#1
I work at a pecan farm in southwest Georgia and we were taking down some of the trees a little while ago. I was just curious if anyone thought that pecan wood might have some good tonal properties, as there are a few people around here that know how to make guitars, (myself not included). It's an attractive wood, and I hate to see it leave the farm. Ideas?
#2
in a smoker with ribs for a few hours it sounds great.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#3
Hahaha,

Just cut out a 2in thick board blank and knock it. Listen to it. Does it sound really bright like maple. Is it a littler "bassier" or warmer like mahogany. Or does it sound dull... in that case I wouldn't use it.
#4
makes good drum sticks!
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#5
Does it sound really bright like maple. Is it a littler "bassier" or warmer like mahogany.
#6
Quote by baiber
Does it sound really bright like maple. Is it a littler "bassier" or warmer like mahogany.

Are you a weird-arse adbot or something? Why do you just copy what somebody has already said and then post an image of a full stop?
#7
Heathen alert!

I say, build it. It'll more than likely sound just fine. In my recent experiment the brightest sounding guitar I have seems to be the one made of mahogany, but that's also the one with the least body mass, so there's evidently more important variables at work than what the body's made of. YMMV.

*runs*
#8
I would second the "body wood isn't to important" lament. Although it's not as simple as milling the wood to a guitar shape, you have to let it dry and cure. Which takes a really really long time. Cut it into very rough blanks, put wax on the ends and then let it dry for a year or two.
#9
Quote by LeviMan_2001
I would second the "body wood isn't to important" lament. Although it's not as simple as milling the wood to a guitar shape, you have to let it dry and cure. Which takes a really really long time. Cut it into very rough blanks, put wax on the ends and then let it dry for a year or two.


I was of the same opinion for 7 years but I've been playing for 8. Play a les paul unplugged and then play a alder or maple strat unplugged. It does make a difference.
#10
Quote by X-plorer88
I was of the same opinion for 7 years but I've been playing for 8. Play a les paul unplugged and then play a alder or maple strat unplugged. It does make a difference.


I'd chalk that up to scale length and bridge more though. Also, how they sound unplugged is meaningless to a degree, they're electric guitars! I will say though that the wood does matter to a degree. I have an old teisco that just has zero sustain, the thing is so badly built that the thin body absorbs all the energy. But still, I bet if it was a thicker plywood it would sustain properly (construction vs. wood here). I'm still skeptical of wood being a big player. Anyhow, I'm sure the hickory would (wood, lol) work fine.
#11
It sounds like the answer is "it will probably work." Thanks folks. I'll pitch the idea to some of the luthiers around here and see what they say. I think we've actually already got some wood we could use in storage, so we'll see what happens!
#12
I built a guitar out of hickory with a birdseye top on it and it sounds great! It's actually my gigging guitar since its got 24 frets and is pretty versatile all around. It's a little brighter but sustains like a monster! If pecan is anything like hickory, then I say build it! I'm sure it will turn out great!
#13
Quote by LeviMan_2001
I'd chalk that up to scale length and bridge more though. Also, how they sound unplugged is meaningless to a degree, they're electric guitars! I will say though that the wood does matter to a degree. I have an old teisco that just has zero sustain, the thing is so badly built that the thin body absorbs all the energy. But still, I bet if it was a thicker plywood it would sustain properly (construction vs. wood here). I'm still skeptical of wood being a big player. Anyhow, I'm sure the hickory would (wood, lol) work fine.


100% wrong. I understand that people argue as to how much of an effect the wood has on the tone, but it is not meaningless. The pickups "voice" the tone of the guitar. They've got their own built in frequency response EQ based on how their resistance, capacitance, inductance... ect. But the original pre-pickup tone comes from the non-electric construction. And you can hear that tone when the guitar is unplugged. The pickup is nothing more than a glorified microphone. At the very least the wood and body shape significantly affect the sustain. Sure if you've got EMG pickups and playing the heaviest screamo metal while tuned to drop G it hardly matters. But the best players in the world agree that the tone wood is very important. It's not a matter of opinion, it's fact.

Watch around 1:04.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCvgE6yzoAM

-Tony
Last edited by X-plorer88 at Mar 8, 2012,
#14
It is a matter of opinion because it's my opinion, and yours is otherwise. "Good" is opinion. Also I was half joking with that statement you bolded. Because it's an electric guitar, not acoustic? Get it? No? okay, well i'm not here to argue about finickey guitar voodoo bullshit, the guy now knows, his wood should be good. /thread.
Last edited by LeviMan_2001 at Mar 9, 2012,
#15
It's not bullshit dude, chill out.
You're right. It's not my place to try and change your mind, but I wasn't trying to. It doesn't matter to me what you believe. Maybe you just don't play the style of music where it becomes noticeable.

I'm just arguing that it doesn't make sense to say the wood doesn't affect the tone unplugged, but somehow does when it's plugged in. Thats all.

Anyways I agree with you in saying you gotta let the wood dry out for a few years.
Good luck with the build Epi.
#17
Quote by LeviMan_2001
I'm saying the wood doesn't affect the tone much at all, it's more down to the construction and the pickups IMO.


Quote by LeviMan_2001
I'd chalk that up to scale length and bridge more though. Also, how they sound unplugged is meaningless to a degree, they're electric guitars! I will say though that the wood does matter to a degree. I have an old teisco that just has zero sustain, the thing is so badly built that the thin body absorbs all the energy. But still, I bet if it was a thicker plywood it would sustain properly (construction vs. wood here). I'm still skeptical of wood being a big player. Anyhow, I'm sure the hickory would (wood, lol) work fine.


This is what I'm referring to. I guess I'm just not getting what your trying to say there.


-Tony
#19
I agree with the "tap it" response. Tap it and see if it has a "ping" sound. I'm just finishing a tele built from sassafras for almost the same reason plus it is unusual to find a sassafras tree big enough to cut boards from.
#20
Lots of pointless bickering in this, not even gonna read it

I've built a neck from Pecan before, though never finished the guitar. They use it (and hickory, it's sold as the same thing in the US) for tool handles all the time, so it's plenty hard and will take lots of abuse. It was a pain to carve and the grain isn't all that attractive, but totally functional and will work fine for a neck. Just try it and see, at the very least you gained knowledge in how to build an instrument.
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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#21
The general rule for drying is one year for every inch of thickness. Even if you are selling the wood, it's worth it. Air-dried lumber has more resonance than kiln-dried lumber.
If you want it immediately, talk to some local lumber mills and see if they will put it in their kiln for a night. It'll cost you, but it's very quick.

If you do plan on drying it, there's a lot more to it than just putting logs in a pile and leaving it for two years. You have to mill it then stack it using 3/4" stickers and build a roof for it. Painting the ends of the boards helps prevent checking.
..I was watching my death.
#22
^If you just put the sticks near the ends of the boards (an inch or two from the end) you'll prevent them from checking down the length of the board. Its how my family has stacked roughsawn lumber for decades without issue.

If you don't stack them with gaps in between they WILL rot. Also you always take the chance of mold and bugs when you air dry, it's just part of the game. Always stack more than you'll be using.
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Mar 10, 2012,
#23
Using stickers isn't so much for rot as it is equal air exposure. If you were to surface a dry board and leave it on your workbench for the night, it'd end up warping. Stickering prevents this by giving it equal air exposure on all sides.

Having your lumber on the ground or even close to it will cause rotting. Keep it about 1' above the ground with a tarp underneath the whole stack to prevent plants growing and contacting the lumber. If I remember correctly, you can spray your lumber with insecticide to get rid of a couple types of bugs in some areas of the world. I can't remember the name of the most common one at the moment.
..I was watching my death.
#24
Without that air exposure it will rot because the moisture in the lumber can't escape when it's sitting directly on another piece. Warping is going to occur in air drying, especially over a long piece. That's why roughcut lumber is usually dimensioned odd, like 5/4. That gives you an extra quarter inch of material to plane out into a straight board.

We stack it off a single stick from the ground without any problems of rotting
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#25
Stacking it with a single 3/4 inch sticker is probably causing warping. Usually, timbers are used and they are made to be perfectly level and parallel with each other.
..I was watching my death.
#26
I'll bear all that in mind. I'll be saving this thread for reference, for sure. Thanks guys.

Also, we may have some old pecan boards in the wood shop, I'm not completely sure. If they've just been sitting on a shelf in a non-insulated, but covered building, do you think they'd be alright? What kinds of things should I look for, in particular, when choosing which board I want to use?
#27
Should be alright if they've been there for awhile, just something that's free of knots and not twisted like a pretzel . A little warp is fine, just plane it out and let it sit for a few days and see if it stabilizes. People say that you wet it slightly and put some weight over the board to straighten 'em out, never bothered with it though. Whos to say it won't warp again?
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]