know there is another user from Brisbane hanging around! :D

Thanks again, ill be sure to update you on my progress!

- Dan

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Hi Perry,

Im aware of your supply shop, It is I, Dan, who bought the premade tele neck and gold tele bridge off you B)

And if i dont get my seymour duncans from the states ill certainly be getting them from you :D

With regard to your timber prices - I was sort of hoping I could find better deal (no offense meant) from a local timber yard, rather than having to buy one from you and have it posted all the way across the country to me :D Ive never done this before so im just gonna do my research and some legwork and see what I end up with. If it comes to that, ill be only too happy to buy my timber from you

- Dan

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